Rice is such a food item, which is made in almost every household. Some people even believe that if rice is not included in the meal, it is incomplete. In such a situation, eating or not eating rice on normal days depends on the person’s likes and dislikes. At the same time, this thought of likes and dislikes about food creates doubts in the mind about many types of food items during pregnancy. This includes eating rice during pregnancy, even though it is a common food item, but it is also important to take care of whether it is safe to eat rice during pregnancy or not. We will give many special information related to the benefits of eating rice during pregnancy. Along with this, if there are disadvantages of eating rice during pregnancy, then we will also share its information.
First of all, in the article, know whether it is safe to eat rice during pregnancy.
Is it safe to have rice during pregnancy?
Yes, rice is considered safe to eat during pregnancy. In a research published on the website of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), the consumption of rice during pregnancy is considered safe. At the same time, the consumption of rice along with other foods has been shown to be helpful in reducing the risk of preterm labor or premature birth of the baby (1) . Apart from this, the World Health Organization ie WHO has also considered rice to be beneficial and safe during pregnancy (2) .
In this part of the article, we will know the benefits of eating rice during pregnancy .
Benefits of eating rice in pregnancy
Now it is known that it is safe to eat rice during pregnancy. So now it is also important to know the benefits of eating rice during pregnancy, so in this part of the article, we are sharing information related to the benefits of eating rice during pregnancy. So some of the benefits of eating rice during pregnancy are as follows:
1. Full of Energy
During pregnancy, additional energy is required for the development and maintenance of the tissues of the fetus, placenta, and mother. In this case, the consumption of rice can be beneficial (3) . Actually, rice is rich in carbohydrates. Whereas, carbohydrates get converted into energy after reaching the body. It is considered beneficial not only for the pregnant woman but also for the development of the foetus . At the same time, the World Health Organization has also considered rice as a major source of energy, which is essential for pregnant women.
2. In case of nausea
Nausea and vomiting are common during pregnancy (5) . The use of rice can be beneficial to reduce the problem of nausea as well as vomiting . Actually, it was found in the research that if the consumption of rice is reduced along with other foods, it can cause nausea. At the same time, if rice and other food items are consumed in limited quantities, then this problem can be reduced to some extent .
3. For constipation
Constipation is common during pregnancy . In fact, due to hormonal changes, the digestive process slows down during pregnancy, which can result in constipation (7) . In such a situation, rice has been considered beneficial in this problem as well. According to the information available in this subject, fiber-rich foods along with physical activity can control the problem of constipation to some extent. At the same time, brown rice has been considered a good source of fiber . On this basis, we can say that consumption of brown rice can be beneficial in the problem of constipation (8) . In such a situation, to get relief from the problem of constipation in pregnancy, opt for brown rice instead of white rice, because brown rice contains more fiber than white rice ( 9 ) .
4. Control blood pressure
There is also a risk of high blood pressure problem in pregnancy . At the same time, high blood pressure in pregnancy can also be risky for the fetus growing in the womb (10) . In such a situation, consumption of rice can be effective to some extent in this problem. Actually, gamma-aminobutyric acid (amino acid), present in brown rice, can prove to be somewhat beneficial in reducing blood pressure . Also, potassium is present in it, which can be helpful in reducing blood pressure (11) .
5. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants have been recognized to be of great importance in pregnancy. According to research, if there is a deficiency of antioxidants associated with micronutrients such as selenium, copper, zinc, and manganese during pregnancy , it can lead to serious consequences. Antioxidant deficiency in pregnancy can lead to stunted fetal growth, preeclampsia, or high blood pressure in pregnancy . Also, even after growing up, there may be a risk of many diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes (12) . At the same time, in another research, nutrients such as phenolic acid, flavonoids, and phytic acid present in rice have been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity ( 13 ) .
In such a situation, the antioxidants present in rice can be beneficial in preventing the problems caused by its deficiency. However, more research is needed on this topic. Explain that antioxidants can prevent damage caused by oxidative stress in the body due to free radicals. Antioxidant-rich foods can protect against cell damage (14) . Let us tell you that due to free radicals, the risk of many diseases such as arthritis, heart disease can increase (15) .
There can be many ways to include rice in pregnancy, here we are talking about them.
How to include rice in pregnancy diet
Rice can be included in the diet in many ways during pregnancy. Here we are giving information about some types:
- Rice can be boiled and consumed normally.
- Porridge made of lentils and rice has also been considered beneficial for health.
- Apart from this, rice pulao with less spices can also be eaten.
- Rice can also be consumed in the form of kheer.
- Pulled rice and can also be consumed as idli.
- In South India, bread made of rice is eaten like wheat bread.
Quantity: Rice can be eaten up to 9 to 11 servings a day during pregnancy (4) . If understood easily, up to half a cup of rice can be consumed along with other foods (2) . However, not everyone’s pregnancy is the same. Therefore, there can be variations in its quantity according to age and health condition. In this case, take medical advice for the correct information about its quantity.
Here we will know about the disadvantages of eating rice during pregnancy.
Disadvantages of eating rice during pregnancy-
Rice has been considered beneficial in pregnancy, but its excessive amount can be harmful for pregnant women. Here we are telling about them only.
• Rice is a food item with a high glycemic index (16) . Therefore, its excessive intake can increase the level of glucose in the blood, which can lead to the problem of diabetes ( 17 ) .
• Consuming triglyceride (a type of fat found in the blood) present in white rice can work to increase the problem of metabolic syndrome (18) . Explain that metabolic syndrome is not a disease, but a group of risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems .
• Excess intake of carbohydrates, especially foods containing refined carbohydrates, can also lead to obesity (20) . At the same time, white rice is in the category of refined carbohydrate-rich foods ( 21 ) . In such a situation, it can be assumed on this basis that there may be a risk of weight gain by consuming more white rice.
• Arsenic present in brown rice can have harmful effects on the health of the fetus (22) .
• Excessive consumption of rice can also cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhea due to arsenic. It can also lead to dehydration and shock (23) .
• Consumption of arsenic-rich rice in excess can cause cancer as well as death (25) (26) .
Excess consumption of anything during pregnancy can be harmful. On the other hand, if rice is consumed in limited quantity then only it can be beneficial, otherwise it can have negative consequences. However, consuming brown rice instead of white rice is considered safer and more beneficial, so try to include brown rice if you want to eat rice during pregnancy. If you still have any kind of doubt in your mind, then you can take medical advice once before eating rice during pregnancy.
Frequently asked questions
How much rice should a pregnant woman eat?
Rice can be consumed in pregnancy up to half a cup along with other foods.
Why do I crave for raw rice when I am pregnant?
Eating raw rice during pregnancy can cause pica syndrome (27) . It is better to seek medical advice in this regard, because in Pica syndrome there is a craving to eat something that is not edible.