Pregnancy is a very crucial and beautiful stage in every woman’s life. She requires more nutrition during this time for herself and the developing foetus in the form of protein, good fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to complete a balanced diet. During this stage, she starts to take additional care with what she eats and what she doesn’t. One of the healthy foods to eat when pregnant is nuts and seeds. Continue reading to learn how to use nuts and seeds for a healthy pregnancy and health benefits of nut and seeds.
Although it may be tempting to consider those extra calories as a ticket to indulge in unhealthy snacks, nutrition experts advise against doing so as of yet. A reward now and then won’t harm you as long as you consume balanced, healthful meals on a regular basis. But ideally, you want the majority of those extra calories to come from wholesome foods.
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NUTS AND SEEDS DURING PREGNANCY
Nuts and seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition, containing minerals like magnesium, zinc, plant iron, calcium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and potassium as well as vitamins like B complex vitamins, C, niacin, folate, and others. When consumed in moderation, they are healthy during pregnancy and can satisfy appetite and cravings. However, it is not advisable to consume a lot of nuts and seeds which may cause some discomforts.
Also check, 12 Foods to avoid for pregnant ladies
HEALTH BENEFITS OF NUT AND SEEDS DURING PREGNANCY
Health benefits of nut and seeds in pregnancy are numerous. They are a powerhouse of nutrition, containing minerals like magnesium, zinc, plant iron, calcium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and potassium as well as vitamins like B complex vitamins, C, niacin, folate, and others. Major benefits of nut and seeds include:
1. Good brain power in child:
In early pregnancy, consumption of nuts and seeds can enhance a child’s cognitive growth. The IQ, memory, and attention/concentration of children whose mothers consume nuts and seeds on a daily basis, during the first trimester of pregnancy are found to be higher than those of their peers whose mothers do not consume nuts throughout pregnancy.
Also check, How to improve child’s memory
2. Regulate blood pressure:
Nuts and seeds are rich sources of potassium, which can improve muscle control and help regulate blood pressure.
Also check, Foods to increase breast milk in lactating women
3. Development of nervous system:
Dry fruits and nuts include magnesium in them, which can aid in your baby’s healthy bone and nerve growth.
Also check, Bone development
4. Essential fatty acids:
Nuts and seeds are generally abundant in fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, as well as folic acids, which are essential for neural development. While pregnant, consuming a handful of nuts and seeds can create a buildup of these substances in the foetal brain’s frontal region, improving memory and other cognitive abilities.
Also check, Benefits of omega-3
5. Prevention of asthma:
The lungs and cells of the developing newborn can benefit from the vitamin E found in nuts and seeds. Additionally, this vitamin can control blood sugar and help shield your child from developing asthma and wheezing.
Also check, Asthma: 7 Foods that help
6. Packhouse of nutrients:
Seeds such as chia seeds are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and potent antioxidants that are crucial for a healthy pregnancy. The nutrients calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, potassium, and iron are particularly abundant in them.
To ensure appropriate bone development, it’s crucial to consume enough calcium during the last three months of pregnancy. Chia seeds also include boron, manganese, and vitamin A, all of which are essential nutrients for bone health. Chia seeds have almost five times as much calcium per gram as milk.
Also check, Calcium containing foods
7. Prevent iron deficiency:
Premature birth, low birth weight, insufficient iron reserves, and impaired cognitive and behavioural development are all risks of inadequate iron consumption during pregnancy.
Iron, which is necessary for the growth of the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, is a mineral that is abundant in seeds such as chia seeds, pumpkin, flax seeds etc. In order to support the mother’s larger blood volume and the growth of the baby’s blood during pregnancy, iron intake must be increased.
8. Balance blood sugar:
Because they include a lot of fibre, nuts and seeds can help pregnant women avoid constipation. The high fibre content promotes intestinal health as well as blood sugar management.
Also check, Fibre rich recipes for kids
9. Energy boosters:
Nuts and seeds can increase energy levels for a longer period of time. A pregnant woman can benefit from the high levels of protein and good fat that are found in nuts and seeds since they promote a long-lasting energy boost and can help battle fatigue throughout the day, especially since a pregnant woman’s energy levels change throughout the course of her pregnancy.
10. Healthy bones and teeth:
Vitamin A, and calcium which are essential for the growth of the baby’s teeth and bones, can be found in large quantities in nuts and seeds.
Also check, What does refined sugar do to kids’ bones?
NUTS AND SEEDS OPTIONS TO EAT DURING PREGNANCY
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Watermelon seeds
- Flax seeds
Also check, Benefits of soaking and sprouting of seeds
SERVING SIZE/RECOMMENDED AMOUNT
How much nuts to eat per day during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, it is advised that you limit your intake of nuts and seeds to no more than 100 grams per day. For example, you could consume four to seven almond pieces, around four walnut halves, few seeds and roughly eight pistachios at once.
Also check, Best nuts and seeds for protein
Nuts and seeds are entirely healthy to eat during pregnancy when consumed in moderation. However, if you consume them excessively, you could have health issues like diarrhoea, gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, and excessive weight gain.
Also check, Smart ways for postpartum weight loss
PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN:
There are a number of benefits of nut and seeds if you take some precautions before and after buying them.
- Buy nuts and seeds in pure form from a good and known vendor.
- Check for insects and bugs before buying
- Immediately transfer to an airtight container once you purchase
- Try to purchase preservative free and organic nuts and seeds.
Also check, 10 Superfoods for healthiest postpartum diet
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