Most women are skeptical about eating nuts and dry fruits during pregnancy. We are very well aware that nuts like almonds are extremely beneficial but due to their high heat and fat content many women abstain from them during pregnancy.
To break the myth, almonds are safe to consume during pregnancy. However excessive intake of raw almonds could also lead to pre-mature delivery. The key is to maintain moderation. Anything consumed in excess could be dangerous. Hence make sure you don’t go overboard since almonds can increase body heat and fat.
Benefits Of Eating Almonds During Pregnancy
Almonds are packed with nutrients that help in the overall growth and development of the baby and the mother, being rich in protein, iron, vitamin E and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Some of the nutritional benefits of almonds during pregnancy are listed below:
- Calcium: It is a known fact that calcium during pregnancy is essential for bone and teeth development but only some know that sufficient calcium intake can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia as well. Calcium also ensures the development of nerves and muscles. An ounce of almonds provide 75 mg of calcium and can be a healthy addition to your diet
- Riboflavin: Almonds are a rich source of Riboflavin. It ensures baby’s brain development. It is also beneficial for muscle and bone development
- Folate: Folate in almonds protects the baby, while it is still in the womb, from neural tube defects. It also helps with the development of the nervous system and the bones. Birth-defects are also prevented by folate
- Iron: Almonds are rich in iron. Iron is essential to make oxygen in the body. Because your blood volume grows during pregnancy, lack of iron may result in the lack of red blood cells in the body, which may make you fatigued and tired. Pregnancy anemia may also occur
- Copper: Copper is an essential to utilize the iron in the body. It also helps with muscle and bone development
- Manganese: Manganese helps regulate and maintain both the mother and the baby’s weight. It promotes healthy metabolism, and thyroid function. It also helps in the development of bones and even balances blood sugar
- Magnesium: Magnesium ensures smooth bowl movement. It helps in the development of the baby’s bones and central nervous system.
- Fiber: Almonds are rich in fiber, hence almonds are especially recommended to pregnant women with constipation issues. The fiber in almonds will ensure smooth bowl movements and aid digestion
- Proteins: The protein content in almond will provide the mother with strength for the delivery. It will also keep the baby’s weight in balance
- Omega 3: Omega 3 is essential for the baby’s brain development. It also aids in the development of the baby’s eyes.
- Vitamins: Almonds are a rich a source of vitamins. It contains vitamin E, C, K, B6 and A. Vitamins are essential for the overall growth of the baby and they also help to keep deadly diseases and defects at bay
- Zinc: Zinc aids effective bone development, skeletal growth and even helps increase immunity
- Phosphorous: Phosphorous content in almonds help with congenial growth. Phosphorous also helps with blood clotting during pregnancy
What Is The Safest Way To Eat Almonds During Pregnancy?
If you haven’t been allergic to nuts before getting pregnant chances are you won’t be allergic to them during pregnancy either. If you have had allergic reactions to almonds before, it is better to consult a doctor before incorporating them in your diet. There also has not been any concrete research on whether a baby will develop almond allergy if the mother consumes almonds during pregnancy.
A good way to eat almonds is to soak them in water over night and then peel them before consuming. The brown layer of the almonds contains tannin which is a natural coat that keeps all the nutrients of the almond secured inside. Peeling off the almonds, allows it to release its nutritious properties. Soaking them also releases enzymes that aid digestion.
Buying Almonds During Pregnancy
Like all natural things, almonds are most beneficial when consumed in their natural state. Off late markets are flooded with variety of options like sugar coated almonds, salt coated almonds and even chocolate coated almonds. These processed nuts are not as healthy. Almost are most nutritious when eaten in their natural form. Always ensure you buy natural almonds from reputed brands that are packaged properly approved by the Government.
How Can I Incorporate Almonds In My Pregnancy Diet?
If you do not like the taste of almonds but still want to benefit from its nutritional properties, you can opt for other ways of incorporating them in your diet. You can add pieces of almonds to your breakfast oats, sheera, kheer, poha or even upma.
Almond milk is also easily available in the market however do check the contents of the product before buying. You can also add a few drops of pure almond oil to your food preparations.