6 Amazing Reasons Why Women Need To Eat Chocolates During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the most rewarding phases in a woman’s life. And as much as people around you tell you to enjoy every moment of it, you know how stressful it can become. This is a time to be very conscious of your health – not just for your sake, but also for the sake of the growing baby. But this is also a time for cravings! And one thing women world over crave during pregnancy is chocolate! Are you worried that having chocolates might not be good for your pregnancy? Do you wonder what kind of chocolates you should eat? Read on to understand all about it.
Is It Safe To Eat Chocolates During Pregnancy?
It is definitely safe to consume chocolates during pregnancy. In fact, chocolate is even considered healthy to eat during pregnancy, since the cocoa and the flavonoids present in chocolates have many health benefits.
However, ensure that you have them only in moderation. This is because too many chocolates can have negative impacts due to its high calories, sugar content and caffeine.
6 Benefits Of Eating Chocolates During Pregnancy
Here are 6 benefits of having chocolates:
Happier you, happier baby: Pregnant women are already under a lot of stress. And chocolate is known to be a great stress-reliever and hence can do a lot to a pregnant woman’s mood. It also satisfies her craving, so that’s two birds with one stone!
Immunity through antioxidants: Chocolates contain flavonoids, which in turn contains antioxidants. This is known to help detoxify your body and improve immunity
Regulated Blood Pressure:High blood pressure (BP) is a common problem among pregnant women. Theobromine, a substance present in chocolate, is known to regulate BP and hence avoid preeclampsia
which can cause preterm birth
Nutrition: Believe it or not, that yummy piece of chocolate contains magnesium, iron and many other essential nutrients!
No heart disease: The antioxidants present in flavonoids in the chocolates are known to keep heart-related problems under check. The darker and higher the quality of chocolate, the better it is for the heart
Lower cholesterol: Dark chocolates are known to lower the cholesterol levels in pregnant women. They contain low sugars and fats and the flavonoids present in dark chocolate help increase good cholesterol levels. It reduces oxidation of bad cholesterol and regulates the blood sugar levels in pregnant women. If consumed in moderation, it can also help in weight management
What Are The Side Effects Of Having Chocolates?
There are potentially three problems associated with chocolates, because of which you need to ensure you consume it only in moderation:
If you eat a lot of chocolates, you will not be hungry anymore and this will stop you from eating healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. 40 grams of milk chocolate contain 230+ calories, 13 gm fat, and 23 gm sugar. 230 calories is a mini-meal! So if you end up having a whole bar of chocolate (usually 100 gm), imagine how many calories will go inside you!
Secondly, chocolates contain caffeine. While there is no solid research linking caffeine to pregnancy problems, doctors’ world over advice pregnant women to stop or at least limit caffeine consumption during pregnancy. In fact, it is recommended that pregnant women consume not more than 200 mg caffeine a day. Remember that you might already be filling this quota with you morning tea, coffee or soft drinks!
Finally, chocolate contains a lot of sugar, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain and/or gestational diabetes
What Kind Of Chocolate Should You Pick During Pregnancy?
There are so many different kinds of chocolates, and some are better than other! If you do have to indulge in chocolate, make the following choices:
Pick dark chocolate over milk chocolate: Dark chocolates are much healthier than milk chocolates. It contains more cocoa and hence has more anti-oxidant properties. It also has 600 other essential compounds that are great for pregnant women, including iron and magnesium
Opt for organic chocolate with less sugar: Pay more attention to the label! Most chocolates are loaded with sugar, GMOs and other unessential and unhealthy stuff. Pick ones that are organic, contains less sugar, and more cocoa
Avoid food items like mousse that have raw eggs: Raw eggs contain bacteria, which can enter baby’s blood stream and cause a lot of problems. It can also lead to illness, such as toxoplasmosis
Chocolate Milk During Pregnancy
Chocolate milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D which are essential for growth and development of your baby’s bones. One cup of homemade chocolate milk can provide you with 285mg of calcium, which is necessary for heart, muscle and nerve development, and blood clotting. You may be at the risk of developing osteoporosis if you do not have sufficient calcium when you are pregnant. So, in order to have a healthy baby and prevent bone loss, you can occasionally consume a cup of homemade chocolate milk. If your doctor has suggested you to gain some weight during pregnancy, it is good to get those extra calories by consuming chocolate milk. But remember moderation is the key here. A cup of homemade chocolate milk provides you around 200 calories, but then it totally depends on the milk you are consuming. Skimmed milk provides less calories than whole milk. But chocolate milk is definitely a better choice as compared to other beverages.
So, in conclusion, have chocolate by all means. But pick them carefully and have them in moderation. Happy pregnancy!