Is It Safe To Consume Oats During Pregnancy?

6 min read

oats during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, a well-planned, healthy, and nutritious diet is highly beneficial for you and your unborn baby. Oats are one such healthy food item that you can include in your diet when you are pregnant. Having said that, the first question pop into your mind will be, “is it safe to consume oats during pregnancy?”.

You must incorporate healthy foods such as whole grains into your pregnancy diet and eliminate junk food. The nutrients that you consume form the primary source of nutrition for your baby. So it is imperative that you must eat healthily. Oats contain a whole host of nutrients that are vital for the mother and baby as well. In short, yes, it is safe to consume oats during pregnancy. In fact, it is a very healthy option and even advised during pregnancy. Let us see why.

In This Article

Can You Have Oats During Pregnancy?

Oats are safe to eat during pregnancy because they contain all the necessary nutrients for both the mother and the unborn baby. However, you must exercise caution when incorporating it into your early pregnancy diet. When consumed in excess, oats can cause diarrhea and indigestion, which are not desirable during the early stages of pregnancy.

To avoid side effects, moderation is the key. Oats can be harmful if you are allergic to gluten. If you are allergic to gluten or experience any adverse effects after consuming them, you must avoid them.

6 Incredible Benefits of Having Oats During Pregnancy?

benefits of eating oats during pregnancy

We all know oats are a great option with a lot of health benefits. But how is it helpful during pregnancy? Read on.

1. A Source of Energy

Half a cup of oats contains around 50 grams of carbohydrates and 300 calories, providing the much-needed energy boost to pregnant women.

2. Complex Carbohydrates

Unlike simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates are digested slower and do not cause a spike in the blood sugar level. As a result, oats are great during pregnancy when the risks of gestational diabetes are higher. If you have or are at risk of diabetes, you can consume oats.

Half a cup of oats contains about 8 grams of dietary fiber. The high fiber content helps regulate the digestive process, avoiding common pregnancy problems such as constipation.

[Read: Pregnancy and constipation]

3. Minerals

Oats contain nutrients such as potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and calcium. These minerals have multiple benefits during pregnancy – they help boost bone health, improve immunity, strengthen tooth formation and ensure proper growth and development of the fetus.

4. Vitamins

Oats contain vitamin B1 and E. Vitamin B1 helps break down fat and protein efficiently and keeps mucus membranes healthy. Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant and helps detox and reduce free radical damage – all of which help keep the skin healthy and accentuates your pregnancy glow.

[Read: What is Pregtnancy Glow?]

5. Folic Acid

We know how essential folic acid is during pregnancy. It helps avoid fetal disorders, especially the ones related to the brain and nervous system.

6. Iron

One serving of oats will take care of about 10 percent of the daily requirement of iron. Unless pregnant women meet their daily requirements of iron, they risk developing anemia.

For these reasons, gynecologists recommend oats as one of the top ten foods during pregnancy. Different brands of oats have different nutrients. Make sure you read the label before buying a particular brand.

Tips to Have Oats During Pregnancy

tips to have oats during pregnancy

The best kinds of oats are steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and whole oats. You can also opt for oat flour and instant oats. Here are some ways to incorporate oats into your daily diet.

1. Breakfast

Boil oats with milk or water, add a teaspoon of honey, fresh-cut vegetables, and a hint of vanilla essence to make a yummy breakfast. You can even try making pancakes with oats.

2. Replacement for All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour or maida is not a good idea during pregnancy. It can result in unhealthy weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes. The good news is oat flour can replace all-purpose flour in most recipes. You can use oat flour to make cookies, cakes, muffins, bread, pie crusts, and even tortillas.

3. Granola Bars

Granola bars contain oats, nuts, and berries and are a delicious source of nutrients and energy.

4. Flavorings

For all its benefits, many pregnant women, unfortunately, find oats very bland and lacking flavor. The trick is to pair oats with flavorings that go well with them. Here are some great examples: a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, a dash of maple syrup, milk, ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruits, brown sugar – all of these go very well with oats.

5. Experiment

The biggest advantage of oats is that they are easy to cook and prepare. So you have the liberty to experiment with ingredients till you find a pairing your taste buds love.

Side Effects of Oats Consumption When Pregnant

Following are a few side effects associated with eating oats during pregnancy:

  • Having excess oats can interfere with digestion and cause diarrhea in some pregnant women.
  • There are instances of people suffering from intestinal blockage because of excessive consumption of oats. This is highly undesirable during pregnancy.
  • If you are pregnant and have a gluten allergy, then there are high chances that you will be allergic to oats too.

Oats recipes

oats granola bars

Here are a few yummy recipes you can try during pregnancy:

Oatmeal and Fruits:

Eating oatmeal and fruits during pregnancy is beneficial as it is rich in carbohydrates with the added benefits of fruits. Apples, berries, and bananas go well with oatmeal.

Oats, Vegetable Soup:

This soup is an excellent way to curb hunger as it satiates your appetite. You can have this soup between meals or even as an alternative to evening snacks. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are highly beneficial during pregnancy.

Delicious Oats Granola Bars

Delicious, healthy, and simple to make, oat granola bars are a great snack. They make a tasty breakfast option. You can use them as a snack between meals or a sweet treat to curb cravings. Feel free to experiment, so you aren’t chained to a particular recipe. You can mix and match fruits, nuts, and other ingredients to suit your taste.

Following a healthy, safe, and balanced diet is very important, especially during your pregnancy. You will get to hear different pieces of advice from different people about what is good and what is bad during pregnancy. As a best practice, always discuss with your doctor before adding or eliminating a food group from your diet. Your doctor, who knows your body and pregnancy better, would be able to calculate your daily calorie requirement and suggest food items accordingly.

FAQ’s

1. Will I be Able to Digest Oats When I am Pregnant?

Yes, they are rich in fiber. This helps it not only digest well, but also help with constipation. It is a safe food during pregnancy.

2. Can Oats Replace my Rice During Pregnancy, to Reduce Weight?

Oats are packed with energy and have complex carbs in them. These take time to digest, thus keeping you full longer. If you want to cut out rice completely, do so after consulting your doctor.

3. How Much Oats Can I Have When Pregnant?

Moderation is key when it comes to any food. When you are pregnant, your body can change every trimester too. So, consult your doctor for quantity suggestions and also listen to your body.

4. Can Eating Oats During Pregnancy Help my Baby?

Yes, it is rich in folic acid. Folic acid is essential for the neural development of the fetus. Eating oats can add this to your baby.

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