Eating Nuts During Pregnancy: An expecting mother requires good nutrition during pregnancy to ensure she and her baby are healthy. This means one needs to take extra caution about what to eat or not.
Unripe or semi-ripe papaya, for instance, needs to avoided during pregnancy. Now, what about nuts? Should you avoid them too? On the contrary, eating nuts during pregnancy benefits the mother and the baby, according to Dr Rita Baskhi, senior gynaecologist and founder, International Fertility Centre. Here’s what she said:
Eating nuts during pregnancy
Nuts are a great source of nutrition during pregnancy. Be it the first, second or third trimester, you require them all the time. Whether it is almond, cashew, pistachios or walnuts, they are all loaded with nutrients.
What quantity of nuts should you eat during pregnancy? In the first trimester, a pregnant woman requires around 60 gm of nuts, around 90 gm in the second trimester and around 100-120 gm in the final trimester daily or what is called a “fistful of nuts”. And it should be a mixture of a variety of nuts. Add to this flax and chia seeds, which are also rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
How do nuts benefit the mother and baby?
It is said that people who eat nuts don’t develop Alzheimer’s in their old age and have a better neural development. Children tend to have a better IQ and are more stable emotionally, although not proved yet, according to Dr Bakshi. That said, the nutrients in nuts help in rebuilding muscles, and so you require them more during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.
A recent study by Barcelona Institute for Global Health found links between maternal diet rich in nuts during the first trimester and improved neurodevelopment in the child. Those kids whose mothers had nuts during their first trimester of pregnancy, showed the best results in tests measuring cognitive function, attention capacity and working memory.
What if you are allergic to nuts?
Peanuts are known to cause allergy. If you are already aware that you are allergic to peanuts, you can avoid them. Otherwise, people are usually not known to be allergic to almonds or walnuts.