Almonds during pregnancy

The wonderful benefits of eating almonds during pregnancy

A lot of physiological and hormonal changes occur during pregnancy. This is the reason why a holistic and balanced diet needs to be followed by the mother to remain healthy and active. This will ensure the proper development of the foetus as well. Many studies have shown that consuming almonds during pregnancy can be beneficial in multiple ways. This article explores the reasons in detail.

Almond nutrition

Almonds are highly nutritious and rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are native to the Middle East and US is the world’s largest producer of almonds. Blanched almonds of serving size of 28 grams provide 164 calories, 14.36g fat, 5.6g carbohydrates, and 6.03g protein.

Health benefits during pregnancy

Eating almonds during pregnancy as a snack can provide a sense of satiety, making it easier for the body to relax and rest. The selenium in them helps fight depression and anxiety during pregnancy. Let us take a look at the numerous other health benefits of this dry fruit.

  • Protein-rich almonds help in the healthy development of muscle mass in the growing baby and provide strength during delivery pain. It also aids in the bone development of the baby.
  • Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and help in the formation of skin and hair of the foetus.
  • Almonds are naturally gluten-free and reduce the risk of allergies.
  • Manganese in almonds regulates the weight of the baby and mother and helps in the formation of strong bones and teeth of the growing baby.
  • Almonds are rich in fibre which facilitates smooth bowel movements and easy digestion and reduces constipation in pregnant women.
  • Folic acid and riboflavin in almonds help in the neurological development of the baby inside the womb.
  • Almonds increase leptin, which is known as an appetite-reducing hormone, and hence curbs hunger and manage weight during pregnancy.
  • The Alpha-tocopherol compound in almonds helps regulate blood pressure.
  • Almonds are rich in iron, which helps develop the baby’s heart and boosts immunity.
  • Almonds enhance metabolic responses as they are high in dietary fibres and also contain carbohydrates, which help in reducing oxidative stress, blood sugar, and inflammation.
  • It lowers cholesterol levels and also prevents oxidation of cholesterol.

Why almonds are healthy pregnancy snacks and how to eat them

The benefits of almonds during pregnancy are multiple. Almond butter is rich in magnesium, which can fight those night-time leg cramps and help prevent preeclampsia. Your baby will also benefit from almond butter’s abundance of protein, which supports brain growth.

It is good to consume soaked almonds during pregnancy on a daily basis, as they aid in the process of digestion, neutralize enzyme inhibitors, tannins and increase absorption of nutrients.

Almonds can be consumed raw (after being soaked in water overnight) or roasted, as well as in form of almond milk, almond butter, baked almond snacks, almond smoothies, or with oat cereals. It can be consumed anytime to curb your hunger pangs.

Fun facts on almonds

  • Farming of almonds trees, which are sensitive by nature, requires hot or moderate temperatures, and hence cannot be done in the winter season.
  • Almonds are considered as “brain foods”; for kids.
  • The pollination of almond trees is dependent on wild bees and honey bees.
  • Almond has low calorie count, as one cup of almond milk provides only 30 calories.
  • Each ounce of almonds provides 6 grams of protein, different varieties of vitamins and minerals, and it is also rich in fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, and monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Almonds are a part of the same family as cherries, peaches, and mangoes.
  • There are around 30 different varieties of almonds, but most common ones are Nonpareils, Mission and California.
  • Almonds slow down the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Almonds have a long shelf life and do not spoil easily. If kept it in a refrigerator, these can last for 2 years.

Conclusion

Consumption of almonds during pregnancy is a great way to meet enhanced nutritional needs, and also ensure the normal functioning of the mother’s body. Almonds contribute to the development of the foetus as well. A powerhouse of nutrients, this dry fruit should be consumed on a daily basis. According to nutritionists and doctors, almonds are also a smart snack during pregnancy, and provide heart-healthy fat, energy, fibre, iron, vitamin E, riboflavin, magnesium, and other crucial nutrients.