Benefits of Eating Dry Fruits During Pregnancy
For a woman, the greatest and irreplaceable feeling in her entire life is when she gets to know that she is going to be a mother soon. It is a celebration time for the entire family.
Mother plays a vital role in everyone’s life. She shapes our lives and gives meaning to it. The period of pregnancy is one of the important periods in a woman’s life.
It is the time when her body requires utmost care and nutrition. The kind of foods one intakes directly affects the growth of the baby.
During the second and trimesters, a woman needs 250-300 extra calories daily. If she does not monitor her food intake, then there might be complications in the child’s birth.
Women really have to change their eating habits and include a balanced healthy diet. The focus should be on nutrition-rich foods rather than calorie-rich foods.
Women have to focus on the intake of several important vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, folate, iodine, magnesium, proteins, fibers, antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Certain foods to surely consume during this period are dairy products such as eggs, yogurt, and milk. Dairy products are rich in calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B, magnesium, zinc, and probiotic bacteria.
Another important food to include in your daily diet is legumes. These are superfoods rich in fibers, proteins, iron, magnesium, folate (B9), and calcium.
We have heard since ancient times that dry fruits are a powerhouse of antioxidants. And no doubt they are one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy.
They can be eaten as snacks and do not require any extra cooking.
In this article, we are going to explain in detail the benefits of eating dry fruits during pregnancy.
If you are to-be-mom soon( well, we are truly happy for you), then definitely read it. Even if you are not one, still read it because it might help you gain some knowledge.
Health benefits of dry fruits for pregnant women
Dry fruits and nuts are a storehouse of valuable nutrients. These little chunks are filled with goodness. One needs to really extract the benefits from these as they help to combat many diseases and boost our immunity.
Eating a handful to dry fruits during the pregnancy period can be beneficial for the mother and child’s health. Some of the health benefits of dry fruits are given below:
1. Iron is an important nutrient in the human body. Its deficiency leads to anemia. Pregnant women must take iron-rich food. Dates, dried figs and raisin are rich in iron content.
2. Dry fruits are a great source of dietary fibers. They can help pregnant women prevent constipation which arises due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Prunes are rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin K. They’re natural laxatives and are helpful in fighting constipation. Add a handful to prevent constipation issues.
3. Prunes are very important for pregnant women. They help to reduce the post-delivery bleeding. Not just this, they also help to strengthen the muscles of the uterus and help to have a smooth delivery.
4. Dried fruits like Hazelnuts are rich in folate. This vitamin is very vital during the early stages of pregnancy as they help in a child’s development.
5. Proteins are no doubt the necessity of every human. Dry fruits like pistachios and almonds have high amounts of proteins.
Almond and Pistachio contain approximately similar amounts of protein, one can get 6 grams of protein per ounce.
6. Walnuts are rich in vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They help to fight stress and promote also help to destroy harmful free radicals.
Also, they reduce the risk of proliferation of cancer cells.
7. Dry fruits like dates are rich in fiber, potassium, and iron. Consuming dates during the third trimester may help facilitate cervical dilation and reduce the need to induce labor during delivery.
8. Consuming pistachios during pregnancy help in overcoming nausea and helps to feel energized.
They help to keep gut health, improve heart health, and prevent inflammation.
9. Dry fruits such as almonds are rich in magnesium. Consuming these nuts ensures that the baby’s bones and nerves are developed properly.
10. Dry fruits are rich in Vitamin E content and help in the development of cells and lungs of the baby.
Also, Vitamin E regulates blood sugar levels of the mother and prevents the baby from the risk of developing asthma.
Best dry fruits to consume during pregnancy
As we have already mentioned in the previous section, dry fruits are full of antioxidants, fibers, proteins, vitamins, and nutrients.
There are a wide variety of dry fruits available in the market. It is important to know the benefits provided by these dry fruits.
Only after that, you can make a wise choice. You can also consult a nutritionist for suggestions about the kind of dry fruits you can include in your diet.
Here is a list of dry fruits and the benefits they offer:
|Dry Fruits/Nuts||Nutrients||Important Elements|
|Walnuts||ProteinFiberOmega 3 manganeseCopperMagnesiumPhosphorusVitamin B6Iron||Good for the baby’s brain, nerve, and eye developmentIt help in reducing oxidative stress in the brain|
|Hazelnuts||ProteinFolate B vitaminCarbsFiberVitamin EThiaminMagnesiumCopperManganese||Prevent from megaloblastic anemia and neural tube defects in the baby|
|Cashews||CopperMagnesiumManganeseZincPhosphorusIronSeleniumVitamin KVitamin B6||Help fight anaemiaHelp to build a better immune system.Promote good heart health, better muscle function, and improved bone health|
|Almonds||ProteinVitamin EManganeseMagnesiumCopper Vitamin B2||It increases the level of plasma and red blood cellsSupport the healthy development of the baby|
|Pistachios||Unsaturated fatsPotassiumPhosphorusVitamin B6ThiamineCopperManganese||Helps in formation of HemoglobinSmooth functioning of organs and muscles|
|Dates||FiberVitamin B6IronCopper Calcium||Consuming dates during the third trimester may help facilitate cervical dilation and reduce the need to induce labor during delivery|
|Raisins||IronSugarsDietary fiberProtein||They help to fight constipation Prevent heart diseasesImprove vision|
|Prunes||FiberPotassiumVitamin K, A, B6 RiboflavinIron||Help to reduce the post delivery bleedingThey also help to strengthen the muscles of the uterus and help to have a smooth delivery|
Dry Fruits Consumption During Pregnancy – Tips
Myths go hand in hand with knowledge. There are a lot of speculations on the consumption of dry fruits by pregnant women.
Dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, cashews, prunes, walnuts, raisins, dried apricots can be consumed every day, but in a limited quantity.
During pregnancy a woman needs to take every possible precaution for the benefit of both herself and her child.
In this section, we have made a list of tips to follow while consuming dry fruits during pregnancy.
- As we already mentioned, dry fruits are one of the healthiest foods for pregnant women since they are rich in nutrients.
Whenever you feel hungry, grab a handful of dry fruits rather than potato chips.
- You can sprinkle dry fruits and nuts on a bowl of cereal, oats, muesli, cornflakes, porridge, custard, ice cream, puddings. It all depends on your creativity.
- Sometimes you might find difficulty eating or chew nuts. In that case, soak the nuts in water before consuming them.
Dry fruits like Almonds are consumed after soaking overnight.
- Always consume dry fruits in limited quantities. ( 20-25 gms/day is the suggested amount ).
Anything excess can harm our body and dry fruits are no exceptions.
- Avoid eating dry fruits and nuts during pregnancy, if there is a family history of allergy to any one particular nuts.
Not every person’s genetic history is the same nor the body make up. Hence it is important that you have a fair knowledge about your family’s genetic history.
- Always store dry fruits and nuts in an airtight container. It is ideal to store the container in the refrigerator.
- Often dry fruits stick to our teeth and can harm oral health. It is important that you take good oral care, regularly brush your teeth, use floss, and mouthwash.
- Dry fruits are sweet and sometimes the craving turns into obsession. If you are consuming dry fruits in large quantities, it can increase calories.
If you want to avoid that, add dry fruits to various meals, in small quantities instead of eating one full cup at a time.
Do not turn eating dry fruits into an addiction.
Best Methods to Include Dry Fruits in Daily Diet
A way to have a good day is by eating good food. Well, it is all about creativity. Dry fruits can be consumed in different ways.
These days one can find various recipe videos on the internet. Eating and cooking has become easier and hassle free.
The easiest way to eat dry fruits is to munch them without cooking or roasting. Just eat them as a snack.
But if your someone who likes to experiment new things, then we have listed various ways in which you can include dry fruits in your daily diet:
- Are you a person who loves thickshakes, smoothies and milkshakes? Well, then one of the healthiest and creative ways to have dry fruits is by either adding dry fruits to the smoothie glass or making a smoothie using dry fruits and milk.
It is believed that dry fruits shakes help to achieve plump and glowing skin.
- Planning to prepare tasty butter paneer masala curry at home? Then don’t add cream this time.
Take cashews or almonds, blend them in the mixer, and make a thick paste. Add this to the curry.
- Love to eat Indian dishes like upma, poha, and dhokla. Sprinkle dry fruits on the top of the dish and give it a healthy twist.
- If you are a vegetarian who loves to eat salads, we have an idea as well. Add roasted cashew, walnuts, and almonds to salads made of healthy veggies like broccoli, kale, spinach, mashed potato.
- Why eat ice creams, puddings, and custards in the conventional ways? For a twist , finely chop almonds, cashews and raisins and sprinkle them over the ice cream scoop. Trust us. You will love it.
- Laddus are an integral part of Indian sweets. If you are a laddu lover, then you can make laddus using various dry fruits like raisins, cashews, almond and anjeer.
It is one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to prepare a creative dish out of dry fruits.
- Most of us have oats, porridge, cereal, muesli or cornflakes as our breakfast meal. We usually add freshly cut fruits, honey, or blueberry paste.
Next time, add some dry fruits and nuts to our breakfast bowl and kickstart your day.
- Dry fruits, honey, ghee and jaggery can be used to make a dry fruit bar. You can eat this bar whenever you wish to.
But we advise you to store it in an airtight container and consume it within 20 days.
- Dry fruits can be added as a garnishing element in any kind of Indian sweets. You can add them to kheer, lassi, halwa, burfi, karanji and cakes. Moreover, you can make a whole new cake by using dry fruits alone.
Precautions – Eating Dry Fruits During Pregnancy
There are certain precautions to follow while eating dry fruits. Anything excess is always bad and dry fruits are no exception.
While in pregnancy, it is important to monitor what one is eating.
- Always store the dry fruits and nuts in a clean and dry airtight container. Place this container in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.
- No matter what is the means of purchase, from a local vendor or shopkeeper or through online services, always check if there are any bugs, molds, or dirt. If so, then immediately return the package.
- Dry fruits do not have years and years of shelf life. Hence buy dry fruits after looking at the expiry date and consume them within a month.
- Always purchase dry fruits and nuts from a verified organic seller which are natural and preservatives free.
- At times, sugars are added to dry fruits even if there is any existing sugar content. Avoid such dry fruits at any cost.
- Dry fruits are either sundried or processed in a plant. Acrylamide is a harmful carcinogen present in processed foods that comes due to prolonged heat applied to the dry fruits in processors. Hence always go for sun-dried dry fruits.
- Dry fruits and nuts are calorie-rich food. If you do not monitor the intake, then you might start gaining weight.
- Consuming an excess of dry fruits and nuts can lead to bloating and diarrhea. Again, be a wise woman and eat right.
At the end:
The pregnancy period is filled with newness. It is a period full of transitions and changes. Women tend to experience a lot of mental and physical changes.
It is a period where the to-be-mom needs to monitor her diet and focus on the well being of herself and the upcoming member of the family.
Regularly visit the doctor, go on a walk, do yoga and meditation, socialize with other pregnant women, listen to soothing and soulful music, keep your positive, calm, and active.
During this time, there are a lot of questions and worries troubling your head. So always speak to your partner, family, and friends. It is good to speak out and not keep things to yourself.
During this time, women are often given unnecessary advice regarding food and diet by relatives and friends. We urge them not to blindly believe all of them and inculcate in their routines.
It is always advisable to consult a nutritionist who will prepare a perfectly tailored diet plan for you, which suits your body type and nutritional needs.
Every person’s body buildup differs and thus the nutritional requirements differ too. Eat what the doctor recommends as it is for the well-being of both mother and the baby.
A healthy balanced diet full of fresh fruits and veggies, greeny leafy vegetables, dairy products, legumes, fresh juices, and good water intake is a must.
Add dry fruits and nuts to gain a plethora of benefits. These benefits will help to build a strong and sound immune system.
In this article, we have talked in detail about the health benefits of dry fruits and how they can prove to be an asset to a woman during her pregnancy.
We really wish you a happy pregnancy period and good luck for the new beginnings in your life.