Women need to be mindful of what they eat during pregnancy as their bodies are vulnerable at this time and certain foods can cause an adverse reaction. Almonds or badam comprise essential fat, protein and important vitamins that are all required for healthy growth in each trimester. If the right amounts can be added to everyday meals, a healthy pregnancy is sure to follow. Almonds are an excellent source of protein, and this is a nutrient that you need more have in pregnancy. Almonds can be extremely beneficial for your health during pregnancy. Whether you eat them whole or switch your regular milk for almond milk, you can gain many health benefits for both you and your baby.
Consuming Almonds during Pregnancy
Contrary to the belief that almonds are unsafe to consume during pregnancy, the fact is that they are safe and healthy if taken in moderation. Let us look at some of the aspects of badam in pregnancy which is beneficial. Almonds are rich in all the nutrients discussed below:
- Almonds are also an excellent source of fiber. Fiber is essential for proper digestion while Vitamin E keeps skin and hair healthy.
- Magnesium, Riboflavin, and Folate (Vitamin B9) are required for proper brain functioning as well as maintaining the nervous system.
- Manganese regulates body weight in both mother and child.
Top Health Benefits of Eating Almonds during Pregnancy
Science has backed consumption of badam during pregnancy as safe. Here are some of the main health benefits associated with almonds:
- Almonds provide folic acid, an integral requirement for the brain and neurological development of the fetus.
- Almonds are a good source of dietary fat and carbs. They also help in reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and blood sugar. This prevents babies from metabolic disorders later in life, usually in the case of high-risk pregnancies such as obesity and diabetes in the mother-to-be.
- Almonds help decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase the appetite-reducing hormone leptin. This helps you maintain a healthy weight. It will also help you later with reducing weight post-pregnancy.
- It is rich in iron which helps to develop the baby’s heart and raises its immunity.
- Eating 4-6 almonds every morning can improve your memory.
Soak almonds throughout the night and boil them next morning and make a paste. This paste, when used as a face scrub, exfoliates the dead skin cells and gives you radiant skin.
When the almonds are soaked, it initiates the release of an essential lipase which assists in the breaking down of fat. This improves the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Studies show that almond consumption helps in increasing the amount of alpha-tocopherol, a compound present in blood that regulates the blood pressure.
Best Ways to Consume Almonds
- Snacking on raw almonds: Dicing them and sprinkling across a variety of dishes such as salads adds a crunchy and rich taste. Eating them raw makes for a quick snack as well.
- Soaked almonds: Soaking the almonds overnight removes toxins from its coat, decomposes its gluten content and releases phytic acid. This makes it a much healthier alternative to consuming them raw.
- Almond milk for pregnancy: Though not as healthy as cow’s milk, almond milk is still highly nutritional and provides a great choice for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Almond butter: Making the almonds into a food paste gives you almond butter. Adding water to it gives almond milk. Almond butter is a great source of proteins, fiber, and healthy fats, and also reduces bad cholesterol.