Eating Cashew Nuts During Pregnancy – Benefits & Side Effects
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- Is It Safe to Eat Cashew Nuts During Pregnancy?
- How Many Cashews Can You Eat in a Day During Pregnancy?
- Nutritional Benefits of Cashew Nuts
- Benefits of Eating Cashew Nuts While Pregnant
- Are There Any Harmful Effects of Consuming Cashews During Pregnancy?
- Ways to Include Cashew Nuts in Your Pregnancy Diet
- Why Should You Choose Organic Cashew Nuts During Pregnancy?
- Precautions to Be Taken While Eating Cashew Nuts
If you are pregnant, you will get a lot of well-meaning advice regarding the food you consume. And with so much information to remember, you are bound to get overwhelmed! Before putting anything in your mouth, you will think twice and worry whether or not it is safe for consumption during pregnancy. There are certain foods that should be avoided during pregnancy, but then there’s a lot that you can eat! Other than eating whole grains, veggies, and fruits, you can also munch on dry fruits and nuts. This article will tell you all about eating cashew nuts during pregnancy. Cashew nuts are nutritious and crunchy and simply delicious – but are they safe for pregnant women? Find out!
Is It Safe to Eat Cashew Nuts During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to consume cashew nuts during pregnancy as long as you observe the necessary caution. It is extremely difficult to resist the rich taste and the crunchy flavour of cashew nuts. The fact that they provide such a great mix of nutrition and mouth-watering taste makes them even more alluring. If you take a few precautions while eating cashew nuts during pregnancy, these nutritive nuts can be safely consumed without worrying about their side effects. For the healthy development of the baby, a pregnant woman needs to up her intake of calcium, zinc, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, iron and vitamins. And cashew nuts can provide you with all these necessary nutrients. Eat cashew nuts in moderation and you will be fine.
How Many Cashews Can You Eat in a Day During Pregnancy?
A pregnant woman should limit her daily intake of cashews to 28g as overconsumption of dry fruit can lead to hypertension and high cholesterol.
Nutritional Benefits of Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts are nature’s very own vitamin pills as every ounce (28 grams) of the cashew nut is packed with 9 grams of carbohydrates, 4.3 grams of proteins, and 13 grams of fat. Here are a few advantages of cashews from the nutrition point of view:
- Cashews have all the necessary vitamins needed for the growth and development of the baby and are ideal snacks to munch on during pregnancy.
- The antibacterial properties of cashew nuts can help fight infections.
- Pregnancy can be a difficult time for many women but eating cashew nuts can provide with instant energy.
- The high fibre content of cashew nuts can help fight constipation and diarrhoea.
- Every ounce of cashew nuts contains 1.7 mg of iron. Thus cashew nuts can be one of the iron-rich foods that can help meet iron intake of 27 mg/day when consumed with other foods. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of iron-deficiency anaemia. And they need more iron during pregnancy, which can be met by including cashew nuts in the pregnancy diet. Cashew nuts can thus help fight anaemia.
- Cashew nuts are a rich source of magnesium, which promotes bone health along with calcium. They provide relief from muscle spasm, high blood pressure, fatigue and migraine.
- One ounce of cashew nuts contains 9.8 mcg (micrograms) of Vitamin K. Pregnant women need 90 mcg of this vital vitamin every day to ensure that they do not suffer from excessive bleeding at this stage.
- The development of foetal blood cells is also accelerated if cashew nuts (a good source of copper) are consumed during pregnancy. One ounce of cashew contains 0.6mg of copper and can help in fulfilling a pregnant woman’s need of 1 gram copper every day.
Benefits of Eating Cashew Nuts While Pregnant
Here are some health benefits of eating cashew nuts during pregnancy –
- Cashew nuts will provide essential vitamins and other nutrients that your baby needs during its growing phase.
- Cashew nuts are known to prevent gum and tooth decay during pregnancy.
- Including cashew nuts in your pregnancy diet may help maintain your lipid profile levels, especially if you are prone to gestational diabetes.
- Cashew Nuts are rich in folate that helps the foetal to develop and aids the formation of the heart and overall circulatory system.
- Mothers who consume cashew nuts regularly during foetal development have a lesser chance of the child being allergic to cashew nuts.
- Cashews are infused with zinc, an essential mineral for rapid cell growth in the foetus.
- The potassium content in the cashew nuts helps maintain the blood pressure level of the pregnant woman.
- Cashew nuts are great for underweight (BMI below 18.5 before pregnancy) women who wish to gain steady weight during pregnancy.
- Cashew nuts help in amino acid production and cell repair during pregnancy.
- Eating nut during early pregnancy have long-term benefits for a child’s motor and cognitive development.
Are There Any Harmful Effects of Consuming Cashews During Pregnancy?
While cashews are packed with nutritional benefits, some women may experience certain side effects too if they eat cashew nuts in excessive amounts. If you consume more than the recommended amount, you could gain excess weight as the calorie content in cashews is quite high. Pregnant women can also face kidney and gall bladder issues if consumption exceeds normal levels. This is because cashew nuts contain oxalates that can get concentrated in your bodily fluids and trigger pregnancy complications.
Ways to Include Cashew Nuts in Your Pregnancy Diet
Eating cashew nuts during pregnancy can contribute to your nutritional requirements. So here’s how you can include them in your pregnancy diet!
- An ideal way of consuming cashew nuts is by mixing them with other dry fruits and making a wholesome snack.
- You can add cashew nuts to a blender and make cashew nut butter, which can be consumed along with fruits and veggies as a tasty dip.
- You can add cashew nuts to your sautéed veggies at the very end for a nutty taste or add them to your breakfast cereal.
- They are an integral part of Indian, Thai, and Mediterranean cuisine and can be added to chocolates and dessert as well.
- You could add cashew nuts to a syrup which would make a wonderful topping for that breakfast pancake in the morning.
Why Should You Choose Organic Cashew Nuts During Pregnancy?
Organic cashew nuts, though small in size, are full of nutrients and tasty too! Since they are grown in a natural way without the use of herbicides, pesticides and insecticides, their original taste is retained and they are healthier too. Organic cashews are packed with a high concentration of copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, carbohydrates and vitamins, thus making them an essential food for pregnant women.
They also help in the all-round growth of the foetus and supplement the mother’s body with the necessary nutrients needed during pregnancy. This versatile and healthy food is a must-have for pregnant women.
Precautions to Be Taken While Eating Cashew Nuts
Here are some precautions you need to follow while consuming cashew nuts during pregnancy
- Make sure you consume plain cashew nuts and not the spicy ones. Salted and masala cashews have high levels of sodium in them, which must be avoided in high amounts during pregnancy.
- It is recommended to not eat more than one ounce of cashew nuts during pregnancy per day as anything more can cause uneasiness.
- Make sure you do not consume cashew nuts if you are allergic to cashew nuts. The signs of cashew nut allergy could include sneezing, coughing, skin rash, inflammation of skin and indigestion. Watch out for these signs!
- Always check with your doctor if it is okay to include cashew nuts in your daily diet during pregnancy.
1. What Happens If I Eat Raw Cashews During Pregnancy?
Raw cashews with shells contain urushiol, a toxic oil that sometimes causes skin irritation and mouth blisters when ingested. Therefore, expecting mothers should consume steamed or roasted kaju in pregnancy.
2. Can Consuming Cashew in Pregnancy Lead to Increase in Fetal Weight?
Consuming cashew nuts is good for pregnancy, but eating excess cashews during this phase may lead to an increase in maternal weight. No studies suggest that it increases the foetal weight.
3. What Does Craving Cashew in Pregnancy Mean?
Certain food cravings during pregnancy are caused due to hormonal and sensory changes, but they do not necessarily mean a deficiency or specific need. So, if you are craving cashews during pregnancy, it only means that they are more appealing or comforting.
4. Can I Consume Cashew Milk or Cream in Pregnancy?
Cashews are a great source of plant protein and unsaturated fats, calcium, iron, vitamin B complex and D. Therefore, it is safe to consume cashew milk or cream during the pregnancy period.
Cashew nuts can provide great benefits for pregnant women as long as they are consumed in moderation. Your pregnancy journey is going to be one of the most important phases of your life, so be careful in everything you do. Take all the necessary precautions with regards to your eating habits; avoid anything that you think may harm your baby and have a healthy pregnancy!
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