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There are plenty of do’s and don’ts that you will encounter during your pregnancy. Eating habits are no exception and there are many things that you must avoid consuming when pregnant. However, pistachios are not one of these and these egg-shaped nuts offer health benefits to all people in various ways. Delicious and crunchy when eaten raw, these nuts can also be used for cooking. Also commonly known as Pistas, they grow on small trees and shrubs found in subtropical and tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the USA. They are considered one of the oldest nuts known to mankind and are believed to have existed as far back as 6,000 B.C.
Is it Safe to Eat Pistas During Pregnancy?
It is considered safe to eat pistachios in moderation during pregnancy. Eating too many of them during pregnancy might result in certain side-effects in some women. This is why it should be consumed as per the recommended quantity. There are plenty of nutritious benefits that this nut offers and knowing about it will help you include it in your pregnancy diet the right way.
Nutritional Value of Pistachios
Despite being a rich source of energy, pistachios are low in calories and pack a punch of other nutrients. Their high nutritional value can be seen in the fact that approximately 30 gm of these nuts has 6 gm of proteins, 2.8 gm of fibre, and 12.7 gm of total fat. The amount of calories is about 500 per 100 gm.
Benefits of Eating Pista when Pregnant
One serving of pistachios can fulfil almost all your daily requirements of iron, calcium, folate, potassium when pregnant. These are all essential for the growth and development of your baby while in the womb. The benefits of pistachios are:
- A rich source of protein, which is essential for the development of baby’s muscles and tissues.
- The monounsaturated fatty acids they contain can help increase good cholesterol levels and lower bad cholesterol thus balancing lipid levels.
- Presence of antioxidants like Vitamin E, Vitamin A, carotenes, and polyphenolic compounds increases your immunity.
- Copper in pistachios helps maintain the red blood count during pregnancy.
- Anti-inflammatory properties help combat joint pain and swelling during pregnancy.
- The fibre content of the nuts helps fight constipation that pregnant women are prone to.
- Omega-3 fatty acids facilitate baby’s brain development.
- Contains quite a few of the B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, Vitamin B6, and folate which are important for foetal development.
How Many Pistas Can You Eat Per Day?
It is not advisable to eat more than fifteen pieces of pistachios in a day because too much can lead to an excess of essential oils in the body. This can then lead to nausea or headaches which can be detrimental to the brain. In pregnant women, too many pistas can also lead relaxation of muscles that can result in premature birth of the baby.
Harmful Effects of Eating Pistachios
There are certain side-effects of pistas and it is advisable to talk to your gynaecologist before including these in your pregnancy diet. They are:
- Pistachios are also categorised as nuts and contain anacardic acid which is the allergy-causing chemical compound present in nuts. Thus, the possibility of an allergic reaction cannot be ruled out especially if you are allergic to some other types of nuts.
- The presence of fructans in pistachios can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, pain in the abdomen, and flatulence.
- These crunchy nuts are best eaten raw as roasted ones contain more sodium which can increase blood pressure and this is not a good thing during pregnancy.
- The nuts are also believed to have heat inducing properties which can have an adverse effect on the health of a pregnant woman.
How to Include Pista in Your Diet?
There are plenty of ways in which you can include pistachios in your daily diet during pregnancy. Here are some useful tips:
- You can eat them raw as a snack or choose to add them to one of your recipes.
- Try adding pista to your fruits salad for some crunch and variation.
- You can also try making a rough powder of pista nuts to dip chicken breasts coated in beaten eggs in before grilling or frying.
- Top off frozen yoghurt, oatmeal, or cereals with pista for a nutritious breakfast or dessert after meals.
- Try making a milkshake with pistas, saffron, cardamom, and almonds for those times when you are hungry and need something filling.
- Kesar pista kulfi is something you can make in a jiffy when you feel like eating something cool during the hot summer months.
As with most things in life, too much of this nut too can prove contraindicative, especially in pregnant women. By sticking to the daily permissible limit, you can reap the maximum benefits of this nutritive nut and avoid any side-effects. So, unless you have been specifically told to steer clear of pistachios by your doctor, go ahead and relish your daily serving!
Disclaimer: This information is intended to be just a guide and not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified professional.
Also Read: Eating Cashew Nuts during Pregnancy