Eating Pista (Pistachios) During Pregnancy
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You will be given a long list of do’s and don’ts during pregnancy, of which eating habits often form a large part. Pistachios in pregnancy offer health benefits to people in various ways. Delicious and crunchy when eaten raw, these nuts can also be used for cooking. Also commonly known as pista, they grow on small trees and shrubs found in the 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 Pistachios 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. This is why it should be consumed in moderation. 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.
The Nutritional Value of Pistachios
Despite being a rich source of energy, pistachios are low in calories and pack a punch with other nutrients. Here is the nutritional value of 30 gm pistas:
Benefits of Eating Pista When Pregnant
One serving of pistachios can fulfil almost all your daily requirements of iron, calcium, folate, and potassium when pregnant. These are all essential for the growth and development of your baby, while in the womb. The benefits of consuming pistachios while pregnant are:
1. Rich in Protein
Pistachios are a rich source of protein, which is essential for the development of the baby’s muscles and tissues.
2. Balance Lipid Levels
The monounsaturated fatty acids they contain can help increase good cholesterol levels and lower bad cholesterol, thus, balancing lipid levels.
3. Full of Antioxidants
4. Good Source of Copper
Pistachio is good for pregnancy, as the copper content in them helps maintain red blood count during pregnancy.
5. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Their anti-inflammatory properties help combat joint pain and swelling during pregnancy.
6. Contains Fibre
The fibre content of the nuts helps fight constipation that pregnant women are prone to.
7. Helps in Baby’s Brain Development
8. Aids Foetal Development
9. Prevents Liver Diseases
Besides this, pistachios are helpful in preventing liver disease, jaundice, and anaemia.
10. Prevents Anaemia
Pistas are rich in iron and help produce red blood cells, reducing the chances of getting anaemic during pregnancy.
11. Treats Constipation
The fibres in dry fruit aid in healthy gut movement. Thereby curing constipation, which is common during pregnancy.
12. Healthy Weight Gain
Pistachios are high in fibre and protein content which keep you full for a longer time, thereby helping to prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy.
13. Good Heart Health
Consumption of pistas during pregnancy help prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Thereby protecting your heart from diseases and promoting good heart health.
Harmful Effects of Eating Pistachios
There are certain side-effects of pista and it is advisable to talk to your gynaecologist before including these in your pregnancy diet.
- 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 are not recommended 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 Many Pistachios Can a Pregnant Woman Eat in a Day?
A pregnant woman can eat a handful of pistachios per day during pregnancy. Don’t consume excess pistachio during pregnancy first trimester, especially the salted ones, as they can increase your blood pressure levels.
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 include them in dishes you cook.
- Try adding pista to fruit 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 frozen yoghurt, oatmeal, or cereals with pista for a nutritious breakfast or dessert after meals.
- Try making a milkshake with pista, 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.
Pistachio Frozen Yoghurt Recipe
This is a healthy dessert that you can enjoy during the summer months, without having to worry about you or the baby’s health being compromised.
- 1 cup frozen yoghurt
- 1/2 cup crushed pistachios
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
How to Make?
- Add all the ingredients, except the pistachios, into a bowl and whisk until smooth. You can also use a blender, but whisking the mixture will make the frozen yoghurt airy.
- Add 3/4 of the crushed pistachios and mix well, in a ‘figure 8’ motion, to not let much air escape from the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a pan and sprinkle the remaining crushed pistachios on top.
- Cover the pan tightly with a plastic wrap or cling film to avoid any icicles forming.
- Freeze for three to four hours or until ready to serve.
- Remove from the freezer, scoop, and serve. If the mixture seems too hard, keep the pan out of the fridge for five to 10 minutes. and then scoop.
1. Does Consuming Pistachios Cause Weight Gain During Pregnancy?
Consuming pista in pregnancy aids in healthy weight gain when consumed in moderation.
2. Almonds or Pista – Which Is Healthier in Pregnancy?
Both almonds and pistachios (pista) are nutritious nuts that can be a valuable part of a healthy diet during pregnancy. They offer a variety of essential nutrients that can contribute to the well-being of both the expectant mother and the developing baby.
As with most things in life, too much of pista can be detrimental, especially to pregnant women. By consuming them in moderation, 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 of them.
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2. 3 Reasons Why Pistachios Can Boost Your Health; health.clevelandclinic.org; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-reasons-why-pistachios-can-boost-your-health/
3. Nuts, raw, pistachio nuts; nutritionvalue.org; https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Nuts%2C_raw%2C_pistachio_nuts_nutritional_value.html
4. QUICK FACTS ABOUT GESTATIONAL DIABETES AND PISTACHIOS; americanpistachios.org; https://americanpistachios.org/nutrition-and-health/gestational-diabetes
5. M. Bulló, M. Juanola-Falgarona, P. Hernández-Alonso, et.al; Nutrition attributes and health effects of pistachio nuts; cambridge.org; https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/nutrition-attributes-and-health-effects-of-pistachio-nuts/1C2AE1F4EACF37030525FAD73ABCFFA0