Sabudana During Pregnancy: Nutritional Value, Benefits & Recipes

Sabudana (Sago) in Pregnancy – Benefits and Recipes

Medically Reviewed By
Archana Shah (Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian)
View more Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy is the time in a woman’s life when she has to check every little thing that she is habitual to. It majorly includes the diet as some of the foods she could easily consume would, after conceiving, induce nausea, while some that she seldom ate would be highly nutritious.

From the moment you hear about your pregnancy, the one thing that you will try to do is to follow the right diet. There are several foods you can include in your diet to make sure you are getting all the right nutrients that help your baby’s development. You’ll need to make sure your iron, calcium, folic acid, fibre and vitamin intake is on track. So, make sure you make the right choice. In this article, we shall talk about one amazing food you can add to your pregnancy diet plan – Sabudana or Sago. Most households are sure to have this wonderful ingredient in their pantry. That being said the staple ingredient Sabudana has high levels of nutrition and can also be cooked in several ways to be eaten as a snack, a meal or a tasty dessert. Read on to learn more about this wonderful food item. We’ve also included some delicious and easy recipes that you could try!

What Is Sabudana/Sago?

Sabudana or Sago is an edible starch that is taken from the spongy centre or pith of the tapioca root. Sago has been a staple food item for people living in the Tropical regions, for ages.

Is Sabudana Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Have you been researching healthy food options and wondering which foods you need to stop?

Sabudana seeds

It is important to check whether your diet plan is safe and healthy for this critical period of your life as two lives are dependent on it, you and your baby. Sabudanais one food item which has been receiving much attention for ages as one of the most recommended food items, especially for little children and pregnant women. If you are looking to have a healthy diet plan and if Sabudanais one of the options, you can be assured that you are on the right track. This food item is simply amazing as it has many nutrients that help the development of the little life growing inside you in many ways. The best thing about Sabudanais that it is easily digestible, and this makes it all the more essential for you to consume during pregnancy. However, women suffering from gestational diabetes should avoid Sabudana as it has a high starch and carbohydrate content.

Nutritional Value of Sabudana

There are numerous health benefits attached to sabudana. This food item has a rich amount of protein, carbohydrates, Vitamin B complex, potassium, calcium, iron, dietary fibre and a lot more. In fact, it has everything that will help you during pregnancy. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you incorporate sabudanainto your pregnancy diet.

In fact, because of its high nutritional value, doctors recommend Sabudana during pregnancy and after delivery and also advise feeding it to their babies when they are weaning.

Proven Health Benefits of Eating Sabudana During Pregnancy

As mentioned earlier, Sabudana during the 1st trimester of pregnancy is a good source of nutrients. Here are some of the benefits that have been identified in Sabudana:

1. Aids Digestion

Many women suffer from constipation during pregnancy. Since Sabudana has a good quantity of dietary fibre, it aids digestion and helps get rid of constipation.

2. Cools Your System

Pregnant women often experience a burning sensation or discomfort in the stomach due to indigestion. Sabudana helps calm the digestive system and takes care of any issues that arise due to improper digestion of food.

3. Fights Birth Deformities

Sabudanaalso has a good amount of Vitamin B complex and folic acid, which help in avoiding birth deformities. These components play an important role in the development of the foetus and give you a considerable amount of energy.

4. Enhances Muscle Growth

About 100 grams of sabudana has nearly 0.2 grams of protein which is not a lot, but good enough to substitute an unhealthy dish. Since foods that bring about muscle growth during pregnancy are just as important, sabudana can be a good snack for you.

5. Boosts Energy

Another great reason to add sabudana to your diet is the amount of carbohydrates present in it; it makes it a great source of energy. You can add sabudana to your breakfast as it will help you stay energetic throughout the day.

6. Blood Circulation

During pregnancy, it is important to have good blood circulation. The high Potassium levels in sabudana help in maintaining blood pressure.

7. Enhances Bone Strength

Sabudana also has good levels of calcium which strengthens the bones. In fact, during pregnancy, you need to make sure that your bones are strong enough for you to carry your baby. Sabudana is a good option to add to your diet to strengthen your bones.

8. Improves Skin

Did you know that Sabudana can also be applied topically? By doing so, your skin stays hydrated and soft. Sago also has antifungal properties thereby preventing infections and rashes.

9. Healthy Weight Gain

If you’re struggling to gain weight during pregnancy, you must include Sago in your diet. A healthy weight gain is needed during pregnancy and Sabudana’s high carbohydrate content helps attain this.

10. Improves Immunity

Sabudana is high in flavonoids and tannins which reduce inflammation and simultaneously increase immunity.

11. Reduces the risk of heart diseases

Sabudana plays a crucial role in decreasing the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which means lesser chances of the occurrence of heart disease.

Risks and Precautions While Consuming Sabudana in Pregnancy

While Sabudana does have numerous health benefits it also comes with risks and precautions that should be taken while consuming it.

1. Gestational Diabetes

How quickly a certain food raises blood sugar levels is known as that food’s glycemic index. Sabudana is known to have a high glycemic index. So be very careful while consuming Sabudana if you have gestational diabetes.

2. Thyroid Issues

If you have thyroid issues, do consult your doctor regarding the consumption of Sago as you wouldn’t want to consume any foods that would cause your thyroid levels to fluctuate.

3. Improper Cooking

Sabudana contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause dreaded Cyanide poisoning if it’s undercooked or is consumed in raw form. It’s for this reason that Sabudana should be soaked, completely cooked and then consumed.

How Much Sabudana Can Pregnant Women Eat?

When pregnant, you can consume upto 150 grams of Sabudana i.e. 1 cup per day. You can have it at any time of the day.

How to Include Sabudana in Your Pregnancy Diet?

There are several ways you can consume Sabudana – as pancakes, a shallow fried snack, as deep-fried fritters, as a pudding, etc. Even though sabudana has some nutritional value, you can also add other food ingredients that make the dish even more tasty and healthy.

Let’s look at some delicious Sabudana recipes below that you can make and thoroughly enjoy during pregnancy.

Easy and Healthy Sago Recipes for Pregnant Women

There are quite a few ways in which you can cook Sabudana. Here are some of them.

1. Sago Khichdi Recipe

The recipe is very simple to prepare, and you are sure to love it.

Sabudana khichdi

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup sabudanasoaked in water for at least 6 hours
  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • 1/2 cup roasted and crushed peanuts
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

How to Prepare:

  • Heat some oil in a pan.
  • Fry the cumin seeds and chillies for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Add the potatoes to this tempering and give it a good mix.
  • Add soaked sabudana, crushed peanuts and salt to the potatoes and mix well.
  • On medium flame, cover the pan with a lid and cook the sabudana for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • You may occasionally stir the contents to prevent them from sticking to the pan and getting burnt.
  • Serve this dish with curd or green chutney to make it taste better.

2. Sabudana Kheer

Sabudana Kheer

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup sabudana, soaked in water for at least 3 hours
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped dry fruits
  • 2 tsp clarified butter or ghee
  • 2 to 3 strands of saffron
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder

How to Prepare:

  • Drain the water used for soaking Sabudana.
  • Stirring continuously on a medium flame, cook the Sabudanain milk till it turns translucent. That’s when it is cooked and becomes soft.
  • In a separate pan, take some gheeand fry the dry fruits till they are golden brown.
  • Add the Sabudana and milk mixture, and bring it to a boil.
  • Add saffron and cardamom powder.
  • Keep stirring and cook the pudding for another minute or so.

3. Sabudana Vada

Sabudana Vada

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Sabudana, soaked in water for 5 hours or overnight
  • 4 boiled potatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • Rock salt as required
  • Oil for deep frying

How to Prepare:

  • Drain the water used for soaking Sabudana.
  • Mash the boiled potatoes.
  • Roast the peanuts and once cooled, coarsely grind them.
  • Mix all these ingredients and add the ginger and rock salt.
  • Using your hands, shape them into flat round vadas.
  • Deep fry in batches till the Sabudana vadas turn golden brown.

FAQs

1. Can I Consume Sabudana During Pregnancy if I Have Gluten Allergy?

Yes, you can consume Sabudana during pregnancy if you have a gluten allergy as it is gluten-free by nature and is a great substitute for wheat-based foods.

2. Is Sago Good for Your Baby?

Yes, Sago is good for your baby as it positively impacts fetal development. It helps in the formation of red blood cells in the baby and is also a good source of energy. It also ensures that the baby grows correctly and healthily.

During pregnancy, you will be craving for specific tasty dishes. Sabudana in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and in fact even in the first two trimesters khichdi and Sabudana kheer can be a great addition to your pregnancy diet. These dishes are delicious, and at the same time, healthy for you and your baby.

Pregnancy is the time when you need to eat well to provide enough nutrition for your baby. Remember that you are not eating just for yourself but for your baby too. Include sabudana in your pregnancy diet plan and reap the health benefits of this awesome food.

References/Resources:

1. Coad. J, Weber. J, Beck. K, et al.; Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women; Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health; https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/food-and-nutrition-guidelines-preg-and-bfeed.pdf; April 2006.

2. O’Donoghue. K, Bartels. A; Cholesterol in pregnancy: a review of knowns and unknowns; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989641/; July 2011

3. Epidemiol. A; Maternal Hyperlipidemia and the Risk of Preeclampsia: a Meta-Analysis; Am J Epidemiol.; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4565654/; July 2014

4. Food Data Central (Tapioca Pearl); US Department of Agriculture; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169717/nutrients

5. Most. J, Dervis. S, Haman. F;, et al; Energy Intake Requirements in Pregnancy; Nutrients; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723706/; August 2019

6. Diet Chart for Pregnant Women in West India; Ministry of Women and Child Development; https://wcd.nic.in/sites/default/files/Diet%20Chart%20For%20West%20India.pdf

Also Read:

Eating Rice in Pregnancy
Can you eat Oats during Pregnancy
Consuming Paneer during Pregnancy
Is it Safe to Eat Jackfruit while Pregnant

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