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Benefits Of Pistachios During Pregnancy

pista during pregnancy

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    From baked foods to soups and salads, the flavor of a number of dishes can be enhanced by adding a few pistachios. These delicious and crunchy nuts, loaded with excellent nutrients, are also considered to be one of the healthiest nuts to consume during pregnancy. But, you should be mindful of when, why and how to eat them. Here, MomJunction discusses eating pistachio nuts during pregnancy, and how you and your baby can benefit from them.

    Is It Safe To Eat Pistachios During Pregnancy?

    Yes, it is safe to include pistachios during pregnancy (1). They are power-packed with protein, fiber, potassium, folate, calcium, and iron, all of which are important for the growth and development of the fetus.

    What Are The Benefits Of Pistachios During Pregnancy?

    The nutrients present in pistachios are beneficial during pregnancy and aid in the healthy development of the baby. The nutritional benefits include:

    1. Aids fetal development

    Pistachios contain a good amount of protein that is essential for the development of your unborn baby’s tissues and muscles (2). It also keeps your weight under check (3) by regulating blood sugar levels.

    2. Balances lipid levels

    The high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids in pistachios lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol levels, therefore, balancing lipids (4).

    3. Boosts immunity levels

    Pistachios are rich in antioxidants including carotene, polyphenolic substances, and vitamin A and E that help boost immunity (5).

    4. Prevents anemia

    Rich in iron and other essential minerals, which help in the formation of red blood cells. Including these nuts in your diet sufficiently will help towards preventing anemia, especially during pregnancy when your body needs more than the usual amount of blood cells (6).

    5. Treats constipation

    Being rich in fiber, pistachios aid easy digestion and regulate bowel movements. They can also provide relief from constipation which can develop due to hormonal changes in early pregnancy (7).

    6. Anti-inflammatory nature

    Pistachios are anti-inflammatory in nature and help in fighting joint pains and swelling that are common during pregnancy (8).

    7. Good for fetal brain development

    Pistachios contain good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acids, which are essential for the brain development of the baby (9).

    Keep reading for the complete nutritional profile of pistachios.

    Nutritional Value Of Pistachios

    Nutrients present in 100 grams of raw pistachios are as follows (10):

    NUTRIENTAMOUNT
    Calories560kcal
    Water4.37g
    Carbohydrates27.17g
    Sugars7.66g
    Protein20.16g
    Fiber10.6g
    Fat45.32g
    VITAMINS
    Thiamin (Vitamin B1)0.870mg
    Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.160mg
    Niacin (Vitamin B3)1.300mg
    Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)1.700mg
    Folic acid (Vitamin B9)51mcg
    Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)5.6mg
    Retinol (Vitamin A)516IU
    Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E)2.86mg
    ELECTROLYTES
    Potassium1025mg
    Sodium1mg
    MINERALS
    Calcium105mg
    Iron3.92mg
    Phosphorus490mg
    Magnesium121mg
    Zinc2.20mg
    LIPIDS
    Total saturated fatty acids5.907g
    Total monounsaturated fatty acids23.257g
    Total polyunsaturated fatty acids14.380g

    g=grams; mg=milligrams; IU=International Units

    While pistachios are nutritious, their benefits are greater only when you consume them in the right quantity and stick to plain, unsalted pistachio nuts in their shells.

    How Many Pistachios Can You Eat Per Day?

    You may have up to ½ an ounce or approximately 24 pistachios per day (1). You should not eat more than the suggested quantity as it could lead to excess essential oils in the body that could be harmful to the brain (11).

    What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Eating Pistachios During Pregnancy?

    Some things you should keep in mind while including pistachios are:

    • They have fructans that will cause digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence (12).
    • Roasted nuts coated in salt can have high sodium content that may elevate blood pressure (13). So it is best to choose the plain, unsalted variety.

    A few precautions while including pistachios in your diet can be a good idea.

    How To Include Pistachios In Your Diet?

    Here are a few interesting ways in which you can incorporate pistachio nuts into your diet:

    • Toss some pistachios to the fruit bowl, and consume it fresh.
    • Make a rough powder of them, and use as a dip to chicken before frying or grilling.
    • Sprinkle finely diced pistachios to oatmeal, yogurt or cereals for a nutritious breakfast.
    • Mix in a milkshake along with almonds, cardamom, and saffron for a super-filling beverage.

    Do not worry about eating pistachios unless you have been specifically advised not to eat them by your healthcare provider. Include your daily serving of these nuts in whichever variety you prefer. Remember to stick to the permissible limit though.

    References:

    1. Healthy Eating During Pregnancy; UC Davis Medical Center (2013)
    2. Eating Healthy During Pregnancy; clinicaltrials.gov
    3. Bridget Swinney; Eating Expectantly: Revised and Updated; page 50
    4. Pistachios; Colorado State University (2017)
    5. Mercedes Victoria Urquiza-Martínez & Bertha Fenton Navarro; Antioxidant Capacity of Food; Free Radicals and Antioxidants An Open Access, Peer Reviewed Journal (2016)
    6. Iron Deficiency Anemia; Virginia Commonwealth University (2014)
    7. Fiber; Oregon State University (2018)
    8. Helieh S. Oz; Nutrients, Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases; Nutrients. (2017)
    9. Rachel Scherr et al.; Nutrition and Health Info Sheet: Omega-3 Fatty Acids; The Regents of the University of California (2016)
    10. Basic Report; Pistachio nuts, raw; USDA
    11. Mary Purdy; Your Brain On Food: Nutrition For The Mind; Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine
    12. Amy Fedewa & Satish S. C. Rao; Dietary fructose intolerance, fructan intolerance and FODMAPs; Curr Gastroenterol Rep (2015)
    13. Understanding the DASH Diet – 9.374; Colorado State University (2018)

     

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