Nutrition and Health

10 Incredible Benefits Of Eating Cashew Nuts During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting and delicate time that requires special care for the health of both mother and baby. Eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients is essential to support the increased demands on a woman’s body. Cashew nuts can be an excellent addition to the diet during pregnancy due to their stellar nutritional profile.

Eating cashews in moderation can provide a tasty way to obtain key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds that are vital for a healthy pregnancy. Here are 10 science-backed benefits of adding these nutritious nuts into the diet while expecting.

1. Provide Critical Nutrients for Mother and Baby

Cashews contain an impressive array of vitamins and minerals that help meet increased maternal and fetal needs during pregnancy. Just a 1-ounce serving delivers 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 13% of the recommended daily intake for iron.

Cashews are also rich in folate, zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. Consuming adequate amounts of these essential nutrients is crucial for supporting the growth and development of the fetus and maintaining the mother’s health.

2. Promote Bone Strength

Pregnancy increases calcium demands to build baby’s bones and teeth. Cashews can help provide needed calcium, with 27% of the recommended daily value per ounce.

Their exceptional magnesium content also builds strong bones for mom and baby. Magnesium optimizes calcium absorption and impacts bone matrix proteins.

3. Reduce Risk of Neural Tube Defects

Folate is arguably the most important vitamin during pregnancy, especially in the early weeks, as it significantly decreases the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Just one serving of cashews provides 12% of the folate needed, with more per ounce than any other tree nut. Getting adequate dietary folate, ideally before conception, supports proper neural development.

4. Relieve Constipation

Constipation commonly plagues pregnant women due to hormone fluctuations and pressure from the growing uterus. The high fiber content of cashews can help get things moving; one ounce provides 9% of the recommended daily fiber intake.

Fiber also helps pregnant women feel fuller for longer, curbing cravings and excessive gestational weight gain. The anti-inflammatory magnesium in cashews may further alleviate constipation.

5. Control Blood Sugar

Gestational diabetes affects up to 18% of pregnancies. The healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, protein, and minerals in cashews aid steady glucose metabolism.

Eating cashews alongside carbs can minimize blood sugar spikes. Their lower glycemic index helps regulate insulin, supporting healthy blood sugar levels already within normal range.

6. Support Heart Health

The considerable potassium, magnesium, copper, folate, and vitamins K and E in cashews promote a healthy heart for mom during pregnancy. Potassium helps lower blood pressure while balancing fluids and sodium.

Folate and copper help form red blood cells that carry oxygen. Vitamins E and K support proper blood clotting. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and manages heart rhythm.

7. Strengthen Immune System

Pregnancy natural suppresses the mother’s immune system to protect the fetus. Zinc is vital for proper immune cell function, and cashews contain 14% of the recommended daily intake per ounce.

Selenium and antioxidants like vitamin E also boost immunity. Healthy fats in cashews support absorption of immune-regulating vitamins A, D, E, and K.

8. Alleviate Depression and Anxiety

Mental health issues like depression and anxiety can occur during pregnancy due to major changes in hormones and lifestyle. The magnesium in cashews enhances mood by stimulating neurotransmitters like serotonin that reduce depressive feelings.

Healthy fats provide essential fatty acids that support mood regulation. Cashews’ nutritional support for moms can also alleviate worries over baby’s health.

9. Prevent Hemorrhoids

Constipation and increased blood flow during pregnancy commonly cause hemorrhoids. The fiber in cashews helps prevent hemorrhoids by softening stool and allowing smooth passage.

Anti-inflammatory minerals like magnesium and copper soothe irritation caused by hemorrhoids as well. With their rich nutritional content, cashews are a tasty way to help avoid this uncomfortable condition.

10. Provide Plant Protein

Pregnant women require additional high-quality protein for fetal growth and maternal tissues. With 5 grams per ounce, cashews offer an abundant vegan source of protein to complement a healthy diet.

The amino acid profile of cashew protein aids growth and development. Their protein content also contributes a steady energy source to meet the higher caloric needs of pregnancy.

In Summary

Incorporating nutrient-dense cashews into a balanced pregnancy diet provides measurable benefits for both mother and baby. Their stellar nutritional profile supplies essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber, and plant protein for optimal health during this important time.

Eating cashews in moderation can strengthen bones, nourish fetal development, regulate hormones, relieve constipation, improve heart health, support the immune system, boost mood, and more. Pregnant women should feel great about snacking on these power-packed nuts.

With their unique combination of macronutrients, micronutrients, and protective plant compounds, cashews are a safe and healthy way to enhance nutrition for mom and baby. Consuming a one-ounce portion several times per week can help provide key pregnancy advantages. Expecting moms should consider cashewing their typical snacks for these delicious and beneficial nuts.

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