Are you wondering if you can eat walnuts during pregnancy? Judging by the recent uptick in nut allergies, it’s likely that many pregnant women are asking this question. While there is no definitive answer, a number of health experts believe that eating walnuts during pregnancy is completely safe. In fact, researchers say that they may even be beneficial for the mother and baby. So what are the risks and benefits of eating walnuts during pregnancy? Read on to find out what experts say!
Health Benefits of Walnuts During Pregnancy
As per the recent researches, reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids can affect the cognitive development of babies. The required amount of omega-3 fatty acids intake recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board of US National Institutes of Health is 1.4 g and 1.3 g in pregnant and lactating women, respectively. A team of experts from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, studied 2,200 mother and child pairs. The result insists that, intake of approximately three handfuls of nuts a week or 90 grams in the first three months of pregnancy is necessary, as it’s loaded with health benefits which would have the best impact on the neurocognitive growth of fetus. This recommendation can have positive effect in the cognitive development, which results in enhanced behavior, lengthy attention span, good focus, splendid memory, and improved learning abilities in kids. Health professionals from the National Institutes of Health strongly recommend nuts intake during pregnancy as they are loaded with the healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Here is a quick glance on the other benefits.
- Prevents pre-term delivery
- Prevents low birth weight of babies
- Maintains and improves the cognitive function and boosts the brain power of fetal brain
- Reduces gut problems and improves gut health
- Helps to ease inflammation
- Prolonged benefits for a kid’s brain and motor development
- Maintains bone strength
- Reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
- Prevents heart disease
Can I Eat Walnuts During Pregnancy?
If you’re pregnant and looking for health benefits, walnuts are a great choice! They are a good source of vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, melatonin, folate, antioxidants and much more. Moderation is the key to healthy eating. As per the experts, around 3 to 5 walnuts in a day is completely safe to consume. Eating too much can have some side effects and hence it’s important to follow the quantity mentioned. However United Kingdom National Health Service also speaks about how cautious a pregnant women has to be when it comes to nuts consumption. Women with nut allergy or Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome/Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) should strictly avoid eating nuts which includes walnuts. If you are new to walnuts and planning to consume it for the first time during pregnancy, do not consume it without the doctor’s advice.
Symptoms of nut allergies
- Itchy skin and rashes
- Swelling of face/tongue/lips/throat/mouth
- Runny nose
- Tingling or scratchy sensation on throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Passing out
It’s important to immediately get in touch with the doctor/ gynecologist if there is any of the above symptoms after walnut consumption. If there is severe reactions or symptoms of anaphylaxis, then immediately go for emergency help.
How to select walnuts
Opt for the walnuts that are plump and pale. They should smell and taste nutty. Avoid the walnuts that taste bitter or smell rancid. If opting for shelled walnuts, avoid the ones with cracked or damaged shells. Most importantly, it shouldn’t rattle inside the shell.
Walnuts are highly nutritious and have several health benefits during pregnancy, when consumed in moderate. Walnuts are the best alternative to fish, as it’s loaded with the omega-3 fatty acids, that’s found in fishes. It highly beneficial in promoting brain development of babies in womb. So wait not and add these wholesome walnuts regularly in your healthy-eating plan during pregnancy!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many walnuts should a pregnant woman eat?
In general, 3 to 5 walnuts a day is best to be consumed.
Can I eat walnuts every day during pregnancy?
Yes, it’s completely safe and nutritious to eat walnuts every day during pregnancy. But please make sure to consume in moderation. Not more than 30g of walnuts in a day is recommended while pregnant.
What is the best time to eat walnuts during pregnancy?
According to the researchers and experts, consuming walnuts during first and third trimester of pregnancy results in improved neurodevelopment in the baby.
What happens when you are allergic to walnuts?
There might be slight symptoms like hives, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of face/tongue/lips/throat/mouth to anaphylaxis kind of life-threatening reactions. It’s necessary to get medical attention if slight or severe symptoms occur.
How will you know if nuts are high quality?
Organic walnuts which smell nutty, plump, pale and with sweet nutty taste is of high quality.