Nuts During Pregnancy
Nuts During Pregnancy
Good nutrition during pregnancy will help keep you and your developing baby healthy. Your needs for certain nutrients increase during pregnancy, but only a small amount of extra energy (kilojoules) is needed, so it is important to focus on quality rather than quantity when you are ‘eating for two’. While a well-balanced diet can generally provide your body with enough vitamins and minerals, there are a few nutrients that need extra attention when you are pregnant – folate, iron, calcium and omega-3 fats.
Folate is a B vitamin important for your baby’s development during the early stages of pregnancy. An adequate intake (400 micrograms) of folate at the time of conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy can help to prevent birth defects, particularly spina-bifida. Women who are planning a pregnancy should take a folate supplement to supplement their diet for one month before becoming pregnant and during the first three months of pregnancy. If you have a family history of neural tube defects, speak to your doctor as higher doses of folate are recommended.Learn More >
Iron needs increase significantly during pregnancy because your baby takes what it needs to last through the first five to six months of life and because you have a greater blood volume. The recommended daily intake of iron increases from 18mg to 27mg per day during pregnancy, so extra effort is needed to ensure adequate iron is achieved. Some women may need iron supplements. Foods rich in iron include lean red meat, legumes, poultry, fish, tofu, eggs, nuts.Learn More >
Calcium is necessary during pregnancy to maintain your own bone health and to provide enough calcium to form your baby’s bones and teeth. If you don’t intake enough, the calcium needed by your baby will be taken from your own bones, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life. While calcium needs are not increased during pregnancy, as your body can improve the absorption of calcium in the intestines, many women don’t consume enough in general, so pregnancy is a good time to “bone up” on calcium.Learn More >
People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing heart disease later in life. This risk can be reduced by replacing unhealthy saturated fats in the diet with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts. Some people with diabetes also benefit from replacing some of the carbohydrate rich foods in their diet with foods rich in monounsaturated fats. Nuts have also been shown to improve the cholesterol and triglyceride levels of those with diabetes.Learn More >
How to include nuts in your diet
- Blend Orange juice, mixed nuts with dried fruit such as apricots and prunes for a high fibre, iron-rich snack.
- Toss a handful of cashews into your favourite stir-fry for an extra boost of iron.
- Include vitamin C-rich vegies such as capsicum, broccoli and spinach to increase iron absorption.
- If you are vegetarian or don’t eat seafood, add chopped walnuts and freshly ground linseeds to your breakfast cereal or yoghurt to ensure an adequate intake of omega-3 fats.
- Layer berries, yoghurt and chopped hazelnuts and almonds in a sundae glass for a tasty iron and calcium-rich snack or dessert.
- Make a folate-rich Asian salad topped with roasted pumpkin, chickpea and pistachio nuts served on baby spinach.
- If you are vegetarian, process Brazil nuts or pecans with lentils or chickpeas and your favourite herbs and spices to make a tasty protein-rich burger.
- Increase the iron in fish and chicken meals by adding a crust of finely chopped macadamias or pistachios.
This information was provided by Nuts For Life. Images and Videos were provided by Nuts For Life.Nuts for Life For further information on nuts and health, refer to www.nutsforlife.com.au or phone 02 8295 2300
1. The Royal Women's Hospotal. Food & nutrition in pregnancy. Available https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/pregnancy-and-birth/a-healthy-pregnancy/food-nutrition-in-pregnancy
2. Kin Fertility. Iron rich foods for pregnancy. Available https://kinfertility.com.au/blog/iron-rich-foods-for-pregnancy
3. Jean Jarrett Natural Health. Available https://jeanjarrettnaturopath.com.au/omega-3s-for-conception-pregnancy-and-a-healthy-baby/
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Contact us and we'll be more than happy to provide you with the information you require to make decision about nuts in your diet. Additionally, we recommend enquiring with your General Practitioner, particularly when dealing with the addition of nuts to diet when treating specific health problems.