Pregnancy is indeed the most beautiful as well as a difficult time in a woman’s life. From encountering a range of emotions to constantly battling nausea, women brace it all. What if we tell you, there is a best friend hidden in your refrigerator- all the while you were hunting for super foods to eat during pregnancy? Let not myths derail your health and fitness regime during pregnancy! It is time to make amends with a bowl full of curd, yoghurt or dahi and gulp it down. Benefits of curd during pregnancy are way too high to be ignored.
Table of content:
Nutrition value of curd
A cup of curd (serving size 113 grams) contains 69 calories. It contains 3.7 grams of fat, 3.9 grams of protein, 5.3 grams of carbohydrate, 5.3 grams of sugar and a good amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Calcium.
Difference between curd and yogurt
Are curd and yogurt the same thing? No! Though people assume curd and yogurt to be the same thing, they are in fact different. The difference between curd and yogurt lies in their process of preparation. Yogurt is prepared by fermenting milk with the help of bacterial culture known as ‘yogurt culture'. The dahi, immensely popular in Indian homes, is in fact yogurt. While curd is prepared by curdling milk with an acidic agent like vinegar or lemon juice. Now that you know the difference between curd and yogurt, the next time somebody raves about yogurt benefits think of dahi! People suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are usually suggested to incorporate Greek Yogurt (thick strained yogurt) in their diet. Greek Yogurt provides relief from cramping, discomfort and belching due to gas formation in the digestive tract. It even regulates bowel movements.
Health benefits of curd during pregnancy
Here are the top 8 benefits of eating curd during pregnancy:
1. Calcium Storehouse:
Try searching ‘curd nutritional value' and you’ll be amazed by the results. The curd is a nutrition powerhouse topped with loads of calcium. Foetus, developing inside the womb, needs lots and lots of calcium for bone and muscle formation. If the mother's calcium intake from diet is inadequate, the body starts accessing it from mother’s bones leaving her prone to osteoporosis. Hence, the next time you look scornfully at curd rice, better think about your rattling bones in the old age.
2. Aids in Digestion and helps regulate bowel movements:
Curd and yogurt, rich in probiotics (healthy gut-friendly bacteria), are an excellent remedy to keep the digestive system healthy.
3. Boost your immunity:
Yogurt and curd both are a rich source of Vitamin C. Ascorbic Acid, i.e. Vitamin C, boosts immunity and safeguards from the common cold, flu and other communicable diseases.
4. Relieves Anxiety and reduces stress:
Pregnancy brings with it lots of ups and downs, mood swings and a little anxiety. If you find yourself constantly worrying, easily irritable and frustrated, chances are high you are suffering from pregnancy-related stress and anxiety. Yogurt and curd help you in relaxing by normalizing the emotional centre of the brain that becomes hyperactive during this time. Curd and yogurt also help to maintain hormonal balance during pregnancy.
5. Cooling properties:
Ayurvedic texts suggest curd to have cooling properties. Cravings during pregnancy, especially for spicy food, can cause heartburn, acidity and indigestion. Curd calms down the raging stomach, and help reduce the acidity by calming the interior walls that become agitated due to spicy food.
6. Good for skin:
One of the most common skin problems caused due to pregnancy is an occurrence of blemishes on the face, dry skin, discolouration, and pigmentation of skin due to hormonal changes in pregnancy. Curd and Yogurt, being rich in Vitamin E and C as well as having the ability to maintain hormonal balance during pregnancy, are the excellent remedies for skin problems caused due to pregnancy.
[Read more: 9 uses of curd in your skin and hair care routine]
7. Prevents an excessive increase in weight:
Obviously, weight gain does happen during pregnancy, after all, you are building a new life inside your body. However, a surge in cortisol hormone due to high levels of stress can cause an excessive increase in weight during pregnancy. This can lead to complications during birth. Curd reduces the level of cortisol in the body thereby preventing excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Yogurt has been known to curb cravings during pregnancy by providing the body with nutrition.
8. Provides protein to build muscles:
The life forming inside you needs a good amount of protein to build muscles. Curd being rich in protein helps in muscle formation of the baby. If you want an adorable pump, cute little baby, increase your intake of curd and yogurt.
Now that you know about all the lovely benefits of eating curd and curd nutrition, there is no reason to walk past the supermarket aisle without loading your shopping cart with yogurt/ dahi and curd!
How to include curd in your pregnancy diet
Are you still unsure about how to include yogurt in your diet? Here are a few pointers:
Curd rice: Couldn't control cravings and get loaded with spicy food? Fret not! Eat curd rice for the next meal to soothe the stomach walls. Curd rice provides relief from acidity, indigestion and stomach cramps.
As salad dressing: Craving a Subway salad at odd hours? Here’s a healthy alternative: a Subway-style salad at home! All you need is hung yogurt, mayonnaise, a few drops of honey, iceberg lettuce, olives, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onion, cottage cheese, Thousand Island dressing, black pepper and salt to taste. Mix them in a bowl and bon appétit!
Smoothies: Though there are a number of yogurt mixes available in the market, you can make some at home too! Blend hung yogurt with your favourite fruits like pineapple, plum, raspberry or pomegranate and add few drops of honey. Your delicious yogurt smoothie is ready! If you are craving sweet food then dig in a bowl of Srikhand. It is a delicacy prepared by adding sugar, saffron and green cardamom to hung yogurt.
Flavoured Raita: You can prepare a variety of raitas with yogurt to complement with your lunch menu. From pineapple raita to boondi and vegetable raita, there are numerous ways to make your lunch more delicious and interesting.