During the pregnancy period, a lot of questions and doubts arise in the minds of soon-to-be parents, mostly regarding pregnancy foods and what kinds of foods are good for the baby. There are a lot of foods that are advised to be avoided during the pregnancy period to not risk the health of the baby. While nuts are usually supposed to be nutritious and healthy for the mother to consume, there are often doubts about the consumption of cashew nuts and whether it is beneficial for the mother and child.
The simple answer is - yes, cashew nuts are perfectly safe for the mother to consume, and in fact, the nutritional values of cashew nuts aid the growth and development of your child. So as long as you are not allergic to them, go ahead and add cashew nutrition to your regular pregnancy food during the pregnancy period.
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Benefits Of Cashew Nuts During The Pregnancy Period
Believe it or not, there are a lot of kaju benefits to the body of you and your baby. Below are only some of the health benefits of cashew nuts when added to your pregnancy diet:
1. Cashews are rich in fibers, and hence are good at controlling and preventing constipation, a common symptom among pregnant women.
2. Cashews are rich in healthy proteins and fats, which is very helpful for underweight pregnant women who want to gain weight during the pregnancy period.
3. Cashews or kaju, are a great source of calcium and will help strengthen the bones and teeth of both the mother and the baby.
4. The consumption of cashews helps reduce the risk of allergies in the fetus.
5. Pregnant women are prone to get a lot of headaches, cramps and muscle aches during the pregnancy. Cashews are rich in magnesium, which helps in reducing these symptoms.
6. Rich in Vitamin K, cashew nuts are good with helping maintain regular blood pressure, and helps to prevent any bleeding disorders in the baby.
7. Iron, found in cashew nuts, fights tiredness and anemia and helps in producing red blood cells in the body.
8. Folic acid, one of the vital nutrients in cashew nuts, helps to prevent birth diseases like spina bifida in babies.
9. Kajus have a high in copper, which makes them helpful in fighting bacteria in the fetus.
10. Cashew nuts help in maintaining a good Blood glucose level, especially in the cases of gestational diabetes.
Keeping all these health benefits of cashews in mind, you should also be aware that cashews are very high in calorie content and may result in massive weight gain if eat in large quantities.
Nutritional Values Of Cashew Nuts
Talking about the benefits of cashew nuts, the cashew nutrition values per 100gm servings are as follows:
· Magnesium - 292mg
· Potassium - 660mg
· Phosphorus - 593mg
· Zinc - 5.78mg
· Calcium - 37mg
· Iron - 6.68mg
· Folate - 25mcg
· Vitamin K - 34.1mcg
· Copper - 2.195mg
· Carbohydrate - 30.19gm
· Dietary fiber - 3.3gm
· Protein - 18.22gm
· Fat - 43.85gm
· Saturated fat - 7.783gm
How You Can Add Cashew Nuts To Your Everyday Diet
Here are some of the ways in which you can add cashew nuts to your meals and everyday diet:
1. You can add it in your smoothies and shakes. Apart from being super healthy, it also adds a delicious flavour to your beverage.
2. Have it during breakfast along with your muesli or cereal, or even to stir fried vegetables, as it adds a certain crunchiness to the dish.
3. For the sweet, tooth, you can add it to your favourite cakes, waffles and brownies, or other Indian sweets as well. Don't over eat those kaju katlis though!
4. You can make cashew yoghurt by mixing kaju with with dates and cinnamon.
5. If you're feeling lazy, just make a bowl of cashews and other fried fruits and you're good to go!
6. Blend cashew nuts to make cashew butter, which can be used as a dip with fruits and vegetables.
7. Any salad instantly tastes better with some nuts in it, so you can add cashews to make boring salads taste better.
8. Add cashews to your pulaos and biryanis if you're in the mood for savoury dishes.
These are some of the ways you can add the nutrition of cashews to your diet in a delicious way.
Possible Side Effects Of Consuming Cashew Nuts
Though there are a lot of benefits of cashews, there might also be a couple a side effects if they don’t agree with your system. Some of them are:
Cashews possess this component called urushiol, which is prone to cause skin problems like rashes and itching on the skin.
2. Possible weight gain
Cashew nuts are very high in their calorie content so you might end up gaining eat if the cashews are not eaten in regulated quantities.
3. Might increase your blood pressure
Eating a lot of salted cashews will increase your sodium content which might later affect your arteries and lead to cardiovascular problems.
4. Kidney stone and gall stone issues
Oxalates, found in high amounts in cashews, are prone to get absorbed in the body fluids which result in kidney and gall stones.
Precautionary Measures While Eating Cashews
Following these helpful suggestions while consuming cashews will help to avoid any harmful side effects, and reap the whole health benefit of cashew nuts:
1. Try to eat more plain cashew nuts as compared to salted or masala kaju. They contain a large amount of sodium which is not good for the body.
2. If your body is showing signs of cashew allergy like sneezing, coughing, skin rash, inflammation of skin and indigestion, then keep your cashew consumption to a minimum.
Here is a list of foods that might contain cashew and should be avoided if you are allergic:
· Mixed nuts
· Cashew nut butter
· Pesto sauce
· Nut brittle
· Snack mixes
· Asian meals
· Ice cream
· Sweets and candies
3. The best recommended amount of cashews that can be eaten by a pregnant woman in a day are less that one ounce.
4. Make sure to have a talk with your doctor as he might be more aware of what your body needs.
5. Try to eat more organic cashew nuts. Although a little on the expensive side, they taste and are definitely more nutritious than non-organic cashews.
To sum it up, cashew nuts are a good source of vital nutrients to add to pregnancy food for both you and your baby. If eaten responsibly and in regulated amounts, due to the nutrition of cashew nuts, they can do a great deal of help in the growth and health of your baby.