Walnuts (Juglans regia) are an edible tree nut that belongs to the walnut family. There are highly nutritious and said to provide many nutritional benefits. However, in this article, we will explore the health benefits of walnuts for pregnant women.
When a woman gets pregnant, she becomes careful with her diet because the wrong diet might risk the baby’s life and hers. One such healthy food recommended for pregnant women is walnuts.
Walnuts are also an excellent choice for pregnant women because they can help protect the brain development of infants in the womb. In addition, walnuts provide many other health benefits for pregnant women.
10 Health Benefits Of Walnuts For Pregnant Women
Here are some of the top health benefits of walnuts for pregnant women
1. Walnut is an excellent source of protein
They provide protein without animal products. Protein is essential for growth during pregnancy because it helps support your baby’s growth during the third trimester when fetal growth accelerates most rapidly, and mothers begin to gain weight rapidly and store fat.
Hence, they have enough energy to nurse their babies after delivery.
Pregnant women are recommended to eat a balanced diet and ensure they get enough protein and vitamins in their food.
Walnuts are a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and numerous other nutrients that can help you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
2. Walnut is rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Walnuts are a great addition to any diet, but they can be especially beneficial for pregnant women.
They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential for brain development, and can help reduce the risk of some congenital disabilities.
Walnuts also contain high amounts of vitamin E and magnesium, which play a role in neurological development.
3. Walnuts are high in fiber
Walnuts are also high in fiber, which helps people feel full longer and helps keep blood sugar levels steady.
Pregnant women need this because their bodies change so much during pregnancy, and they may have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels.
4. Walnuts prevent preterm labor
This is another really fascinating health benefit of walnuts in pregnancy.
Premature delivery is a severe problem for pregnant women.
It is estimated that around 15% of pregnancies end prematurely before 37 weeks gestation.
Premature babies have higher chances of getting sick or being born with birth defects.
A 2014 study found out that pregnant mothers who ate a ‘prudent’ diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and who drink water have a significantly lower risk of preterm delivery.
Walnuts contain folate and vitamin E, essential for a healthy baby. Folate helps reduce the risk of congenital disabilities, while vitamin E contributes to a healthy nervous system and brain function.
5. Walnut is rich in essential vitamins and minerals
Walnuts also have many vitamins and minerals that help keep you healthy during pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 in walnuts helps the body absorb iron from other foods, which is especially important if you have anemia during pregnancy.
They contain vitamin E and magnesium, which help fight stress while also helping you stay calm and relaxed.
Walnuts also contain iron, which helps your blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body.
6. Walnuts contain antioxidants
Walnuts are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic compounds that fight free radicals in the body and protect against cell damage.
Antioxidants also boost your immune system by fighting off bacteria and viruses that cause infections.
7. Walnuts are rich in arginine
Walnuts contain high amounts of arginine, an amino acid that helps increase blood flow to the uterus and placenta, which helps prevent preeclampsia in early pregnancy.
Pregnant women who consume foods high in arginine have been found to have a lower risk of developing preeclampsia.
8. Walnut is rich in folate
Walnuts also contain high amounts of folate, which is needed to form healthy red blood cells and prevent congenital disabilities like spina bifida (a spine defect).
Folate also helps prevent neural tube defects in babies, such as anencephaly (a congenital disability where part of the skull or brain isn’t fully formed).
9. Improves heart health
The omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts reduce inflammation and improve blood flow through your body.
This is especially important for pregnant women as it helps prevent coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and any other cardiovascular complications.
10. Walnuts prevent gestational diabetes
A 2020 study investigated the effects of walnut (Juglans regia L.) oil-derived polyunsaturated fatty acid on pregnant rats with diabetes.
The study discovered that the polyunsaturated fats in walnuts prevented diabetic complications in pregnant rats.
Are there any risks in consuming walnuts during pregnancy?
As long as you consume it in moderation, you are safe. Walnuts are safe for pregnant women, but they can harm the mother and fetus when eaten in excess.
Now that you have known the immense health benefits of walnuts for pregnant women, it is advised that you include them in your daily diet. However, you are advised to stop consuming it if you are allergic to it. In this case, you will have to consult the doctors before consuming it again.
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