Pregnancy changes our whole perspective on food. The first question that may cross your mind whenever you eat or crave something during pregnancy is, “Is it safe?”. The same doubt is likely to arise when you crave curd during pregnancy.
Curd/yogurt is largely safe to consume during pregnancy. Therefore, you can brush aside your safety concerns on consuming curd during pregnancy. In addition to its delicious taste, yogurt during pregnancy is beneficial in many ways.
Eating Curd During Pregnancy
You can consume yogurt or curd in many forms. It is equally beneficial regardless of whether you have it as an energizing lassi or a refreshing fresh fruit yogurt, or even as hydrating buttermilk. Yogurt or curd is loaded with protein and vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin A. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, zinc, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
All of these nutrients play a vital role in a mother’s health and the healthy progression of pregnancy. Therefore, yogurt is one of the highly recommended foods to be consumed during pregnancy.
Yogurt can be made with either pasteurized or raw milk. However, yogurt from raw milk carries the risk of food poisoning as it may contain bacteria such as E-coli, listeria, salmonella, etc. Food poisoning poses a serious threat to pregnancy.
As long as it is made out of pasteurized- milk, eating curd during pregnancy is safe and advantageous.
Milk Vs Curd During Pregnancy
In terms of nutritional value, milk and curd are very similar. A lot of pregnant women drink milk during pregnancy for the immense benefits it offers. However, curd has a slight advantage over milk. According to a source, when compared to milk, curd or yogurt is;
- Richer in protein content
- Lower in sugars
- Easier to digest
- Significantly high in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B2
- Richer in phosphorus, selenium, and zinc
And above all, yogurt is a good option for those who are lactose intolerant. This is because the good bacteria in yogurt help to break down lactose. So if a pregnant woman is not able to reap the nutritional benefits of milk because of lactose intolerance, she can reap them through curd or yogurt.
Note* In case of lactose intolerance, stay away from frozen yogurt. This is because there will not be adequate live cultures of good bacteria in frozen yogurt. This is likely to cause problems for an expecting woman with lactose intolerance.
Benefits Of Eating Curd During Pregnancy
Curd benefits pregnancy in many ways. Here are the top 16 benefits of curd during pregnancy:
1. Helps to cool down body heat during pregnancy
During pregnancy, women are subjected to various hormonal and metabolic changes. As a result, many times, expecting women experience a rise in their body heat. If the body heat is too high, it can adversely affect fetal development.
Increased body temperature can also deplete water from the cells. This can contribute to dehydration. Dehydration, if ignored, can contribute to various complications during pregnancy.
Consuming curd or yogurt during pregnancy helps to cool down the body temperature, thereby creating an optimal environment for the development of the baby in the womb.
2. Helps to improve digestion
Digestion is one of the mechanisms that adversely get affected due to pregnancy. The surge of pregnancy hormones and the growing womb can take a toll on digestion and bowel movement. This increases the risk of various digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.
Yogurt is a great source of probiotics or good bacteria which are essential for proper digestion and absorption of food. Probiotics curd during pregnancy helps to improve digestion and thereby prevents stomach upsets. Probiotics also fight against several microorganisms in the intestinal which can bring diarrhea.
3. Helps to strengthen boneand muscle of baby
Yogurt has a considerable amount of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. it is an incredible source of magnesium. All these nutrients are essential for the bone and teeth formation of the fetus.
Likewise, curd is high in proteins which play a vital role in the muscle development of the baby. Calcium, besides contributing to bone formation is essential for the contraction of muscle fibers as well.
4. Contributes to fetal brain and nervous system development.
Curd is an excellent source of B vitamins (vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12) and folate. These elements are crucial for fetal brain development.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
5. Provide all the benefits of calcium
After milk, if there is the highest amount of calcium in any dietary element then it’s curd. Consuming curd during pregnancy helps improve the bone density of the mother.
By including curd in your pregnancy diet, an expecting mother can reap all the benefits of calcium. Calcium is important for Vitamin D absorption. According to WHO vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes.
6. Helps improve immunity
Curd contains a significant amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C directly boosts immunity. Pregnancy is a time when the immunity of the mother is highly compromised, making her susceptible to various infections.
Related Reading: 11 Simple Ways To Boost Immunity During Pregnancy
Besides enhancing digestion, the good bacteria in curd considerably increase the number of good bacteria in the body. When the good bacteria outnumber the bad ones, it helps improve immunity. The probiotics in curd also help in the absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract. This in turn helps increase immunity.
7. Helps prevent vaginal yeast infections.
Besides restoring the good bacteria in the digestive system, consuming yogurt during pregnancy helps to improve the number of good bacteria in the vagina as well. This helps prevent the yeast from outgrowing. Consuming yogurt thus prevents, or gets rid of vaginal yeast infections during pregnancy.
8. Helps prevent malnutrition in pregnant women.
Curd helps with the overall digestion and absorption of nutrients in the food. Besides, the nutrients in curd are also easily absorbed by the body. Therefore, consuming curd helps prevent malnutrition in a pregnant woman.
9. Helps prevent gestational hypertension
Pregnancy is associated with high blood pressure, which has adverse effects on both the mother and the baby.Curd contains potassium, a mineral that helps to strengthen blood vessels and the heart muscles.
Curd also helpslower cholesterol levels. Thus, one of the incredible benefits of curd during pregnancy is that it helps prevent gestational hypertension
10. Helps ease stress and anxiety
A lot of research indicates probiotics can potentially alleviate depressive symptoms. Pregnant women commonly experience anxiety and stress. Curd helps reduce stress and anxiety during pregnancy.
Related Reading: 15 Tried And Tested Ways To Handle Emotions During Pregnancy
The consumption of curd during pregnancy helps to soothe the overactive parts of the brain that cause stress and anxiety. The nutrients in the curd slow down the release of cortisol-the stresshormone –and thus helps reduce stress.
11. Fights dry skin and pigmentation
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can result in pigmentation and dry skin. Yogurt, which is rich in Vitamin E helps to restore the beauty of the skin. Both consumption and topical application of curd is beneficial for skin health.
Curd contains nutrients like zinc, vitamin E, and phosphorus. These elements play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin during pregnancy. Curd is one of the natural skincare products that are safe for pregnant women. It helps make your skin brighter and healthier in a safe way.
12. Curd prevents preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Curd is an excellent source of magnesium. According to research, magnesium during pregnancy helps prevent premature uterine contractions and preterm birth. Likewise, studies show that low magnesium levels increase the risk of preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure.
Including curd in pregnancy dietmay therefore help reduce the risk of preeclampsia and preterm labor.
13. Helps maintains body weight
Probiotics in food such as yogurt reduce the release of the hormone cortisol. A low level of cortisol not only helps to relieve stress during pregnancy but also prevents pregnant women from gaining excess weight. This is because the increased level of the hormone cortisol can contribute to hormonal imbalance and weight gain.
Related Reading: Being Overweight During Pregnancy- 10 Potential Complications
14. Curd helps prevent heartburn during pregnancy
Pregnant women are susceptible to heartburn. Heartburn is quite painful. Eating spicy food during pregnancy increases the risk of acidity and heartburn. Still, craving spicy foods during pregnancy is quite common.
Having curd along with or just after eating something spicy helps to neutralize the acidity-causing substance in spicy food. This may help prevent heartburn or at least to reduce its intensity.
15. Protects from heavy metal exposure
Toxins from the environment, such as mercury and arsenic, are frequently detected in drinking water and food items, particularly fish. According to a new study, probiotics in yogurt can lower the absorption of some heavy metals and environmental pollutants by up to 78% in pregnant women.
Yogurt during pregnancy, in addition to providing nourishment and immunity, protects mothers and their unborn children against the harmful effects of heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury.
16. Curd is good for pregnant women who are lactose intolerant
Pregnant women are asked to drink 3 glasses of milk per day to meet the demand for calcium and other nutrients. However, pregnant women who are lactose intolerant will not be able to consume milk.
Curd is the best alternative in this situation. The good bacteria in curd carry high levels of the lactase enzyme that helpsdigest the lactose. Thus, curd provides all of the nutrients that milk does for a pregnant woman with lactose intolerance.
Precautions When Eating Curd And Yogurt During Pregnancy
Even though curd is very beneficial during pregnancy, you must be aware of some minor side effects of curd during pregnancy. Also, there are some precautionary measures to be taken while consuming curd/yogurt during pregnancy in order to reap its benefits.
Avoid curd at night during pregnancy
It is better to avoid curd at night during pregnancy, especially if you are prone to cough and cold. According to Ayurveda, consuming curd at night is harmful since it promotes the formation of mucus.
Avoid sour curd during pregnancy
It is best to avoid the intake of sour curd directly during pregnancy. Sour curd can cause throat infections and even a cold.
Avoid commercially made yogurt
Most of the yogurts available in the market havea considerable amount of added sugar syrup or corn starch to make them sweet and palatable. This can contribute to unnecessary weight gain during pregnancy. To avoid that,always opt for homemade yogurt during pregnancy.
If you want a fruit-flavored yogurt, you may sweeten it with natural fruit or honey. If you opt for market yogurt, buy branded plain yogurt that has been pasteurized with no additives.
Never ignore the possibility of an allergy
People with mild allergies to milk can indeed eat yogurt without any issues. However, it should never be forgotten that many people who are sensitive to milk are also allergic to yogurt. Pregnancy is a delicate time. If you are allergic to milk, proceed with caution and include curd in the diet only after consulting your doctor.
Avoid these 2 types of yogurts during pregnancy
Avoid full-fat yogurt and yogurt made out of raw, unpasteurized milk. While the former contributes to unhealthy weight gain, the latter increases the risk of food poisoning as it may be laden with infectious germs like E coli and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
The notion that curd during pregnancy makes baby fair is nothing more than a myth. Newborns’ complexions are solely determined by genetics, not by what the mother eats during pregnancy. Even though curd during pregnancy and the complexion of the fetus are unrelated, eating yogurt during pregnancy, offers all the nutrients necessary to make the baby healthy.
Most of the flavored yogurts available in the market are laden with sugar and added chemicals. During pregnancy, it is wise to stay away from those kinds of food items. However, some brands are low in sugar and fat, and are also made of natural ingredients. You can have them once in a while.
But when it comes to pregnancy, it is always wise to stick to homemade yogurt. You can give it a twist by blending it with berries, fresh fruits of your choice, or honey.
Yogurt is a fantastic dairy product that may be consumed as a dessert or as a frozen dish. When consumed in proper amounts, curd/yogurt is very healthy, making it an essential element of your diet. Just keep everything mentioned here in your mind and enjoy this healthy dessert throughout your pregnancy.