Pregnant women need to eat healthily. Carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, as well as the recommended supplements, should all be part of the daily routine diet of pregnant women. Oats are a great example of a food that every pregnant woman should include in her diet. Oats during pregnancy are a healthy choice and comprise many nutrients which are good for the mother-baby duo.
Can You Eat Oats During Pregnancy?
Having oats during pregnancy is completely safe and allowed. Oats are a powerhouse of nutrients that help a pregnant woman. Oats, on the other hand, have been shown to provoke gastrointestinal problems in some people. Because they can cause stomach and intestine discomfort, raw oats should not be consumed even though it is common to crave raw oats during pregnancy.
It is perfectly fine to consume overnight oats during pregnancy so long as the milk or water that you use has been pasteurized.
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Benefits Of Eating Oats While Pregnant
Oats are a powerhouse of nutrients and have some amazing benefits. There are different types of oats available in the market. One can have saffola oats during pregnancy and even masala oats during pregnancy. But all these have a different set of nutrients so best to check the labels before going ahead. This is a must on the list for the diet of a pregnant woman. Notably, oats are the best choice to have during pregnancy for the mother, the baby and its healthy development.
Oat has emerged as a trendy protein option because it is both affordable and healthy. The benefits of oats during pregnancy for the health of the mother and baby are:
1. Oats are rich in fiber
Oats are fiber-rich and help with constipation issues. Having fiber-rich foods like oats helps to keep one full for a long time, is not rich in calories, and thus helps to regulate pregnancy weight. Also,
- It even helps in improving digestion as well
- As the fiber helps to slow down the digestion process it even helps in preventing the rise of blood sugar
- Fibre also helps to trap cholesterol and bile acids and does not allow the body to absorb cholesterol which helps to reduce heart ailments
- Having half a cup of oats can suffice about 8 grams of dietary fiber that helps with digestion
- Oats are a rich fiber source and help to prevent hemorrhoids
- Oats comprise insoluble fiber as well as soluble fiber that helps in decreasing cholesterol1
2. Offers good energy
Pregnancy is a time when the energy levels of a pregnant woman are very low. Women who are pregnant have an increased requirement for consistent amounts of energy throughout the day.
One cup of oats has 300 calories and 50 grams of carbs, which are good sources of energy for a pregnant woman2. Even a small amount of oats gives you enough carbs and calories, which gives you a lot more energy throughout the day.
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3. Contains complex carbohydrates to ensure slow digestion
The three primary components of an oat kernel are the bran, endosperm, and germ. Roughly sixty percent of an oat grain is made up of starch. It is primarily found in the endosperm of the seed. Complex carbohydrates need more digestive time to be broken down and absorbed. This helps keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range and lowers the chance of getting gestational diabetes.
Having oats during pregnancy when you have diabetes is good since it stabilizes the blood sugar level3. Having a slow digestive rate also ensures healthy weight gain, which is very important during pregnancy.
4. Rich in minerals and vitamins
Oats are rich in a number of essential minerals, including manganese, magnesium, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. All of these minerals are useful in their own ways, from boosting immunity to assisting in the development of healthy bones and teeth. Also,
- Oats have vitamins E and B1 that help in breaking down fat and protein keeping the mucus membranes healthy
- Vitamin E also helps in detoxing and reducing free radical damage as it is an excellent antioxidant
- Oats are rich in antioxidants, which increase nitric acid production and aids in blood pressure regulation
- When taken as a whole, these measures contribute to a healthy pregnancy glow and skin that is well-nourished and radiant throughout the pregnancy4
6. Good source of folate
Oats have vitamin B or folate. This helps break down the protein and fat in the body in an effective manner. It even helps keep the mucous membranes healthy as well as strong5. (Source).
Also, as per this source
- It is one of the most important minerals that are required during pregnancy
- It is important for the development of the mother as well as the baby
- It develops the nervous system and is good for the brain of the developing baby
- It protects the spinal cord and protects the baby’s brain
- It even helps to rule out fetal disorders, if more specifically the ones related to the nervous system and brain
7. Prevents anemia
Consuming oats is a delicious and uncomplicated way to increase the amount of iron in your diet. Oats can help a pregnant woman lower her risk of developing anemia, which is a common complication of pregnancy.
Oats provide 10% of the daily iron requirements when consumed on a consistent basis6. Since oats alone aren’t enough to meet iron needs, they should be eaten as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
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Are There Any Risks Of Eating Oats During Pregnancy?
Even though oats have health benefits for both the mother and the baby, it is important to note that eating them does come with some risks. Women are likely to suffer from a number of uncomfortable side effects when consuming oats during pregnancy.
Here are a few examples:
- Having oats in excess can result in a blocked intestine which is harmful and needs a doctor’s intervention immediately
- It’s important to keep your oats intake in check because too much of it can cause stomach upset and diarrhea
- Consuming instant oats is not a wise decision from a nutritional standpoint. All those flavored options can be bursting with added sugar, colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners
- Rolls, steel-cut oats, and other forms of oats are preferable because they retain more of the original nutrients
- If a woman has a sensitivity to gluten, she has a greater risk of developing an allergy to oats as well; in this scenario, it is necessary to look for alternatives
How To Include Oats In Your Pregnancy Diet
The ideal oats that are healthy for consumption during pregnancy are rolled whole or steel-cut oats. The ideal way to consume oats is by cooking them in a mixture of hot water and milk, then adding a touch of honey to the mixture. Oat flour is a great option and instant oats though not too healthy can be consumed as well.
During pregnancy, a few ways to include oats in your regular diet are as follows:
1. All-purpose flour replacement
Maida is not a healthy option for consumption during pregnancy. It can result in unwanted weight gain and even increase the risk of diabetes. Oats can be used in place of flour for almost everything like cookies, bread, muffins, etc.
2. Include them in your breakfast
Oats can be boiled and taken with water or milk, with honey, veggies, or fruits. Oats pancake for breakfast is also a good option. Oats dosa and oats upma are also delicious ways to up your nutritional intake.
3. Add flavours to oats
Oats on their own are rather tasteless, which is one reason why many pregnant women avoid eating them. Cream, cinnamon powder, whipped cream, and other similar ingredients can be combined with oats to impart additional flavor.
Combining oats with other nutrient-dense foods like nuts, berries, and seeds is beneficial to the growth and development of the baby.
Related Reading: What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Eating During Pregnancy?
Here are a few yummy recipes you can try during pregnancy:
1. Oats vegetable soup during pregnancy
Soups are a great way to stave off hunger because they can help you feel full for longer. Oats-vegetable soup is one of the simplest oats-based dishes to prepare.
It is delicious, healthy, and nourishing. You can have it as a midday snack or as a part of lunch or dinner. Oats-vegetable soup is also a healthy choice for a snack in the evening or a light meal in between meals. This is high in minerals and vitamins, which are both beneficial during pregnancy.
2. Delicious oats granola bars for pregnancy
Granola bars are a great snack and serve as a good choice for breakfast. These can also be used as snacks in between meals and can help to satisfy sweet cravings. The granola bars can even be mixed with nuts and fruits as per one’s taste.
3. Oatmeal and fruits
Carbohydrate-rich oatmeal with fruits is a wonderful option during pregnancy because of both the carbohydrate content and the health benefits of the fruits. Oats go well with a wide range of fruits, including bananas, mangoes, apples, berries, and many more.
Eating well during pregnancy is essential for both the mother’s and baby’s health and well-being. During this time, the expecting mother will also receive a list of recommendations and warnings about what she should and should not do throughout her pregnancy. If you are considering adding new food to your diet or beginning a new physical activity, such as yoga or exercise, it is best to first consult with your doctor. The doctor is the most qualified to make dietary recommendations because he has a thorough understanding of your unique needs and the body as a whole.
Have a happy, healthy pregnancy!