Expecting mothers will be constantly paying attention to foods to avoid and foods that are beneficial for the health of the baby. Makhana, also known as lotus seeds or fox nuts, are very nutritious. But many women wonder if they can eat makhana during pregnancy. Many wonder if makhana is hot or cold food and whether it can be included in their pregnancy diet.
Yes, there are a few things to take into consideration before including Makhana in a pregnancy diet. This article tries to explain everything you want to know about eating Makhana during pregnancy.
What Is Makhana?
Makhanas are seeds extracted from Prickly water lily that commonly grows on ponds in the northeast of India. We can rather say makhana is wholly an organic non-cereal food.
Makhana can be consumed raw or in cooked form. Makhana is used to prepare sweets as well as side dishes for roti and rice. The flour produced from this lotus seed is widely used as an alternative for arrow Root.
Makhana is also well known for its medicinal properties. Lotus seeds have been used in Chinese medicine ever since 3000 years. It also has an important place in Ayurveda. And that’s why, most health enthusiasts love makhana. But what about the time when you are pregnant? Let’s see.
Why Makhana Is Considered Beneficial During Pregnancy?
According to a source when it comes to the level of proteins, ascorbic acid, and phenol, Makhana exceeds dry fruits such as almonds, cashew nuts, coconut, and walnuts. It is high in fiber content, low in glycemic index, and low in calories.
In addition to carbohydrates, Makhana is also rich in proteins and numerous vitamins and minerals. They are high in magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium which is very important for the healthy progression of pregnancy.
Related Reading: Top 10 Protein-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
Likewise, it is an admirable source of copper, antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Niacin, and folates. Furthermore, makhana is incredibly low in saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol. A handful of makhana will keep you full for long. Therefore, it can be a nutritious snack to curb hunger pangs.
Benefits Of Eating Makhanas During Pregnancy
Makhana is highly nutritious, economical, and also delicious. Makhana aids pregnancy in many ways. Here are the top benefits of eating makhana during pregnancy.
1. Helps to alleviate insomnia
Pregnancy takes a toll on the sleeping patterns of the mother. Many mothers experience sleeping disorders like insomnia during pregnancy. Drastic hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy and stress and even changes in food habits can pave the way for these sleep disturbances.
Related Reading: 8 Causes Of Sleep Deprivation During Pregnancy
Makhana has a mild sedative property. Many nutrients in this seed have nerve stimulating properties. This helps to reduce stress, the main factor that hinders sleep. Eating a hand full of makhana before bedtime during pregnancy helps to improve sleep patterns and combat sleep disorders and promote good night sleep.
2. Makhanas are good for digestive problems
Digestion is another matter that gets affected during pregnancy. Pregnant women are prone to digestive issues like acidity, constipation, and diarrhea. Eating makhana during pregnancy helps to regulate bowel movements thereby helps to enhance digestion.
Makhana is loaded with alkaloids. The strong astringent property of this seed reduces the pace of the stool through the digestive tract. This will help to reduce the frequency of passing stool during diarrhea. Therefore eating makhana during pregnancy helps to alleviate diarrhea.
3. UTIs can be prevented with makhanas during pregnancy
Due to more than one reason, expecting women are prone to UTI. UTIs are one of the common infections during pregnancy can bring about many complications. Makhana is a good source of Vitamin C. Eating makhana helps to increase the acidity in the urine. This helps to restrict the growth of infection-causing microbe. This helps to reduce the risk of UTI.
4. Makhanas can control blood pressure
Makhana is well known for its low sodium content. Besides, it is rich in potassium and magnesium. Potassium is a vital element that contributes to heart muscle strength. It also enhances the strength of blood vessels. Therefore, eating makhana during pregnancy helps to maintain optimum blood pressure.
5. Helps to deal with gestational diabetes
Makhana has a low glycemic index (releases glucose slowly). It is rich in fiber and significantly low in fat content. This means sugar gets released to the blood relatively very slow. Eating Makhana, therefore, helps to maintain blood sugar levels.
Makhana is very beneficial for mothers who are experiencing gestational diabetes. They can snack on lotus seeds without fearing a hike in blood sugar levels.
6. Enhance fetal development
Makhana is one of the richest sources of plant-based protein. According to the source, 100 grams of makhana holds 9.7 grams of protein. Also, it contains 16 kinds of amino acids. Protein is very important for the overall development of the fetus. It is imperative for the development of the central nervous system of the fetus. Therefore, eating makhanas during pregnancy will help to enhance fetal development.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
7. Prevents excessive weight gain.
You can’t help putting on weight during pregnancy. Actually healthy weight gain is one of the indications of a healthy pregnancy. However, hunger pangs and snacking too often can result in excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Being overweight during pregnancy can pave the way for several complications.
Eating makhana during pregnancy helps to prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Makhana has a low glycemic index. Moreover, its fat content is incredibly low and this seed is loaded with fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Hence, it is a wonderful food to snack on for soon-to-be mothers who experience constant hunger pangs and food cravings. As the expecting woman feels full after eating only a little she won’t gain those extra kilos.
8. Makhanas help prevent pregnancy fatigue
Pregnant women often feel a lack of energy and constant tiredness. Fatigue is one of those most annoying feelings during pregnancy. Makhana is loaded with vital minerals that can potentially fight fatigue and enhances energy levels. Moreover, the antioxidant property makhana fights against free radicals and brings down stress.
9. Relieves aching or bleeding gums
Gum issues are common during pregnancy. Also, pregnancy is the time women experience different kinds of pains and aches. This is mainly because of pregnancy-induced inflammations and water retention.
Makhana is an admirable source of vitamin B-complexes and zinc. These seeds also contain Kaempferol, a natural flavonoid that helps fight inflammation. Regular consumption of makhana during pregnancy, thus, helps to reduce the aches and pains, gum swelling, and bleeding.
10. Prevents dry skin and enhance bone strength
Dry skin is very common during pregnancy. The hydrating property of makhana helps to retain the moisture in the skin. This helps to prevent skin dryness. Likewise, makhana is rich in calcium.
Related Reading: 8 Common Pregnancy Skin Problems
Calcium is crucial for bone health. It is important to watch bone strength during pregnancy to reduce the odds of osteoporosis in the future. Eating makhanas during pregnancy helps to enhance bone strength.
Risks And Precautions When Eating Makhanas During Pregnancy
There are so many benefits to having makhana during pregnancy. From preventing exhaustion to aiding in fetal development and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, makhana can alleviate so many of the common complaints of pregnancy. However, it does come with its share of risks and precautions as listed below
Risks of eating makhanas during pregnancy
- Overconsumption of makhana can lead to bloating or gas. Also being rich in fiber, eating too much makhana can lead to constipation. Already the expecting women are prone to constipation and excessive consumption of makhana further increases its odds
- Makhana is not allergy-free. Some people are found to develop allergic reactions like skin rashes and breathing issues after eating these seeds. If you doubt makhana is not suiting you, never have it during pregnancy and seek your doctor’s advice
If you are not used to eating makhana, better not to start eating it during pregnancy. Pregnancy is not a time to experiment with food.
There is not much precaution needed when it comes to eating makhana during pregnancy. Raw and cooked makhana are equally beneficial. Just stay away from overconsumption. All you have to do is choose a good brand and store it in an airtight container.
So if you are wondering “is Phool makhana good during pregnancy?”, you can put your doubts out of your mind. As long as you do not have any allergies and you avoid having too much, having makhana during pregnancy can solve many of your problems!
Wondering whether these lotus flower seeds are safe during pregnancy? Well, makhana is well known for its cooling properties. Eating makhana during pregnancy is absolutely safe. However, moderation is the key to reap its benefits and avoid complications.
Lotus seeds can be eaten in both raw and cooked forms. Both are beneficial. Either way, it is important to limit its intake during pregnancy. Makhana comes in different sizes and quality. The quality of makhana depends on the manufacturing process it goes through. Always choose the best brand of makhana during pregnancy.
Like most other nutritious food, moderation is the mantra when it comes to eating makhana during pregnancy. When it comes to food, eating the right amount is important to achieve its benefits. Overconsumption of makhana can trigger side effects like bloating and constipation in some women.
Now you might be wondering how much makhana in a day is safe. Well, to reap the health benefits of makhana during pregnancy, don’t eat more than 2-3 hands full of makhana per day.