Pregnancy is well-known for its cravings. But, knowing what to eat and not to eat is something you can do as pregnancy changes all your eating habits. Are you craving peanut butter during pregnancy and doubting whether is it safe to eat peanut butter during pregnancy? Well, you are on the right page.
Are you wondering if peanut butter falls into healthy pregnancy foods? Here comes the happy news. Yes, peanut butter during pregnancy is not only safe but it comes with added health benefits as well. If you are not allergic to peanuts, you can enjoy peanut butter during pregnancy as you wish.
What Is Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is a spread made from roasted and ground peanuts. Salt, sweetener, and emulsifier are added to bring the right texture to peanut butter. Peanut butter is rich in vitamins, nutrients, proteins, and dietary minerals.
Is Peanut Butter During Pregnancy Safe to Eat?
Peanut butter is rich in folate and prevents neural tube defects. So, if you are craving peanut butter during pregnancy, you can enjoy having it. Peanut butter is rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acid. Peanut butter is very nutritious and is a powerhouse of antioxidants making it a pregnancy superfood.
However, like all other nutritious food, moderation is the key. Excessive intake of peanut butter can trigger annoying side effects.
Nutritional Profile Of Peanut Butter
Here is peanut butter’s nutritional profile, answering your dilemma of “can you eat peanut butter during pregnancy?” According to the source,
- Peanut butter consists of mono and polyunsaturated fats
- Peanut butter is extremely rich in Vitamin E and Niacin
- It contains a significant amount of iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper, selenium, and manganese
- It contains a decent amount of Vitamin B6
- Peanut is a good source of folate
- If you are looking for plant-based protein, 22-30% of protein is available from peanut butter
- Peanut butter is rich in plant compounds like resveratrol, antioxidants, phytic acid, isoflavones, p-Coumaric acid
Taking Peanut butter during pregnancy improves biotin, copper, folate, niacin levels. So, include a small quantity of peanut butter into your diet for a healthy pregnancy.
8 Benefits Of Eating Peanut Butter During Pregnancy
If you are still thinking of relishing peanut butter, here are the benefits of peanut butter during pregnancy.
1. Lowers risk of blood pressure
Even though peanut butter is rich in high fats. The monosaturated fats of peanut butter are heart-friendly and healthy. Moreover, it is rich in potassium and other minerals that strengthen the blood vessels and thereby enhance blood circulation. This reduces the risk of blood pressure during pregnancy.
2. Improves immunity of mothers
Peanut butter is the power source of vitamins, iron, minerals, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. All these help in boosting the immune system. Due to changes in hormones, Pregnant women are prone to illness. But peanut butter strengthens their immune system and helps them stay energetic.
3. Brings ease to constipation
With increased progesterone hormone levels, food moves down the intestines slowly during pregnancy. This increases the risk of constipation. Peanut butter is rich in fiber and helps prevent constipation.
4. Increases protein intake
Peanut butter is rich in natural plant-based protein. Try including organic peanut butter every day to boost your daily protein intake. Protein is very important for fetal growth and development.
Related Reading: Top 10 Protein Rich Foods For Pregnancy
5. Helps in bone-building
Peanut butter is rich in calcium and iron, which helps pregnant women. During pregnancy, the calcium intake should be increased. If a pregnant woman fails to take adequate calcium, her bone health will be compromised.
Daily intake of peanut butter during pregnancy, thus, not only helps to build strong bones in the baby. It also prevents the risk of bone issues like osteoporosis in the mother.
6. Helps in fetus development
It is needless to stress the importance of folic acid during pregnancy. Folate and folic acid help in the development of the fetus. Peanut butter helps with almost 60% of the folate requirement during pregnancy.
Taking peanut butter every day avoids congenital disabilities and aids in healthy brain and fetus development. One tablespoon of peanut butter has 38 mcg of folic acid.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
7. Boosts heart health
Peanut butter is rich in unsaturated fats, which maintains heart health. Peanut butter contains p-coumaric acid that protects heart cells and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. If you are looking for fat-friendly food, include peanut butter in your daily diet to improve coronary heart function.
8. Helps to combat fatigue
A pregnant woman more often experiences bouts of fatigue. Peanut butter is rich in protein and loaded with vital minerals and vitamins. Therefore, eating peanut butter during pregnancy helps to boost the energy level of the expecting mother.
Risks Of Eating Peanut Butter During Pregnancy
The following are some of the risk factors of eating peanut butter during pregnancy.
- According to the source, peanuts are the most common food allergens in the world. People who are intolerant to peanuts suffer from loss of appetite and liver problems like jaundice
- If you are allergic to peanut butter, the common health concerns include itchy skin, rashes, nausea, blocked nose
- When peanuts are contaminated with mold, they could bring about aflatoxin poisoning. It is always preferred to purchase peanut butter from the trusted brands or organic brands
- It is found that phytic acid in peanut butter impairs nutrient absorption. This could bring about many complications during pregnancy
Besides all these concerns, peanuts and peanut butter are healthy options that provide necessary proteins and nutritional value to the body. As long as you are not troubled with itchy skin, rashes, nausea, nasal concerns, ensure to enjoy peanut butter in controlled portions.
Precautions While Eating Peanut Butter During Pregnancy
Despite its plethora of health benefits, it is important to take some precautions while eating peanut butter during pregnancy.
Check for the date of manufacturing
Stale peanuts cause food poisoning. So always check for the date of manufacturing before you buy. Otherwise, make the peanut butter at home and enjoy.
Check for stomach inflammation
After eating peanut butter for the first-time during pregnancy, if you notice gastritis or stomach irritation. Then it is always safe to avoid having peanut butter.
Check for weight gain
Check your weight regularly while you are pregnant. Avoid eating foods rich in fats as they trigger weight gain. If you are obese, it is always best to avoid peanut butter. Maintaining an ideal weight is always a must for a healthy baby.
Stir it well
It is common for the oil to accumulate at the top of the peanut butter. So, before having peanut butter, stir it well and enjoy it to your heart.
Who does not eat peanut butter during pregnancy?
- For those who are allergic to nuts, peanut butter is not a great option
- For the obese expecting mother or mothers have a tendency to put on weights, regular consumption of peanut butter is a big no
- Women who experience peanut intolerance should refrain from having it during pregnancy
- Women experiencing problem with digestion is better to avoid peanut butter during pregnancy
Related Reading: 9 Types Of Cheeses To Avoid During Pregnancy
Best ways to enjoy peanut butter
The best peanut butter during pregnancy is always the organic one. Try to make homemade peanut butter while you are relishing it often.
Here are a few exciting ways to enjoy peanut butter when hungry and in no mood to cook.
- The best way to savor peanut butter is to enjoy it with your fruits and vegetables
- Apples and peanut butter during pregnancy come to rescue hunger in those times. As long as you are not allergic to peanuts, enjoy peanut butter every day
- Relish your peanut butter with toast or sandwich, or apples as long as you enjoy the taste
According to studies, pregnancy cravings are common in 50-90% of women. So, you are not alone. But is it important to evaluate if the cravings are healthy or unhealthy for you and your unborn baby? There is no hard rule that you should eat peanut butter while you are pregnant. Try to figure out alternatives if you are allergic to peanut butter.
The research states that taking peanut butter during pregnancy reduces the chances of nut allergies in babies. It also promotes immune tolerance in children.
So, start enjoying peanut butter during pregnancy.
All you need to make healthy peanut butter are:
2 cups of best quality dry roasted peanuts
Honey or sweetener of your choice
Pulse the dry roasted peanuts until they form a smooth, creamy butter consistency using a food processor. Add in honey/sugar and salt as per your choice. Store it in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Enjoy a spoonful of it every day to get the best health benefits.
Peanut butter is high in nutrition as well as high in calories. Experts suggest taking 16- 32 grams of peanut butter every day.
As pregnant women need to maintain an ideal weight, it is always suggested to avoid added sugars and relish 1-2 tablespoons per day.