When you are pregnant, your diet is something you must give the utmost attention to. Eating the right food items can solve many of your problems, and eating the wrong food can cause just as many. Therefore, if you are wondering whether it is safe to have soy milk during pregnancy, you are on the right track.
Drinking milk during pregnancy can have several benefits (as long as you make sure it’s pasteurized, of course). However, what about soy milk, specifically? Is it safe? Can you have raw soy milk during pregnancy? Is it better to drink soy milk or cow’s milk during pregnancy? What are the benefits and risks? Are there any precautions you must take? Read to find out.
What Is Soy Milk?
As an alternative to milk, soy milk is a plant-based non-dairy beverage. Soy products possess all nine essential amino acids and are high in protein. The process of producing soy milk involves grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out particulates.
Can Pregnant Women Have Soy Milk?
Many people turn to soy milk for a variety of reasons. They may be lactose intolerant; they could be sensitive to other milk alternatives. Don’t worry as it is not only safe to have soy milk during pregnancy, but also incredibly beneficial. Women who have soy milk during pregnancy are a lot less likely to experience complications than women who don’t. For this reason, many people choose to drink soy milk instead of regular milk during pregnancy.
It also contains many nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, and several vitamins. It does not contain much cholesterol or fat. Soy milk helps in the proper functioning of organs, too. You can definitely have soy milk during pregnancy first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester. Just make sure you have it in moderate, safe quantities.
Related Reading: Almond Milk During Pregnancy – Benefits, Risks, And Precautions
5 Amazing Benefits Of Soy Milk For Pregnant Women
A pregnant woman’s diet plan must include lots of protein and fiber. Soy milk is a good source of both. Soy milk contains large amounts of folic acid, as well as vitamins B1, A, and E. It is also a good source of vegetable fats and carbohydrates.
Due to its rich nutritional value, there are many benefits to having soy milk. Here are six of the most amazing and important benefits of having soy milk during pregnancy.
1. Boost your energy
Pregnant women can boost their energy levels by drinking soy milk. It takes a lot of energy to bring a baby into this world, and many pregnant women complain of fatigue and being drained of energy. Soy milk offers riboflavin, carbohydrates, and vegetable fats, which restore energy levels during pregnancy and also enhance fetal growth.
2. Soy milk helps to reduce mood swings
During pregnancy, you are likely to experience mood swings due to fluctuating hormone levels. Pregnant women who drink soy milk will find their mood swings less pronounced. It is due to its high content of vitamin B complex and magnesium. Soy milk is high in magnesium, which helps release serotonin in the body, which is a natural antidepressant.
Related Reading: 15 Tried And Tested Ways To Handle Emotions During Pregnancy
3. Enhance bone strength
Pregnant women should consume calcium rich foods according to medical experts. For the development of its bones and muscles, the unborn baby also needs lots of calcium. Due to its high calcium content, soy milk is the perfect pregnancy drink. In addition, it helps reduce osteoporosis risks down the road.
4. Boost hair growth
During pregnancy or after giving birth, women often experience acute hair loss. Soy milk promotes healthy hair growth, resulting in shiny and healthy hair that is manageable. There are a few other home remedies to treat hair fall after delivery.
5. Soy milk reduces blood pressure
Studies prove that soy milk is helpful in lowering blood pressure in women and men with mild to moderate hypertension. Since soy milk lowers blood pressure, especially diastolic blood pressure, if you’re concerned about your blood pressure, you can have it during pregnancy.
Side Effects Of Drinking Soy Milk In Pregnancy
Even though drinking soy milk during pregnancy is extremely beneficial, there are also some potential side effects that you must keep in mind. Here are some of the most serious possible side effects.
1. Soy milk can trigger an allergy
Soy milk has been known to cause allergic reactions in pregnant mothers. Following soy milk consumption, some women experience breathing difficulties, rashes, swelling, and vomiting. Because of this, even if you don’t have an allergy to soy milk, a small amount of soy milk during pregnancy is always safer.
2. Soy milk may cause complications
Soy milk contains isoflavones, which can sometimes mimic or act like the female hormone, estrogen1. Thus, consuming too much soy milk during pregnancy might result in pregnancy complications.
Related Reading: 9 Common Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of
3. Soy milk is not good for expecting mothers with a thyroid issue
Those with an underactive thyroid should limit their intake of soy milk. It has been demonstrated that soy foods interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication by the body2.
While the evidence is still inconclusive, experts recommend waiting at least four hours before taking thyroid medication after consuming soy products. Thyroid issues during pregnancy can adversely affect the healthy progression of pregnancy. It is probably best to avoid soy milk during pregnancy if you already have thyroid problems or are prone to them.
Soy milk consumption in rare cases also resulted in anaphylaxis. However, this does not occur very often. As long as you only drink soy milk during pregnancy in moderation, you probably won’t have to worry about this.
A Few Tips To Consider Before Purchasing Soy Milk
In order to understand the precautions, you must take while having soy milk during pregnancy, it is necessary to first understand what exactly soy milk is and how it is made.
Simply put, soy milk is made up of ground-up soy and water. However, many brands that produce this drink often add other ingredients at their own discretion, like thickeners. Some brands also produce fortified soy milk, which contains more vitamins and minerals.
Some things you must keep in mind when having soy milk during pregnancy are:
- Avoid soy milk that contains a lot of added sugar – It increases the number of calories in it and can cause an increase in your blood sugar levels
- Limit consumption of soy milk that contains emulsifiers and gums – Despite usually being safe in moderate amounts, it can sometimes cause gut problems
- Make sure the soy milk you buy is pasteurized – Drinking unpasteurized milk can cause complications
- Try to buy fortified soy milk – It can provide you with more nutrients and is more beneficial, especially during pregnancy
- Ensure the soy milk is organic and non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)
- Ensure the soy milk contains fewer preservatives – Many preservatives are unsafe for pregnant people when consumed in large amounts
Related Reading: Soy Sauce During Pregnancy- Safety And Potential Risks
If you do not have access to brands that fulfill these criteria, or if this is difficult for you, an excellent way to ensure your soy milk is healthy is to just make it yourself.
How To Prepare Soy Milk At Home?
When you are pregnant, it can be very difficult to scour through dozens of brands, trying to find one that is good enough. Making your own soy milk is a lot more convenient, safe, and healthy.
This is how you can make your own soy milk.
- The soybeans should be soaked in water overnight
- The soybeans should be drained and the outer skin should be removed
- Next, blend the soybeans with 3 cups or 750 ml of water until they are almost smooth
- Using a strainer, strain the blended mixture
- Add 1 cup or 250 ml of water to it and pour it into a hard-bottomed saucepan
- Stir while bringing to a boil, then skim foam
- On a medium flame, cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Let the soy milk cool
Bon Appetit! You should have gotten about 2 cups of delicious soy milk! If you so wish, you can add some natural sweetener like honey, sugar, or syrup. Just don’t overdo it! Vanilla extract and dates are also delicious additions.
- To make soy milk, try using yellow soybeans
- Depending on how thick your milk should be, add more or reduce water
- It can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days in a sealed container
- There are also some variations of soy milk that you can try, like soy saffron milk during pregnancy. These variations can provide the benefits of both soy milk, and the additional ingredient(s) used
Related Reading: Drinking Saffron Milk During Pregnancy
Can Pregnant Women Drink Unpasteurized Raw Soy Milk?
It’s not a good idea to drink raw soy milk during pregnancy. It should be cooked first. Because soy is a legume, it should not be eaten uncooked or raw. Some of the components of raw soy can cause health problems. The same is true for soy milk. You should also make sure that the soy milk you buy is pasteurized.
Soy milk is an incredibly nutritious and healthy beverage that is a very good alternative to other types of milk. It contains several vitamins, calcium, protein, iron, and more. These are essential for the proper functioning of your body and the proper development of your infant. It is also lactose-free and soy-free.
Along with having so many benefits, there are also some side effects you must keep in mind. Most of these possible side-effects can be combated by taking a few precautions.
As long as you do this, and practice moderation, having soy milk during pregnancy can be very beneficial for both you and the fetus.
It is generally safe to consume soy milk during pregnancy, although there are exceptions, such as when you are allergic to it.
However, it is important to practice moderation in order to avoid possible side effects. Around one cup per day, more or less, can provide you with a large portion of your daily nutritional requirements.
Staeta, Sofit, and Soy Milky are popular soy milk brands available in India. Sweetened, flavored, and unsweetened versions are available.
Since different brands are available in different places, it is difficult to pinpoint a particular brand of soy milk as the “best”. Any brand that fulfills the criteria mentioned above is a good fit for you.
Make sure to follow the correct precautions when buying soy milk, and make sure you always read the nutrition label and ingredient list. Doing your research on the food you eat is a big part of pregnancy.
As long as you practice moderation and do not have any specific issues with soy (like allergies), it is perfectly safe to have soy milk during pregnancy. It does not pose a threat to your fetus.