If you are pregnant and have those constant cravings to zero down a chocolate at the drop of a hat, hold it right there! Chocolates are great to satiate those pangs of happiness, but you have to make some careful considerations with respect to inclusion of chocolate in your diet during pregnancy.
There are no confirmed reports that state chocolates to be harmful during pregnancy. However, there are pros and cons to the same and a lot depends on ‘how much you eat’ and not ‘when you do it’.
How Much Chocolate To Be Consumed During Pregnancy?
Chocolate is a delightful indulgence for anybody, and the list includes chocoholic pregnant women too! But moderation is key here. As per the proven studies, the intake limit of chocolates is same as that of coffee.
- You should not take more than 200 mg of caffeine every day.
- Choose the chocolates as per the caffeine content advised.
As long as you stick to the 200 mg restriction every day, you are good to go on a choco binge!
4 Benefits Of Eating Chocolates During Pregnancy:
Chocolates elevate the neurotransmitters in brain giving out the signals of well being. When consumed in moderate limits, chocolates also have good effects on you while pregnant. Some more benefits are:
1. Prevention Of Pre-Eclampsia:
Pre-eclampsia is one of the main causes of pre-mature births and is said to trigger high blood pressure in pregnant women.
- As per the latest studies from the Annals of Epidemiology, theobromine content in cocoa can help prevent pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
- Theobromine is present largely in dark chocolates, so it is advisable to consume more of dark chocolate.
[ Read: Fiber During Pregnancy ]
2. Regulation Of Blood Pressure:
Theobromine content present in cocoa also regulates the blood pressure in pregnant women.
- Theobromine dilates the blood vessels, thereby keeping them balanced.
- This helps avoid risky aspects like convulsions and pregnancy related complications.
3. Rich In Antioxidants:
Chocolates are also rich in flavonoids which are considered to have good amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
[ Read: Honey During Pregnancy ]
4. Good Source Of Iron And Magnesium:
Chocolates are good sources of iron and magnesium, two important nutrients required during pregnancy. While iron is important during pregnancy to sustain the blood count, magnesium helps with the fatty acid metabolism.
2 Risks Of Eating Chocolate During Pregnancy:
You may love to think that pregnancy is a great excuse to indulge in chocolate, but you have to hold your urges from going overboard. Despite all your hopes and aspirations here, chocolates do not count under the ‘healthy’ section of foods. Chocolates have two major side effects:
1. Weight Gain:
Chocolates are made of great amounts of sugar and fat. The amount of calories taken via having chocolates only adds up to your weight.
- You will put on a significant weight gain with frequent intake of chocolates. This weight is not a healthy gain and does not benefit your growing baby in any which way.
- Instead, you will end up putting on that extra fat that will be difficult to shake off post the childbirth.
Chocolates also contain Caffeine, the same factor that hinders your intake of coffee during pregnancy.
- The doses of caffeine may vary from one chocolate to another, and you may want to make sure that you choose your picks wisely.
- You will also have to cut down on that 1 cup of coffee allowed in case you are consuming chocolates constantly.
[ Read: Green Tea During Pregnancy ]
Precautions While Consuming Chocolates During Pregnancy:
You can be smart about your chocolate intake by following few precautions on an everyday basis. These measures will not only help you indulge a bit into your cravings, but also limit the excess intake.
- Choose your chocolates wisely. Pick the ones that are dark. Dark chocolates may not be as good as the milk chocolates, but they help as they have fewer calories.
- Keep tab on the amount of chocolates you eat every day. This way, you can put a stop when you think you are going overboard.
- Do NOT eat a whole box of chocolates at one go. This is an unhealthy measure that can build up extra dose of caffeine in your body.
- Women with gestational diabetes should completely avoid eating chocolate in pregnancy as this can be harmful.
[ Read: Food Cravings During Pregnancy ]
It is helpful to consult and discuss with your doctor regarding the inclusion of chocolate in your everyday diet. If you have any other pre existing medical condition, allergies or pregnancy related complications that restrict the intake of cocoa, your doctor will be competent to advise you accordingly.
Unless otherwise, go ahead and take a bite of that delicious chocolate as long as you stick to the measures listed above. Yummy!
Do share your choco-stories during pregnancy with other expectant mommies in here.
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