As incidents of peanut allergy rise in the west, a number of myths are floating around. One such myth says that a pregnant woman should not eat peanuts, in any of its forms. Does that mean you have to fore go your favorite peanut butter sandwich?
Well, here’s some good news! Peanuts are completely safe during pregnancy unless you have a pre-existing peanut allergy.
If you are wary about including these healthy nuts in your diet, then It’s time to dispel such myths and know the facts! Read on to know more about peanut allergy, the benefits of consuming peanuts during pregnancy and when to avoid peanuts.
Peanut Allergy – What Is It?
In the west, especially the US, peanut allergy is pretty common. It is vital that you first understand the difference between allergy and food intolerance. While peanut allergy can prove to be fatal, a simple Peanut Intolerance (1) is nothing to worry about.
Some common peanut allergy symptoms include:
- Hives, inflamed skin
- An itchy feeling around the mouth and throat
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
- Runny nose
[ Read: Diarrhea In Pregnancy ]
Apart from these common symptoms, peanut allergy can also cause Anaphylaxis, which can even prove to be life threatening. If you find yourself gasping for breath after consuming peanuts, head to the ER.
A peanut intolerance, on the other hand, causes mild indigestion and passes soon.
An allergy is the biggest reason pregnant women fear consuming peanuts. Most women think that peanuts may lead to allergies in their newborn. But that is far from the truth!
In fact, a study conducted by the Danish National Birth Cohort indicates that eating peanuts during pregnancy can lower allergy risk in children (2).
So, should you eat peanuts during pregnancy? Yes! It has a lot to offer to your pregnancy diet!
[ Read: Skin Rashes During Pregnancy ]
Benefits of Peanuts During Pregnancy:
Now that the question of allergy is in the back burner, let’s look at some benefits you can derive from consuming peanuts while pregnant.
1. Eases Constipation:
Pregnant women often complain of constipation. Peanuts are a rich source of fiber and can help ease constipation symptoms.
2. Prevents Anemia:
All nuts, including peanuts, are full of iron. Consuming them during pregnancy is a great way to prevent and treat anemia.
3. Perfect For Vegetarians:
Peanuts contain ample amounts of protein. Peanuts are perfect for vegetarians who miss out on the high intake of protein in the absence of meat and egg in their diet.
[ Read: Dizziness During Pregnancy ]
4. Keeps Bones Strong:
Both you and your unborn baby would do well with peanuts in your diet. Peanuts contain manganese, which is known to make bones stronger and healthier.
5. Can Prevent Preeclampsia:
High blood pressure can prove catastrophic during pregnancy. If you want to avoid preeclampsia, you should consume peanuts. These budget friendly nuts contain vitamin E, which works to keep your blood pressure under control.
6. Helps Manage Gestational Diabetes:
A healthy dose of peanuts, including peanut butter can form part of a balanced gestation diabetes diet (3).
7. Weight Gain:
When you are pregnant, you are required to gain weight. If you are having difficulty putting on weight, try munching on peanuts. These nuts are calorie-dense and can help you gain weight quickly.
[ Read: Muskmelon During Pregnancy ]
When To Avoid Peanuts:
If you are allergic to nuts, now won’t be a good time to start experimenting with peanuts! Even if you show intolerance towards peanuts and products containing peanuts, stay off them. Other reasons why you may think twice before consuming peanuts are:
- If you are trying to manage your pregnancy weight, too many peanuts won’t be a good idea.
- If you are planning to munch on salted or fried peanuts don’t. Stick to unsalted peanuts if you want to avoid unhealthy weight gain and high blood pressure.
- Too many peanuts in your diet may inhibit the absorption of calcium and manganese by your body (4). This is due to the presence of phytate in peanuts. Without proper calcium absorption, you and your baby can suffer from weak bones. You need healthy bones to sustain the pregnancy as well as give birth.
[ Read: Soybeans During Pregnancy ]
Peanuts are affordable, tasty, and nutritious. There is no reason you should banish these healthy nuts from your pregnancy diet. The side effects mentioned here will only affect you if you forego a balanced diet and make peanuts your main course! So, plan your meals and makes peanuts a part of them. The little peanuts have drawn a lot of flak. It’s time they found their rightful place in a pregnancy diet!
Do you have a peanut allergy during pregnancy? What symptoms have you experienced? Tell us in the comments section below.
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