Is It Good to Have Chia Seeds During Pregnancy?

One of the challenges of pregnancy is the higher demand on you, the expectant mother to provide the proper nutrition for the growing baby. Improper nutrition can deplete your body of much needed nutrients and at the same time impair the baby’s development.

Eating for Two

When you’re pregnant, “eating for two” is not simply eating more but eating only the right kind of food – highly-nutritious food to adequately provide the needed nutrients for you and the baby. It means a review of your diet to make sure that for almost the same amount of food you had before pregnancy, you will be getting morecalories, calcium, iron, proteins, folic acid, omega-3 and other needed nutrients.

Chia seeds

Chia Seeds PregnancyChia seeds, sprout or oil is high in the important nutrients needed to support a healthy pregnancy. The small seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant are only recently recognized as a superfood but it has beena staple food from the time of the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Pregnant women may consider including chia seeds in their diet for the following reasons:

Rich in nutrients for healthy pregnancy

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that help mothers provide the growing baby with proper nutrition. Calcium and iron are needed for the development of the baby’s skeletal system and red blood cells respectively.  Antioxidants strengthen the mother and baby’s immune system.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a baby’s brain development. They also protect the baby from getting asthma, allergies and its pre mature birth. Omega -3 from chia is the best alternative to Omega -3 from fish which could be contaminated with mercury.

Folic acid protects the baby from having cleft lip or palate and other serious birth defects.

Stabilizes sugar levels and absorption

High blood sugar or gestational diabetes may cause high birth weight, preeclampsia and a higher chance of C-section deliveries.

Prevents Constipation

The hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy may cause reduced intestinal movement among pregnant women and increase the chances of constipation.  Chia is rich in fiber that helps ease bowel movement.

Sustains Energy

Pregnant women need energy not only to support her own and the baby’s  the increasing weight  but especially during normal delivery.  Chia sustains a mother’s energy by slowing down sugar digestion.

 Precautions/ warnings

Chia Seeds PregnancyPregnancy is a delicate condition.  Each pregnancy can also be unique. For example, it can be easy for one woman and so difficult for another.  Even individual women can experience an easy first pregnancy and a difficult third pregnancy.

So, even with all these benefits nutrition wise, it’s important to be aware that chia can cause the following:

  • Lower blood pressure. So, if you have already marginally low blood pressure, avoid chia.
  • Gas and bloating cause by chia’s high fiber content.
  • Increases triglyceride levels

If your triglyceride level is on the higher end, avoid chia or take only the salba variety which does not increase triglyceride levels significantly.

Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before adding chia to their daily diet.

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