As soon as you fall pregnant, there’s a long list of foods that you should cut down on or avoid completely. Rather than focusing on foods that you can’t have, it’s refreshing to focus on the foods that you can. Seeds are one group of foods that can be highly beneficial to women during pregnancy, helping them to snack in a healthy way, curb hunger cravings, and nourish their bodies while they grow their babies. Here are just six powerful seeds to incorporate into your diet.
Pumpkin seeds are a great grab and go snack that provides ample protein and fiber to help pregnant women feel full for longer. For an extra fiber boost, choose whole pumpkin seeds that have been roasted in their husks, and if you fancy some extra flavor, why not try saffron and lime or a lime and pepper seasoning?
Chia seeds are the seeds of a Mexican flowering plant called Salvias hispanica. They may be small, but they sure are mighty and are jam-packed with heart-healthy omega fatty acids, protein, and fiber. If pregnancy is wreaking havoc on your digestive system and you are struggling to go to the bathroom, then eating a 25g portion of chia seeds can boost your daily fiber intake by 9g, helping you to stay regular.
Sunflower seeds are one of the best seeds to eat during pregnancy because they are a great source of folic acid. Just a ¼ cup of shelled sunflower seeds contains 84 micrograms of folic acid, which can dramatically help pregnant women to reach their target of 600 micrograms a day.
These lesser-know seeds have been a favorite amongst super-food lovers for some time but are slowly becoming more mainstream. Loaded with nutrients including calcium, magnesium, omega fatty acids, iron, and protein, eating a serving of hemp hearts is like taking a natural multivitamin! Try adding some to your smoothies if you don’t like the taste of them on their own.
Depending on where you look, you may find sesame seeds labeled as safe or unsafe for women during pregnancy. This is because sesame seeds are classed as a ‘heat generating’ food in Indian medicine. In fact, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that sesame seeds are harmful during pregnancy; instead, they are actually a great source of copper and manganese and an excellent source of calcium. If you’re still worried about eating sesame seeds during pregnancy, then it’s best to consult your doctor.
We know what you’re thinking - ‘why are walnuts being listed in a post about seeds?’ but the truth is, walnuts are technically a seed! Nuts or seeds, all that really matters is that walnuts are a great food for women to snack on during pregnancy, providing a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for the development of your baby's brain, and Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can help to reduce inflammation.
These are just six powerful seeds that can help women consume the nutrients they need to grow a healthy baby.