February 17, 2016 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Chia Seeds During Pregnancy: Health-Boosting Benefits and Uses
Expecting mothers should always take the food they eat seriously since not only do they feed themselves but their unborn children too. It’s essential to make sure that your food is full of the essential nutrients to be able to give birth to a healthy baby. Therefore, eating chia seeds during pregnancy is a great idea.
These seeds have a long history of usage. Ancient Aztecs, Maya tribes, and American Indians always included them into their diets due to their nutritious and energy-boosting properties. Although these seeds were neglected by our previous generations, these super seeds have started to regain their former popularity for the last few decades. Nowadays many doctors advise pregnant women to consume chia seeds on a regular basis.
Properties of Chia Seeds
Women should definitely eat chia seeds during pregnancy since they have a unique quality that very few foods can boast of – they contain all the nutrients that are essential for moms-to-be. Moreover, they’re very calorie-wise and contain lots of antioxidants that don’t lose their properties even after four years of storing the seeds.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds for Pregnant Women
Expecting mothers can take advantage of eating these mini nutrient giants in a number of ways. Here’s a list of health-boosting benefits to keep in mind if you’re still wondering whether chia seeds during pregnancy are what you really need:
- More energy.
Future mothers often find themselves exhausted especially during baby growth spurts in the womb. By having chia seeds, expecting mothers experience the increase in the energy level, which improves the moods and general well-being of both a mother and a baby.
- Healthy baby’s brain.
Omega-3 fatty acids present a great building material for the brain and retina of a baby. Therefore, it’s critical to replenish your stores of omegas to support the development of these vital fetal body parts. Although these fatty acids can be received by eating fish, it should be noted that some fish contains mercury, which makes it not a preferable choice of the future mother. Thus, it’s eating chia seeds during pregnancy can help you get enough of them without putting your health at risk.
- Strong skeleton.
It’s really important for the teeth and bones of an unborn baby that an expecting mother consumes enough calcium-rich products, especially during the last months of pregnancy. Dairy products are traditionally considered to be an option. However, chia seeds are a better alternative since they’re 5 times richer in calcium than milk. So, it’s advisable to eat chia seeds for pregnant women.
- Regular stool.
Pregnant women often suffer from constipation. This problem can be solved by means of eating more fiber. Chia seeds are a great source of insoluble fiber (that helps the food move down the digestive tract) while being low in fat and calorie, which makes eating chia seeds during pregnancy a great solution for constipation at different trimesters.
- Prevention of anemia.
Anemia (or a low level of iron) is common in pregnant women, especially in the last trimester since your body requires more iron to create more hemoglobin as the volume of blood increases during pregnancy. Therefore, the intake of iron-rich foods such as chia seeds should be doubled. Iron is also responsible for oxygen transportation through your bloodstream to the baby.
- Blood sugar control.
Chia seeds have a perfect proportion of soluble and insoluble fibers, which slows down the process of sugar release from the food. Moreover, when in the digestive system, chia seeds coat it with the gel-like substance that makes sugar absorption slower. So, if you’re willing to keep your blood sugar in leash to protect your baby from potential congenital disorders caused by sugar surges, chia seeds during pregnancy are a great way to achieve it.
Using Chia Seeds When You’re Pregnant: Healthy Recipes
A bland taste of chia seeds is a real advantage of this superfood as these seeds can easily be added into any foods you like. Here are a few examples of how to incorporate them into your daily meal plans:
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Making this really energy-boosting drink is as easy as shelling peas. Just take a glass of drinking water and squeeze a big lemon in it (you may add as much sugar as you want). Then just bring the seeds in and stir them. After ten minutes the drink is ready. You can put some lemon in as a decoration.
Since eating chia seeds during pregnancy is advisable, put them in the salads that are fast-to-make and don’t require processing the vegetables, which makes the dish even more nutrient-dense. You can make a great salad by mixing a little of spinach along with various greens, some sliced radish, slices of ½ apple and avocado, and a quarter of a cup of cucumber. Mix these ingredients and crown them with chia seeds.
Raspberry Chia Pudding
If you’re craving for pudding, this is just what you need. Blend a cup of coconut milk with a half of a cup of raspberries. Pour it into a jar. Then just add a quarter of a cup of chia seeds into the mixture you’ve received and shake it. Put the pudding-to-be in the fridge for at least 3 hours or more to have a gel-like mass.
Oatmeal with Chia
This recipe is very handy. Just put 2/3 of oats and a chopped apple into the boiling water. When the apples have become soft, pour in some honey and sprinkle your oatmeal with a bit of cinnamon and ½ oz chia seeds. You can add some milk (like soy, coconut, or rice) if you want.
Chia Protein Shake
If you’re a fan of peanut butter and bananas, you can choose them to be the ingredients for this great treat along with chia seeds (since chia seeds during pregnancy are very useful and can be mixed with any ingredients). This is how to make one: Take a half of a cup of sugar-free almond milk, a ripe banana, 2 tbls peanut butter, and fat-free yogurt and blend them until smooth. Mix this mass with the processed ice. After that, sprinkle it with ¼ cup almonds and 1 tsp chia seeds. If you feel like sweetening it, try adding some chocolate chips. Blend this mixture until the desired consistency. Pour the mass into a glass and top it with berry decorations.
Chocolate Banana Granola with Chia Seeds
First of all, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, spray the baking sheet with the cooking spray. After that, mix 4 cups of oats and a cup of almond (previously chopped), 2 tsp chia seeds and cinnamon in a bowl.
The next step is to put the mashed banana with honey and Nutella, 2 tsp vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon salt into a microwave. In a minute stir the received mixture. After that combine dry and wet ingredients and spread the mass on the cooking sheet. 15 minutes later you should stir it and leave in the oven for 15 more minutes. At last, take it from the oven and stir in chocolate chips while hot. You can keep the remaining part in the tightly closed container.