Are Tiger Nuts Good for a Pregnant Woman?
58% of global maternal mortality is diet-related, impacting around 62 million pregnant women annually. To promote a healthy pregnancy, studies highlight the importance of cautious food choices, including nutrient-rich options like tiger nuts.
Yes, tiger nuts are beneficial during pregnancy. Packed with essential nutrients, they serve as a natural energy drink, reduce constipation, offer an alternative for lactose-intolerant mothers, and provide vital vitamins and minerals crucial for maternal and fetal health. However, moderation and consultation with a healthcare professional are advisable due to potential side effects.
In this article, we answer the much-asked question: Are tiger nuts good for a pregnant woman?
Tiger nuts are nutritious nuts that have been eaten for centuries around the world but are native to Egypt (Africa).
Tiger nuts are not nuts per se. They grow underground like tubers such as sweet potatoes, yam, etc. They are, however, much smaller in size.
They grow mainly in the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. The main areas of cultivation include: Spain, Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea, and Cameroon
They get their name from the tiger-looking stripes on the tubers’ exterior.
Obtained from a plant called “Yellow Nutsedge” (Cyperus esculentus), these marble-sized tubers are chewy, and taste a little like almond and coconut.
Tiger nut tubers are also processed into milk. These nuts are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, studies show that 100 grams of Tiger nuts provide:
Pregnancy is a delicate period in a woman’s life in which the expectant mother must take into special consideration, her nutrition and diet, to take care of the health and growth of herself and the baby.
Below are the reasons tiger nuts are good for a pregnant woman:
One common symptom of pregnancy is fatigue or tiredness, and the fact that tiger nut milk lacks caffeine, gas, or other stimulating substances, results in a natural energy drink, healthy and refreshing for the expecting mother.
Pregnant women commonly face issues like constipation and digestive discomfort, but adding tiger nuts to your diet can help ease these concerns.
Regular consumption of tiger nuts also aids in the removal of harmful toxins responsible for constipation. When experiencing irritable bowel movements, including tiger nuts in your diet can facilitate smoother digestion.
With approximately 10 grams of fiber per 30 grams, including the outer skin, and 3 grams of dietary fiber without the skin, tiger nuts provide substantial fiber content. This is particularly beneficial during pregnancy as it helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of constipation.
For expectant mothers facing lactose intolerance, tiger nut milk is a valuable substitute in the pregnancy diet.
Tiger nut milk is a rich source of calcium, which supports strong bone development, strong tissue, and optimal growth of the baby in the womb. Its lactose-free nature makes it a great option for pregnant women who cannot consume cow’s milk, ensuring they receive enough nutrients vital for both maternal health and fetal development.
Another common symptom of pregnancy is nausea, aches, and muscle cramps. As a pregnant woman, adding magnesium to your diet can help ease all these symptoms and give you a great pregnancy experience.
Tiger nuts contain significant nutritional benefits with 15% of the daily value of vitamin E and 8% of the daily value of vitamin C per ounce.
Vitamin E, found in tiger nuts, plays an important role in the formation of white blood cells, helps maintain the integrity of fats, and serves as a preventative measure against blood clots, particularly important during pregnancy.
Furthermore, the vitamin C content in tiger nuts contributes to collagen formation, an essential component for the health of cartilage, tendons, bones, and skin. Including nutrient-packed tiger nuts in your diet as a pregnant woman can offer valuable support for immune function, cardiovascular health, and overall well-being.
Did you know that Diabetes can cause problems during pregnancy for women and their developing babies?
Poor control of diabetes during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects and other problems for the baby. It can also cause serious complications for the expecting mother.
Also, the high fiber content in tiger nuts can help reduce the blood sugar level which in turn decreases the risk of diabetes.
Tiger nuts can help pregnant women better manage their allergies by acting as a replacement for food items that contain common allergens. For example, tiger nut flour is a gluten-free alternative to flour containing wheat. Tiger nut milk is an alternative to cow’s milk, which contains lactose.
We have established the fact that Tiger nuts are good for a pregnant woman, but moderation is always key when it comes to nutrition.
The following are the minor side effects of eating raw tiger nuts:
Pregnant women with digestive issues such as IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) or sensitivities to high-fiber foods might experience some gas, bloating, cramping, or diarrhea if they eat too many tiger nuts.
Tiger nuts contain anti-nutrients such as phytates, tannins, and oxalates, which can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients in the body. For example, phytates can bind to minerals such as iron and zinc, making them less available to the body. While the amounts of anti-nutrients in tiger nuts are not typically high enough to cause significant problems, it is important to be aware of their presence.
Before adding tiger nuts to your diet, it’s important to be aware of potential interactions with medications.
If you are on any medication, it is very crucial that you Talk to a Certified Doctor or pharmacist to ensure compatibility with the prescription or over-the-counter medication. Tiger nuts, due to their high fiber content, could hinder the absorption of certain medications in the intestines, affecting their efficacy, especially those requiring an empty stomach.
Moreover, nutrients like potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium in tiger nuts may interact with medications for blood pressure, heart conditions, or diabetes if consumed excessively. To minimize risks, follow your doctor’s prescriptions and consume tiger nuts and similar foods in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Improper handling and storage of tiger nuts may lead to contamination with toxic weeds, molds, and bacteria, especially in warm, humid climates where they are often grown.
“Aflatoxin”, a carcinogenic compound produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, can result in liver damage and immune system suppression. Other bacteria like “Salmonella” and “E. coli” have also been found in tiger nuts.
To minimize risks,
While tiger nuts can be a nutritious snack, caution is essential to prevent contamination-related health risks.
Tiger nuts contain oxalates, which are natural compounds found in various plant-based foods that can contribute to the formation of kidney stones in susceptible individuals.
A pregnant woman with a history of kidney stones or challenges related to calcium oxalate should exercise caution when adding tiger nuts into their diet.
Such individuals should Consult with a Licensed Doctor before consuming tiger nuts to check for potential risks and make informed dietary choices.
Pregnancy can induce cravings for certain foods. The food cravings can come off as weird combos, typical meals of interest, or, in some cases, edibles you may not even be drawn to naturally. However, not all mums-to-be are quick to nibble at everything they stumble upon.
Now that you understand why tiger nuts are good for a pregnant woman, here are creative ways to include this nutrient-dense nut into your diet:
1. Tiger Nut Pudding:
Create a delicious pudding by blending tiger nuts with coconut milk, dates, and spices for a tasty dessert.
2. Pap (Ogi):
– Mix ground tiger nuts into pap for added richness, texture, and nutritional value.
3. Tiger Nut Pancakes:
– Pancakes are a delight, but when tiger nuts are included they become the super food you would always crave for. Add tiger nut flour to your pancake mix, creating fluffy and nutty pancakes that you can enjoy with local toppings like honey.
4. Fruit Salad:
– When preparing your fruit salad, be sure to include chopped tiger nuts which have already been soaked as well as other fruits for a refreshing and nutritious twist.
5. Tiger Nut Jollof Rice:
– Add tiger nuts to Jollof rice for a unique flavor profile and an additional nutritional element.
6. Millet and Tiger Nut Swallow:
– Mix tiger nut flour with millet flour to prepare a traditional Nigerian swallow with any soup of your choice.
Ensure to soak your tiger nuts in water before blending them to get rid of the anti-nutrients and harness all the nutritional value of tiger nuts.
Tiger nuts can be a great addition to a pregnant woman’s diet, providing essential nutrients. But, there are some things to keep in mind. For those with a sensitive stomach, it’s wise to take it easy on these nuts.
Although the side effects of tiger nuts are mild, they should be put into consideration when adding tiger nuts to your diet as a pregnant woman.
Tiger nuts can be a healthy snack during pregnancy, but it’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor to be very sure it is good for you. A qualified doctor can help you decide if these nuts are the right fit for your unique pregnancy journey.
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ALSO ASK
No, Tiger nuts do not cause contractions of any form. In fact, the presence of magnesium in tiger nuts is known to help prevent premature labor.
Yes it is. Tiger nuts contain fiber that helps a pregnant woman shed fat and lose weight.
No, it does not. It contains vitamins and minerals that are helpful to ease childbirth at the right time.
Yes; it is considered safe in pregnancy. Tiger nuts, whether chewed raw or processed into milk drinks, do not pose any threat to a pregnant woman or her unborn child. It is most preferable for pregnant women.
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