Sunflower seeds are among the healthiest, most nutritious foods. Sunflower seeds should be a part of a regular diet. But what is a part of a regular diet may often change in case of pregnancy. Then, can pregnant women eat sunflower seeds? Sunflower seeds during pregnancy is even more important. It contains various essential oils, vital vitamins and minerals, fibres and healthy fats that are essential for the healthy development of the baby.
Some of the uses of sunflower seeds during pregnancy are-
- Sunflower seeds contain folic acid. Folic acid is used in the formation of red blood cells which carry oxygen from the lungs to the organs, and carbon dioxide from the organs back to the lungs. For the healthy formation of red blood cells, folic acid rich food like sunflower seeds is essential. Deficiency of folic acid in diet of mother can lead to complications like deformation of placenta in the uterus, and birth defects in the baby, like clef lip. Sunflower seeds while pregnant is a must, therefore.
- Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, and other antioxidants which prevent DNA damage from free radicals.
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- Sunflower seeds contain various essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, copper, selenium, etc. which are necessary for the healthy growth of the baby, and fitness and activity of the mother.
- Sunflower seeds have high fibre content. Sunflower seeds boost digestion and help resolve the most common problem of pregnancy, that is, constipation. Sunflower seeds in pregnancy can solve the problem of constipation naturally and safely. But remember to drink lots of water as well.
- Sunflower seeds have healthy unsaturated fats which are essential for healthy skin and hair in both mother and baby.
- Sunflower seeds are a nutritious and filling snack. Sunflower seeds are a healthy way to still the hunger pangs during pregnancy. Sunflower seeds, while pregnant, fulfil the purposes of providing essential nutrients as well as making a tasty and filling snack.
- Sunflower seeds have linoleic acid which helps the body to balance hormones and thus maintains healthy weight gain.
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There are many ways in which sunflower seeds can be eaten. Some ways are mentioned below-
- They can be eaten after roasting, with the outer shells unremoved. This is the best way to eat sunflower seeds as it preserves all the nutrients and does not reduce the fibre content as well.
- Sunflower seeds can also be baked into savoury breads and buns made of whole wheat and buck wheat for incredible flavour, and health.
- Sunflower seeds can be roasted, or lightly fried using virgin olive oil and eaten with green salad and bread for a balanced meal.
- If you have a sweet tooth, the desert options are mixing sunflower seeds with plain or flavoured yogurt. You can also bake soft, savoury cookies with sunflower seeds and banana.
- You can opt for sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter, as a more flavourful and healthier option.
- Sunflower seeds can be broken into smaller bits and added to burgers and tuna sandwiches as well.
- You can add sunflower seeds with nuts and dry fruits like almonds, cashews, raisins, hazelnut, walnut, figs and apricot in your cornflakes or muesli to health it up even more!
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Hope this answers the question “Can pregnant women eat sunflower seeds?” Because, yes, they can and they should!Sunflower seeds, in pregnancy, can be used to create a number of tasty and healthy dishes to increase the fitness of your body and satisfy you taste buds as well. However, it is important to remember that over eating sunflower seeds can lead to excess weight gain. Therefore, limit yourself to 1/2 to 3/4 cup of shell-unremoved sunflower seeds, or 1/8 to 1/6 cups of deshelled seeds.