There is a famous saying about pregnancy, “Whether you are a first-time mom-to-be or are pregnant with your second child (or third or more), those nine months is undoubtedly wondrous and life-changing experience.” During these 9 months, the pregnant lady experiences different types of mood swings and mixed feelings about what to eat and what not to eat. A sudden protective attitude towards the unborn baby starts developing by the expecting mom in terms of the diet she follows. She will, however, have any doubts about what foods to eat to give those extra nutrients and nourishment to the baby inside.
One such food, where doubt arises, is “BREAD.” Experts say that eating bread during pregnancy is completely safe, provided it should be consumed in limited amounts and also the type of bread. Here, in this article, we will know about what variety of bread is beneficial to pregnant women.
Is it Safe to Eat Bread During Pregnancy?
Commonly available white bread in the market contains flour or maida in it. This maida contains fat and gluten in it, which, if consumed in excess, is harmful to the pregnant woman and the unborn baby. But, wheat bread or brown bread, which is high in proteins and vitamins, is healthy and totally safe for both the unborn baby and pregnant woman.
Nutritional Values in Bread:
Bread, which is a typical breakfast meal in every household, has a high nutritional value. This is the reason why bread is consumed in different forms such as bread with jam, bread and milk, toasted bread with butter, and bread omelettes. Here are listed some of the nutritional values of bread.
- Carbohydrates: These form a primary part of the bread, which is a powerhouse for pregnant women. Carbohydrates in bread also have a less glycemic index, which is considered healthy.
- Protein: Protein is the second essential nutrient present in wheat bread. The proteins are vital for the healthy development of the unborn baby.
- Fibre: The wheat bread surprisingly has the right amount of dietary fibre in it. This helps in the proper functioning of the heart and also maintains cholesterol levels that attain a healthy state during pregnancy.
- Wheat Germ: Whole wheat bread contains wheat germ, which is enriched with vitamin E and omega-three fatty acids and folate.
Health Benefits of Eating Bread During Pregnancy:
1. Boosts Digestion:
Whole wheat bread is enriched with fibre content, which helps boost digestion. This, in turn, helps maintain regular bowel movements and reduces diarrhoea and constipation in pregnant women.
2. Maintains Cholesterol Levels:
The dietary fibre present in wheat bread takes care of the cholesterol levels in the blood, thus keeping the heart in a healthy condition.
3. Controls Blood Pressure:
Women during pregnancy often suffer from fluctuating blood pressure. Both high and low blood pressures are unhealthy for the pregnant lady and also the unborn baby. Wheat and multigrain bread contain fibre in it, which helps in maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body, thus controlling blood pressure during pregnancy.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar:
During pregnancy, sometimes the sugar levels increase, causing gestational diabetes. Eating wheat bread can regulate blood sugar levels as this bread is rich in fibre, which is responsible for maintaining blood sugar.
5. Calcium-Rich Food:
Whole wheat bread contains a moderate amount of calcium in it. Calcium is essential for the pregnant woman and the unborn baby. This helps in the proper growth and development of the baby present inside the mother’s womb.
6. Vitamin C Content:
Whole wheat bread is also said to contain Vitamin C in it. Vitamin C has the capability of preventing any deficiencies and is responsible for boosting immunity, which is essential during pregnancy.
7. Prevents Gallstones:
Wheat bread is enriched with fibre, which is responsible for improving the functioning of the digestive system and preventing the formation of gallstones.
8. Maintains Metabolism:
The bread which is made from whole wheat is rich in vitamin B, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. All these elements belong to the B-Complex vitamin group, which plays an essential role in streamlining the processes and maintaining the metabolism in the body.
9. Reduces the Risk of Asthma:
During pregnancy, some expecting mothers can experience breathing discomforts and even suffer from asthma. Eating whole wheat bread can cut down the symptoms of getting asthma or any respiration discomforts.
10. Instant Energy:
Whole wheat and multigrain bread are rich in wheat and grains, which are full of proteins and vitamins. Wheat present in the bread gives strength to muscles and bones and provides instant energy during pregnancy. Having one or two slices of bread during an emergency is beneficial for pregnant women.
11. Prevents Pre-Eclampsia:
Pre-eclampsia is a condition of high blood pressure that occurs during the last trimester. In such situations, the baby may get delivered prematurely, and sometimes even the mother may suffer from fits. Eating two slices of brown bread daily can prevent pre-eclampsia by maintaining blood pressure because of the high fibre content present in the dough.
Side Effects Of Bread During Pregnancy:
Apart from the nutritional values present in the bread, when this bread is consumed in excess quantities has its own side effects.
- Bread has a composite form of a protein called gluten in it, which is difficult to digest. Hence, the consumption of excess bread can cause digestion problems like constipation and diarrhoea.
- Bread contains Amylopectin A, which is responsible for boosting sugar levels in the blood. If consumed in excess, there is a chance of getting diabetes.
There are different types of bread available in the market. The expecting mother may get confused about which bread to choose. Here we will discuss what variety of bread to eat during pregnancy.
- The most important bread to eat is whole wheat bread. This is rich in fibre content and hence very beneficial.
- Multigrain bread is another type which is beneficial for pregnant ladies because of the various grains present in it.
- As far as possible, try to avoid eating white bread excessively during pregnancy because of the fat and gluten present in it.
- Other types of bread include garlic bread, banana bread, rye, and sourdough bread, which can be consumed in moderate amounts.
If you have the habit of eating bread for breakfast before pregnancy, it is best to reduce eating white bread in limited quantities because of the gluten present in it, which may cause severe constipation problems. One way to avoid eating white bread is to opt for brown bread, which is healthier during pregnancy and also in the long run. Don’t forget to consult your nutritionist before making any changes to your diet.
Q1. Which is the Best Bread to Eat During Pregnancy?
Ans: Brown bread or Wheat bread or Multigrain bread is the best one to eat during pregnancy because of the nutritional values present in them.
Q2. Is It Safe to Eat Bread During Breastfeeding?
Ans: Yes, it is absolutely safe to eat bread during pregnancy, provided it should be consumed in limited quantities. Wheat bread is very safe to eat during breastfeeding.
Q3. How Much Bread Should a Pregnant Woman Eat?
Ans: A pregnant woman should eat bread in moderate quantities, i.e., 2-3 slices of bread. Excessive consumption of bread may lead to digestion problems.
The content provided in this article is for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of the doctor or any health care professional. We will not be responsible for any illness that occurred to you. Please always consult your healthcare professional if you are in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.