Oatmeal is a higher fiber lower sugar option that is safe and healthy to eat during pregnancy as it contains complex carbohydrates that break down slowly in your body, keeping you feeling full longer and decreasing the chances of excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes as well as containing all the essential nutrients required for the mother and the baby. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, pregnant women are advised to consume whole grains such as oats.
Advice to eat right comes from all corners of the world when you are pregnant, but we all know how the relationship between food and pregnancy can be complicated as there seem to be new rules for not just what you can eat but how you can eat it too.
Good news for you if you’re craving oatmeal!
Oatmeal and oats, in general, are some of the top healthy foods you can eat during pregnancy as they are a safe grain for every trimester that offers a tonne of benefits to you and your little one. They are an affordable superfood choice you can easily include in your everyday diet.
A bowl of oatmeal might be your favorite breakfast or even meal option for weight loss, and you might have eaten it all your life, but now that you are pregnant, should you continue eating oats?
As healthy and nutritious as they might be, oats and oatmeal, like any other food, might affect your body if not eaten the right way.
Here at 1happykiddo, we tell you all about consuming oatmeal during pregnancy, how they benefit you and how to choose the right proportion for your nutritional safety and that of your unborn.
Nutritional benefits of oatmeal during pregnancy
Not only is it helpful in soothing a queasy stomach during those early waves of first-trimester nausea and stabilizing your blood sugar, but oatmeal is also beneficial to pregnant women for several nutritional reasons.
1. Essential minerals
Oats contain significant amounts of calcium, potassium, selenium, and phosphorus that offer multiple benefits, from bone health to teeth formation to improving immunity and fetal growth and development.
2. Excellent source of energy
During pregnancy, you’ll need a constant dose of energy, and the rich carbohydrates and calories present in oatmeals give you the much-needed instant energy boost.
3. Complex carbohydrates for slow digestion
Oats contain 3 main complex structures: bran, endosperm, and germ, which take time to break down and digest, unlike simple carbs.
This lowers the risk of gestational diabetes by keeping your blood sugar level in check. Slow digestion also healthily ensures weight gain during pregnancy.
4. Dietary fiber prevents constipation
Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy.
Among the cereals to consume during pregnancy, oats are packed with a considerable amount of soluble fiber that helps ease digestion and improve bowel movement, thus treating constipation.
5. Folic acid helps fetal development
The enriched white oats are a source of folate that supplies folic acid, which plays a vital role in developing the fetal brain and nervous system, thus reducing the risk of congenital disabilities when consumed early on in the pregnancy.
6. Iron that minimizes the risk of anemia
Intake of oatmeal every day during pregnancy gives you the required iron, which decreases the likelihood of developing anemia at this time.
7. Vitamins B1 and E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of free radical damage and keeps your skin glowing and healthy during pregnancy.
Vitamin B1 in oats is essential in breaking down the fats and proteins in the body and for keeping the mucus membrane strong and healthy.
Nutritional value of oats
100 grams of instant, plain, or fortified bowl of oatmeal contains the following nutrients:
g=grams; my=milligrams; mcg=micrograms
Best oatmeal topping ideas
Thankfully, the best thing about eating oatmeal while pregnant is that you can healthily jazz it up.
Here are some top picks of our favorite toppings:
- Crushed nut
- Ground ginger
- Pumpkin spice
- Frozen berries
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
- Apple sauce
- Chia seeds
- Dried fruits
Is it safe to eat oatmeal during the first trimester?
Yes, it is safe to eat oatmeal during the first trimester and continue throughout the pregnancy as it can beat morning sickness by calming the stomach.
It can also be combined with other healthier foods like fruits and nuts, making it a readily available option.
Is it normal to crave raw oats while pregnant?
Yes, it is perfectly normal to crave raw oats or any other food during pregnancy, especially in the early stages. Still, you should avoid eating them as they can lead to discomfort in the stomach and intestines.
Are masala oats good during pregnancy?
It’s not recommended that pregnant women consume masala oats as they contain hydrated veggies, which are the processed form of fresh vegetables.
It’s always a good option to eat food in its natural forms during pregnancy as it keeps you healthier and tastes better.
The only reason to avoid oatmeal entirely during pregnancy is if you’re gluten intolerant.
While whole oats don’t contain gluten, they have some similar proteins that may trigger a reaction and should be consumed cautiously during the first trimester as they can also cause diarrhea.
Otherwise, they provide fiber to help you fight constipation and hemorrhoids and contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.
Adding nuts, seeds, and berries to this whole-grain goodness helps to lay a nutritious foundation for another day of your baby’s health building so you can look forward to enjoying your new favorite pregnancy meal -one that’s not too hot or too cold but just right.