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    Curd During Pregnancy: Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

    Pregnancy Best Foods

    Curd During Pregnancy: Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

    Updated on 15 May 2023

    Curd, otherwise known as yogurt is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. Be it for skin or the entire physical health, curd has plenty of health benefits to offer. It is a rich source of calcium, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. Given its numerous health benefits, it can be an excellent addition to a pregnant woman's diet. In this article, we will discuss the benefits, side effects, and precautions of consuming curd during pregnancy.

    Nutritional value of yoghurt

    Yogurt is a highly nutritious food that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. Additionally, it is high in protein, especially casein, and contains branched-chain amino acids. The nutritional value of yogurt can vary depending on the type of milk used, with full-fat yogurt being the most nutritious, as it contains almost every nutrient needed.

    Curd also contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that provide beneficial health effects, supporting the immune system and aiding digestion. When purchasing yogurt, it is important to consider the fat and sugar content and whether it contains live cultures or added probiotics.

    You may also like: Milk During Pregnancy: Which Kind of Milk Is Best For You?

    Benefits of eating curd during pregnancy

    The most common benefits of curd during pregnancy include the following:

    1. Cools down the body

    The body tends to produce excessive heat during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow. Consuming yogurt during pregnancy helps in cooling down the body temperature.

    2. Improves digestion

    Digestion often slows down during pregnancy, which can lead to issues such as indigestion, heartburn, bloating and constipation. Curd helps in improving digestion and absorption of food during pregnancy.

    3. Provides calcium

    Rich in calcium, curd during pregnancy ensures women's bone health which is vital after giving birth. It also strengthens the bones and teeth of your baby.

    4. Improves immunity

    The immune function of women during pregnancy often becomes suppressed, which increases the risk of infections during pregnancy. Curd's probiotic properties can help in improving immunity during pregnancy.

    5. Lowers high blood pressure

    Having a high blood pressure during pregnancy can increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening pregnancy complication. Eating curd during pregnancy reduces high blood pressure which results in safe delivery.

    6. Moisturizes the skin

    Consuming curd during pregnancy also hydrates your body and skin and adds moisture, thus alleviating skin irritation due to dryness and skin changes during pregnancy.

    Side effects of eating curd during pregnancy

    There are no major side effects of eating curd during pregnancy but there are some risks that you should be aware of:

    • According to Ayurveda, consuming curd at night can aggravate Kapha dosha, leading to respiratory problems. It is better to avoid curd at night during pregnancy, especially if you are prone to cough and cold.
    • Consuming curd made from raw unpasteurised milk should be avoided as it carries the risk of diseases such as listeria.
    • Pregnant women should also avoid full-fat yogurt as it can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
    • Consuming sweetened curd or yogurt can also increase blood sugar levels during pregnancy and increase the risk of gestational diabetes. So, it's best to avoid adding sugar to curd.

    It is recommended to consume three servings of 200 grams each (600 grams/day) of yogurt made from pasteurised milk to get all necessary nutrients.

    What types of yogurt should you eat?

    Plain pasteurized Greek yogurt is the best as it is strained and has less lactose content. Unsweetened Greek yogurt does not have glucose content and is safe for pregnant women with gestational diabetes. Naturally sweetened yogurt like fruit yogurt is also safe to eat during the pregnancy period. Additionally, you can consume homemade curd during pregnancy as long as the fermented milk is pasteurized.

    You may also like: Ice Cream In Pregnancy: Risks & Side Effects

    Precautions while eating curd during pregnancy

    Pregnant women can enjoy the benefits of curd during pregnancy by taking the following precautions:

    • Make sure the curd is made by fermenting pasteurized milk and not raw milk as it carries the risk of diseases such as listeria.
    • Ensure that the curd is not consumed with certain foods such as milk, fish, or acidic fruits.
    • Pregnant women should also avoid sour curd as it can cause throat infections and even a cold.
    • Don't forget to check the expiry date and sugar content of store-bought yogurt or curd.

    Is it accurate to say that consuming curd while pregnant makes the child fair?

    No, it is not accurate to say that consuming curd during pregnancy can make the child fair. There are old wives' tales that suggest avoiding dark-colored foods and eating light-colored foods to have a fair-skinned child. However, these ideas are not supported by medical facts, and it's important to make informed decisions based on scientific evidence rather than unsupported theories.

    Healthy and delicious yogurt smoothie recipe

    Most of the popular yogurt smoothies are made with frozen berries and nuts and are a favorite among those who have a thing for tanginess. You can use ripe fruits to make the smoothie preferable and aid digestion and bowel movements. Adding some nuts or seeds can definitely make it richer and healthier. Here's a wonderful recipe for a healthy yogurt smoothie:

    Ingredients

    • Ripe frozen bananas - A handful
    • Ripe frozen apples - A handful
    • Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
    • Nuts or seeds of your choice - 1 tablespoon
    • Ice cubes - 2-3
    • Unsweetened curd - 1 cup

    Method

    Add the frozen fruits, ice cubes, and vanilla essence to the blender and blend it well. Pour in curd and blend once again. If needed, add a teaspoon of sugar. Pour it into the serving glass. Grind the nuts or seeds into powder and top it on the smoothie. Stir well and enjoy.

    Closing Thoughts

    In conclusion, curd or yogurt is a healthy food option for pregnant women. It contains essential nutrients that are vital for the growth and development of the fetus. However, pregnant women should be mindful of the type of curd they consume and the quantity. Excessive consumption of curd can lead to negative side effects such as acidity and bloating. As with any food during pregnancy, it is important to consult a doctor before incorporating curd into your diet.

    References

    1. He A, Chin J, Lomiguen CM. (2020). Benefits of Probiotic Yogurt Consumption on Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Cureus.

    2. Kriss JL, Ramakrishnan U, Beauregard JL, Phadke VK, Stein AD, Rivera JA, Omer SB. (2018). Yogurt consumption during pregnancy and preterm delivery in Mexican women: A prospective analysis of interaction with maternal overweight status. Matern Child Nutr.

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    Written by

    RoohiKalra

    RoohiKalra

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