According to statistics, there is a yearly average of 6 million births in the United States alone. All the pain and suffering endured by pregnant women are instantly erased the moment they see their newborns. To be blessed with the ability to give live to another human being is one of the best feelings in the world.
In order to last through the pregnancy term, all expecting women have to adjust their lifestyles accordingly to ensure that their bodies are in the best condition for the fetus to develop. One of the most drastic changes to undertake is the dietary plan. What is once considered as healthy food might not be suitable for pregnant women and must be avoided completed, such as sushi or goat cheese.
Is Yogurt Good or Bad During Pregnancy?
Fortunately, there are many other food alternatives that pregnant women can rely on to provide vital nutrients for the unborn child. A perfect example can be found in yogurt. It is common knowledge that yogurts are healthy and greatly beneficial to the body. However, pregnant women should practice a higher standard of precaution due their body’s increased susceptibility to attacks by germs or bacteria.
In general, pregnant women should only consume pasteurized yogurt. In fact, it is important these women only consume dairy products that are pasteurized. This is because unpasteurized food products have a higher risk of containing bacteria which can harm the mother and her baby. Although most recognized brands of yogurts have been pasteurized, it is still necessary to check all product labels to be assured of its consumption suitability. As a general word of caution, yogurts do not indicate if they have been pasteurized should not be given the benefit of the doubt.
Health Benefits of Yogurt for Pregnant Women
1. Prevention of Preeclampsia
A medical literature originating from Thailand also offered great insights into the benefits of higher calcium intake during pregnancy. Researchers from the Khon Kaen University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Thailand collected 21 medical data from all randomized controlled trials, involving a total of 16,602 pregnant women. While the study did not find a correlation between calcium intake and preterm births or natural birth weight, they did discover that additional supplementation of calcium effectively lowers the risk of preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication throughout the world.
2. Stronger Bones for Both Mother and Child
The objective throughout the pregnancy term is to ensure that the fetus is supplied with essential nutrients without compromising the health of its mother. As with all dairy products, yogurts are hailed for their high calcium nutritional value. Other than helping to strengthen the bones of pregnant women, it has been scientifically proven that an increased intake of calcium guarantees a healthy bone structure for the baby as well.
3. Enhance Fetal Tooth Development
Last but not least, higher calcium intake is also influential in determining the development of fetal tooth structure. This finding was first released by professionals from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Japan in 2012. Based on data collected from 315 pairs of mother and child, they were able to conclude that higher amount of calcium leads to less dental caries in the child. However, the authors were quick to point out that the most significant result is derived from cheese while yogurt has a lesser effect on preventing dental caries.
4. Ease Inflammatory Symptoms
Other than calcium, yogurts also contain an exceptional quantity of probiotics. One of the benefits of consuming these probiotics is its ability to ease inflammatory symptoms. Most pregnant women would attest to the fact that inflammatory factors become more prevalent during the pregnancy term. Fortunately, a medical study originating from Iran have shown that eating more yogurts can help to ease these symptoms. In the randomized clinical trial, each of the 70 soon-to-be mothers was asked to consume a higher intake of yogurt. At the end of the 9-week period, participants recorded a significant decrease in the inflammatory factor, hs-CRP.
5. Prevent Insulin Resistance
Another discovery made by the study above is the reduced risk of developing insulin resistance in pregnant women with an increased consumption of yogurt. Pregnancy is commonly linked to higher insulin resistance, mainly due to increased body weight and other changes that occur within the body. However, with more yogurt consumption and consequently higher supply of probiotics, it helps to ensure that the serum insulin level is kept at a regular level. This effectively eliminates the risk of insulin resistance. However, it should be pointed out that the study focused heavily on yogurts with high probiotic values instead of regular yogurt.
As pregnant women are more vulnerable to the invasion of bacteria and germs, they demand a higher supply of vital nutrients to ensure that their body system is able to function at its normal capacity. Moreover, they must be able to provide all nutrients to the baby in order to cope with its exponential growth throughout the pregnancy phase. While there are a variety of foods that can help make the pregnancy journey a smooth experience, not many are comparable to yogurts. Not only does it help to ensure the healthy status of an expecting woman, it is also highly beneficial towards aiding the fetus growth. Based on all the studies compiled above, pregnant women can fully absorb the health benefits of yogurts by ensuring that they are pasteurized and contain high probiotic values.
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