Being pregnant is a wonderful and special time in a woman’s life. You are growing a human being inside of you and you get to experience all the joys and challenges that come along with it. One thing that you may not have considered, however, is what you are eating during this time and how it can affect your baby.
You should pay close attention to your diet and avoid sugary foods, high-fructose beverages such as coffee, tea, and cola drinks as they contain caffeine and drinking of it much may be problematic for expectant mothers.
Certain junk foods that will just provide you with empty calories and no nourishment should be consumed rarely, if possible should be avoided completely during the pregnancy period.
Your primary objective should be on consuming not only delicious foods but nutritious ones. Couscous is one of such healthy diet that has some incredible health benefits you probably didn't know about but is it safe for pregnant women to eat? Here's everything you need to know about couscous and whether it is safe for pregnant mothers.
What Is Couscous?
Couscous is a type of pasta often confused as a grain or seed. It's made from a dry mixture of semolina and water that’s rolled in very tiny irregular pieces. It originates from North Africa and is a staple food in countries like Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Couscous is usually served as a side dish or as part of a main dish. To make couscous, simply add some hot water and allow them to fluff up, transforming them into a more basic dish.
There are different types of couscous available in the market, such as whole wheat couscous, Israeli couscous, and regular couscous. Whole wheat couscous is made from 100% whole wheat flour and has a nutty flavor. Israeli couscous is also known as pearl couscous and is made from larger pieces of durum wheat semolina. Regular couscous is the most common type of couscous available and is made from smaller pieces of durum wheat semolina.
Couscous is a healthy food option as it is low in fat and calories. It is also a good source of protein and fiber. Couscous can be enjoyed by pregnant women as long as it is cooked properly.
Can A Pregnant Lady Eat Couscous?
If you're wondering whether it's safe to eat couscous while pregnant, the answer is generally yes. Couscous is a type of pasta made from semolina flour, and it's a popular dish in many cultures. Semolina is a whole grain, and like other whole grains, it's packed with nutrients that are important for pregnancy.
That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when eating couscous during pregnancy. First of all, be sure to choose whole wheat couscous, as opposed to white couscous, which is made with refined flour. Whole wheat couscous has more fiber and nutrients than white couscous.
Also, be sure to avoid pre-seasoned or flavored couscous mixes, as they may contain ingredients that are not safe for pregnancy. Stick to plain couscous and season it yourself with healthy pregnancy-safe ingredients like olive oil, fresh herbs, and vegetables.
Nutritional Content Associated With Couscous?
Couscous is high in carbohydrates and protein, and it also contains a good amount of fiber.
A one cup serving of uncooked whole wheat couscous provides about:
- 640 calories
- 125 grams of carbohydrates
- 24 grams of protein
- 12 grams of fiber
- 4 gram of fat
- 80 milligrams of calcium
- 8 milligrams of iron
A one cup serving of uncooked refined couscous provides about:
- 600 calories
- 120 grams of carbohydrates
- 20 grams of protein
- 8 grams of fiber
- 0 grams of fat
- 80 milligrams of calcium
- 4 milligram of iron
Health Benefits of Couscous for Pregnant Ladies
Some healthy benefits of couscous for pregnant ladies include;
- Rich in Potassium
Couscous is a great source of potassium, which is an important mineral for pregnant women. Potassium helps to maintain fluid balance in the body and helps to control blood pressure. It also aids in muscle contraction and heart function.
- Prevents Cancer
It is no secret that cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the disease. However, there is good news! Eating couscous can help prevent cancer. The tiny grains of couscous are packed with antioxidants, which protect cells from damage and prevent the formation of tumors.
- Improved Metabolism
A healthy metabolism is key to a healthy pregnancy, and there are plenty of reasons to believe that couscous can help. For one, it's packed with nutrients like iron and folic acid, which are essential for pregnant women. Additionally, studies have shown that regular consumption of whole grains like couscous can help regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for preventing gestational diabetes. And finally, couscous is a good source of fiber, which can help keep you regular and reduce constipation - a common complaint during pregnancy.
- Good Source Of Energy
Couscous is an excellent source of energy for pregnant ladies. It provides the body with complex carbohydrates, which are slowly released into the bloodstream, providing sustained energy levels throughout the day.
- It Is High In Fiber
Couscous is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are important for keeping the digestive system healthy. Soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels, while insoluble fiber promotes regularity and prevents constipation.
- Low In Fat
A diet low in fat is essential for pregnant ladies. Fat contains saturated and Trans fats which can increase the level of cholesterol in our blood, leading to heart disease. It is important to limit the amount of fat we consume to 30% of our daily caloric intake. Couscous is a great source of carbohydrates and protein, and only has 1 gram of fat per serving. This makes it an ideal food for pregnant women who are trying to maintain a healthy weight.
- Rich In Folic Acid
Couscous is a rich source of folic acid, which is important for pregnant ladies. Folic acid helps to prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. It is recommended that pregnant ladies take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
- Good Source Of Iron
Iron is essential for pregnant women, as it helps to prevent anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue and may lead to other complications during pregnancy. Eating iron-rich foods like couscous can help keep your energy levels up and reduce your risk of developing anemia during pregnancy. It is also necessary for the development of the baby's nervous system.
There are a lot of things to consider when you're pregnant, and what you eat is definitely one of them. If you're wondering whether or not you can eat couscous while pregnant, the answer is yes — but as with anything, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure to cook the couscous thoroughly, avoid any spicy or heavily-seasoned versions, and listen to your body if it's telling you to take it easy on the carbs. With a little bit of care, you can enjoy this delicious dish without putting your pregnancy at risk.