In general, sunflower seeds are beneficial for pregnant women as a snack. Pregnant women need to be mindful of amount of consumption to avoid some negative side effects of sunflower seeds.
Health benefits of sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are packed with nutrition. Vitamins, minerals and fatty acids found in sunflower seeds can be seen below:
Rich in vitamin E
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Rich vitamin E in sunflower seeds can protect pregnant women from damages caused by free radicals. Free radicals are chemical compounds that can damage cells.
A good source of potassium
High content of potassium can keep sodium low in the body. This in turn helps to lower down blood pressure level. High blood pressure can lead to many pregnancy complications and should be avoided.
A good source of calcium and phosphorous
Phosphorous and calcium found in the sunflower seeds aid development of the bones of your unborn baby.
Boost immune system
Phytochemicals found in the sunflower seeds improve the immune system of the pregnant women. This can help to prevent infections like cold and flu.
A good source of folic acid
Sunflower seeds are rich in folic acid. There will be a greater demand of folic acid during pregnancy to support the growth of the fetus and the expecting mother.
Folic acid helps in the formation of red blood cells and red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the different parts of your body.
Folic acid also helps to prevent birth defects in the newborn.
Since your daily folic acid requirement increases in pregnancy, sunflower seeds can be a great addition to your diet.
Potential risk of eating sunflower seeds during pregnancy
Sunflower seeds will pose health hazard when consumed in excess. It is therefore important for expecting mothers to avoid excessive consumption.
Consumption of high amounts of sunflower seeds can lead to phosphorous toxicity that may lead to kidney damage and other health hazards.
In conclusion, it is general safe and beneficial to eat sunflower seeds during pregnancy. To minimize the risk associated with eating sunflower seeds, pregnant women are advised to eat sunflower seeds in moderation.
Subscribe to receive newsletter on pregnancy and parenting in Singapore.