The question can you eat rice during pregnancy; is it good for pregnancy and many more related questions are what a lot of pregnant women have asked, and we are here to give you answers and explanation in this topic regarding eating rice while pregnant.
Once a woman becomes pregnant, what she consumes becomes a topic for discussion. Her doctor gives her a long list of what to eat and what not to eat throughout pregnancy.
This is because anything she does affects the new life inside her whether directly or indirectly.
The growing fetus requires a lot to develop and since they are in their growing stage, any pathogen that gets to them might cause lasting damage to them when they are born.
So, being careful of what you consume as a pregnant woman isn’t abnormal. It’s completely worth it because your unborn child deserves all the care and attention.
Can You Eat Rice During Pregnancy
Rice is one of the many foods you should eat throughout your pregnancy period. It’s a good source of energy and it helps in your baby’s development. Although there’s a bad side to this. The negative side manifests only when you eat too much rice.
What this means is that you are allowed to eat any type of rice as a pregnant woman, but you aren’t allowed to eat too much of it. Research has it that eating too much rice have the tendency of increasing your body weight and complication during pregnancy.
Generally, rice isn’t bad for you. It gives lots of nutrients that you can’t afford to neglect. Here are the benefits of eating rice while pregnant.
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Benefits of Eating Rice During Pregnancy
1. Rice gives energy
Most pregnant women experience fatigue in their first trimester and some in their last third trimester. Due to this, they need constant refilling of their energy bank. Rice does this so well because it contains carbohydrate which releases energy to the body.
2. Rice Strengthens bones
Not just carbohydrates, rice is also a rich source of vitamins; vitamin B, thiamine, and riboflavin to be precise. It also contains some important minerals that your body needs at this time such as calcium, iron, and fiber.
These minerals help to strengthen your bones as well as your baby’s.
3. It prevents constipation
At some point in pregnancy, you will experience difficulty in defecating. Almost every pregnant woman experiences this. Eating rice in the right quantity help to get rid of constipation and enable you to excrete without pain.
4. It reduces the possibility of urinogenital infections occurrence
During pregnancy, your immune system gets suppressed so much that it can’t fight some infections such as urinogenital infection. Urinogenital infection is a urinary tract infection that prevents urine excrete from the body. Rice is a diuretic that increases the flow of urine, helping the body to get rid of excess water.
5. Plays a role in baby’s brain development
Rice, especially the brown species contains neurotransmitter nutrients that help in the development of your baby’s brain. This is the reason medical practitioners advise that you consume more brown rice. It’s preferable.
6. It helps to get rid of cholesterol
This is another reason why you should not eliminate rice from your diet during pregnancy. It helps to balance the cholesterol you’ve accumulated from eating other foods.
7. Helps prevent insomnia
Difficulty in sleeping is one of the major challenges pregnant women have especially at the late stage of pregnancy. Brown rice contains melatonin. It is a sleep hormone that helps the nerve to relax, thereby making it easy for the individual to sleep.
Also Read: Best Foods for Third Trimester Pregnancy
Risks Of Eating Rice When Pregnant
While there are lots of benefits to rice consumption, there is a negative side as well. But these negative sides manifest only when rice is consumed in large quantities. There’s a limit to everything and the same applies to rice consumption.
If you consume rice in large proportions while pregnant, you might experience one or all of these:
If you are diabetic, you should either avoid eating rice throughout your pregnancy period or take it in a limited quantity. This is because eating it in a large quantity may expose your baby to obesity.
2. Presence of Arsenic
Research has proven that rice picks arsenic from the soil and may not be removed completely even after cooking. Arsenic is a dangerous toxin that can travel easily to the fetus via the placenta. When it gets to the fetus, it interrupts the development process.
Which Rice Is Best for Pregnancy?
Brown rice tops the list. You should eat more brown rice because of its nutritional value.
Brown rice contains nutrients that are suitable for your baby’s growth such as magnesium, selenium, and manganese. It also contains neurotransmitters that help in your baby’s brain development.
Based on research, women who eat brown rice in the right quantity give birth to smart and active babies. So, you should long to eat more brown rice and not white rice.
You can also include red rice and wild rice. They contain essential nutrients as well, but must be eaten in the appropriate proportion.
Also, they must be cooked; raw rice isn’t good for you especially now that you are pregnant. Do all you can to avoid it even if you crave it strongly.
What Happens If I Eat Raw Rice During Pregnancy
You will be exposing yourself and your baby to certain diseases if you eat raw rice while pregnant. No matter the specie, you are not supposed to consume raw rice even if you are seriously yearning for it.
Below is the list of health conditions you will be subjecting yourself and your little one to if you eat raw rice during pregnancy:
1. Food poisoning
Eating raw rice can result in food poisoning because rice is host for some pathogens such as Bacillus cereus. Bacillus versus is a bacteria that lives in the soil and attaches itself to rice even after harvest.
This bacteria is strong enough to withstand heat because of its spore. This means that it can be present in cooked rice as well, but in a minimum quantity that can not cause infection.
But in raw rice, the presence is high because it thrives in a cool environment. When consumed, it will travel down into your system and that of your child and cause havoc that is life-threatening at times.
2. Gastrointestinal issues
When you consume raw rice, you would get exposed to lectins; a protein that can pass as a natural insecticide. Their primary duty is to reduce your system’s ability to take in nutrients.
They also cause serious damage to the gut wall. Since they can’t be digested, they pass through your digestive tract in their whole nature and move to your gut to cause havoc.
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How to Stop Eating Raw Rice While Pregnant
The urge to eat raw rice during pregnancy is due to pica; an eating disorder. If you notice that you going out of control with this habit, there are a few things you can do to manage the situation:
1. Distract yourself
Pregnancy comes with its prompting, but it’s still your body. You are still in charge and can determine to avoid what will harm you and your baby.
Get involved with your hobbies. Try doing other things that bring you joy. You can even go out with friends or learn a new recipe on YouTube.
2. Delete rice from your market list for the time being
If the craving is due to pregnancy, it means that it will subside at some point. Hence, you can stop stocking rice in your home. If you don’t see it, there’s a possibility that you won’t crave it. You can explain to your partner and children before doing so.
3. Talk to a psychologist
If you try all this and didn’t record any change, try seeing a psychologist. You can speak with him and he will recommend other medical approaches to apply.
FAQS About Eating Rice While Pregnant
Can You Eat Microwaved Rice When Pregnant?
Microwave rice is a product of white rice and white rice should be avoided throughout pregnancy. Focus on eating brown rice which has more to offer you and your growing baby.
How Much Rice Should a Pregnant Woman Eat?
Pregnant women should eat not more than half to one cup of cooked rice in a day. If you are diabetic, you can consider having less due to your health condition or speak to your nutritionist for professional advice.
Is Cooked Rice Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is.
You are only allowed to eat cooked rice before and after delivery. Ensure it is brown rice and not white, and must be properly cooked.
Rice is a good food generally, and it is safe to consume during pregnancy. It gives instant energy that will help you in your nine months journey. It also has other benefits such as a relieving constipation and fighting urinogenital infection.
But you must apply caution. Eating rice in large quantities may cause you pain and damage that you might not recover from for a long time. It can cause your little one to suffer from obesity. I’m sure you don’t want that.
Avoid raw rice during pregnancy and after delivery. Also, ensure that you wash rice properly before cooking as they are preserved with chemicals that aren’t good for the body.