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Popcorn During Pregnancy - Safe Or Unsafe?

Popcorn During Pregnancy - Health Benefits, Nutritional Value, And Risks

Pregnancy is the phase when you need to be cautious about whatever you consume to ensure the well being of your little one and to maintain your health as well. You've to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet for the proper growth and development of your unborn baby. Doctors usually recommend quit eating junk food during pregnancy period. But pregnancy cravings can make you eager to eat such kind of foods. You can eat them occasionally but don't make them a habit as they're low in nutrition and don't provide you many vital nutrients that are crucial for a healthy pregnancy. If you love to eat popcorn and wondering whether they're safe for you or not in pregnancy. We're here to help you. In this article, we're going to tell all about having popcorn during pregnancy period. Read this article to know all the health benefits, nutritional facts, and risks associated with popcorn during pregnancy. 



Popcorn during pregnancy - Benefits, And Risks




Popcorn in pregnancy

It is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Popcorn is not junk food rather it is a healthy snack substitute for junk because it is fully loaded with fiber. How healthy any popcorn is it depends on it's cooking method. Air popping is a good cooking method. Avoid those popcorns that contain trans fats or partially hydrogenated fats as they're not good for your heart.



Health Benefits of Popcorns during pregnancy

Some of the health benefits of eating popcorns during pregnancy are:

1. Healthy Snack

Popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks as it is a good source of fiber and zinc. It is low in calories hence promote healthy weight gain. Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy is very essential as excess weight gain can cause several complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and many more. 


2. Healthy Substitute for junk food 

Popcorns are considered a healthy snack substitute for junk food as they contain few nutrients whereas junk foods are very low in nutrition hence are not good to consume while pregnant.


3. Good source of Fiber

Popcorns are an excellent source of fiber that is very essential during pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs to eat 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber each day. Consumption of popcorn helps you to meet your fiber requirement. Fiber helps to keep your digestive tract healthy. However, consume them occasionally and in moderation as fruits and veggies are far better than such snacks because they contain numerous nutrients that your body requires to nourish your baby during pregnancy.




4. Rich in Protein

Popcorn is a good source of protein and it is a very crucial nutrient that is required for your baby's proper growth and development. It plays a major role in fetal development and maintains maternal health as well. 


5. Improve Digestion

Being rich in fiber, popcorn help to keep constipation at a bay which is a common issue faced by many pregnant women. Consumption of popcorn help to alleviate digestion related issues thereby improve digestion and promote a healthy digestive tract.



Nutritional Value of Popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain that contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy antioxidants substances called polyphenols. They're a great source of fiber and protein that plays a key role in a healthy pregnancy.  




Risks of eating popcorn while pregnant

Corn itself is healthy and contains an ample amount of carbohydrates and starch which can cause complications if eaten in excess amount. It doesn't cause any harm if you eat it in the right way. Adding butter adds saturated fat and calories to this healthy snack. Although popcorn is safe and healthy it's the cooking method that makes it healthy or unhealthy when pregnant. So whenever you eat popcorns in pregnancy have them in a healthy way. 


(Also read: Oranges in pregnancy)

Precautions to be taken while pregnant

Some of the precautions that should be taken while pregnant include:
  • Avoid popcorn with toppings. Air-popped popcorn is one of the best and healthiest popcorn that is healthy to consume while pregnant.
  • Don't prepare popcorns in the microwave. 
  • Make sure that popcorns are well cooked.
  • Avoid eating popcorn that contains high levels of salt, sodium, or butter.
  • Don't consume popcorn that contains harmful condiments such as salt, butter, sodium, or sugary caramel. 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it safe to eat popcorn during pregnancy?

Yes, popcorn is safe to eat while pregnant. It is a whole grain that makes it a good carb choice. Whole grains are a good source of fiber that provides roughage which is required in a daily diet. Air-popped or lightly seasoned popcorn is healthy and safe to consume while pregnant. But remember to consume them in moderation.


2. Is popcorn safe during pregnancy?

Air-popped popcorn is one of the best and healthiest popcorn that can you can enjoy during pregnancy. These popcorns are high in fiber, low in calories and fat, and don't contain sugar or sodium that makes it a good snack choice. Premade popcorn contains high levels of salt, sugar, or sodium, and excess consumption of such popcorns during pregnancy is considered unhealthy as high levels of sodium can cause high blood pressure that can lead to further health complications during pregnancy.



3. Is it safe to eat microwave popcorn while pregnant?

Microwavable popcorn may contain toxic chemicals, diacetyl, perfluorooctanoic acid that are harmful. So, it's better to avoid having them while pregnant.


4. Is it safe to eat popcorn shrimp while pregnant?

Yes, shrimp falls into the category of low-mercury seafood so it's safe to consume while pregnant.




5. Can you eat popcorn during pregnancy?

Yes, popcorn is a whole grain and you can have them during your pregnancy period as well but in limited quantities.


6. Is it safe to eat canned popcorn when pregnant?

Canned popcorn goes through a lot of processing so avoid consuming them during pregnancy period. Plain popcorn is safe and good to consume as they're low in calories and high in fiber.



7. How safe is it to have popcorn during pregnancy?

Popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks that have a higher concentration of zinc as well as other essential vitamins and minerals too. Popcorns are totally safe to consume while pregnant if you prepare them in a healthy way and consume them in moderation.


8. How to consume popcorn during pregnancy? 

Eat popcorn in a healthy way. Make sure that your popcorns are well cooked without toppings. You can add some salt, butter, caramel, or flavors but in low quantity. If you want to add toppings make sure to reduce their quantity. Don't prepare them in the microwave.


Popcorn is rich in fiber and low in calories that makes it a good snack choice when pregnant but overconsumption may lead to several health complications. So, it's better to have them in limited quantities. Popcorn is a high-fiber snack that helps to prevent constipation and keeps you away from digestion-related issues. So, from next time whenever you crave junk foods just munch to popcorn and enjoy them but remember to have them in limited quantities.



Also, read other 'pregnancy-related' articles:
Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and it should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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