Thai Food In Pregnancy Is Safe Or Not
Thai food, with its multiple layers of flavors is fast turning out to be a favorite among many. However, given the high usage of seafoods and several exotic spice blends, several expecting mothers wonder if consuming Thai food in pregnancy is safe. Well, considering that Thai women have given birth to healthy babies for centuries while having their own kind of food in pregnancy, should be enough to curb such doubts. Yet, one might argue that the kind of food available in Thailand is way different than the localized versions of the cuisine served elsewhere. Hence, let us analyze the pros and cons of the South Asian food available in restaurants here to determine if it is safe to be consumed during the precious 40 weeks.
Benefits of consuming Thai food in Pregnancy
Thai food is one of the healthiest foods to have. The cooking style makes use of simple yet effective and healthy preparation techniques like stir-frying, stewing, steaming, grilling, and salad making. Traditionally deep fried foods are used in limited quantities in a meal and emphasis is given to stir-frying. This ensures that nutrients and flavors of the food are not destroyed by heat. In addition, there is little or no addition of oil in most of the dishes making the food light.
Spices and herbs play an important role in Oriental cooking. Several of the ingredients used, including turmeric, galangal, green and red peppers, coconut milk, and curry leaves are known for their medicinal properties. Each of these ingredients is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that help boost immunity and fight free radical damage of cells. This in turn helps prevent cell mutation, inflammation, ageing, and cancer progression.
·Helps the baby to develop a varied palate
Several studies have revealed that flavors of the food consumed by the mother enter the amniotic fluid, sensitizing the baby’s palate to tastes and flavors before birth. This sensitization of the child’s palate via mother’s diet continues even birth through the breast milk. Hence, it is believed that consuming a varied style of food and including all major tastes and flavors in the diet helps the growing fetus to develop a taste for diverse variety of foods and prevent him from being a fussy eater in future.
·Keeps the mother happy
Several holistic healers believe that following a highly restricted diet during pregnancy or not giving in to carvings during these crucial months can make a woman sad and contribute to post partum depression. Hence, having Thai food or any other food for that matter during pregnancy must not be restricted, unless it is absolutely harmful.
Points to consider before indulging into Thai food during pregnancy
This is a common problem during the last few weeks of pregnancy cased due to the increasing pressure of the uterus on the stomach. The diet during this time must include foods that sooth the heartburn. Thai food makes liberal use of spices, which are known to promote heartburn and the food is famous for being spicy and hot. As a result, this food is not recommended for women already suffering from or susceptible to heartburns.
·High use of seafood
Thai cuisine makes a liberal use of seafood in its cooking. A variety of fish and seafood are cooked and served. However, not all seafood is recommended for consumption during pregnancy. In fact, doctors advice women to restrict consumption of aquatic meat during this time to prevent mercury or any other heavy metal contamination. It is hence best to avoid Thai seafood.
·High sodium content
This cuisine calls for the use of several pastes, spice blends, and sauces. These are usually stored bought for ease of preparation. However, what we fail to realize at such times is the sodium content of these products. Always remember to add less or no salt to food when using one of these commercial products. Better opt for LoNa products.
Thus, Thai food like any world cuisine need not be off bounds during pregnancy. An expectant mother can eat almost everything she desires. What is needed though is a little attention to the ingredients used and the dishes included in the menu. Also, if eating out, remember to choose a reputed Thai restaurant with credible hygiene standards.