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Discussing from a medical point of view, not all food items are suitable to be consumed at all points of time. The reason for the same may vary, depending on the physical state of the person concerned and whether he or she is suffering from some form of illness.
Indian culture has recognized the same and that is why it encourages (or in some cases, prohibits) the consumption of certain food items at certain points of time. While there is medical explanation for most of them, some of the things that are prescribed by our traditions and culture have been proven to be false by modern science.
That is why, it is important for us to try to understand the science behind our traditions and then decide for ourselves about what to do. This article talks about one such highly debated aspects of Indian traditional beliefs and looks at it from a scientific perspective.
We shall throw some light on the consumption of ghee during late pregnancy and the role of the same in the life of the mother and her baby. Read on to know more about the same.
- Easily Tolerable
- Aids Digestion
- Good For The Baby's Brain
- Regular Medical Recommendation
- Special Provision
Having established the importance of dairy products in meeting the daily nutritional requirement of a normal adult (and more so in the case of a heavily pregnant woman), it is important for us to understand that not many people are able to consume the same.
These days, a growing number of pregnant women are found to be lactose intolerant. For such people the best way to meet the nutritional requirements would be by consumption of ghee. Doctors have confirmed that ghee can be consumed even by those who are lactose intolerant. That way, they can meet their daily nutritional requirements and prepare the body for the challenges of a natural birth.
Now with your body preparing itself for the trials and turbulences of delivery and childbirth, you would not want to battle digestive issues. In fact, severe digestive issues in the last trimester might actually be a hurdle to natural delivery. In such a situation, it will be fair to say that ghee is good for you.
What ghee does is to convert all the fiber that you eat into a chemical called butyric acid. The anti-viral properties of butyric acid help to inhibit the growth of harmful tumors and provides a healthy environment for the healthy bacteria in our stomach to thrive.
This is especially helpful in the case of pregnant women, as having a healthy gut improves bowel movements and makes the body stronger. A strong body will be able to take on the challenges of natural birth without needing any epidurals or surgical intervention.
Good For The Baby's Brain
Speaking from a chemical point of view, ghee has a very ideal ratio of brain-friendly fats to other fats. This type of good fats include Omega-3 and Omega-6. In addition to aiding the process of childbirth and delivery, what this does is to improve the functioning of your unborn child's nerve and brain cells by enhancing the memory. This is all the way truer in the case of consumption of ghee in the last month of pregnancy, because by then the baby's nervous system will be fully developed and it will be in a position to absorb all the goodness of the ghee that you consume. Surely, this is an investment for your child's long-term brain development.
Regular Medical Recommendation
The bodies of pregnant women have a greater necessity for fats as compared to a normal healthy human being. This is especially true in the advanced stages of pregnancy. Doctors recommend that about 10 to 20 per cent of a pregnant woman's fat intake should be from saturated fats. One of the healthiest ways in which a person can obtain the required dose of saturated fats is by the consumption of ghee.
Ideally, a pregnant woman should consume 5 to 8 teaspoons of ghee in her daily diet. This might be taken as a topping on parathas, rice or rotis. You can also include the same in the preparation of curries or deserts. If any of this is not feasible, a heavily pregnant woman can mix the ghee to her daily glass of milk and in the process ensure that her baby gets the nutrition that it deserves.
There may be special cases, wherein a doctor feels that the consumption of ghee is not recommended for a particular pregnant woman. This may be because the risks that are associated with the particular pregnancy may not promote this. It is usually the case with women who were obese before conceiving the child or those who have gained too much weight in the course of the pregnancy.
Another common case is that of women developing stones in their gall bladder in the course of their pregnancy. In such cases, consumption of ghee is strictly discouraged. Women who are carrying multiples and have been put to bed rest due to some medical conditions are also encouraged to keep away from ghee.
However, if yours is a special case pregnancy and there is some specific reason why you must not consume ghee, your gynecologist will intimate you of the same. In case they do not, feel free to give your body the special dose of nutrition that it so deserves in this delicate phase of life.