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Eating Chocolate during Pregnancy

Pregnancy By Bushra Kafeel , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Aug 08, 2011
Eating Chocolate during Pregnancy

Chocolate during Pregnancy - People hold different views on eating chocolates during pregnancy. Some think it to be healthy while the others warn of its side-effects. 

Chocolates have naturally occurring chemical called theobromine which stimulates heart, relaxes muscles and dilates blood vessels. Even though chocolates are safe for pregnant women but its intake must be restricted owing to the following reasons:

  • Firstly, high-calorie content of chocolate can lead to excess weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Secondly, caffeine present in chocolates can multiply when you drink other caffeinated drinks and eat a lot of chocolates.

Researchers still have contradictory views on acceptable/safe caffeine level for pregnant women. But it is a widely accepted notion, daily caffeine consumption must be kept below 200mg. When a pregnant woman consumes caffeine it passes through placenta and gets absorbed by the baby. Unlike adults, babies can’t break down the caffeine at quick pace. Thus, it remains for longer time in baby’s blood and can even reach dangerously high levels.

 

Benefits of Chocolate during Pregnancy

 

According to a study published in the New Scientist Magazine, mood altering chemicals are found in chocolates are linked to baby’s behaviour. Women who eat more chocolates gave birth to active, happier babies with traits such as laughter and smiling.


Dark chocolates have high content of theobromine. It is found to be good for baby and wards off heart diseases.


According to another study published in the Journal of Epidemiology, women who eat chocolate 4 to 5 times a week are 40% less likely to suffer from pre-eclampsia. The research further revealed that there is a chemical present in dark chocolate that is responsible for reducing risk of pre-eclampsia.


In a study conducted at Yale University, scientists examined 2,291 pregnant women and monitored theobromine level in umbilical cord of baby. Results revealed that babies of women who consumed more chocolates had high level of theobromine and were thus less likely to develop pre-eclampsia.


In spite of the various researches favouring eating chocolate during pregnancy it is important to keep a check on its consumption. The best way to do so is consult your doctor and know what is best for you.

 

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