Ricotta cheese is made from milk whey of sheep, goat, cow or Italian water buffalo. However, the production process of ricotta cheese is similar to that of a normal cheese but after producing it, the remnants of whey milk are converted into ricotta cheese through coagulation process.
Now one of the most frequently asked questions is, if ricotta cheese can be consumed by pregnant women. So, in this article, we will be discussing all the benefits as well side effects of ricotta cheese.
Is Ricotta Cheese Safe to be Consumed During Pregnancy?
Of course, one needs to pay extra attention to what they consume at the time of pregnancy. Although, certain types of cheeses are considered to be safe during pregnancy but at the same time there are few that can harm your body. Cheese like ricotta and stilton are considered to be safe during pregnancy. On the other side, one must avoid tender, blue-veined and ripened types of cheese.
All You Need to Know about Eating Ricotta Cheese During Pregnancy
Benefits of Ricotta Cheese for Pregnant Women
Listed below are few of the benefits of ricotta cheese:
Ricotta is a rich source of protein. Thus, its consumption during pregnancy helps in the formation of new cells and tissues in the body. In addition to this, it also releases certain essential hormones.
Being rich in selenium, ricotta increases the progesterone levels and decreases the TPO antibody levels during pregnancy.
Half a cup of ricotta cheese fulfils approximately 11 percent of vitamin A that helps to boost the immunity of the growing embryo, 14% of Riboflavin that helps to maintain healthy eyes and skin and 7% of vitamin B12 which prevents birth defects, daily recommended intake. All these vitamins are beneficial during pregnancy.
Calcium is essential for strong and healthy bones. Being a good source of calcium, consuming ricotta cheese during pregnancy helps in maintaining the health of your bones as well as your baby’s.
Omega Fatty Acids
Being an excellent source of both omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids, ricotta cheese is considered to be beneficial during pregnancy. This is because omega fatty acids are known to have positive effects on the visual and cognitive development of the baby. make sure that you consult your doctor before adding ricotta cheese to your diet.
Considered to be the main source of energy, skimmed milk ricotta cheese or fat free ricotta cheese is a rich source of carbohydrates. It is beneficial in the overall development of the growing baby.
Side Effects of Ricotta Cheese During Pregnancy
- You should avoid ricotta cheese made from whole milk. Ricotta cheese produced from whole milk is high in fat. This can have an adverse effect in the potential brain development of the baby.
- Having high sodium content, it is advisable that you eat ricotta cheese in less quantity. This is because doctors recommend low-salt diet during pregnancy. Excessive salt consumption during pregnancy can cause bloating or even water retention.
Lemon-Thyme Flavoured Whipped Ricotta
This one’s my favourite. You can serve it just as a dip or with veggies or whole-wheat crackers.
- Skimmed ricotta – 30 grams
- Chopped fresh thyme – 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil – 2 teaspoons
- Lemon zest – 2 teaspoons
- Lemon juice – 1/4th cup
- Minced shallot or chives – 2 teaspoons
- Fresh pepper – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – ½ Teaspoon
How to cook
- Except for olive oil, blend all the mentioned ingredients and puree them until smooth.
- Transfer it into a bowl once it’s ready and then drizzle with olive oil and thyme.
- You’re done!
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Listed below are the foods that one should avoid eating at the time of pregnancy:
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Seafood like swordfish and shark
- Hot dogs and lunch meat
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables
- Makes sure that you avoid alcohol at all costs as it increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
- Herbal teas are considered to be both safe by some people and unsafe by other. So, consult your doctor.
- Do not eat raw fish, raw or runny eggs and undercooked meat and poultry.
- Make sure that you wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
When to Visit a Doctor?
Every other person will tell you something new during your 40 weeks of pregnancy. But it does not mean that you have to listen to everybody and abide by their rules and regulation. Remember, it is your pregnancy and in case, you are unsure about some certain food, it is always better to visit your doctor. You can also have a quick check-up to ensure that you and your baby are healthy.