Yes, it is generally safe to drink horchata while pregnant, but like anything else, moderation happens to be the key.
This beverage has its roots traced from Spanish cuisine and it’s basically made from rice, almonds, sugar cane juice, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, or tiger nuts.
It is mostly served cold, and as a usual refreshment especially during hot summer days.
Horchata drink contains calcium, which is important for the little one’s bone and teeth development, and can help the mother avoid a condition known as osteoporosis.
It also contains carbohydrates. However, some health professionals recommend limiting intake of liquids with high levels of natural sugars (carbs), like horchata.
What are tips for pregnant women to consider when they need to drink horchata?
Be mindful of these factors anytime you consider sipping on it:
If you’re buying horchata from a reputable source, then it is most likely to have been made with pasteurized milk and other safe ingredients.
Pasteurization involves heating the milk to kill all bacteria, making it safer for pregnant women. Homemade hortacha on the other hand may pose a higher risk if the milk is not pasteurized.
Some pregnant women develop lactose intolerance or become very sensitive to lactose. If you’re one of these moms, then you should be cautious about consuming this beverage as it contains significant amount of milk.
If you have allergies to any of the ingredients typically found in horchata such as rice or nuts, it’s necessary to give it a pass.
This drink can be high in sugar, which should be consumed in strict moderation, or be avoided completely among moms managing gestational diabetes.
Excess sugar might worsen this issue, and even cause other health implications.
Most a time horchata doesn’t come with caffeine, but if it’s made with coffee or coffee-flavored ingredients, you might want to limit your intake because too much caffeine can harm your baby.
While this can be a refreshing drink, it’s important to remember that staying hydrated is crucial while expecting.
Water should be your primary source of hydration. And horchata should in no way replace water in your pregnancy diet.
Is horchata safe to drink?
Yes, horchata is very safe to drink by most people, including pregnant moms. It has several health benefits, which include its low calorie content, with most serving containing just 60-100 calories.
It’s also a first-rate source of vitamin E and C, Calcium, phosphorus and proteins for its rice base. Some types even contain nuts, making it all the more nutritious.
Even the process of making this drink ensures maximum safety. The rice used is soaked in water for several hours or even overnight before being blended and strained, reducing the amount of bacteria in the rice.
It’s important to consider the source of your horchata anytime. If you’re making it yourself at home, you certainly know which ingredients to use and the process to follow. (Pasteurized milk and coffee substitutes)
If it’s store-bought or ordered in a restaurant, you can ask about the ingredients and the preparation method, and if possible ask to customize your order.
Don’t forget that while they can provide certain nutritional advantages, it’s still important to drink in moderate amounts due to its sugar content.
Bingeing on sugar drinks can cause unnecessary weight gain and other health issues.
Health benefits of horchata for pregnant women
Horchata can have some potential benefits for pregnant women, but it’s important to consume it in moderation and ensure that it’s prepared and handled safely. Here are some potential benefits:
This beverage is primarily made from water, which can help pregnant women stay hydrated. Staying hydrated during these precious moments is crucial for maintaining amniotic fluid levels, supporting proper circulation, and preventing issues like constipation.
Caloric and Nutritional Content
This drink can provide some calories and nutrients, such as carbohydrates from rice and possibly some vitamins and minerals if it’s made with ingredients like cinnamon.
These nutrients can contribute to overall energy levels and nutritional intake during pregnancy. Cinnamon isn’t the best for pregnant moms, so they should limit their intake.
Pregnancy can sometimes lead to changes in taste preferences and cravings. Horchata offers a unique and enjoyable flavor that will suit the temporal refreshing change from plain water.
Morning Sickness Relief
Some women find that mild, soothing beverages like this drink can help relieve symptoms of morning sickness or nausea during pregnancy.
Is horchata pasteurized?
Whether your horchata is pasteurized or not typically depends on how it was prepared and where you purchased from.
Pasteurization is a heat treatment process that is used to kill all possible bacteria and pathogens in foods and beverages and make them very safe to consume.
In commercial or store bought horchata, there’s a higher likelihood that it has been pasteurized so as to ensure its safety. Manufacturers typically pasteurize their products to meet the safety standards and extend shelf life.
However, if you are drinking one you prepared yourself, or a freshly prepared from a local vendor or restaurant, it may not always be pasteurized.
In such cases it’s important to ask about the preparation method to ensure it was made made and handled in a safe hygienic manner.
If you are craving for horchata and contemplating on getting one, then it may be best to opt for commercially produced ones.
Which drinks to avoid during pregnancy?
It has always been important to be cautious about the types of drinks you consume at this time. Some drinks to limit drastically, or avoid during pregnancy include;
- Unpasteurized juices
- High sugar beverages
- Herbal teas and supplements
- Some specific fish beverages
- Energy drinks
Is it safe to drink horchata made with cinnamon during pregnancy?
It is generally considered safe to take in cinnamon in moderate amounts while pregnant. Cinnamon can offer some benefits like lowering the risk of infection and regulating blood sugar levels.
But it’s very important to consume in controlled amounts. Large quantities of cinnamon including ones from beverages, oils and supplements can have negative effects on the liver and in extreme cases, cause pregnancy complications.
If you have any concern about the use of cinnamon, go ahead and discuss with your health care expert.
After studying up on the ingredients in horchata, doctors’ guidance, and the needs of expecting moms, here’s the scoop – this beverage can be part of a pregnancy diet, but moderation is key.
Though horchata is typically okay to drink while pregnant, it’s best to have homemade or store-bought versions that have been pasteurized to keep things safe for the baby.
Remember, everyone’s body is unique. Always discuss dietary changes with a healthcare expert when you’re pregnant to ensure you and your baby stay happy and healthy.