Your body goes through numerous physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy. The way you nourish your body during this time will affect your health and your baby’s. You must eat a healthful, balanced diet to help ensure you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. The food you eat is your baby’s main source of nourishment, so it’s critical to consume foods that are rich in nutrients. Proper nutrition can help promote your baby’s growth and development.
Kunun zaki (kunu drink) is a local non-alcoholic beverage produced from millet and spices. The spices used in preparing kunun zaki include sweet potatoes, ginger, cloves, red and black pepper. Other main ingredients apart from millet like tiger nut, groundnut, rice, sorghum, e.t.c. can also be used to make kunu drink. For instance, when tiger nuts are used, it is called “kunun aya” and when groundnut plus rice is being used, it is called “kunun gyada.” Kunun Zaki is termed so because of its sweetness from the sweet potatoes used and it is very popular in Nigeria, especially among those in the northern part of the country. Its popularity is also gaining grounds even in various African countries refreshing its lovers with a wide array of health benefits.
Good For Proper Development Of The Baby’s Brain
Kunu Drink contains high levels of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) due to its millet content. Niacin and pregnancy are interlinked as niacin is essential for the proper development of the baby’s brain. However, taking too much vitamin B3 can cause side effects like skin flushes and liver damage. Vitamin B3 is a vital nutrient essential for pregnant women to ensure the healthy development of the unborn baby.
Improves Blood Circulation
Kunu Drink contains Ginger which improves the blood circulation in the body. Ginger is effective in regulating the cholesterol levels during pregnancy. Adequate blood supply for your baby: By consuming kunu containing ginger, the blood circulation in your body gets spiked up. This boosts the blood supply to the foetus as well.
“Morning sickness”, which can range from mild nausea to frequent vomiting, is a common symptom of early pregnancy, affecting approximately 80 percent of women during their first trimester. The most well-established use of medicinal ginger is its alleviation of nausea, which stems from its ability to aid in appropriate stomach-emptying. There is also research to support that ginger has an effect on the brain receptors that moderate nausea, although the exact mechanisms are still unknown. Several studies have evaluated ginger as a remedy for nausea during pregnancy, and it appears both safe and effective. The ginger in Kunu Drink can settle your stomach and help reduce nausea. SEE: Effects and Benefits of Fura da Nono During Pregnancy
Pregnancy causes the muscles in the digestive tract to relax and, therefore, food will travel through the intestines at a slower rate. The result is serious indigestion and bloating. The ginger in Kunu Drink will help reduce problems with digestion. Dietary fiber in kunu normalizes bowel movements by bulking up stools and making them easier to pass. This can help relieve and prevent both constipation and diarrhea. Eating plenty of fiber can also reduce your risk for diverticulitis (inflammation of the intestine), hemorrhoids, gallstones, kidney stones, and provide some relief for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some studies have also indicated that a high-fiber diet may help to lower gastric acid and reduce your risk for gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and ulcers.
Boost Blood Production
Millet from which most kunu are made is a rich source of iron. Iron is an essential element for blood production. About 70 percent of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood called hemoglobin and in muscle cells called myoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in your blood from the lungs to the tissues. Myoglobin, in muscle cells, accepts, stores, transports and releases oxygen. Your body uses iron to make extra blood (hemoglobin) for you and your baby during pregnancy. Iron also helps move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body — and to your baby’s. Getting enough iron can prevent a condition of too few red blood cells that can make you feel tired, called iron deficiency anemia. See: Zobo Drink and Pregnancy
Good Bone Development
Your body can’t make calcium, so you need to get it from food or supplements. While you’re pregnant, try to get at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day. If you’re 18 or younger, then you need at least 1,300 mg of calcium every day. Kunu drink is one of the best sources of calcium.
A pregnant woman’s need for calcium goes up in the third trimester, when the baby’s skeleton is rapidly developing. “The fetal skeleton gets what it needs, no matter what, even if it has to leech essentials from its mother’s bones,” says Murray Favus, MD, director of the bone program and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. But nature is on Mom’s side too: “A woman’s body can sense the increased needs of the fetus and produce more vitamin D. This enables pregnant women and nursing moms to absorb more of the calcium that’s in their food,” says Ruth Frechman, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, in Los Angeles.
For Mom and Baby
It helps your baby grow and fortifies your breast milk. But calcium also benefits Mom’s health:
- Fewer PMS symptoms. A study at the National Institute of Mental Health found that women who took 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily reduced overall PMS symptoms by more than 50 percent.
- Less body fat. A study from the University of Tennessee showed that a diet high in low-fat dairy food may spur fat cells to produce less fat.
Good News! Experts say pregnancy can be a great time for bone health. First, you are able to absorb more calcium. Second, your body is creating bone-strengthening estrogen. Finally, a Mom’s overall skeleton gets strength training thanks to the weight of her baby. SEE: Does Zobo Drink Give Blood