Are Pecans Good For Pregnancy? [Including Pie!] 

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Written by Shandra Williams

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The humble pecan sometimes gets attention for its potential health benefits, but are pecans suitable for pregnancy, and should you limit your intake of them?

Pecans are safe for consumption during pregnancy. If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious snack during pregnancy, pecans are a great option. They’re packed with essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and iron to support a healthy pregnancy.

Check out this article to learn more about the health benefits of pecans and the best way to incorporate them into your pregnancy diet.

Are Pecan Nuts a Good Choice When Pregnant?

Pecans are a type of tree nut. Like all nuts, they’re a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They’re also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, and iron.

Here are some other nutritional benefits of eating pecans during pregnancy:

Pecans are a good source of energy.

Pregnant women need more carbohydrates during pregnancy than they did before they were pregnant. Carbohydrates are important for pregnant women because they provide energy (source: The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal).

Pregnant women need 175 grams of carbohydrates per day (source: Food Science and Nutrition Journal). Pecans are a good source of carbohydrates, with 13.9 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of pecans (source: USDA).

pecan nuts on a wooden table

Pecans contain essential vitamins and minerals.

Pecans are a good source of iron, magnesium, and vitamin E. These nutrients help support a healthy pregnancy. 

Iron: Iron prevents iron deficiency anemia (source: Saudi Medical Journal). Pregnant women need 30 mg of iron daily (source: UT Southwestern Medical Center). A 100-gram serving of pecans contains 2.53 mg of iron (source: USDA). 

Magnesium: Magnesium is important for pregnant women because it helps prevent leg cramps. Pregnant women need 240-480 mg of magnesium daily (source: Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health). A 100-gram serving of pecans contains 121 mg of magnesium (source: USDA). 

Vitamin E: Antioxidants protect cells from damage (source: Pharmacognosy Review Journal). Pregnant women need 22-30 mg of vitamin E daily (source: Elsevier Journal). A 100-gram serving of pecans contains 25 mg of vitamin E (source: Georgia Pecan Organization). 

Are All Pecans Safe for Pregnancy?

Like any food item, not all pecans are created equal. You want to ensure you’re getting the highest quality pecans for the best nutrition for you and your baby.

When shopping for pecans, look for:

  • Fresh and not rancid pecans: Like all nuts, pecans can go rancid quickly. Rancid nuts can cause digestive problems (source: University of California).
  • Organic pecans: Pecans grown conventionally may be sprayed with pesticides, which you may want to avoid during pregnancy because they can harm your developing baby (source: American Pregnancy Association).
  • Not overly salted pecans: Too much sodium can cause water retention and high blood pressure (source: Nutrients Journal).

Doing these simple things will help you get the most nutritious pecans possible.

a slice of pecan pie on a white plate with fork

Can I Eat Pecan Pie When Pregnant?

Pecan pie has a space on every Thanksgiving table. This all-time favorite dish is not only delicious but also nutritious. Pecans are a good energy source and can help you meet your increased calorie needs.

Pecan pie is a good choice for pregnant women, but it contains a lot of sugar and should be eaten in moderation. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and gestational diabetes.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, pecans are a great snack to incorporate into your diet. Enjoy!