Pregnant women face the dual challenge of eating a nutrient-dense diet—after all, they are eating for two!–and making sure to consume safe foods. Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese is a nutrient-dense cheese that will not only provide calcium and protein…it tastes good too!
Pregnant women need to increase their intake of key daily nutrients such as calcium (1300 milligrams is recommended) and protein (about 70 grams. This may vary depending on total caloric intake needed). Healthy foods for pregnant women should include those rich in vitamin B12 and other vitamins and minerals.
Healthy Diet Ideas
During pregnancy, Parmesan is a great staple. For pregnant women who ordinarily have trouble digesting dairy foods, Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese is a good fit because it is completely lactose-free. In addition, Parmesan contains about two-thirds less sodium than other hard cheeses such as domestic hard grating cheese or Pecorino Romano. It’s a good idea to keep a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the refrigerator to pull out when you get a craving to make mac and cheese or create a cheesy topping for vegetables, casseroles and pizza. Many pregnant women also enjoy eating chunks of this nutrient-rich food all by itself.
Safest Naturally Made Cheese
Every wheel of Parmesan is made under the strict supervision of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano—no additives or preservatives are allowed, ever. Food safety is a big concern during pregnancy—Parmesan cheese is a good choice for that reason, as well. The long aging process creates a cheese with a moisture content so low (30 percent) that bacteria simply can’t survive. Parmigiano Reggiano also has a low pH (5.3 to 5.5) that prevents the growth of bad bacteria inside each wheel. The Food and Drug Administration’s risk assessment analysis places hard cheese last in Listeria potential among 23 common foods—and Parmigiano Reggiano is among the longest aged and safest of the hard cheeses. Even at room temp (68ºF), wedges of Parmigiano Reggiano are safe for up to two days, providing a generous margin of error for transport.