Which are the suggested fruits to be taken during pregnancy and what are the benefits?
During pregnancy, you essentially eat for two, hence eating healthy becomes a crucial responsibility of yours. This means having an understanding of what to eat and what to avoid. A nutritious diet promises overall health, and fruits are the obvious answer to healthy snacking. They provide more benefits than one would imagine.
• Bananas provide the body with potassium and can help with cramps and fatigue. The Vitamin B6 content helps in the regulation of sodium levels and for controlling nausea and vomiting. Doctors recommend eating one banana daily during the first trimester, as the folate plays a key role in protecting the foetus from neural tube defects.
• Oranges provide vitamin C which helps you absorb iron, folate, and fibre. The folate in oranges reduces the risk of brain and spinal cord defects and potassium helps prevent high blood pressure during pregnancy.
• Avocados are one of the most highly recommended fruit to consume while pregnant as it is a good source of folate. Folate intake helps prevent birth defects in the brain and spinal cord.
• Cherries are also high in vitamin C content and increase the blood supply to the placenta, and the baby as well. They also contain melatonin, a hormone which stimulates cell growth and helps with sleep. Mothers with difficulty sleeping during this time can seek these fruits for relief.
• Apples are full of vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc, and improve the immune system. They have antioxidants that are of great importance during the baby’s rapid growth period. Apples are also good sources of fibre, which is great for your digestive system.
• Pears serve as a source of fibre for the diet, this helps with problems involving constipation that a lot of expecting women have. Eating high fibrous foods can help one prevent this and feel less bloated. Monitoring and maintaining your water intake is important when increasing your fibre intake. They contain folic acid which plays an important role in preventing neural tube defects in babies.
• Watermelons keep the body hydrated and also provide essential vitamins like potassium and magnesium. Eating this fruit in the last trimester reduces painful muscle cramps. This makes it a must-eat fruit during pregnancy but is also a cold inducing food, so one must be aware of that and eat accordingly.
• Grapes also provide magnesium to the body which reduces the cramps during pregnancy. Grapes contain folate, fructose and multiple vitamins that help metabolism and digestion.
Fruits that are good for you and your pregnancy does not mean you should eat them by the truckload! Pregnancy diet is all about health and moderation. Even these fruits can be harmful if eaten in a large quantity. There are however fruits that expecting women are actively told to avoid, and the most important reason is to not to aggravate any allergies or pre-existing conditions.
• Bananas too contain chitinase, a substance that is known to be an allergen. They also have a fair amount of sugar that diabetics are advised against consuming. It also increases body-heat, there’s not much scientific evidence of heat-inducing foods harming the baby but it is believed in many parts of the world to be. Grapes are also controversial due to their high levels of resveratrol that can cause toxicity for the mother. Eating too many can cause acidity and nausea.
• Pineapple is at the top of the list of fruits to avoid during the first trimester. This is because it can make you experience sharp uterine contractions which can cause a miscarriage. Pineapple contains an enzyme (bromelain) that can soften the cervix wall and cause uterine contractions.
• Papaya provides a multitude of macronutrients and vitamins that are essential for the body, this fruit is generally to be avoided by pregnant women. Papaya can increase your body temperature which is not good for the baby. The fruit also contains latex and can lead to the same effects pineapple can have on the body. It may even impair the development of the fetus, so avoid eating ripe/unripe papayas during your pregnancy.
• Processed and canned fruits should also be avoided because they contain chemical preservatives that are toxic for you and the baby, eating them may lead to complications. Contact your doctor for a complete list of foods to avoid during your pregnancy and get them to approve of items in your diet that you can consume safely. It is all about customisation and moderation.