Diet & Nutrition
Updated on 1 November 2022
A healthy diet is one of the most critical requirements during pregnancy. For a healthy pregnancy, expecting mothers need approximately 300 extra calories daily. These calories should come from a healthy and balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins.
Among these, fruits play an important role in maintaining glucose levels and supplying the mother and child with essential nutrients. Fruits are an important source of Vitamin C and Folic Acid that are vital for both the mother and child. Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C and 0.4 mg of folic acid daily to prevent neural tube defects. The fibre content in fruits also helps in digestion and prevents constipation.
However, for various reasons, not all fruits are safe to consume during pregnancy. While some can elevate your body temperature, others can flush out essential nutrients. Hence, pregnant women need to be aware of the adverse effects of fruits and how they can affect the body before consuming them. In this article, we bring you a list of fruits women should avoid during pregnancy.
Here are some fruits that you should avoid eating during pregnancy:
Papaya is not advised during pregnancy as it increases body temperature. Although it contains macronutrients and vitamins, the latex content in the fruit can induce premature contractions. In the worst case, it can increase the chances of bleeding or miscarriage, and in some, it impairs the growth of the fetus. Hence eating both ripe and unripe papayas should be avoided during pregnancy.
While pineapples contain nutrients and antioxidants, tropical fruit is not advisable for pregnant women. The bromelain in the fruit, an enzyme that breaks down protein, can lead to sharp uterine contractions and even induce early labour. Moreover, eating excess pineapple can cause issues like diarrhoea, resulting in dehydration. However, many doctors say that pineapples can be beneficial if consumed in small portions. To be safe, women avoid its intake, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Grapes aren't recommended during pregnancy, especially during the final trimester, as they are said to generate body heat. While eating it in moderate quantities is considered nutritious, most expecting mothers drop grapes from their diet due to the risks involved.
It is advisable to eat fresh fruits rather than deep-frozen ones during pregnancy. Freezing reduces the fruit's original taste and nutrients. Hence, women avoid eating frozen berries when pregnant. In some cases, frozen berries can be harmful to both the mother and the baby.
Eating canned food is not advisable for pregnant women. Canned tomatoes, especially, can be harmful due to their preservatives. It is better to have fresh tomatoes than canned ones.
Watermelons are our favourite summer fruit. However, having watermelon during pregnancy may not be the right decision as it generally flushes out toxins from the body while regulating hydration; as a result, it can expose the baby to various toxins. In some cases, the properties of the fruit can flush out essential nutrients, too. Moreover, excess consumption of the fruit can also increase the body's sugar levels. However, some consume it as a fruit that helps maintain electrolyte balance.
While dates are healthy and contain essential nutrients like iron and other minerals, they are not advisable for pregnant women. One of the main reasons is that they can elevate the body's temperature quickly; in some cases, date consumption can also result in uterine contractions. While eating a date a day should not be harmful, it's necessary to understand how the body reacts and proceed with it.
While these are some fruits that should be avoided, there is quite a long list of fruits that can be eaten during pregnancy. Fruits keep you hydrated and contain many essential nutrients that are important for women throughout their pregnancy.
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Some fruits expectant mothers should include in their diet are oranges, mangoes, avocados, bananas, apples, and many more. Ensure that you wash fruits properly before eating and remove any damaged parts as bacteria could be lurking in them.
Also, avoid buying precut melons and eat freshly cut melons instead. However, you should consult your doctor on the type of fruits you can eat, as each body type is different.
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