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    Dragon Fruit in Pregnancy: Side Effects & Benefits

    Pregnancy Journey

    Dragon Fruit in Pregnancy: Side Effects & Benefits

    Updated on 16 May 2023

    Expert Verified

    Shwetha

    Weight Loss, Diabetes - MSc in Food Science & Nutrition

    Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a tropical fruit that has gained popularity in recent years for its unique appearance and potential health benefits. While it is generally considered safe to consume during pregnancy, there are some potential risks and side effects to be aware of. In this article, we will explore the benefits and risks of consuming dragon fruit in pregnancy, including its nutritional value, potential effects on gestational diabetes, and any potential risks to fetal development.

    What is dragon fruit?

    Pitaya, or dragon fruit, is a tropical fruit that originated in South and Central America and Mexico. It has a pinkish-red skin with light green scales and a sweet, crunchy flesh that resembles a combination of kiwi and pear. It is available year-round and comes in four different varieties with pink, white, red, or purple flesh, all of which have edible black seed. It has a sweet, tropical taste and a creamy texture similar to kiwi fruit.

    Dragon fruit is not very commonly consumed by Indian polulation because of its high pricing and low availability. But it can be great to consume dragon fruit during pregnancy because of its numerous health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamin C and iron.

    Dragon fruit's nutritional value

    These nutritional facts may help you make up your mind about whether or not eating dragon fruit in pregnancy is a good idea. The following vital elements are found in abundance in this fruit:

    • Calcium which benefits greatly the baby's bone structure.
    • Nutrients such as iron, potassium, and others have been shown to improve immunological function.
    • Dragon fruit's high folic acid content is good for the developing neurological system of an unborn child.
    • The unique and essential component of lycopene aids in the fight against a wide range of health issues and reduces the probability of cancer.
    • It improves the health of the pregnant mother because it is full of nutrients, including vitamin C, fibre, and beta-carotene.

    Is it safe to eat dragon fruit during pregnancy?

    Can pregnant women eat dragon fruit? The answer is yes. There are many positive effects on your health and your baby's health from eating this nutrient-dense fruit. In addition, consuming red dragon fruits is an excellent method of becoming acclimated to their flavour. If you've never had dragon fruit before and have a history of fruit allergies, you should talk to your doctor before eating one while pregnant. Common reactions to consuming it include itching, swelling, nausea, and vomiting in people with food allergies.

    Benefits of eating dragon fruit while pregnancy

    The possible benefits of consuming dragon fruit during pregnancy are listed below -

    1. Rich source of fats

    A pregnant woman's body needs good fats to maintain high energy levels. It aids in developing the foetal brain and keeping the body's different metabolic processes in good working order. Despite its high-calorie content, dragon fruit is low in fat, especially monounsaturated fat.

    2. Packed with energy-giving carbs

    The high carbohydrate content of this fruit makes it a convenient and readily usable source of fuel for fetal growth and development.

    3. Prevents infections

    Catching infections during pregnancy is a major worry for any expecting mother. The placenta has a porous membrane that allows these bacteria easy access to the developing child. Dragon fruit also promotes cell regeneration, which is helpful in the treatment of wounds and the prevention of infection.

    4. Constipation relief

    Dragon fruit is rich in fibres. Consuming dragon fruit during pregnancy can help pregnant women with frequent constipation. Constipation and gas are common complaints for pregnant women, especially in the first three months of their pregnancies.

    5. Increases hemoglobin (hb) levels

    Because of its high iron content, dragon fruit can increase haemoglobin levels in the blood. This can be beneficial for women suffering from iron deficiency or anemia during pregnancy.

    6. Contributes to bone growth

    The calcium in dragon fruit is beneficial for the growth of the bones of an unborn child. Further, phosphorus is crucial to its functioning. These two nutrients complement one another to help mom keep her pearly whites in tip-top shape.

    Side effects of dragon fruit during pregnancy

    Dragon fruit is generally safe and nutritious for pregnant women to consume, but consuming too much may lead to some adverse side effects or health risks. Here are some of the potential side effects of consuming dragon fruit during pregnancy:

    1. Too much fiber

    Dragon fruit contains a high amount of fiber which can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as constipation, bloating, and abdominal cramps, if consumed in excess.

    2. Allergic reactions

    Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to dragon fruit, causing symptoms such as swelling, hives, tongue swelling, or vomiting.

    3. Change in urine's color

    Consuming a large amount of red dragon fruit can cause your urine to turn pink or red, which may look alarming but is not considered a serious symptom

    It is important to consume dragon fruit in moderation and to diversify fruit intake during pregnancy. Pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider before adding dragon fruit to their diet, especially if they have a history of fruit allergies. Additionally, it is best to wash and cut whole fruits at home instead of purchasing pre-cut fruit to avoid harmful bacteria or parasites.

    How to eat dragon fruit during pregnancy?

    Now that you know eating dragon fruit while pregnant is perfectly safe let's look at some creative ways to incorporate it into your diet.

    • Like other fruits, it can be eaten uncooked
    • The fruit's juice can be squeezed out
    • Pieces of this fruit might be a nice addition to your salad

    FAQs

    1. Is dragon fruit good for fertility?

    Yes, dragon fruit is considered good for fertility due to its antioxidant and antiproliferative properties that aid in the stimulation of reproductive hormones. It is also a good option for pregnant mothers as it is rich in vitamins B1, B2, and B3 and antioxidant-rich minerals like iron.

    2. Is dragon fruit cold or hot?

    Dragon fruit is a cold fruit. Dragon fruit is good for pregnancy because of the abundance of Vitamins C, B1, B2, and B3; calcium, phosphorus, iron, protein, and niacin. Eating dragon fruit in pregnancy can help contribute to a stronger immune system.

    References

    1. A. Widyaningsih et al.; (2017). Effect of consuming red dragon fruit (Hylocereus Costaricensis) juice on the levels of hemoglobin and erythrocyte among pregnant women; Belitung Nursing Journal

    2. Megasari, M; Pitriani, R. (2021). The Effectiveness of Dragon Fruit Consumption For Increasing Haemoglobin Levels In Pregnancy Women With Light Anemia Symptoms. Science Midwifery

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    Verified Article by

    Shwetha

    Weight Loss, Diabetes - MSc in Food Science & Nutrition

    Written by

    parul_sachdeva

    parul_sachdeva

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