Eating Apricots During Pregnancy: Health Benefits & Side Effects

Consuming Apricots During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Gupta (Paediatric Nutritionist)
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Pregnancy and nutrition go hand in hand, and a mommy-to-be needs to monitor the food she consumes during pregnancy. What to eat and what not to eat may become a battle for you during pregnancy. Diet during pregnancy should be rich in vital nutrients such as iron, folic acid, protein, calcium, and iodine, and apricot is a fruit that is power-packed with these nutrients. Do you have apprehensions about adding this wonder fruit to your pregnancy diet? We shall discuss in detail how to effectively add apricots in your pregnancy diet and get maximum benefits from them.

What Are Apricots?

Apricot is a fruit that belongs to the category of drupe fruits (which can be eaten raw as well as in dried form). This fruit is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and E, and eating apricots during pregnancy is good for you and your baby.

Nutritional Value of Apricots

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), an apricot roughly weighs 35 grammes. Every 100 grammes of apricots contain 48 calories, 0.38 grammes of fat, 2 grammes of dietary fibre, 11.12 grammes of carbohydrates, 0.39 milligrammes of iron, 13 milligrammes of calcium, 10 milligrammes of magnesium, 23 milligrammes of phosphorus, and 259 milligrammes of potassium. The fruit also contains approximately 96 mg of vitamin A (IU) and 10 mg of vitamin C in it.

Are Apricots Safe for Pregnant Women?

Yes, it is completely safe to eat apricots during pregnancy. Apricot belongs to the Rosaceae family (cherries, peaches, plums, almonds, etc. also belong to this family), and this fruit could be added to your pregnancy diet for its immense health benefits. You can safely consume 1 to 2 kernels in a day. However, it is imperative to wash the fruit thoroughly (if eaten in raw form), to get rid of harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Health Benefits of Having Apricots During Pregnancy

There are many health benefits of consuming apricots during pregnancy; some of which are as follows:

1. Helps With Constipation

Apricots are a rich source of fibre and thus eating them during pregnancy can help overcome constipation. They also help in improving digestion during pregnancy.

2. Helps in Treating Anaemia

Apricots are rich in iron and copper. These nutrients are very effective in increasing haemoglobin and thus help in preventing/treating anaemia during pregnancy.

3. Helps Maintain Eye Health

Apricots are a good source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is beneficial in improving eye health. Eating apricots during pregnancy takes care of your eye health.

4. Helps in Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels

This has got to be one of the most important apricot benefits in pregnancy. Apricots are effective in keeping blood sugar levels under check. By controlling the blood glucose levels, you are less likely to suffer from gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

5. Good for Your Baby

Consuming apricots during pregnancy is also good for your baby. The presence of folic acid in apricots helps in the prevention of congenital disabilities such as spina bifida in newborn babies. Apricots are loaded with essential nutrients which are beneficial for foetal growth and development.

6. Good for Your Skin

Apricots can do wonders for your skin. Adding apricots to your pregnancy diet will be good for your skin and make your skin glow.

7. Helps in Lactation

Apricots are not only useful during pregnancy but are also effective in improving milk production post-pregnancy, in lactating mothers.

Dried ApricotsBenefits of Dried Apricots in Pregnancy

Dried apricots also have immense health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of consuming apricots during pregnancy:

  • Dried apricots have high potassium content that can be effective in treating swelling experienced during pregnancy.
  • Dried apricots are a good source of natural sugar, glucose, and fructose. Consuming dried apricots helps in preventing pregnancy craving for sweets.
  • Dried apricots can be consumed during pregnancy to take care of your digestion issues.
  • Dried apricots are rich in calcium. Consuming them during pregnancy helps in foetal bone development.
  • Dried apricots are effective in dealing with heartburns experienced during pregnancy.

Risks and Side-Effects of Consuming Apricots While Pregnant

Taking a balanced diet is essential during pregnancy. It is crucial to consume everything in moderation. The same rule applies to apricots also. Though apricots have many health benefits for a pregnant woman and her baby, there are also risks or side effects that may arise after consuming apricots:

  • Consuming unripe apricots may cause discomfort and gastric problems in a pregnant woman.
  • Apricots may cause allergic reactions. Apricots contain sulphur dioxide, which may cause a reaction in women who are allergic to sulphites. Women who have sulphur sensitivity should be careful while eating apricots.
  • The tip of the apricot fruit contains amygdalin, a chemical which may upset your system. It is recommended to consume apricot after removing its tip to get the maximum benefits out of the fruit. 

Fresh or Dried Apricot When Pregnant – Which Is Good and Why?

Apricots in both forms, whether fresh or dried, are safe to eat during pregnancy. A dried apricot is just a dehydrated version of the fresh fruit, and thus the nutritive ingredients remain unchanged. However, just a small amount of this should be consumed. Like everything else, consumption should be within limits. Go for fresh apricots if you manage to get your hands on them. Do not worry if you’re unable to get fresh apricots. The dried form works just as well.

How to Eat Apricots During Pregnancy?

While apricots can be eaten as fresh or dried fruit, there are many ways you can include this delicious fruit in your diet. If you are a fan of smoothies, soak some apricots and figs and blend them with milk and ice cubes to make a healthy smoothie―it will keep the hunger away. You can also add sliced apricots to breakfast bowls like porridge, oats, or cereal to start your day with a nutritious meal. Don’t forget to wash and de-seed the fruit before adding it to your food.

Recipe to Make Apricot Juice for Pregnant Women

Making apricot juice is one of the best ways to consume the nutritional goodness of this wonder food. Here is a recipe to make some refreshing apricot juice.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 apricots
  • 2 cups water

How to Make:

  1. Blend the apricots in a blender with the water. Blend until smooth
  2. Use a muslin cloth or a fine sieve to strain any chunks of apricot. 
  3. Your delicious apricot juice is ready to serve!

Points to Remember

It is good to eat apricots in pregnancy; however, it is important to remember the following points before adding them to your pregnancy diet:

  • It is recommended that you eat apricot along with your breakfast, or as a mid-morning or evening snack to get the best benefit.
  • It is best to eat apricot in its dried form or ripened form. Unripe apricots can cause severe discomfort and gastric problems during pregnancy.
  • It is recommended that you eat apricots in moderation (2-3pcs/day) as overconsumption may prove to be harmful during pregnancy.
  • Talk to your doctor before adding apricots to your diet, to know if you are sulphur allergic.

FAQs

1. Is It Safe to Use Apricot Kernel Oil During Pregnancy?

Apricot kernel oil contains Amygdalin which is a toxic chemical. This chemical can transform into cyanide within the body, which can cause dangerous effects, even leading to death in some cases. To be cautious during pregnancy, it’s advised to avoid consuming apricot kernel oils or supplements.

2. Does Consuming Apricots Aid in Weight Loss While Pregnant?

Fresh or raw apricots are low in calories. Therefore, they are perfect if you’re focusing on weight management during pregnancy. However, the same quantity of dried apricot can promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy.  Hence, it is always advised to consume dried apricots within the limit.

3. Is It Possible to Develop an Allergy to Apricots During Pregnancy?

Apricots are non-allergic and are safe to consume in moderate amounts during pregnancy. But, there is some evidence which suggests that individuals with birch-pollen or peach allergies could suffer from allergic reactions because of cross-reactivity with apricots. Please check with your healthcare provider.

4. Can Consuming Dried Apricots in Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth?

Among the many changes that take place in pregnancy, dental issues are also known to crop up. Proper cleaning is required after consuming dried apricots, as they can stick to your teeth. When stuck for too long, they can lead to tooth decay.

Apricots have many health benefits, and it is safe to eat this fruit during your pregnancy. However, one must exercise caution and not go overboard in consuming apricots during pregnancy. If you experience uneasiness or other symptoms after consuming apricots, it is suggested that you seek medical help. You are recommended to get in touch with your doctor or dietician, especially about consuming apricot during the first trimester of pregnancy.

References/Resources:

1. Barni. S, Caimmi. D, Pelosi. U, et al.; Phenotypes and Endotypes of Peach Allergy: What Is New?; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8912752/; February 2022

2. Allergy information for: Apricot (Prunus armeniaca); The University of Manchester; http://research.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/informall/allergenic-food/index.aspx?FoodId=410

3. Food Data Central: Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked; U.S. Department of Agriculture; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173941/nutrients

4. Cyanide: Exposure, Decontamination, Treatment; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; https://www.cdc.gov/chemicalemergencies/factsheets/cyanide.html

5. Vitamin A; University of Rochester Medical Center; https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&&contentid=VitaminA

6. Constipation Nutrition Tips; Stanford Cancer Nutrition Services; https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/programs-services/cancer-nutrition/docs/constipation-during-cancer-treatment-nutrition-facts.pdf

7. Bloating: Causes and Prevention Tips; Johns Hopkins Medicine; https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/bloating-causes-and-prevention-tips

8. Alexander. J, Barregard. L, Bignami. M, Ceccatelli. S, et al.; Acute health risks related to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides in raw apricot kernels and products derived from raw apricot kernels; European Food Safety Authority; https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4424; April 2016 

Also Read:

Consuming Ice Apple in Pregnancy
Eating Muskmelon while Pregnant
Can you eat Jujube Fruit during Pregnancy

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