22 Best Fruits to Eat During Pregnancy
Every article that we publish, confirms to stringent guidelines & involves several levels of reviews, both from our Editorial team & Experts. We welcome your suggestions in making this platform more useful for all our users. Write in to us at email@example.com
- Video: 10 Best Fruits To Eat During Pregnancy
- Importance of Fruits in Pregnancy
- 22 Healthy Fruits to Eat While Pregnant
- Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy
- Fruits-Related Products You Should Limit Your Consumptions Of
- How Much Fruit Should a Pregnant Woman Have?
- Is It Better to Eat Organic Fruits During Pregnancy?
- Simple Tips to Add Fruits to Your Pregnancy Diet
- Safety Tips to Consume Fruits during Pregnancy
You are coaxed to eat more food as soon as you become pregnant. However, the saying “eat for two” doesn’t hold true for a mother-to-be. Being pregnant does not mean you must overeat, but rather that you consume a balanced diet to meet the additional requirement of nutrients for you and the growing baby. Your diet chart is incomplete without vegetables and fruits. If you don’t consume the requisite amount of vegetables and fruits, your body will not be able to fulfil the nutritional requirement for the baby. Let’s look at the significance of fruits good for pregnancy and why you should consciously include them in your daily diet.
Video: 10 Best Fruits To Eat During Pregnancy
Importance of Fruits in Pregnancy
Interestingly, child development experts in Canada have recently found that women who consumed more fruits during pregnancy gave birth to children who performed better on developmental testing once they touched 12 months of age.
Fruits form the most important part of your diet, and eating fruits rich in vitamins, fibre and minerals provide nutrition for the mother and the growing baby. Some of the key nutrients are obtained from fruits, and they can help you and the baby in the following ways:
- Fruits supply essential nutrients like beta carotene to the baby that helps in the development of tissue and cells, besides building a stronger immune system
- Vitamin C in fruits is vital for the baby’s bone and tooth development. It is also important for the body to get this vitamin in adequate amounts, as it helps the body absorb iron, which is a key mineral required during pregnancy
- Folic acid, a water-soluble B vitamin, is also very important during pregnancy. It prevents foetal growth defects related to the brain and the spinal cord.
- Fruits rich in fibre help you deal with constipation and haemorrhoids, while iron-rich fruits prevent anaemia
- Potassium is critical for maintaining your body’s cells’ fluid and electrolyte balance. Leg cramps are common during pregnancy, which can be alleviated by consuming enough potassium.
- The immune system can weaken during pregnancy, making pregnant women more susceptible to illnesses. Fruits are rich in antioxidants, which can help boost the immune system, thereby protecting against infections.
- Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy, but eating fruits can help. Eating fruits rich in fibre can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation.
- Eating a diet rich in fruits can help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, as fruits are low in sugar and fibre. Instead of going for packaged snacks, you can munch on fruits if you have sugar cravings. This way, you will avoid harmful sugar and the possibility of gestational diabetes.
22 Healthy Fruits to Eat While Pregnant
It is prudent to eat the following fruits as part of your daily diet in pregnancy. Here is a list of some pregnancy best fruits:
Banana tops the list of fruits because it contains key nutrients such as folate, vitamin C, B6, potassium and magnesium. While folate performs the job of protecting the foetus from neural tube defects, Vitamin B6 helps regulate your sodium levels. Imbalanced fluid levels can cause nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, but the rich magnesium content in banana ensures a healthy fluid balance. Generally, one banana is recommended every day during your first trimester.
Kiwi is second in the list because it is loaded with nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, A, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folic acid and dietary fibre. Kiwis have a healing effect on the respiratory system. Kiwis also help protect you from cold and cough. They reduce the risk of blood clotting, as they have a high phosphorus content and help absorb iron.
The nutrients available in guava make it a must-have in pregnancy. It is rich in Vitamin C, E, iso-flavonoids, Carotenoids and Polyphenols. Guava also aids digestion and provides strength to the baby’s nervous system.
This is one of the most important fruits to eat while pregnant because eating it can enhance the immunity and strength of your baby. It helps reduce the risk of wheezing, asthma and eczema in your child as he grows. Apples are rich in nutrients and contain Vitamins A, E and D and zinc.
Pears are close cousins of apples and contain high amounts of folic acid. They are a rich source of Vitamin C too.
6. Custard Apple
Custard apples are rich in vitamin A and C, which are necessary for the eyes, hair, skin and body tissues of the growing baby. This seasonal fruit is also recommended because it enhances the cognitive development of your baby.
Pomegranates contain calcium, folate, iron, protein and Vitamin C. Thus, they are highly recommended during pregnancy.
Avocados are known to have more folate than other fruits. They are also a great source of Vitamin C, B, and K, and contain fibre, choline, magnesium and potassium. Avocados also contain iron. Choline is important for your baby’s brain and nerve development because the deficiency of choline may impact the baby’s memory.
Mangoes contain a high amount of Vitamin C, which aids digestion, prevents constipation and protects you from minor infections. However, mangoes are seasonal fruits and may not be available in all seasons.
Loaded with Vitamin C, cherries help fight infections such as a common cold. Cherries also ensure efficient blood supply to the placenta.
Strawberries are rich in vitamins, fibre and folate. They also contain manganese and potassium that aid the growth of strong bones of your baby.
Watermelons contain Vitamins A, C, and B6, magnesium and potassium. Filled with minerals, they are also rich in fibre. Include watermelon in your diet, especially in the last trimester, as it helps relieve heartburn and swelling in hands and feet (oedema) and eases muscle cramps.
13. Chikoo (Sapodilla)
Chikoos are full of electrolytes, Vitamin A, carbohydrates and energy. They help you control dizziness and nausea, besides keeping irritable bowel syndrome in check.
Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, folate, calcium and fibre. When shopping for them, do make sure you buy organic varieties, which do not have pesticides
This juicy fruit is a good source of potassium and helps in lowering high blood pressure. Orange is best source of Vitamin C.
Grapes are full of nutrients such as glucose, fructose, phlobaphene, gallic acid, silicic acid, oxalic acid, pectin, magnesium, calcium, iron, folic acid and different types of vitamins such as B1, B2, and B6.
Since the GI tract functions slowly while pregnant, apricots are a great way to help pregnant women have easier bowel movements. They are full of all the powerful nutrients that support the healthy growth of your baby. They contain a lot of iron, which guards against anaemia. Up to two to four apricots may be consumed each day.
Dragonfruit, or pitaya, is a low-calorie fruit high in vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants. It is abundant in iron and magnesium, essential for maintaining healthy blood and bone health.
19. Passion Fruit
Passion fruit is a tangy fruit rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fibre. It is also a good source of iron, potassium, and magnesium, which are important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, muscle function, and bone health.
Persimmon is a sweet fruit rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fibre. It is an excellent source of potassium, which is important for regulating blood pressure and maintaining healthy muscles and nerves.
Starfruit, or carambola, is a tropical fruit high in vitamin C and fibre. It is rich in potassium, important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, and antioxidants, which help protect against cell damage. The fruit also helps relieve nausea and vomiting.
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit rich in vitamins A and C, fibre, and antioxidants. Rich in potassium, jackfruit helps regulate blood pressure and maintain healthy muscles and nerves.
These are some of the best fruits to eat while pregnant.
Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy
While most fruits are rich in nutrients, some of them, like black grapes, papaya and pineapple, are to be avoided during pregnancy for the following reasons:
- Papaya: The latex content in unripe or semi-ripe papayas can lead to uterine contractions and early labour. Avoid them during pregnancy
- Black grapes: Avoid black grapes in the first trimester because they produce body-heat that could harm the baby. However, dried black raisins are good for constipation, which occurs during the initial days of pregnancy, but consume them in moderation.
- Pineapples: Pineapples contain bromelain, which could soften the cervix and cause early labour.
- Dates: Dates excite the uterus muscles and generate body heat. Avoid these in excessive quantities.
Fruits-Related Products You Should Limit Your Consumptions Of
Here are some fruit-related products that pregnant women should limit their consumption of:
- Fruit Juice: While fruit juice can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, it is often high in sugar and lacks the fibre in whole fruits. Too much fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain and increase the risk of gestational diabetes. Pregnant women should reduce their fruit juice intake and opt for whole fruits. Also, drink only pasteurised fruit juice during pregnancy to avoid infections.
- Dried Fruit: Dried fruit is a convenient and portable snack often marketed as a healthy alternative to candy or sweets. However, dried fruit is high in sugar and calories and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. It is also easy to overeat dried fruit, leading to excessive weight gain.
- Canned Fruit: Canned fruit is often packed in heavy syrup, high in sugar and calories. It can also contain preservatives and additives that may not be safe for pregnant women to consume in large quantities. Pregnant women should limit their consumption of canned fruit and opt for fresh or frozen fruit instead.
How Much Fruit Should a Pregnant Woman Have?
You are advised to include two to four servings of fruit in your diet every day. You can consume them fresh, canned, juiced or dried, but try to have as much fresh fruit as possible. Some fruits, which are equivalent to single-serve, include:
- One medium piece of fruit, such as apple, banana or pear, will be equivalent to a single serving, while two small pieces of kiwi, apricots or plums are equal to a single serving.
- One cup of fresh diced fruit such as watermelon.
- If you like juice, then half cup of fruit juice is considered equal to a single serving.
Is It Better to Eat Organic Fruits During Pregnancy?
Eating organic fruits during pregnancy is a personal choice that depends on individual preferences, beliefs, and budget. While organic fruits are often touted as healthier and safer than conventionally grown fruits, limited scientific evidence supports these claims.
Organic fruits are grown without synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, and other chemicals, which may reduce the risk of exposure to these substances. However, organic fruits may still be exposed to natural toxins and contaminants, such as bacteria and heavy metals, that can harm pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Pregnant women need to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, whether they are organic or conventionally grown, to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need for a healthy pregnancy. The most important thing is to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them, regardless of whether they are organic, to reduce the risk of exposure to harmful substances. For any doubts, voicing your concerns to your healthcare provider and taking their opinion is a smarter and safer way to have a healthy pregnancy.
Simple Tips to Add Fruits to Your Pregnancy Diet
- You can mix sliced fruits or frozen berries with yoghurt or cereal in your breakfast.
- You can also add pieces of apple, grapes or raisins to salads for a pre-lunch snack.
- If you don’t have time to cut fruits, make smoothies or shakes by blending fruit with yoghurt or milk.
- You can add dried or fresh fruit to oatmeal, pancakes and waffles.
- The best option is to keep a bowl of fruit within your reach and sight so that you remember to grab a piece of fruit whenever you are hungry.
- Keep dried fruit or fruits like grapes and strawberries handy, and snack on them instead of on junk food.
- You can also bake yourself a fruit cake and include many fruits such as kiwi and berries. This is a delicious way to add fruits to your diet.
- These super fruits in pregnancy can help you sail smoothly through the nine months of your pregnancy. So, tuck into them to your heart’s content and have a healthy pregnancy.
Safety Tips to Consume Fruits during Pregnancy
- Try to purchase organic pesticide-free fruits.
- Wash the fruit thoroughly.
- Store fresh fruit in the fridge, away from raw meat.
- Remove bruised areas where bacteria may lurk.
- Avoid eating pre-cut fruits or eat immediately after cutting.
Fruits have plenty of nutrients and serve as a great snack during pregnancy. They nourish you and the child and help keep you both healthy and happy.
1. Gardner. B, Croker. H, Barr. S, et al.; Psychological predictors of dietary intentions in pregnancy; PubMed central; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22380723/; August 2012
2. Nutrition: How to Make healthier food choices; familydoctor; https://familydoctor.org/nutrition-how-to-make-healthier-food-choices/; March 2023
3. Reasons for the Seasons; University of California Cooperative Extension Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources; https://ucanr.edu/sites/ceplacerhorticulture/files/140962.pdf
4. Reasons for the Seasons; University of California Cooperative Extension Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources; https://ucanr.edu/sites/ceplacerhorticulture/files/140963.pdf
5. Adebiyi. A, Adaikan. PG, Prasad. RNV; Papaya (Carica papaya) consumption is unsafe in pregnancy: fact or fable? Scientific evaluation of a common belief in some parts of Asia using a rat model; PubMed Central; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12144723/; August 2002
6. Foods to avoid in pregnancy; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/foods-to-avoid/
7. Murphy. MM, Stettler. N, Smith KM, et al.; Associations of consumption of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy with infant birth weight or small for gestational age births: a systematic review of the literature; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208630/; October 2014