As soon as you become pregnant, you are coaxed to eat more food. However, the saying “eat for two” doesn’t hold true for a mother-to-be. Being pregnant does not mean that 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 during pregnancy, and why you should make a conscious effort to include them in your daily diet.
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:
It is prudent to eat the following fruits as part of your daily diet in pregnancy:
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.
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.
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
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:
1. Papaya: The latex content in unripe or semi-ripe papayas can lead to uterine contractions and early labour. Avoid them during pregnancy
2. Black grapes: Avoid black grapes in the first trimester because they produce body-heat which could be harmful to the baby. However, dried black raisins are good for constipation, which occurs during initial days of pregnancy, but consume them in moderation.
3. Pineapples: Pineapples contain bromelain, which could soften the cervix and cause early labour.
4. Dates: Dates excite the muscles of the uterus and generate body heat. Avoid these in excessive quantities.
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:
Fruits have plenty of nutrients and serve as a great snack during pregnancy. They nourish you as well as the child and help keep you both healthy and happy.
This post was last modified on March 11, 2020 5:24 pm
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