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When it comes to parenting, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of your child. This is why it’s important to understand the value of what you eat, especially during the crucial months your baby spends in your belly. Consuming a well-balanced diet not only helps your baby but also helps you get healthier and happier. One of the most important things to look out for in a diet is the ingredients used in your meals and if they are safe to consume during your pregnancy.
One of the most accessible fruits debated upon is grapes during pregnancy. Let’s take a look at if grapes are safe to eat during this period.
Is Eating Grapes Safe During Pregnancy?
According to most doctors, the answer to the above frequently asked question is affirmative! In limited consumption, grapes aren’t just safe, but also extremely healthy. This is because grapes are a natural source of minerals, vitamins and other key nutrients.
Much like anything, however, overeating them will harm your body. Grapes are rich in a natural sugar called fructose which, if not monitored during gestational diabetes, can aggravate it and cause harm.
Health Benefits of Having Grapes When Pregnant
Grapes consumed in limited quantities can help improve the lifestyle and health of both mother and child. This is because the nutrients they carry can prevent or fight a lot of diseases and illnesses.
Benefits of Grapes for the Mother
Grapes can help improve the quality of the mother’s health in the following ways:
- The magnesium content in grapes helps combat muscle cramping.
- The iron presence in grapes avoids anaemia during pregnancy and helps balance out haemoglobin levels.
- Pregnancy deteriorates your immune system; the antioxidants in grapes can help improve your immunity.
- The water content and anti-inflammatory properties of grapes help combat both arthritis and asthma.
- The hydrating ability of grapes ensure your lungs retain the right kind of moisture.
- The high fibre content helps battle constipation.
- The organic acids from grapes beat cavities.
- The risk of heart diseases increases during pregnancy; grapes contain a component called polyphenol, which helps beat heart disease.
Benefits for the Baby
Grapes are beneficial not only for expecting mothers but for the babies as well.
- The natural sodium balance of grapes helps with the development of the baby’s nervous system.
- Flavanol and vitamin A in grapes can help with the development of the baby’s eyesight.
- More nutrients are passed onto a foetus or unborn baby due to the presence of vitamin B compounds which help with the pace of the maternal metabolism. Grapes contain ample vitamin B.
- The presence of a mineral called resveratrol stabilises the mother’s cholesterol, ensuring the unborn child has a healthy heart.
Nutritional Value of Grapes
Grapes have great nutritional value:
They are also rich in natural acids like:
- Folic Acid
- Citric Acid
- Malic Acid
- Tartaric Acid
Additionally, grapes are also a rich source of vitamins like:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Most of the Vitamin B group
Remember that if regulated and limited in consumption, grapes can be good during pregnancy.
When Should You Avoid Grapes?
Although grapes are packed with nutritional value, there are a few conditions in which you should avoid them altogether:
- Women who are allergic to grapes should avoid them at all costs.
- Expectant mothers who have gestational diabetes should avoid or limit the intake of grapes.
- Women who have ulcers and other issues with the digestive tract should avoid grapes until the condition is cured.
- Women who have problems with high blood sugar should avoid grapes.
Side-Effects of Eating Grapes During Pregnancy
When you consume too many grapes at once, you may experience the following conditions as side-effects:
- A blood sugar imbalance
- Weight gain
- Heartburn and GERD
Important Facts to Consider While Eating Grapes During Pregnancy
Here are a few things to consider when eating grapes on a regular basis:
- Be aware that grapes are rich in sugar. If you consume grape juice, the natural dietary fibre of the fruit is lost. Consuming too much grape juice can harm your blood sugar levels.
- Eating grapes on an empty stomach could cause indigestion due to its acidic capacity.
- Consuming black grapes during pregnancy can cause digestive issues if your stomach is already weak.
- If you already have GERD, it may be best to avoid grapes until it settles.
How Can You Include Grapes in Your Diet?
Grapes can be consumed as is, but you could also add them to your meals in innovative ways. Here’s how you can incorporate grapes into recipes that make up your diet:
Simple Recipes With Grapes
- Mix an assortment of grapes with kale, artichokes, arugula, pineapple, roasted beets and a simple salad Toss it well; your refreshing and light salad is ready.
- Mix green grapes with assorted nuts, pepper and salt and blend them with some olive oil and Tabasco sauce. Marinate some boneless chicken pieces in this grape and nuts mixture, and eat them as an appetiser or with roti as a nutritious lunch.
- Mix yoghurt, an assortment of grapes and berries, some kale, pink salt and bananas and blend them together for a power smoothie that packs a nutritional punch.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the consumption of grapes during pregnancy:
1. Is Eating Dry Grapes or Raisins Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes, eating dry grapes or raisins in limited quantities is considered safe during pregnancy. Remember only to consume a small handful, however, as overeating it carries risks. In small doses, these nutritious raisins will give you a lot of energy. You can even mix them with cereal or porridge if you aren’t a fan of the flavour.
2. Can I Drink Red/White Wine During Pregnancy?
You are advised to avoid any type of alcohol during your pregnancy. This is considered harmful for your baby. Instead of wine, try a non-alcoholic grape mocktail.
3. Are Grape Seeds Safe?
Grape seeds can carry some risk if you are allergic or are on medications or supplements that may react badly when combined with these seeds. It is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before eating grapes with seeds.
4. Are Grapes With Black Spots Safe?
No, grapes that have a black spot are not safe for anyone. Those black spots are a type of mould. It is extremely poisonous and should be avoided at all costs. If the grape has a green and white spot on it that seems unnatural, avoid it. This could be a form of fungus that is also considered extremely poisonous.
5. If I Have Gestational Diabetes, How Many Grapes Can I Eat?
Grapes are rich in nutritional value, but if you have gestational diabetes, please avoid them. Consult your doctor about foods that can provide the same nutrients or consume nutritional supplements.
Grapes and other fruits are great sources of nutrition. Consuming fruits during pregnancy is highly recommended by dieticians to help balance out your body’s required minerals and vitamins. Remember, however, to talk to your doctor and plan a customised diet carefully as overcompensating for one ingredient can cause a nutritional imbalance. It is best to limit the excessive intake of any food. Neither grapes nor any other fruit can solely make up a diet, so remember to eat healthily. Consult your dietician about the kind of food you can have with grapes as an accompaniment. It is highly recommended that you keep in touch with your doctor through your pregnancy and communicate any problems you may notice while on any diet.
Note: It is best to consult a dietician for a more comprehensive diet plan based on your medical requirements if you are not sure whether you are allergic to certain foods. You can get an allergy panel blood test done, or you could incorporate small amounts of ingredients before starting the diet to eliminate the risk of allergies.
Also Read: Consuming Amla During Pregnancy