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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. Nourishing them well helps with their development. When you consume a well-balanced diet, it not only helps your baby but 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 for the period you are pregnant.
We know there are some foods you should avoid when you’re pregnant. We also know that other ingredients like ginger, garlic and sweet potatoes are good for you. One of the possibly most accessible fruits debated upon is grapes during pregnancy. Let’s take a look at if grapes are safe during pregnancy.
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 they can be extremely healthy. This is because grapes are a natural source of minerals, vitamins and other key nutrients.
Much like anything, however, overdoing it will harm your body. Grapes are rich in a natural sugar called fructose which if not monitored during gestational diabetes can aggravate it.
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 for the Mother
Grapes can help improve the quality of life for the mother and her health in the following ways
- The magnesium content in grapes help combat muscle cramping
- The iron presence in grapes avoids anaemia during pregnancy
- 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.
- Grapes are rich in iron which helps balance out haemoglobin levels.
- Grapes and grape juice during pregnancy actively help stop overproduction of vitamin K which acts as a blood coagulator and grapes are natural blood thinners, this helps regulate clotting during the delivery.
Benefits for the Baby
Apart from the benefits grapes have for mothers, they are a great source of nutrition for babies as well. Here are some of the benefits for babies who consume grapes in limited but regular quantities.
- The natural sodium balance of grapes will help with the development of the baby’s nervous system.
- A mineral called flavanol and Vitamin A can help with the development of the baby’s eyesight and both these nutrients are found in grapes.
- 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.
- The presence of a mineral called resveratrol stabilises the mother’s cholesterol ensuring your unborn child has a healthy heart.
Nutritional Value of Grapes
Grapes have a great nutritional value because they carry various nutrients like:
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 for pregnancy.
When Should You Avoid Grapes
Although grapes have a lot of 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 till the condition is cured.
- Women who have problems with high blood sugar should avoid grapes.
Side Effects of Grapes in Pregnancy
When you consume too many grapes at a time you may experience the following conditions as side-effects:
- Consuming too many grapes at once could create a blood sugar imbalance.
- Constipation is a risk when you consume too many grapes at one time.
- Over consumption can lead to weight gain.
- Eating too many grapes can cause resveratrol poisoning
- Grapes, if consumed unlimitedly in one day can cause heartburn and GERD
- Diarrhoea is a possible side effect of consuming too many grapes
Important Facts to Consider While Eating Grapes
Here are a few considerations you should keep in mind while 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. This means consuming too much grape juice can harm your blood sugar levels.
- Eating grape 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, it may be best to avoid them.
- If you already have GERD, it may be best to avoid grapes till it settles.
How Can You Include Grapes in Your Diet
Grape can be consumed by themselves but you could also eat them with your meal, here are a few innovative ways to incorporate grape 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 blue cheese dressing. Toss it well for a refreshing and light summer salad.
- Slice green grapes finely, mix with assorted nuts, pepper, and salt. Blend the mix with olive oil and Tabasco, marinate 250grams of chicken breast for two hours and bake it for a grape baked chicken, accompany it with some buttered rice for a nutritionally rich and unique lunch.
- Mix yoghurt, an assortment of grapes and berries, some kale, pink salt, Tabasco, banana and blend for a power smoothie that packs a nutritional punch.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the consumption of grapes during pregnancy
Is Eating Dry Grapes Or Raisins Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes, in limited quantities eating dry grapes also known as raisins are considered safe during pregnancy. Remember only to consume a small handful, however, as overeating, it could carry some risk. In small doses, these raisins will give you a lot of energy and have great nutritional value. You can even mix them with cereal or porridge if you aren’t a fan of the flavour.
Can I Drink Red/White Wine During Pregnancy?
It is recommended that you avoid any type of alcohol during your pregnancy. This is considered harmful for your baby. Instead of wine, try a non-alcoholic grape mocktail.
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.
Are Grapes With Black Spot Safe?
No, grapes that have a black spot are not safe for anyone. Those black spots are a type of mold. It is extremely poisonous and should be avoided at all cost. 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.
If I Have Gestational Diabetes, How Many Grapes Can I Eat?
Grapes are rich in nutritional value, however, if you have gestational diabetes please avoid them. Consult your doctor about foods that can provide the same nutrients or consume nutritional supplements. Gestational diabetes can carry risk post pregnancy if not treated with care.
Grape and other fruits are great sources of nutrition. It is highly recommended by dieticians that fruit is consumed during pregnancy 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 excessive use of any ingredient. Neither grape nor any other fruit can solely make up a diet, so remember to eat healthy. Consult your dietician about the kind of food you can have with grapes as an accompaniment. It is also recommended that you eat small and frequent meals rather than large meals further apart. This is to help your body maintain a source of energy while keeping a healthy metabolic rate. Hydration is also a key part of any diet. Talk to your doctor to better understand the amount of water you should consume and how much water should come from food sources like fruit, soups and vegetables. 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: Before regulating a diet, 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 incorporate small amounts of ingredients before starting the diet to eliminate the risk of allergies.