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Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman but making healthy choices during this time is crucial. If you are pregnant, you must eat healthy foods to ensure that your baby gets the right nutrition for his proper growth and development. You should include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet as they are full of essential nutrients and are packed with fibre. They provide the baby with minerals and vitamins necessary for his growth. One such healthy, tasty, and nutritious fruit that you should consider including in your diet is banana. Banana is a tropical fruit and contains essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and dietary fibre. Find out how eating bananas can help you during pregnancy.
Is it Good to Eat Bananas During Pregnancy?
Bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates, dietary fibre, essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex, and minerals like manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and selenium. All these nutrients help in the healthy development of the foetus during pregnancy. Eating bananas can also provide relief from some of the complications that arise in pregnancy and can be beneficial for the health of both the mother and the baby.
Benefits of Eating Bananas During Pregnancy
Fruits are healthy and should be a part of diet especially during pregnancy. Some of the benefits of eating bananas during pregnancy are mentioned below.
- Provides Relief From Vomiting and Nausea
Bananas are a rich source of Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 can cure nausea and morning sickness. Hence, eating bananas, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy is particularly recommended to women.
- Helps Lower the Risk of Oedema
Many pregnant women experience oedema or water retention in the second and third trimesters of their pregnancies. Oedema can lead to swelling of the ankles, feet, and other joints. If you notice swelling in the joints or ankle, avoid consuming salty foods and include banana in your diet; it will help lower the swelling.
- Gives a Quick Energy Boost
Bananas are high in carbohydrates as they contain simple sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose that can be metabolised quickly by the body to provide an immediate energy boost. During the last trimester of pregnancy, eating bananas can give you a quick energy boost. So, keep this fruit handy. Eating bananas will even help you fight fatigue and increase your energy levels.
- Lowers the Chances of Birth Defects in the Baby
Bananas are a good source of folate, which is necessary for the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Eating bananas during pregnancy improves folate levels in the body thus lowering the chances of folate deficiency, which is known to cause birth defects in the baby.
- Help in the Development of the Baby’s Nervous System
Bananas are a rich source of the water-soluble Vitamin B6, which is necessary for the development of the central nervous system of the baby. Thus, regular consumption of bananas in the first trimester of pregnancy can prove beneficial for his brain development too.
- Provides Relief From Constipation
Bananas contain a high amount of dietary fibre, which helps in stimulating the bowel movements and reduce bloating in the stomach caused by gas. A medium-sized banana contains about 6 grams of fibre. Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy and that’s why eating this easily available fruit can help. Eating bananas can improve bowel movements, thus providing relief from constipation.
- Helps Maintain Blood Pressure
Bananas are a rich source of potassium. It is an essential mineral that controls blood pressure levels in the body. You can include banana in your diet and prevent fluctuations in your blood pressure levels.
- Helps Prevent Acidity and Heartburn
Eating bananas can help protect the stomach and oesophageal walls from gastric acid. Acidity and heartburn are a common problem during pregnancy. Eating bananas during this time can keep acidity and heartburn at bay. It can also aid digestion.
- Helps in the Bone Development
Bananas are an excellent source of calcium, which is necessary for the development of bones in both the baby and the mother. Calcium is also necessary for the regulation of muscle contraction in the body so include this fruit in your pregnancy diet.
- Helps Maintain Healthy Skin
Bananas are a good source of Vitamin C. This vitamin, also called ascorbic acid, is essential for the absorption of iron in the body. It also helps in the growth of bones, repairing tissues, and maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps fight infections. Eating bananas during pregnancy can give the baby and the mother-to-be with all the benefits of Vitamin C.
Are There Any Harmful Effects of Consuming Bananas During Pregnancy?
Bananas are absolutely safe for consumption during pregnancy. They contain plenty of nutrients which have several health benefits for both the mother and the baby. However, they should be consumed in moderation. Bananas are sugary fruit, and eating them in excessive amounts and not maintaining proper hygiene practices can lead to tooth decay.
Women with gestational diabetes should also not consume too many bananas as they can cause sugar levels to increase rapidly. If you are pregnant and have gestational diabetes, it is suggested that you consult your doctor about eating bananas.
Pregnant women who are allergic to bananas should also avoid eating bananas. Bananas contain chitinase, which is an allergen that causes the latex-fruit syndrome. This group includes other fruits like kiwis and avocados, which should also be consumed after checking with a doctor.
Precautions to Take While Eating Bananas During Pregnancy
It is best to consume bananas that are fresh and clean. Avoid eating bananas that have been lying around for days, are overripe or have turned black. Also make sure to consult your doctor about including bananas in your diet, especially if you are allergic or suffer from gestational diabetes.
How to Include Bananas in Your Diet
You can include bananas in your pregnancy diet in one or more of the following ways given below.
- Banana Smoothie: Having a smoothie or banana milkshake in pregnancy is a great way to include the fruit in your diet. Blend a ripe banana with some strawberries and low-fat milk to make a tasty smoothie.
- Banana Oatmeal: Add some chopped bananas, oatmeal, and nuts like almonds in yoghurt and enjoy. It can be enjoyed as breakfast. Banana oatmeal is high in fibre, carbohydrates, and minerals and can give you an energy boost.
- Banana Chips: You can have banana chips during pregnancy when you have a craving to munch on something. However, banana chips are usually deep-fried and salty. You can make a healthy, oil-free version by using low sodium salt and baking instead of frying.
- Whole Fruit – If you don’t want to make anything, just eat the whole banana. You will get the maximum health benefits from it by eating the whole fruit.
1. Can You Eat Red Bananas During Pregnancy?
Red bananas are absolutely safe to eat during pregnancy. They are similar to yellow bananas in nutritional content and they also help improve lactation.
2. How Many Bananas Can I Eat Daily?
Bananas, like anything else, should be consumed in moderation. You can eat 1 to 2 medium-sized bananas in a day. However, make sure to consult a doctor before including them in your diet and also ask how much you should eat.
Bananas are an excellent source of essential nutrients for pregnant women and have several health benefits for both the baby and the mother. So go ahead and enjoy that banana smoothie or a whole banana! However, make sure you talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet during pregnancy.