Eating Dry Fruits in Pregnancy: Benefits, Risks & How to Eat

Eating Dry Fruits in Pregnancy: Benefits, Risks & How to Eat

When a woman finds out that she is pregnant, her eating habits change for the better. And naturally, it should, because maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is of extreme importance. If you are pregnant, your body will need additional vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients to support the healthy growth of the baby. And following a balanced diet is the best way to ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs to nurture your child. There are certain foods that are a must-include in your pregnancy diet. Dry fruits and nuts are also recommended to pregnant women as they provide various benefits to both the mother and the baby. But is it completely safe to include them in your diet? Find out!



Is it Safe to Eat Dry Fruits and Nuts During Pregnancy?

Dry fruits and nuts are a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and amino acids, making them a must-include in an expectant woman’s diet. Dry fruits contain crucial vitamins like B1-B9, C, K, E, and H. They can also satiate hunger easily which can prove helpful while pregnant. This makes them safe for consumption during pregnancy but like with everything else, caution needs to be exercised while consuming dry fruits and nuts during pregnancy as too much of them can lead to various complications. So eat them, but in moderation!





Benefits of Eating Dry Fruits and Nuts While Pregnant

Dry fruits and nuts are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and selenium. They are also a good source of antioxidants They are also good at appeasing hunger making them a perfect snack for pregnant women.

  • Being rich in dietary fibre, dry fruits help in preventing constipation during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can lead to constipation and various other problems during pregnancy. But this problem can be solved by consuming nuts. A high-fibre diet that includes a portion of dry fruits is good for pregnant women.
  • Iron is integral to a healthy pregnancy and dry fruits like dried figs and dates and nuts can help you meet your daily requirements of iron.
  • Dry fruits can provide you with a substantial amount of Vitamin A which is necessary for the development of the baby’s teeth and bones.
  • Dry fruits are also a good source of Vitamin C and are essential for your immune system and to help absorb iron.
  • The potassium found in dry fruits and nuts can help control blood pressure and enhance muscle control.
  • The magnesium content in dry fruits and nuts can help in the proper development of nerves and bones in your baby.
  • The natural sugar in dry fruits can be digested easily and provides a good dose of energy to your body.
  • Dry fruits like prunes or dates are known to strengthen the muscles of the uterus which aids in a smooth delivery. It also reduces the chances of bleeding post-delivery.
  • Eating dry fruits and nuts during pregnancy is believed to reduce the risks of asthma and wheezing in a baby.
  • Vitamin E in dry fruits and nuts can help in the development of cells and lungs in the baby. This vitamin can also regulate your blood sugar and help prevent your baby from developing asthma.

Are There Any Side Effects and Risks of Consuming Dry Fruits and Nuts?

Weight gain in pregnancy

When consumed in moderation, dry fruits and nuts are perfectly safe to consume during pregnancy. However, if you eat them in excess, you may face various health complications like:




  • Gastrointestinal problems such as gas, bloating, and diarrhoea.
  • Weight gain as dry fruits and nuts are rich in calories.
  • Since dry fruits contain natural sugars like fructose, they can cause tooth decay if you don’t follow proper dental hygiene.
  • Some dry fruits like raisins have a high glycemic index which can bring about a surge in energy when blood sugar soars and then lead to a sugar crash and fatigue just as quickly.
  • Sometimes, you may also develop an allergy to dried nuts.

Precautions

Healthy as they are, it is important to keep in mind a few precautions when consuming dry fruits during pregnancy.

  • Choose sundried fruits instead of those processed in a plant. This way you can avoid toxin known as acrylamide that is found in food that is heated for an extended period. It is a carcinogen and can have adverse effects on the nervous system and fertility.
  • Check to see whether the dried fruits you buy have added sugar or not. Dry fruits contain a certain amount of natural sugars but some brands also contain added sugar. Avoid them in all cases.
  • Sometimes, packaged dry fruits and nuts have added preservatives. They may contain sulphur dioxide that can lead to allergic reactions or respiratory issues.
  • The drying process which these fruits are subjected to can lead to an increase in calories. So you need to be careful about how much you eat to regulate your calorie intake.
  • Try to buy organic and preservative-free dry fruits from reputed sellers and buy only what you can eat in a month’s time.
  • If buying from local vendors, look out for bugs, mould, or dirt. You can also taste a piece before you buy in bulk.
  • Store dry fruits in a clean and dry container and place them in the refrigerator to prevent them from spoiling.

How Much Dry Fruits and Nuts Should You Eat in a Day?

How Much Dry Fruits Can You Consume in a Day

Dry fruits contain a lot more calories than fresh fruits. Some nuts are also high in calories. So, you need to watch what you eat especially during pregnancy. It is recommended that you do not eat more than 100 grams of dry fruits in a day during this time. For instance, you could eat four to seven pieces of almonds, about four halves of walnuts, two dates, and about eight pistachios at a time. It is also recommended that you eat your daily dose of dry fruits before mid-day to let your body absorb the nutrients better.





Recommended Dry Fruits and Nuts During Pregnancy

Almost all dry fruits and nuts are recommended to pregnant women. If you are pregnant, make sure that you include the following in your diet on a regular basis during this special time in your life.

Dry Fruits and Nuts Nutrients Calories/Cup How It Helps
Almonds Calcium, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, Vitamin E 529
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Helps develop baby’s teeth and bones
  • Prevents low birth weight in a baby and boosts brain development
Dried apricots Fibre, Vitamin A, Copper, Vitamin E 381
  • Prevents constipation
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Improves muscle and organ functions
  • Lowers the risk of pre-eclampsia
Raisins Iron and fibre 488
  • Prevents constipation
Walnuts Omega 3 fats 720
  • Aids the development of baby’s brain and vision
Cashew nuts Phosphorous 640
  • Ensures normal heart rate
Dried apples Fibre, potassium 208
  • Improves bowel function
  • Improves muscle function
  • Controls blood pressure
Pistachios Copper 330
  • Ensures the smooth functioning of organs and muscles
Dates Fibre 502
  • Promotes digestion and maintains weight
Dried figs Fibre 371
Peanuts Protein 828
  • Healthy birth weight
Dried bananas Vitamin C 360
  • Boosts immunity
  • prevents heart disease

Tips for Consuming Dry Fruits and Nuts

There are a lot of misconceptions and myths associated with the consumption of dry fruits and nuts during pregnancy. Cashews, almonds, apricots, prunes, raisins, dates, walnuts, and pistachios are some dry fruits and nuts that are good for pregnant women. Since dry fruits are nutritious, you should aim to include the recommended quantity in your diet each day. Here are some ways you can do this:




  • Most dry fruits are good for pregnant women and can be consumed raw. They also make for a healthy snack when hungry during pregnancy.
  • You can also add nuts and dry fruits to your salads, sandwiches, and desserts like puddings or custards.
  • Dry fruits can help curb morning sickness to some extent so add dry fruits to a bowl of yoghurt to prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • You can make a compote of dry fruits by soaking them in boiling water in a saucepan for about half an hour. This water can then be consumed all day long.
  • Make your own dry fruit candy by mincing dates and walnuts and rolling them in some grated coconut. Store it in the refrigerator for consumption. You can consume them for up to ten days.
  • Some types of dry fruits can be hard to bite into or chew. So, you can first soak them in boiling water for about ten minutes before consuming them.

Pregnancy is a time when you must eat healthy food and focus on your well-being as well as your child’s. It is important not to get overwhelmed when making food choices. You will get a lot of advice from your relatives and family members, and this flood of information on what to eat and what not to can sometimes confuse you. But don’t worry. Consult your doctor to find out what is best for you and your child.

Disclaimer: This information is just a guide and not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified professional.





Also Read: Pregnancy Diet Chart – A Simple Diet Plan for a Pregnant Woman