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Pregnancy is accompanied by a strong urge for eating. This is only natural as the mother needs to eat for herself as well as for the baby. Certain foods are good for the development of the foetus. It is always recommended to choose a piece of fruit over a bar of chocolate to satiate the sweet cravings.
If you are tempted by the lush, juicy Kiwi, it is natural to wonder ‘can pregnant women eat kiwi? Read on to learn if you can indulge in this delicious fruit during pregnancy.
Kiwi or Chinese gooseberry – The fleshy green fruit is packed with plenty of health benefits and is delicious as well.
Apart from its sweet and pleasant taste, kiwi fruit offers a host of benefits for pregnant ladies.
Is it Safe to Eat Kiwi during Pregnancy?
Rich in Vitamin C, and low in sugar and fat, kiwi is ideal for consumption in pregnancy. Also, it contains no cholesterol. The only reason you may need to avoid it is if you are susceptible to gastritis or heritable allergy. Eating 2 -3 kiwi fruits each day is perfectly safe.
Nutrients in a Kiwi Fruit
This super fruit is packed with vital nutrients; vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, folate, dietary fibre, copper, choline, magnesium and phosphorus. It provides over a hundred and forty percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C.
Nutrients present in 1 Medium Sized Kiwi Fruit
|Total Fat||0.4 grams|
|Vitamin A||3 micrograms|
|Vitamin C||64 milligrams|
Health Benefits of Eating Kiwi Fruit for Pregnant Women
Listed below are some of the health benefits of the Kiwi Fruit:
- Folate: Folic acid plays an integral role in the cognitive development of the foetus. It helps develop the brain as well as the nervous system and prevents neural defects in the unborn baby. It is a critical nutrient for the formation and maintenance of cells. It is also responsible for the development of vital organs of the baby in the womb. Folate prevents congenital disabilities in babies such as Spina Bifida, a medical condition in which spinal cord is not fully developed. Having kiwi during the early pregnancy phase will also reduce the chances of having a miscarriage.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is vital for the formation of neurotransmitters which are crucial to brain function. Foods that are rich in antioxidants protect the mother-to-be from the harmful effects of free radicals. It is excellent for boosting energy levels and strengthening the immune system.
- Natural Sugars: Kiwi, like all fruits, contains natural sugars to help control your sweet cravings. Low in glycemic index, it does not lead to a spike in the levels of insulin. It is essential in regulating blood sugar levels as gestational diabetes during pregnancy is quite common.
- Promotes Digestion: Constipation is normal during pregnancy. You will need to include probiotics in your diet to help prevent diarrhoea, bloating, nausea, stomach discomfort, abdominal pains and gastritis. Kiwi is rich in dietary fibre which keeps the colon healthy. Fibre-rich food is a natural laxative and aids digestion.
- Iron: Pregnant women are often afflicted with a disorder where is there is iron deficiency, anaemia caused by a lack of haemoglobin in the blood. Other symptoms of low iron include pale skin, poor appetite and nausea. Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells. It also carries oxygen between cells and is essential for energy production. Kiwifruit provides four percent of iron per serving. It also facilitates absorption of iron, thus preventing anaemia.
- Calcium: Calcium is essential for the development of bones, muscles, teeth and healthy heart of your unborn baby. Kiwifruit contains five and a half percent calcium; if your dairy consumption is low or you have lactose intolerance, it would be advisable to include calcium-rich kiwifruit in your diet. It also contains magnesium, which improves absorption of calcium.
- Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Besides being rich in Vitamin C, Kiwi has large amounts of vitamin E, which protects you and your baby’s cells from damage. It promotes healthy skin.
- Strengthens Immune System: The Copper present in Kiwi assists in the brain development of the child and also strengthens the immune system.
- Hormonal Balance: Hormones can create havoc during pregnancy as you may suffer from depression, feel tired and stressed. A serving of kiwifruit can help balance hormones which will prevent any mood swings from taking place.
- Low Calories: Kiwi is low calorie, naturally sweet option to satiate cravings and hunger without piling on the pounds.
How to Eat Kiwi Fruit
Kiwi can be consumed in many ways such as:
- Cut the fruit from centre and enjoy it with spoon.
- Include it in your salads with other fruits.
- Add it to smoothies or yoghurt.
- Freeze the slices or pulp of kiwi fruit and turn them into popsicles.
Risk Associated with Consuming Kiwi Fruit during Pregnancy
Allergy to kiwi is uncommon. However, one might develop allergic reactions or negatively affect their health on consumption of kiwi fruit in large quantities. It is advisable to consult your doctor before adding kiwi to your regular diet plan. Side effects of kiwi fruit for pregnant women are
- Oral Allergies: Over consumption of kiwi can lead to itching or tingling sensation in the mouth, leading to swelling of lips and tongue. In some cases, it can trigger asthma, rashes and hives.
- Skin Ailments: Overeating kiwi may cause dermatitis – a skin disorder.
- Digestive problems: In certain cases, overeating kiwi can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea.
- Latex Allergy – People allergic to latex are prone to kiwi allergies. It is advisable to keep away from kiwi in such cases.
- Damage to the Pancreas: Kiwi is a rich source of vitamin c, vitamin e, serotonin and potassium. When taken in large amounts, it can alter triglyceride levels in the blood and in the long run, be harmful to the pancreas.
- Side effects – Kiwifruit has anti-fungal properties and can lead to an additive effect when combined with anti-fungal medicines. If you are taking anticoagulants, heparin, aspirin, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory or anti-platelet drugs, consult your doctor before consumption of kiwi fruit.
How Much Kiwi Should you Consume during Pregnancy?
For a healthy and safe pregnancy, you can consume about 2-3 kiwifruits per day. In case you are suffering from gastritis, allergies or any digestive issues, consult your doctor before adding kiwi to your regular diet. If you are prone to acidity or rashes and allergies, kiwi can trigger the acidic reactions and lead to soreness in the mouth or tongue.
Watching your diet is essential during pregnancy since your body becomes vulnerable during this time. Kiwis can help provide certain nutrients for the body that would help the foetus to grow. However, they should be eaten in moderation as too much of anything is bad.