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Fresh fruits and vegetable form an integral part of an expectant mother’s diet. During pregnancy the eating habits of a mother are under close scrutiny as it directly affects the health of the baby. It is therefore perfectly normal to ask – what to eat and what to avoid?The consumption of oranges has been questioned and it is has been proved that oranges offer a great source of nutrition to expectant mothers. The Vitamin C in the fruit perks up the mood of women instantly. The sweet and tangy flavour appeases the mother’s taste making them active and also provides a host of benefits to the baby. Oranges as whole fruits or juices are healthier alternatives to substitutes like flavoured candies, chewy gums with additives of orange or artificial flavour.
Is it Safe to Eat Oranges during Pregnancy?
Oranges are definitely a great food to include when pregnant and you can eat the whole fruit for the best benefits. Orange juices available in tetra packs is not highly recommended as it contains preservatives which may not agree with your condition. Juice squeezed out of fresh fruit is ideal to get the maximum benefit.
Amazing Health Benefits of Oranges in Pregnancy
Here are several reasons for consuming oranges during pregnancy. Rich in Vitamin C, iron, zinc and folic acid, the fruit is a panacea for boosting the immune system, strengthening the brain development of the baby and also provided amazing benefits to the skin tone. Consumption of orange during the first trimester of pregnancy is highly recommended as it aids in the development of the brain of the foetus. Read on to find out some of the health benefits of oranges in pregnancy:
1. Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C in the orange is water-soluble and therefore promotes the build of a strong immune system in the mother and child. Oranges also release iron and zinc which are vital for the immune system and reduced the risk of allergies and wheezing troubles and supports the development of cartilage, tissues, blood vessels and bones in babies.
2. Promotes Brain Development in Baby
The Vitamin B6 and folic acid in oranges support the development of the brain in the foetus and prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
3. Rich in Folate
Packed with 9% of folate requirement during pregnancy, the content helps to reduce tube abnormalities in the foetus and supports the formation of blood cells, the growth of new tissues and conception and development of a healthy placenta. Excess intake of folate intake may lead to higher birth weight in babies.
4. Prevents Constipation
Oranges are rich in soluble and insoluble fibre and cellulose which regularise bowel movement and cure constipation, a common malady in pregnant women. The fibre content helps to get rid of stomach problems, bloating and discomforts in the gut.
5. Controls Blood Pressure
The high index of potassium in oranges helps to relieve hypertension by regulating blood pressure in expectant mothers.
6. Aids Hydration
In addition to contributing to the daily fluid intake, oranges provide sodium and potassium to maintain the balance of fluid levels in the body. With 88% water content, oranges help with water balance and hydration in the body.
7. Purifies the Kidneys
With a burden on the urogenital system, pregnant women are susceptible to kidney-related ailments. It is important for the kidneys to function properly to get rid of the toxins in the body. Oranges help to cleanse the kidneys and the bladder. Oranges increase the pH value of urine, thereby increasing citric excretion from the body and serving as a remedy for kidney stones.
8. Strengthens the Heart and Respiratory System
Pregnant women have an increased load on the heart and respiratory system which gets broken down due to foetal development. The potassium levels in oranges help to rebuild and strengthen the blood vessels and heart. They supply vital essentials which keep the circulatory and respiratory system strong.
9. Benefits Skin
With powerful antioxidants, oranges have a soothing effect on the skin keeping them taut and firm and supplying enough moisture to prevent acne.
10. A Powerhouse of Carotenoids
The high content of carotenoid helps to maintain an optimum respiratory system when pregnant and is mandatory to include in the daily diet without fail.
How Many Oranges Can Pregnant Women Eat in a Day?
A daily dosage of 85 milligrams of Vitamin C is recommended for pregnant women. This can be obtained from three oranges. However, do not forget to consider the quantity of Vitamin C present in other foods that you consume during the day. Ensure your daily intake does not exceed the recommended intake as oranges could create acidity. Regulate your intake on a moderate basis rather than consuming ten in a day and none the next!
What is the Best Time to Consume Oranges?
Oranges can be eaten anytime during the day, even on an empty stomach. There is no restriction on when or how you include them in your diet.
Orange Juice in Pregnancy
Pasteurized orange juice without any additives and preservatives is a great option during pregnancy. You can have up two glasses a day a couple of hours after your meal. Rich in calcium, pasteurized orange juice helps in strengthening bones. Fortified orange juice is a good substitute for milk if you are lactose intolerant and also helps in treating morning sickness. You could also squeeze juice from fresh oranges and enjoy a fresh drink. But try not to add too much sugar as it could increase glucose levels.
Are there any Side Effects of Oranges in Pregnancy?
Benefits of oranges are myriad, during pregnancy, however, it does come with some unwanted effects in case of excessive consumption.
- The high content of citric acid could lead to a sore throat and also erode the enamel of teeth
- The fibre content may lead to abdominal cramps and loose motion if consumed in excess
- Ripe oranges have sugar in them and could be a potential risk to gestational diabetes in expectant mothers
- Owing to their acidic nature, it could cause heartburn in mothers suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Excess of Vitamin C in the body could lead to pre-term labour.
Tips to Include Oranges in your Diet
A few tips to include orange in your diet
- Slice some oranges to your salad for a great taste
- Mix it with other fruits and whip up a fruit salad
- Peel the fruit and blend it in a juicer for a thick and pulpy glass of orange juice
- Sprinkle some brown sugar on your orange slices and microwave it. Enjoy the dish as a dessert
- If you are pregnant in summer, then make orange juice and pour them in cups or popsicle mould and freeze them. Enjoy your Ice Lolly!
1. Are Orange Peels Safe for Pregnant Women?
Well, the peel is not meant to be thrown! The peel is what contains the maximum amount of Vitamin C than the flesh and is loaded with antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Grate a teaspoon of the orange rind and toss it to your salads, yoghurt or porridge for the extra boost to your health.
2. What Happens if you Consume Orange Seeds?
Orange seeds are not known to cause any harm, however, in rare cases, some large ones could choke you. Try to pick small oranges like the satsumas or tangerines which have very tiny seeds and are easy to peel.
Notwithstanding the numerous benefits of the fruit, it is always better to seek medical advice before adding it to your daily diet during pregnancy. It is just to make sure that there are no possible health hazards to your condition. Don’t stop eating oranges after your baby is born as it is a great fruit to get back into shape post delivery with its low fat and glycaemic index. It also has properties that nourish the skin and prevent premature ageing. Keep snacking on this loved fruit for a wholesome nutrition to provide your body.