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Pregnancy is a delicate time, during which a balanced diet is essential. Pears are delicious tropical fruits that have been around for thousand of years. In addition to their taste, they are rich in nutrients. This article will help you understand how pears are helpful during pregnancy, the different ways you can eat them, and the precautions associated with eating them during your pregnancy.
Is It Safe to Have Pears During Pregnancy?
Pears are completely safe during pregnancy. They are low calorie and have a high nutritional content required for pregnant mothers. Care must be taken to wash them well before consuming, but this applies to all fruits with skins. This is to get rid of any harmful pathogens that may be residing on the fruit’s surface. These pathogens may cause severe pregnancy complications through diseases like toxoplasmosis and listeriosis.
How Many Pears Can a Pregnant Women Eat?
The recommended amount of pears during pregnancy is around 1-3 medium fruits every day.
Health Benefits of Eating Pear in Pregnancy
Pears are sweet, tart tasting fruits mostly available during the summer months. They are rich in a large number of nutrients that are crucial for the development of a healthy pregnancy. Below are given the important factors obtained from eating pears during pregnancy.
1. Calories in Pears
Pregnant women are eating to provide nutrients for two, and require more energy-dense foods than ever. Energy is essential for all body processes, including the growth of the foetus, the development of the pregnancy, milk production and so on. Even though pears are low in calories, they are still a source of healthy fruit carbs.
2. Vitamin C in Pear
Vitamin C is an extremely important antioxidant as it governs several functions in the human body. Some of them are:
- Vitamin C fights free radicals in the cells, which can cause oxidative damage and interfere with the cellular reactions essential for growth, development and energy production.
- It encourages neurological development in the foetus, as well as cognitive skills in little babies.
- It strengthens gums and teeth in foetuses as well as pregnant women.
- It helps absorb nutrients from food, especially iron. Iron is crucial in the development of the baby, especially in the formation of blood and the circulatory system.
3. Potassium in Pear
Pears contain potassium in small amounts but it is still responsible for several body functions at the cellular and tissue levels. Some of them include:
- Potassium helps in the maintenance of blood pressure levels as well as heart rate in both foetuses and pregnant women.
- It helps balance the electrolytes present in the blood as well as tissue fluid, keeping the body functioning efficiently.
- It reduces the likelihood of cramps in the abdomen or legs, which improve comfort.
- It stabilises the nervous system, improving motor functions and coordination.
4. Vitamin A in Pear
Pears are very rich in Vitamin A, a nutrient that is absolutely essential during pregnancy from the first trimester until delivery. Deficiency of this nutrient can cause severe problems with the pregnancy. Its benefits include:
- Vitamin A helps in building the immune system in conjunction with other nutrients, reducing the chances of contracting infectious diseases. It is derived from beta-carotene which is helpful in preventing diseases that come from pathogenic bacteria.
- It is known to improve the quality of vision, promoting eye development in the foetus and maintaining eye health in the mother.
- Vitamin A is known to influence foetal growth and development, for example, the respiratory system, nervous system, circulatory system, and so on, are regulated in the foetus by this vitamin. Further, organs like the kidneys and bones also need it for proper development.
5. Copper and Magnesium in Pear
Copper and magnesium are essential micronutrients that have a large role to play during pregnancy. Some of their benefits are:
- Copper helps in the production of red blood cells along with iron and B-vitamins. This is crucial as pregnant women have around a litre of blood more than non-pregnant adults.
- Copper is helpful in the development of several organs and organ systems, such as bones, liver, blood vessels, and so on.
- Copper is required in the continuous maintenance of the skeletal system, thereby strengthening the body.
- Magnesium is essential in relaxing body muscles during pregnancy, thereby reducing physical stress and fatigue.
6. Fibre in Pear
Fibre is quite essential for proper digestive system functioning. Some of its benefits are:
- Pregnant women experience many digestive problems due to the space constriction caused by the enlarging uterus. A fibre rich diet will help ease complications such as constipation.
- Fibre consumption in pregnant women has been linked to regulating blood pressure, such as pregnancy hypertension. This could lower the chances of developing conditions like preeclampsia.
7. Vitamin B6 in Pear
The B-Vitamins are a set of important nutrient for pregnant women, the deficiencies of which can cause foetal defects. The most important one is Vitamin B6. Its benefits include:
- Vitamin B6 supports cognitive and motor function development in foetuses and newborns. It also helps in foetal nerve tissue growth.
- It keeps the body healthy by regulating immune responses against infections.
- It reduces the frequency of pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomitting that happen during the first few months of pregnancy.
8. Folic Acid in Pear
Folic acid is essential in foetal growth. Some of its benefits are:
- Folic acid supports the production and development of blood and the circulatory system.
- It also helps in the development of the neural tube which is crucial in the functioning of the nervous system of the baby.
How to Select and Store Pears?
Like all fruits, pears have to be selected and sorted before being eaten. Here are some criteria to help you pick the best and tastiest pears.
- Appearance and Odour: Pears should look fresh, without any spots, bruises or marks on the skin. They should smell fruity and appetising. Any other appearance or odour might indicate that the pears have been in storage for too long.
- Storage: Pears can be kept in the fridge, but it is essential to keep them separately in a brown paper bag. This is because any foods with strong odours near pears can cause the fruits to absorb these smells. Pears are ideally consumed within one week of storage. Unripe pears can be kept in the dark at room temperature for a few days, after which they will ripen.
- Consuming: Pears are best consumed a couple of hours after meals. This is because the acids in pears can irritate the inner tissue lining of an empty stomach, leading to diarrhoea and vomitting. Further, combining pears and fresh milk tends to result in a laxative effect, so this must be avoided.
Including Pear Fruit in Your Pregnancy Diet
In addition to eating them fresh, here are some inventive ways you can consume pears.
- Baked Pears: Pears can be baked with honey, nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar in an oven. Set the temperature at 180 degrees and bake for 15 minutes until they are golden brown on each side.
- Pear Salad: Pears can be combined with your favourite fruits to make a delicious salad. Add nuts and honey for crunch and taste.
- Pear Juice: Pears can be juiced in a mixie and drunk fresh, or mixed with apple, carrot and ginger to make a fruit mocktail.
When Can Pears be Risky?
Pears are safe to eat under most conditions, but some risks are to be considered:
- Eating too many pears can cause gastric problems like increased gas production, diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Avoid eating too many pears if you suffer from diabetes.
- Unripe pears have hard fibre which can cause stomach problems, so eat only ripened pears that are yellow or orange in colour.
Pears are among the most popular and healthy fruits available. They are very nutritious especially for pregnant women. As long as you consume them with minor precautionary measures as explained above, there is no need for any pregnant woman to get concerned with the question, can we eat pears during pregnancy.