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Plums are very popular in our country and there are more than a hundred variants of plums available across the globe. One of the popular varieties of plums consumed avidly in India is ‘Aloo Bukhara’. Its taste ranges from sweet to sour and is loved by almost all. However, if it safe to consume during pregnancy or not is a common question that women ask. So, find out all the benefits and side-effects of eating plums during pregnancy.
Nutritional Value of Plums
The nutritional value of fresh plums is considerably high compared to most other fruits. The chart below provides the nutrient content in a hundred grams of plums.
|Pantothenic Acid||135 mcg|
|Vitamin A||200 mcg|
|Vitamin C||9.5 mg|
|Vitamin E||260 mcg|
|Vitamin K||6.4 mcg|
Health Benefits of Eating Plums in Pregnancy
Here are a few health benefits of including plums in your daily diet:
1. Keeps Weight in Check
Carbohydrates in plums are fruit sugars which are relatively low in concentration. This makes them a great alternative to low-calorie foods, especially if you want to shed pregnancy pounds. However, dried plums or dried prunes during pregnancy are not recommended as they have a high amount of carbs and sodium.
2. Fights Anaemia
Anaemia is quite common during pregnancy. Plums are rich in iron which is essential in making red blood cells.
3. Provides Energy
Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron through the digestive system, thereby reducing the risk of anaemia. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which means it protects our cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin C is also essential in the synthesis of L-carnitine, an alternative amino acid required in fatty acid breakdown and energy production.
4. Prevents Heart Diseases
Plums have a very low concentration of fats. These fats are entirely unsaturated and do not raise the likelihood of heart conditions like saturated fats.
5. Helps with Constipation
The rich fibre content in plums have a strong impact on the digestive process. This fruit can stimulate the digestive tract to pass stools easily, reducing the effects of constipation by exerting a laxative effect.
6. Prevents Preterm Labour
The relatively high concentrations of magnesium in plums can reduce the risks of early contractions by playing a role in the relaxation of cervical muscles.
7. Maintains Eyesight
Many studies have shown that consuming a healthy serving of plums every day lowers the chances of developing retinal macular degeneration. This disease is one of the chief causes of eyesight loss among older people.
8. Good for the Brain
New research suggests that the presence of powerful antioxidants such as anthocyanins and polyphenols in plums play an important role in protecting the lipid levels in brain cells from oxidative degradation.
9. Supports the Bones
Plums are rich in vitamin A, which is known for its propensity to improve bone development and growth. Further, plums also contain potassium, vitamin K, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which are essential for the maintenance of bone health.
10. Helps with Stress and Fatigue
Stress and fatigue are common complaints during pregnancy. Eating plums can reduce these effects due to the presence of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that work in tandem to support various body processes and increase energy levels.
How Many Plums/Prunes to Eat in a Day while Pregnant?
The daily amount depends on factors like sex, health status, age, and so on. However, the average amount for a healthy person is around 100 grams per day. While plums are delicious and nutritious, they are not to be consumed in unlimited quantities due to their side-effects which are described below.
Side Effects of Having Aloo Bukhara
Here are a few potential situations that you might want to consider before eating plums during your pregnancy:
1. Plums are Low in Calories
The low amount of calories in plums is a good thing as it helps reduce weight and control diabetes. However, calories are quite important for your metabolism, and all the more so when you are pregnant. Please ensure you get 1800 kcal per day during the first trimester, 2200 kcal per day during the second trimester, and 2400 kcal per day during the third trimester from a wide variety of foods.
2. Plums Can Worsen Kidney Issues
People who do not have any kidney problem can consume plums without fear. However, if you are prone to conditions like kidney stones, you should strictly avoid plums. This is because they contain oxalates, which can combine with calcium in the kidneys and form stones.
How to Select and Store Prunes
When you buy red plums, it is best to choose those which are brightly-coloured, fresh, average in size and juicy. Please avoid wrinkled, damaged, bruised, or unripe plums. You can store ripe plums in a plastic bag in a crisper drawer to extend its shelf life.
Quick and Delicious Plum Recipes for Pregnant Women
Here are a few delicious plum-based recipes for pregnant women:
1. Roasted Plums
Enjoy roasted plums with this simple recipe:
- Four tbsp orange concentrate
- Four tbsp cane sugar
- Pinch of nutmeg
- One tsp powdered ginger
- Three cups plums
- Half tsp cinnamon
How to make
Place the sliced and pitted plums in a baking pan. Mix cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, and ginger together to garnish the plums. Sprinkle orange concentrate over it. Cover it with an aluminium foil and roast for ten minutes in a preheated oven.
2. Plum Sauce
Make a plum sauce to compliment your breakfast.
- Four tbsp rice wine
- Four tbsp water
- One tsp chopped garlic
- Half cup sugar
- Four tbsp diced onion
- Half tsp cinnamon
- One cup plums
How to make
Combine the ingredients together and allow the mixture to simmer in a saucepan until the plums get all soft and squishy. Mash them together to form a paste, then blend it to get a smooth texture. You can use this sauce in place of breakfast condiments like jam or mustard.
Plums are perfectly fine to eat during pregnancy, and in fact, come strongly recommended as they are rich in several unique nutrients. Please take care if you are prone to kidney ailments, and consult your doctor before including plums in your daily diet.
Also Read: Importance of Fruits in Pregnancy