Eating Ice Apple in Pregnancy - Benefits & Ways to Include in your Diet

Ice Apple During Pregnancy – Benefits & How to Include It in Your Diet?

Ice apple, also known as palm fruit or tadgola, is a tropical delicacy native to regions like India and Southeast Asia. Pregnant women often find it refreshing due to its hydrating properties, aiding in combating dehydration, a common concern during pregnancy. Additionally, its high fiber content promotes digestive health, potentially alleviating common discomforts like constipation. However, pregnant women should consume it in moderation, considering its natural sugar content. Always consult with a healthcare provider before introducing new foods into your diet during pregnancy to ensure optimal health for both mother and baby. Let’s learn all about ice apple during pregnancy.

What Is Palm Fruit / Ice Apple?

Ice apple is a fruit that is known by multiple names across India. It’s popularly known as nungu in Tamil since it is native to the south-eastern part of Asia. Traditionally, it is known to have a bunch of healing properties related to the treatment of various skin ailments, digestion-related problems, and many others. Given its high water content, it is often consumed in summers to prevent dehydration. Many even enjoy it with a small garnish of spices to bring out some flavour in it.

Nutritional Facts of Ice Apple

As natural as fruit can be, the palm fruit is completely devoid of any fats or cholesterol, making it extremely healthy and suitable for all ages.

The distribution of ice apple nutrition in a 100 gm serving reveals the contents to have around 24 calories, 11 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 27% calcium. Minimal traces of fibre, protein, vitamin C, and iron can also be observed.

The ice apple further contains vitamin A and vitamin E. The fruit primarily houses about twelve different vitamins and a lot of naturally occurring phytonutrients. Vitamin B7, known as biotin, and vitamin B9 are constituents of the fruit, too.

Is It Safe to Eat Palm Fruit During Pregnancy?

Ice apple is a naturally occurring fruit with tons of health benefits associated with it. It is considered safe to be consumed by pregnant women since it helps relieve many pregnancy-related issues. In any case, it’s always best to get a doctor’s recommendation for your benefit.

Health Benefits of Eating Palm Fruit When Pregnant

Wondering whether ice apple is good for pregnancy? During pregnancy, incorporating palm fruit into your diet can offer numerous health benefits for both you and your baby. From aiding digestion to providing essential nutrients, here are seven ice apple benefits in pregnancy:

1. Digestive Aid

Palm fruit contains dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps alleviate common issues like constipation and stomach acidity, providing relief during pregnancy.

2. Enhanced Breastmilk Quality

For nursing mothers, consuming palm fruit can improve the nutritional content of breastmilk, benefiting the baby’s growth and development.

3. Alleviation of Nausea and Vomiting

Ice apple’s soothing properties can help alleviate pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, particularly during the first trimester, providing much-needed relief.

4. Natural Energy Boost

With its rich combination of minerals and salts, palm fruit serves as a natural energy supplement, helping to combat fatigue and maintain vitality throughout pregnancy.

5. Regulation of Glucose Levels

The nutritional composition of palm fruit assists in regulating glucose levels in the body, promoting stable energy levels and preventing fluctuations in blood sugar, essential for maternal health.

6. Hydration Support

Due to its high water content, consuming palm fruit helps keep you hydrated, particularly crucial during pregnancy to prevent dehydration and support overall well-being.

7. Nutrient-Rich Supplement

Palm fruit is a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, iron, and potassium, providing additional nutritional support for both mother and baby.

Toddy Plam Fruit

Risks of Consuming Palm Fruit During Pregnancy

While palm fruit offers numerous health benefits, there are also potential risks associated with its consumption during pregnancy. It’s essential to be aware of these risks and to exercise caution:

1. Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may be allergic to palm fruit, experiencing symptoms such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Pregnant women with known food allergies should avoid palm fruit to prevent allergic reactions that could harm both mother and baby.

2. High Sugar Content

Palm fruit naturally contains sugars, which, when consumed in excess, can contribute to gestational diabetes or exacerbate existing blood sugar issues. Pregnant women with diabetes or those at risk of gestational diabetes should monitor their intake of palm fruit and consult with a healthcare provider for personalized dietary guidance.

3. Potential Contamination

As with any fresh produce, palm fruit may be at risk of contamination from pesticides, bacteria, or other harmful substances. Pregnant women should ensure that palm fruit is thoroughly washed and sourced from reputable sources to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses or exposure to toxins.

4. Digestive Discomfort

While palm fruit contains dietary fiber, which can aid digestion, consuming large quantities may lead to digestive discomforts such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea, particularly if your body is not accustomed to high-fiber foods. Pregnant women should introduce palm fruit gradually into their diet and monitor their body’s response to avoid gastrointestinal issues.

5. Potential Heavy Metal Exposure

In some regions, palm fruit may be grown in soil contaminated with heavy metals such as lead or cadmium, which can pose health risks, especially during pregnancy. Pregnant women should be cautious when consuming palm fruit sourced from areas with known environmental contamination and consider opting for organic or locally sourced varieties when possible.

6. Interactions With Medications

Certain medications or supplements commonly used during pregnancy may interact with compounds found in palm fruit, potentially affecting their efficacy or causing adverse effects. Pregnant women taking medication should consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating palm fruit into their diet to ensure compatibility and safety.

7. Overconsumption Risks

While palm fruit offers nutritional benefits, excessive consumption may lead to an imbalance in nutrient intake or contribute to weight gain, which can increase the risk of complications such as gestational hypertension or macrosomia (large birth weight). Pregnant women should practice moderation and consume palm fruit as part of a balanced diet to avoid overconsumption-related risks.

How Many Ice Apples Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

The number of ice apples or palm fruits that a pregnant woman can safely consume during pregnancy varies depending on individual factors such as overall health, dietary preferences, and any existing medical conditions. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to consume palm fruit in moderation, as part of a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Pregnant women should aim to incorporate a diverse range of nutrient-rich foods into their diet while avoiding excessive consumption of any single food item, including palm fruit.

Different Ways to Eat Palm Fruit in Pregnancy

It is possible to eat the fruit during pregnancy in a multitude of ways. However, it is essential that only fresh fruits are consumed. Palm fruits should be consumed within a day since they perish rather quickly. They should also be balanced with a variety of other fruits. The popular ways of eating palm fruit are:

  • Cut the fruit and garnish it with some spices or flavours, such as cardamom, to enhance its taste.
  • A delicious cooking preparation popular in the native areas is a dessert, called nungu kheer. Making it a part of your meal is nutritious, and turns it into a feast, too.
  • Add chopped palm fruit to yogurt or smoothies for a refreshing and nutritious snack.
  • Incorporate palm fruit slices into fruit salads or mixed fruit bowls for added texture and flavor.
  • Use palm fruit pulp to make homemade popsicles or ice cream for a cooling treat on hot days.
  • Blend palm fruit with coconut water and a splash of lime juice to create a hydrating and revitalizing drink.

Ice Apple Recipes for Pregnant Women

Enjoying ice apple during pregnancy can be both delicious and nutritious. Here are a couple of simple recipes to incorporate this tropical fruit into your diet:

1. Ice Apple Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped ice apple
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 4 chopped almonds
  • Honey or maple syrup to taste
  • Ice cubes (optional)

How to Make:

  1. Place chopped ice apple, banana, yogurt, and coconut water in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Taste and sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired. 
  4. Add the chopped almonds.
  5. Add ice cubes if you prefer a colder consistency.
  6. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

2. Ice Apple Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped ice apple
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make:

  1. In a large bowl, combine chopped ice apple, diced cucumber, pomegranate arils, and chopped mint leaves.
  2. Drizzle lime juice over the salad and toss gently to combine.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve chilled as a refreshing and nutritious salad option for pregnant women.

FAQs

1. Does ice apple have any impact on the development of the baby’s skin and hair?

Ice apple contains vitamins and minerals that support overall health, including skin and hair. Its vitamin C content, in particular, may contribute to healthy skin development. However, specific impacts on the baby’s skin and hair development would likely depend on overall maternal nutrition and lifestyle factors.

2. Can ice apple be consumed during all trimesters of pregnancy?

Yes, ice apple can generally be consumed during all trimesters of pregnancy. However, it’s essential to consider individual dietary preferences and any potential sensitivities. If you’re thinking about consuming ice apple during early pregnancy, consulting with a healthcare provider is advisable to ensure that consuming ice apple aligns with your specific nutritional needs and health status during pregnancy.

3. Are there any cultural beliefs associated with eating ice apple during pregnancy?

In some cultures, ice apple may be associated with various beliefs or customs related to pregnancy. For example, it might be considered a cooling or hydrating food option, particularly in regions with hot climates. Additionally, it could be included in traditional recipes or rituals aimed at promoting maternal and fetal health. Cultural beliefs surrounding ice apple consumption during pregnancy may vary widely depending on geographic location and cultural practices.

This was all about ice apple in pregnancy. Ice apple is one of the many nutritious and healthy fruits that can provide tons of benefits to pregnant women. However, it is best to consume the fruit in moderation. If you are still not certain if you should consume ice apple, it is better to consult a nutritionist who has helped you prepare your pregnancy diet.

References/Resources:

1. Sundran. K, Sambanthamurthi. R, Tan. Y; Palm fruit chemistry and nutrition (Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition); National Library of Medicine; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14506001/

2. Reddy. M; Processing of Nungu (Ice Apple) into Milk Shake; ACTA Scientific Agriculture; https://www.actascientific.com/ASAG/pdf/ASAG-05-0933.pdf; January 2021

3. Santiago. S, Park. G, Huffman. K; Consumption habits of pregnant women and implications for developmental biology: a survey of predominantly Hispanic women in California (Nutrition Journal); National Library of Medicine; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704911/; July 2013

4. Wattanapenpaiboon. N, Wahlqvist. M; Phytonutrient deficiency: the place of palm fruit (Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition); National Library of Medicine; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14506002/

5. Kent. J, Prime. D, Garbin. C; Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production; National Library of Medicine; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22150998/

6. Vomiting and morning sickness; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/vomiting-and-morning-sickness/

7. Indigestion and heartburn in pregnancy; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/indigestion-and-heartburn/

Also Read:

Kiwi when Pregnant
Wood Apple while Pregnant
Eating Apples during Pregnancy
Eating Chikoo Fruit in Pregnancy
Is Eating Green Apples Good during Pregnancy?

Previous article «
Next article »