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Pregnancy is undoubtedly rewarding, but it comes with its share of dos and don’ts. Pregnant women need to follow a lot of restrictions when it comes to food. Certain fruits like pineapples and papayas are considered risky. Let’s find out whether eating pineapples during pregnancy is safe or not.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Pineapples?
Although pineapple and pregnancy don’t quite resonate with many, it is perfectly safe to eat pineapples during pregnancy. Adding a cup or two of pineapples is not just safe, but may even have health benefits for both you and your little one. Pineapple is usually shunned by pregnant women as it contains an enzyme called bromelain which may be responsible for miscarriages when present in your body in large quantities. Try to limit your pineapple intake to seven or eight cups in a week. You can also choose canned pineapples as bromelain is extracted from the fruit during the canning process.
Health Benefits of Eating Pineapples During Pregnancy
Pineapples, when consumed in limited quantities, have a lot to offer to pregnant women. Some health benefits that pineapples provide to pregnant women include:
Pineapples are a rich source of vitamin C. One cup of pineapples can provide 80 to 85 mg of vitamin C, which meets the daily requirement during pregnancy. These vitamins boost immunity and repair and prevent cell damage. Vitamin C also aids the production of collagen, a structural protein that is responsible for the growth of the baby’s skin, bones, tendons, and cartilage.
Keep Your Bones Healthy
They also have manganese, which promotes bone health and prevents the risk of osteoporosis.
Regulate the Functioning of the Nervous System
Pineapples contain vitamin B1 or thiamine , which regulates the functioning of the heart and the nervous system.
Increase the Production of RBCs
Copper in the pineapple is necessary during the formation of your baby’s heart. It also aids in the production of red blood cells.
- Ease the Pressure on Your Bowels
- Prevent Congenital Disabilities in the Baby
- Keep the Gut Healthy
- Prevent Water Retention in the Body
- Varicose veins are when the veins in the leg of pregnant women swell, twist and enlarge causing pain. Bromelain is known to reduce the formation of fibrous deposits on these veins and lower discomfort.
- Lower the Blood Pressure
- Elevate the Mood
Risks of Consuming Pineapple During Pregnancy
Pineapples negatively affect pregnancy when they’re consumed in excess. Here are a few risks you may be taking by eating pineapples when you’re expecting.
1. Acid Reflux
Pineapples have acids that can contribute to acid reflux or heartburn. So, if you have a weak or sensitive digestive system, it’s best to avoid this fruit.
2. Miscarriage/Premature Labour
Accumulation of bromelain in the body may soften the cervix and lead to miscarriage or premature labour. It may also cause uterine contractions, rashes, and vomiting during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
3. Increase the Blood Sugar
Pineapples contain a lot of sugar; hence, they are not suitable for women with gestational diabetes.
4. Increase Body Weight
Pineapples have high-calorie content and aren’t recommended to overweight pregnant women.
5. Cause Diarrhoea
Bromelain is also responsible for diarrhoea if consumed in large quantities.
In case you’re not used to eating pineapples and are trying it for the first time, you may have a few allergic reactions like itching, swelling in the mouth, runny nose or asthma in some cases.
Can Pineapples Induce a Miscarriage?
People believe that eating pineapples induces labour. This is true only if the fruit is consumed in a large quantity.
How Many Pineapples Can a Pregnant Woman Eat?
Avoid pineapples during the first trimester. During the second trimester, you can eat around 50 – 100 gms of pineapple a week. In the third trimester, you can consume around 250 gms of pineapple a day. However, since excess consumption can cause uterine contractions, check with your gynaecologist about how many pineapples you can safely eat.
Here are some dishes you can make with pineapple:
1. Mangalorean Pineapple Curry
This curry is a speciality of Mangalore.
- Chicken – 1 kg
- Green mango, chopped – 1
- Pineapple, chopped – 1/2
- Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 3/4 tsp
- Palm sugar – 1 1/2 tsp
- Salt – as required
- Fresh coriander for garnishing
Ingredients for the dry masala
- Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
- Methi seeds – 1 tsp
- Coconut, grated – 1 tbsp
Ingredients for tadka
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Curry leaves – 6-7
- Roast the dry masala ingredients and grind them.
- Blend the pineapple and green mango into a thick puree.
- Sear the chicken in oil and salt until it turns golden brown. Remove it and keep aside.
- Pour the pineapple puree into the pan.
- Mix the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and palm sugar.
- Add a little water to the dry masala.
- Add the chicken to the gravy, and cook for a few minutes.
- Heat oil in a separate pan and roast the tadka ingredients.
- Pour the tadka over the chicken.
- Garnish and serve hot.
2. Cheese and Pineapple Rounds
Pineapples can also be used to make sandwiches!
- Brown bread slices – 6
- Hung curd, seasoned with salt and black pepper – 2 tbsp
- Cheese, grated – 3/4 cup
- Onion, chopped – 1
- Mint, chopped – 1 tbsp
- Pineapple slices – 6
- Mint leaves for garnishing
- Spread curd on the bread slices.
- Mix the cheese, chopped onions and mint leaves.
- Spread this paste on the bread slices.
- Place a pineapple slice over them.
Whether pregnant women can eat pineapples or not is debatable. People have different opinions on this. But, it’s best to proceed with your doctor’s suggestions. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!