Watermelon During Pregnancy – Is It Safe to Eat?
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- Can You Eat Watermelon During Pregnancy?
- Nutritional Value of Watermelon
- Health Benefits of Eating Watermelon During Pregnancy
- Benefits of Watermelon Seeds for Pregnant Women
- Are There Any Side-Effects of Consuming Watermelon While Pregnant?
- How Much Watermelon Can You Consume in Pregnancy?
- Quick Recipes That Include Watermelon
Nutrition is an essential part of a successful pregnancy – pregnant women need to constantly watch what they consume for their own sake and for the baby. Fruits are always recommended for pregnant women as they bring unique benefits to pregnant women. Consuming watermelon while pregnant is not only safe but also extremely beneficial.
The fruit is hydrating and refreshing and rich in water content, vitamins, and minerals, which help alleviate dehydration and provide essential nutrients to a pregnant woman’s body. Its natural sweetness can even satisfy cravings. In this article, we will look deeper at watermelon and pregnancy.
Can You Eat Watermelon During Pregnancy?
Yes, watermelon is good for pregnancy and can be consumed during this time. Watermelons, when consumed in moderation, are not only safe but also very useful for a pregnant woman and her baby.
Nutritional Value of Watermelon
Now that you know watermelon for pregnant women is beneficial, let’s take a look at it’s nutrient value.
Health Benefits of Eating Watermelon During Pregnancy
Given below is a list of unique benefits watermelons bring to pregnant women.
1. Heartburn and Acidity Relief
Pregnancy causes major hormonal changes in the body. These changes bring some degree of discomfort; acidity and heartburn are two of the many causes of discomfort in women throughout pregnancy. Watermelon is known to have a soothing effect on the digestive system and can provide relief from acidity and heartburn – sometimes, it can do so almost instantly. So, the next time you suffer from an aggravated digestive system, head straight for these delicious watermelons.
2. Prevents Oedema
Pregnant women often have to deal with swelling in the hands and feet, also known as oedema. Oedema is caused due to an unusual accumulation of fluids in certain tissues in the body. The high water content in watermelons helps open blockages and provides relief from oedema.
3. Effective Against Dehydration
Another common affliction associated with pregnancy is dehydration. Dehydration can cause minor discomfort, ranging from tiredness and lethargy to more serious problems for pregnant women like premature birth. Watermelons consist of almost ninety per cent water and are particularly effective in combating dehydration.
4. Morning Sickness
Pregnant women suffer from bouts of nausea and vomiting, especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Even though it is called morning sickness, these bouts can occur at any time throughout the day. A glass of watermelon juice in the morning is very effective in combating this malady. Besides providing relief from morning sickness, a glass of watermelon juice in the morning is very refreshing and energising.
5. Boosts Immunity
A pregnant woman’s body fights off infections and diseases for two – herself and the growing baby. This may sometimes cause a drop in the immunity levels. Watermelons contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which imparts the red colour to watermelons and is known to boost immunity levels.
6. Detoxifying the Body
Watermelons have diuretic properties that help flush out toxins and reduce uric acid in the body. This property of watermelons helps with the proper functioning of liver and kidneys during pregnancy. It also helps increase the SPF of the skin.
7. Relieves Muscle Cramps
A pregnant woman’s body is constantly trying to adapt to the changes it is going through. Hormonal changes and rapid weight gain can cause muscle cramps and pain, and watermelons are effective in relieving it.
8. Prevents Skin Pigmentation
The hormonal changes going on in a woman’s body during pregnancy can cause the skin to look patchy and dull. Watermelons improve digestion and flush out toxins, resulting in naturally glowing skin that is free from pigmentation.
9. Reduces Constipation
Constipation is another common complaint women have during pregnancy. Watermelons are high in fibre content, which helps with stool formation; the high water content also aids and assists with the necessary movement of the bowels.
10. Promotes Healthy Bones in the Foetus
Another important reason for pregnant women to include watermelon in their diet is the fact that watermelons help with the formation of bones and teeth in the growing baby. Watermelons contain calcium and potassium in substantial amounts, and these minerals are necessary for proper bone development in the foetus.
A study in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics showed that women who consumed lycopene supplements regularly had 50% lesser chances of developing preeclampsia. Watermelon, thus, is a great fruit for pregnant women. Watermelon is also packed with several minerals and vitamins that help with the baby’s vision, brain, nervous system, and immune system.
Benefits of Watermelon Seeds for Pregnant Women
Most people discard the seeds of the watermelon when consuming the fruit. These seeds, however, are packed with nutrients that can be beneficial for the mom and the growing baby. Watermelon seeds turn crispy when roasted and can make for a delightful, healthy snack.
- The high vitamin C content in watermelon seeds is very useful to boost the immune system of the growing foetus.
- Along with healthy fats and protein, watermelon seeds also contain folate, vitamin B, and essential minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc, all of which contribute to the proper development and growth of the foetus.
Are There Any Side-Effects of Consuming Watermelon While Pregnant?
Watermelons, although generally good for health and beneficial for pregnant women, may also have certain undesirable effects; such as:
- If consumed in excess, the sugar content in watermelons may result in high levels of blood glucose and cause gestational diabetes.
- The diuretic properties of watermelon may result in the flushing out of essential nutrients along with toxins.
- It is advisable to consume only freshly cut watermelons. Watermelons have a tendency to spoil quickly, and not consumed fresh may lead to nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal ailments.
How Much Watermelon Can You Consume in Pregnancy?
A pregnant woman can consume one serving, i.e., one cup or around a one-inch-thick wedge of watermelon daily.
Quick Recipes That Include Watermelon
Here are some simple recipes with watermelon that you can try.
1. Watermelon and Avocado Salad
- 2 large avocados
- 4 cups cubed watermelons
- Balsamic vinegar dressing to taste
Add two large peeled, deseeded and diced avocados to a bowl. To this, add four cups of cubed watermelons and mix well. Add balsamic vinegar dressing just before consumption.
2. Watermelon Milkshake
- 4 cups cubed and deseeded watermelons
- 1 cup of sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup double cream chilled
Add all the ingredients except the double cream in a bowl and mix well, cover with a plastic wrap and place in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and place the ingredients in a blender, add the chilled double cream and blend.
3. Plain Jane – Just Watermelon Juice
- 8 cups of cubed watermelon without seeds
One of the easiest ways to obtain the best the fruit has to offer is to have it without added ingredients like salt or sugar. Simply add 8 cups of cubed watermelon without seeds in a blender and blend well.
4. Watermelon Mint Salad
- 2 cups diced watermelon (seedless)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
In a bowl, combine the diced watermelon and chopped mint leaves. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and honey (if using). Drizzle the lime-honey mixture over the watermelon and mint. Gently toss to combine. If desired, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the salad. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to meld. Serve the watermelon mint salad as a refreshing side dish.
5. Watermelon Popsicle:
- 2 cups diced watermelon
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Juice of 1 lime
Blend the diced watermelon until smooth. Add honey and lime juice to the blended watermelon. Adjust sweetness to taste. Pour the mixture into popsicle moulds. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until solid. Enjoy these homemade watermelon popsicles on a hot day!
1. Can Eating Watermelon in Pregnancy Causes Cold?
Raw fruits and vegetables can carry harmful microorganisms that may lead to illness. Thus, it’s crucial to meticulously wash them before consuming them. Additionally, make sure watermelon in pregnancy first trimester has reached room temperature before consumption.
2. Can Watermelon Lead to Miscarriage?
Watermelon itself does not cause miscarriage. However, excessive consumption can elevate blood sugar levels, potentially raising the risk of miscarriage. Thus, pregnant women with gestational diabetes should moderate their intake of this fruit.
Watermelons during pregnancy are safe if consumed in moderation, as they provide benefits ranging from combating acidity, muscle cramps, fatigue, and many other ailments commonly encountered during pregnancy. Seek medical advice before including watermelons in your diet. That way, you can ensure you get the best health benefits this wonder fruit has to offer.
Resources and References:
1. Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Watermelon; watermelon.org; https://www.watermelon.org/the-slice/nutrition-facts-and-health-benefits-of-watermelon/
2. Fruit and Vegetable Safety; cdc.gov; https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/steps-healthy-fruits-veggies.html
3. Watermelon; defeatdiabetes.org; https://defeatdiabetes.org/resources/healthful-eating/fruits/watermelon/
4. 8 Health Benefits of Watermelon; greybears.org; https://greybears.org/8-amazing-health-benefits-of-watermelon/
5. 7 Benefits of Watermelon for Pregnant Women, Good for the Fetus; illianawatermelon.org; https://www.illianawatermelon.org/7-benefits-of-watermelon-for-pregnant-women-good-for-the-fetus/