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Wood apple or bael fruit is known for its health benefits in many places in the country. In fact, since 2000 BC, it has been used in India as a remedy for several health problems, as well as for rituals. But whether it is safe during pregnancy is definitely something that needs to be known before consuming it.
What is Wood Apple or Bael Fruit?
Scientifically known as Aegle marmelos, the wood apple is a fruit with a hard-brown shell and a rough exterior. Its pulp is brown in colour, strongly pungent and usually mealy in texture. The pulp has numerous crunchy, white, and small edible seeds. It has several other names, such as Bengal quince, bilwa, monkey fruit, elephant apple, golden apple, stone apple and bili.
Nutritional Facts of Wood Apple
The wood apple is very rich in a number of nutrients. The nutritional content in 100 grams of wood apple is listed in the table below.
|Nutrients||Amount (100 grams)|
|Vitamin C||8 mg|
Health Benefits of Bael Fruit for Pregnant Women
Is wood apple good for pregnancy? To answer this, we must look into its health benefits before judging whether or not it is safe to have them while being pregnant.
1. Balances the Level of Fluids in the Body
Wood apple contains potassium which is essential for balancing the level of fluids in the body. During pregnancy, it is essential to keep the level of fluids and electrolytes in the mother’s body under control. Since the blood volume expands during this time, electrolytes become essential for the body. Potassium also helps send nerve impulses, and in the event of muscle contraction, potassium also prevents cramps in the body.
2. Aids in Digestion
Another common problem that crops up during pregnancy is indigestion. As the foetus grows up in size, it gradually begins to exert pressure on the digestive system, leading to a number of problems with digestion on a regular basis. Intake of wood apple can help in the process of digestion as the fibre content of the fruit is especially effective in the regard.
3. Fights Constipation
Constipation is also a very common symptom observed during pregnancy. The laxative property of bael fruit or wood apple essentially helps the pregnant mother by curing constipation to a large extent.
4. Fights infections
The extracts of wood apple are highly antimicrobial. Its strong antifungal and antibacterial properties help fight against infections in the body. During pregnancy, the mother often suffers from a lack of immunity which leads to several infections that are harmful to both the baby as well as the mother. Therefore, intake of bael juice in pregnancy helps the mother fight with several infections.
Side Effects of Having Wood Apple in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very crucial period of one’s life, and surprisingly foods that are beneficial during normal time are often considered to be risky during pregnancy, as it might pose a threat to the mother as well as the baby. Some of the risks associated with the intake of wood apple during pregnancy are as follows:
- The wood apple fruit contains tannins which have a carcinogenic effect when used for a long period of time and may lead to miscarriages in pregnant women.
- Consuming large amounts of this fruit can affect the digestive system leading to the formation of gas, bloating, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
There is a lot of debate over whether it is safe to consume wood apple during pregnancy. In spite of its many benefits, some evidence has also shown how it can be risky to consume it while carrying a baby. It is, therefore, safer to consult a doctor before consumption of bael juice in pregnancy.
Also Read: Eating Apple During Pregnancy