Fruits During Pregnancy: The Good, the Bad, and the Unhealthy
It's wise for expecting mothers to watch what they eat, but what about fruit? All About Women physicians discuss which fruits to eat during your pregnancy, and which fruits to avoid.
When it comes to a pregnancy diet, it can feel like the restrictions never end: no caffeine, seafood, deli meat, etc. Women should certainly be cautious about what goes into their bodies because it's very possible that a baby's growth and development could be negatively affected by certain foods and drinks.
Fruits can provide women with a plethora of healthy vitamins and minerals that can be very beneficial for a newborn child; however, some fruits carry risks when they are eaten during a pregnancy. Read on to learn which fruits should and should not be eaten while you are pregnant.
The Benefits of Fruit
Fruits are super, that's for sure! They provide vitamins and minerals that can help your baby along throughout your pregnancy. Pregnant mothers require foods rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin A and C, folic acid, and other nutrients in order to keep their bodies strong until baby arrives, and fruits can be an excellent and easy source.
Good Fruits for Pregnancy
Without further ado, here are some wonderful healthy fruits to eat while pregnant:
Apples are very high in fiber, which can help regulate a woman's digestion and prevent hemorrhoids – a common issue that many pregnant women face.
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are chock full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is responsible for helping your baby's bones grow properly. Citrus can also help with a woman's digestion and deter morning sickness during pregnancy.
Bananas are a wonderful source of potassium. Potassium can help greatly with regulating the fluid and blood pressure in a woman's body and preventing leg cramps or pain during the later stages of a pregnancy.
Kiwis contain a high level of folic acid and are delicious besides. Folic acid actively helps prevent fetal growth defects. In addition, kiwi helps expectant mothers absorb iron more efficiently, and this can prove essential for ensuring that a mother's blood carries enough oxygen to her baby.
Watermelon has it all: high levels of vitamins A, C and B6, as well as potassium for cramps and magnesium. Magnesium helps muscles relax, which can prevent premature contractions during pregnancy. In addition, watermelon can fight morning sickness, reduce heartburn, and prevent dehydration.
This includes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and pretty much any other berry your heart desire! Berries are rich in antioxidants that can help prevent serious diseases for both mother and baby.
Other Healthy Fruits
Besides those already listed, there are tons of healthy fruits that can give baby the nutrients he or she needs in the womb. They include:
Ask your doctor more about which fruits can be beneficial to you during your pregnancy and the recommended serving suggestions.
Bad Fruits for Pregnancy
This list is much shorter than the last, but there are a few fruits that do pose a potential risk to expectant mothers and unborn children.
Pineapples are shown to contain bromelain, which can cause the cervix to soften and result in an early labor if eaten in large quantities. Many doctors believe pineapple is safe when eaten in small portions, and the fruit contains many helpful nutrients that could prove beneficial. To be safe, however, it's recommended to limit pineapple intake to the first trimester of pregnancy.
Papaya, when ripe, is actually pretty safe for expectant mothers to include in their pregnancy diets. However, an unripe papaya contains latex, which can cause premature contractions to occur. In addition, even ripe papaya skin and seeds are unsafe to eat. Many choose to cut out papaya altogether while pregnant to avoid these risks.
This one is a bit up in the air, but it is sometimes advised that women avoid grapes during their pregnancy. This is because grapes contain resveratrol, a toxic compound that could cause poisoning or other pregnancy complications. Like pineapple, however, when eaten in moderation, grapes typically prove to be a low risk food.
- ALWAYS wash fruit before consuming. Any fruit has the potential to have pesticide residue or soil remaining from harvest, which can be unhealthy for both mother and child. For this reason, many mothers opt for organic produce, but it is still necessary to wash.
- Many fruits are known to have a high sugar content, which can be a problem for women with a risk of gestational diabetes. For this reason, it's recommended to completely avoid fruit juices and keep fruit intake to a small serving size in order to keep getting the nutrients without the excess sugars.
- If you have any questions about your pregnancy diet, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about recommendations and ways to get the key nutrients to help your baby grow properly over your pregnancy. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
If you have questions about your pregnancy, the proper diet, or what to expect during each stage, the staff at All About Women can provide you with compassionate care and support both during and after your pregnancy.
Contact us at our Gainesville or Lake City offices to schedule an appointment today.