Fruits are essential to a healthy diet, especially for pregnant women. Pregnancy is crucial for both the mother and the developing fetus, and a well-balanced diet, including plenty of fruits, can provide many benefits. As an expectant mother, it is vital to know the various benefits of consuming fruits during pregnancy and why they are essential for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Foremost, fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Vitamin C is essential for developing the baby’s immune system, while folate is vital in preventing birth defects in the baby’s neural tube, most commonly spina bifida. Potassium helps regulate the fluid balance in the body and maintain healthy blood pressure. All of these vitamins and minerals are vital for the health of both the mother and the baby during pregnancy.
Fruits are also an excellent source of fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Pregnancy can often lead to constipation and indigestion, but consuming fibre-rich foods can help prevent this issue. Fiber can also help regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for women with gestational diabetes. Fruits are low in calories and water content, which can help prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
Another benefit of consuming fruits during pregnancy is the high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and lead to various health problems. Antioxidants found in fruits, such as Vitamin C, can help protect the mother and baby from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy.
Fruits are also a great source of natural sugars, which provide energy and help maintain a stable blood sugar level. During pregnancy, women need extra energy to support the growth and development of their babies, and consuming fruits is an excellent way to meet this need. Natural sugars found in fruits are also absorbed more slowly than processed sugars, reducing the risk of rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Besides providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, consuming fruits during pregnancy can also help boost the mother’s mood and improve her overall well-being. Fruits are rich in essential amino acids, the building blocks of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters play a crucial role in regulating mood, and a diet rich in fruits can help improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a positive outlook during pregnancy.
Lastly, consuming fruits during pregnancy can also give a filling of fullness and reduce most pregnancy cravings while providing enough nutrients and hydration to the expectant mother.
Some fruits best eaten during pregnancy include:
Mangoes are rich in vitamins A and C. A baby with vitamin A deficiency may have lower immunity and a higher risk of postnatal complications, such as respiratory infections. Adding natural mango smoothies and juice to our diets is always advisable.
contain high levels of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B-6, and fiber. The high fiber content of bananas can help with pregnancy-related constipation, and some evidence suggests that vitamin B-6 can help relieve nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Banana and coconut milk smoothies are available and can be enjoyed as an in-between meal as refreshments or taken during meals.
Eating plenty of grapes can boost people’s intake of vitamins C and K, folate, antioxidants, fiber, organic acids and pectin.
The nutrients in grapes can help to aid the biological changes that occur during pregnancy. They also contain immune-boosting antioxidants, such as flavonol, tannin, linalool, anthocyanins, and geraniol, which also help prevent infections.
Apples are packed with nutrients to support a growing fetus, including vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, etc. It is also believed that eating apples while pregnant may reduce the likelihood of the baby developing asthma and other allergies over time.
Oranges are an excellent source of folate, vitamin C and water; they are great for keeping a person hydrated and healthy. Vitamin C can help prevent cell damage and assist with iron absorption.
Folate n orange can help prevent neural tube defects, which can cause a baby’s brain and spinal cord abnormalities. Neural tube defects can cause conditions such as spina bifida, where the spinal cord does not develop properly, and anencephaly, where a large part of the brain and skull are missing. Oranges are common and can be made into various drinks like smoothies.