With the increase in calorie and nutrient requirements during pregnancy, it is important to develop healthy eating habits which include eating a minimum of 2 servings of fruits. After all, fruits are an excellent source of folic acid and Vitamin C, the two nutrients whose requirements increase significantly during pregnancy. Interestingly, child development experts in Canada have pointed out that women who eat fruits during their pregnancy are more likely to give birth to smarter children compared to those who eat very little fruit or no fruits at all.
The king of fruits, 'mango' is a nutrient and calorie dense fruit and a must-include for pregnant women. A serving of 100 grams mango provides 640 mcg beta carotene which promotes the baby's cell and tissue development, vision, and immune system. The fiber content of mangoes acts as a laxative which keeps constipation, a common problem during pregnancy at bay. Additionally, mangoes are a good source of potassium which helps keep blood pressure in check.
Sweet lime brims with the goodness of potassium, calcium and vitamin C which plays a significant role in the proper growth and development of the fetus. The vitamin C content assists in the absorption of iron, an important nutrient for a healthy pregnancy as well as boosts blood circulation. Since sweet lime facilitates digestion, it works as an excellent remedy for nausea and morning sickness.
Avocado is a super fruit that must be eaten during pregnancy. A 100 gram serving of avocado packs in 89 mcg of folic acid, an essential nutrient for the brain development of the baby. Avocado also contains a significant amount of Vitamin B6 which helps reduce morning sickness as well as promotes tissue development in newborns. The Vitamin C content in avocado assists in collagen synthesis, which aids in formation of strong bones.
The sweet yet tangy taste of oranges appeals to the taste buds of pregnant women. A high Vitamin C containing fruit, with 45 mg Vitamin C in a 100 gram serving, it helps build a strong immune system and also plays a significant role in the development of bones and teeth in the newborn. Oranges, being rich in folate, aid in formation of blood cells, and supports a healthy placenta. Additionally, the water content in oranges coupled with potassium, keeps the body hydrated in pregnant women.
Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin K providing 19.3 mcg in a 100 gram serving, which plays an important role in bone development of the fetus. The fiber content in blueberries alleviates constipation woes. Blueberries being an excellent source of antioxidants and Vitamin C assist in building a strong immune system of the baby.
Plums are a rich source of magnesium, which works as a muscle relaxant and helps avoid premature contractions and labor. As a good source of Vitamin C, plums facilitate bone development in the fetus, boost the immune system and facilitate absorption of iron. With a significant amount of potassium and antioxidants, plums combat stress and fatigue, a common occurrence in pregnant women.
Pomegranates are an excellent source of polyphenols, which have been proven to be good for the heart as they may help lower blood pressure and the risk of pre-eclampsia. Polyphenols also help lower the risk of placental injury as well as reduce the risk of injury to the brain of the fetus. Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C and are excellent for the immune system and when your body is busy growing your baby, it needs all the extra immunity it can get.
Pomegranates contain more antioxidants than cranberries and green tea, making them ideal for all-round health and nutrition.
During pregnancy, it is safe to consume fruits as such instead of fruit juices to avoid adding extra sugar and calories to the diet. Enjoy fruits as a snack in between meals rather than having it with a meal to reduce the chances of high blood sugar. Use a combination of fruits though you may have a craving for few and tend to avoid many.