Is it safe to eat dried fruits during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman's life and you must be excited for the new life growing inside you. It's natural to be concerned about which foods are safe to eat during this time.
Dried fruits during pregnancy
A well-balanced pregnancy diet can not only help you stay healthy and recover easier after labour, but should also meet your unborn child's needs. Your dietary choices should provide you with the necessary nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and fibre. An easy way to get them is to add dried fruits to your diet. Just as any other foods though, you should eat them in moderation and know which ones to be careful with.
Which dried fruits should you eat?
Raw fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. However, dried fruits beat them in density of nutrients. One of the benefits of dried fruits is that you can consume them in lesser quantities than the raw ones and still get the same result. They provide you and your unborn baby with energy and so many of the necessary nutrients. As an extra bonus they can help relieve some unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, like nausea, heartburn, and even high blood pressure.
Medjool dates - The fructose sugars in dates break down quickly offering energy without spiking the blood sugar levels in the body. Consume them in moderation especially in the early months of pregnancy, as they have a laxative effect, which stimulates contractions in the uterus. It's believed that they promote shortened labour if you eat 6-7 dates a day in the ninth month of your pregnancy.
Dried mango strips - Mangoes are a good source of potassium, iron, folic acid, and are very rich in Vitamin A. They are packed with sugar and are a good natural way to satisfy your desire for something sweet, but you shouldn't eat too much of this snack, in order to avoid Gestational Diabetes.
Dried pineapple rings - Eating pineapple during pregnancy can be a bit risky. Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C, B1 & B6, iron and folic acid, which are good for you. But it also contains bromelain which can cause the softening of the cervix leading to early labour or miscarriage. If you crave this fruit, limit yourself to one or two portions a month.
Dried apricots - Dried apricots are rich in calcium, folic acid, iron and cobalt which help preventing anemia during pregnancy. They are also high in minerals, silicon, phosphorus, potassium, iron and fibre.
Dried whole figs - Figs are particularly high in calcium, iron, and zinc which are key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. The high potassium content of figs may help to control blood pressure. Figs have the highest fibre content of any common fruit and their mineral content closely resembles that of human breast milk.
How to eat them?
Dried fruits make great snacks to replace junk food during pregnancy, especially when you're craving something sweet. They're convenient to add to your homemade energy bars, smoothies and cereals, or to toss onto salads.
Don't forget that they can be high in calories and sugar. For this reason, eat them in moderation and stick to one handful of dried fruits a day.
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