Fruits are healthy, right? But what about fruits during pregnancy? Are they good? Are they safe? A quick answer would be – Yes. Most fruits are safe for pregnancy, but every coin has two sides.
Your diet during pregnancy makes a lot of difference to your and your baby’s health. So, it isn’t surprising that your doctors often suggest you stick to a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet that maintains your blood glucose, blood pressure, overall digestion, and hormonal balance.
This article will explore some of the most common fruits to avoid during pregnancy and why.
In this Article
- 1 What is an Ideal Pregnancy Diet?
- 2 Top Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy
- 3 Which Fruits Should One Eat Instead?
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Conclusion
What is an Ideal Pregnancy Diet?
Eating a healthy and fulfilling diet is crucial for your baby’s growth inside the womb. It ensures they get all the essential nutrients needed to grow into their strong, fully-developed selves.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as an “ideal pregnancy diet.” You can very well stick to your normal diet but with more consciousness.
If you lived off of junk food pre-pregnancy, that’s a habit that has to go. If you skipped meals before pregnancy, that’s another thing you have to avoid.
However, when it comes to curating a wholesome diet plan for your pregnant self, there are certain factors you have to pay attention to:
- Include fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet
- Focus on optimal hydration throughout the day
- Never miss out on the prescribed prenatal vitamins
- Eat three full meals and healthy snacks
- Include essential macronutrients in your diet
- Avoid foods that are raw or highly processed
- Focus on food safety and stick to eating home-cooked meals
Pregnancy is an extremely joyous phase in a woman’s life. And to make the most out of the situation, you need to eat healthily and fill yourself up with essential nutrients necessary for fetal development.
So, why are there such restrictions on fruits? We’ll talk more about that in the next section.
Top Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy
Fruits are great for your body, and they are a great snacking option during pregnancy as well. There are no two ways about it. But a few fruits do worse than good to the body, especially during a sensitive phase like that pregnancy.
For your convenience and knowledge, we have curated a list of fruits not to eat during pregnancy.
Papaya is excellent fruit in ordinary instances, especially when it comes to regulating digestion and relieving the risks of constipation.
But, eating raw or semi-ripe papaya during pregnancy can do worse than good for the fetus. If you are in your earlier stages of pregnancy, especially in the first or second trimester, papaya in any form is better to avoid.
Most doctors will advise you to eat super ripe papayas later in the pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Raw or unripe papaya contains a type of latex that triggers premature uterine contractions, which can lead to a miscarriage.
The papain in unripe papaya triggers the release of prostaglandins in the blood, which induces early and premature labor.
Even if you are eating ripe papaya during pregnancy, ensure it’s in moderation. Also, wait until the papaya is ripe throughout before consuming it.
Like unripe papaya, even pineapple induces premature uterine contractions, which can lead to an unintended miscarriage.
Unlike papain in the unripe papaya, pineapple contains an active enzyme called bromelain, which is responsible for protein breakdown in the body. If consumed early during pregnancy, this enzyme can soften the cervix, leading to potential risks of early labor and premature birth.
However, the uterotonic properties of pineapple are not proven by conclusive scientific research. So, there is not much evidence to back up the heavy claims.
But, for safety measures, avoiding eating pineapple during the first or even second trimester of pregnancy is ideal.
Before villainizing them, you must understand that grapes aren’t bad during pregnancy when eaten in moderation.
However, since grapes are small and easy to eat, we often need to track the amount we consume in one sitting. Hence, it is ideal avoid out grapes entirely during pregnancy for safety measures.
But why are grapes bad during pregnancy?
There are multiple reasons.
Firstly, grapes contain resveratrol, a toxic chemical compound that might not be very safe during pregnancy, especially when eaten in large amounts.
Secondly, grapes are known to generate heat in the body. Hence, the consumption of grapes during the last trimester is a complete no.
They are a great food to munch on but ensure that you aren’t overdoing the number of grapes you consume in one sitting.
If you flip through the pages of Indian folklore, you will often hear women saying they prefer eating “something sour” during their pregnancy. And that includes tamarind too.
But, again, you need to understand that moderation is key in any food or fruit.
Tamarind has amazing benefits during pregnancy. It is a quick fix for your pregnancy cravings. It also reduces bouts of nausea, which is fairly common due to morning sickness.
So, what’s the problem?
Tamarind also contains a high level of Vitamin C. But, wait, Vitamin C is good, right?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which is great for consumption during pregnancy. But, since tamarind has a very high Vitamin C level, consuming it without moderation can lead to “Vitamin C toxicity” in the body.
Excess vitamin C can potentially lower progesterone levels in the body, triggering multiple pregnancy complications, including miscarriage or pre-term birth. It is one of the fruits to avoid during pregnancy’s first trimester, especially in excess amounts.
Can Watermelon cause miscarriage? The short answer is No.
Watermelon is generally a safe fruit to consume during your pregnancy. But the key here is to consume it in moderation.
But isn’t watermelon 95% water? That is true, but it is also one of the few fruits with a very high glycemic index of 80.
So, if you have a risk of developing gestational diabetes or you are already diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your OBGYN will likely suggest you avoid consuming watermelon until delivery.
But you don’t have to worry about watermelon causing a miscarriage because that isn’t true and doesn’t have any conclusive research to back up the claims.
There are several contradictions when considering dates as unsafe fruit. While some suggest they are safe and make great snacks during pregnancy, some studies indicate that they induce heat in the body, which can be unsafe during pregnancy.
Avoiding dates during the first and second trimesters is ideal for optimal safety.
Since they trigger uterine contractions, most doctors suggest eating dates during the last few days before the due date to induce labor naturally.
7. Fruit Juice
Now, this isn’t technically a fruit but a variation of it. The store-bought fruit juices are loaded with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and chemicals that aren’t ideal for consumption during pregnancy.
But, even the freshly pressed fruit juice you pair with your breakfast, thinking it’s safe and filled with nutrients, is likely not the best for consumption during pregnancy.
Fruit juices, in any form, have a more concentrated form of natural (or added) sugars, which can increase the risks of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
8. Canned Fruits
Like store-bought fruit juices, canned fruits are generally submerged in a sugar syrup or a preservative liquid, which isn’t the healthiest thing to consume during pregnancy.
The high number of preservatives, paired with the tin cans, often make a highly toxic concoction that’s very bad for you and your baby in the womb.
Always switch things up with fresh fruits since they are much easier to digest and won’t impact your body negatively during pregnancy.
“Can I eat mango during pregnancy?” Generally, the answer is yes.
But there are a few exceptions.
Mangoes have a high calorific value, meaning they have a lot more calories than most of the other fruits you consume daily.
If you are overweight or obese and your doctor has prescribed you to limit the weight you can gain during pregnancy, mangoes shouldn’t be your first choice of fruit for consumption.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat mangoes at all. A few slices or eating mangoes in moderation is considered safe during pregnancy.
Last but not least is the most shocking one, isn’t it?
Bananas are generally a safe fruit, irrespective of health complications, so why is it not good for pregnancy?
Well, bananas during pregnancy aren’t restricted for every pregnant woman. Instead, it’s unsuitable for those with allergies and gestational diabetes risks.
Chitinase, an active latex compound in bananas, is a type of allergen that can lead to complications of allergies during pregnancy.
Which Fruits Should One Eat Instead?
Now that you have a fair idea about the fruits to avoid during pregnancy, which ones should you consume instead?
Almost every other fruit is considered safe during your pregnancy. However, ensure that you focus on eating any fruit in moderation. Since fruits have natural sugars, you don’t want to overdo their consumption, especially in a single sitting.
How many times can one eat fruits as a snack during pregnancy?
Fruits make a healthy and delectable snack option during pregnancy. Some of the best ones include apples, berries, oranges, etc.
Are fruit juices safe for pregnancy?
It is ideal to consume whole fruits instead of relying on fruit juice since the sugar content in fruit juice is much more concentrated and isn’t ideal for pregnant women with risks of gestational diabetes.
Which fruits increase the risks of gestational diabetes?
If you have a risk of developing gestational diabetes, it is ideal to avoid fruits with a high glycemic index value. In short, avoid fruits that might cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up unnecessarily.
Fruits during pregnancy are generally considered safe. But, there are a few factors you need to be aware of, as we mentioned in this article. If you have any potential complications or allergies, discuss the same with your doctor. Also, practice moderation when eating your fruits. You don’t want to unnecessarily overdo the consumption of fruits in one sitting and feel worse for the rest of the day.