The benefits of eating fruit during pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat nutritious food and avoid empty calories. In fact, if you eat mostly junk food during your pregnancy, you may be setting your baby up for a lifetime of bad eating habits.
One study found that babies of mothers who eat junk food while pregnant are more likely to be addicted to a high-fat, high-sugar diet.
If that’s not enough to steer you into the produce section, consider this. Research suggests that unborn babies who do not receive proper nutrition go through permanent changes in their physiology and metabolism in utero. These changes may trigger disease later in life.
Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense. When you add a variety of them to your diet, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll get most of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you and your baby need.
Eating fruits and vegetables also help prevent constipation, a common symptom during pregnancy.
Oranges help you stay hydrated. They’re also a great source of folate. Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent brain and spinal cord defects, also known as neural tube defects.
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. It also helps your body absorb iron.
Mangoes are another great source of vitamin C. One cup gives you 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA). Mangoes are also high in vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency at birth is associated with lower immunity and a higher risk of complications like diarrhea and respiratory infections.
Although rare, it’s possible to get too much vitamin A. Mangoes are a great addition to your pregnancy diet, but eat them in moderation along with a variety of other fruits.
Avocados have more folate than other fruits. They’re also a great source of:
Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin KAvocados also contain iron. Some women report avocados to help relieve nausea, possibly because of the potassium and magnesium in the fruit. Potassium may also help relieve leg cramps, a common pregnancy symptom. Leg cramps are often caused by low potassium and magnesium.
Choline is important for your baby’s brain and nerve development. Choline deficiency may cause neural tube defects and lifetime memory impairment.
Many women report that sucking on lemons, drinking lemon water, or drinking lemonade helps relieve pregnancy-related nausea.
Lemons are also high in vitamin C. They help stimulate the digestive system to relieve constipation. Lemons may erode tooth enamel, so rinse your mouth after eating them.
Bananas are another good source of potassium. They also contain vitamin B-6, vitamin C, and fiber. About half of all women experience constipation during pregnancy. Constipation during pregnancy may be caused by:
Uterine pressure on the intestines
a low-fiber diet
Iron in prenatal vitamins
Adding fiber-rich bananas may help. ResearchTrusted Source shows that vitamin B-6 may help relieve nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.
Berries are rich in:
They also contain phytonutrients like flavonoids and anthocyanins.
Unless you have gestational diabetes, carbohydrates should account for 50 to 60 percent of your pregnancy calories each day. Carbohydrates give you much-needed energy and pass easily through your placenta to nourish your baby.
It’s important to eat mostly nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates like berries instead of processed, simple carbohydrates like doughnuts, cakes, and cookies.
Apples are high in fiber and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Eating apples during pregnancy may also offer a surprising health benefit for your baby.
A study Trusted Source published in the journal Thorax Trusted Source found that the children of mothers who ate apples during pregnancy were less likely to have childhood asthma and allergies.