Updated: Sep 16
Pregnancy is an extraordinary phase in a woman's life, filled with profound moments and wondrous transformations. Amidst the exhilaration and joy, it is crucial to make mindful choices, especially regarding your diet. As you navigate this remarkable journey, a treasure trove of nutrition is waiting to be discovered, and that is– fruits.
The benefits of incorporating fruits into your pregnancy diet are immeasurable. Your body undergoes remarkable changes during this time, and it requires a steady supply of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your own health and your baby's growth. Fruits provide a natural and delicious way to replenish these vital nutrients, nourishing you and your little one.
Table Of Content
Importance of fruits during pregnancy
Rich in essential nutrients: Fruits are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, providing essential nutrients for the healthy development of the baby and the well-being of the pregnant woman.
Promote digestive health: Fruits are rich in dietary fibre, which aids in maintaining healthy digestion, preventing constipation, and ensuring regular bowel movements during pregnancy.
Boost immune system: Fruits high in vitamin C and other antioxidants strengthen the immune system, protecting against illnesses and infections during pregnancy and promoting a healthier pregnancy overall.
Aid in hydration: Many fruits have high water content, contributing to overall hydration and helping to prevent dehydration, which is crucial for optimal bodily functions during pregnancy.
Provide natural energy: They offer a natural source of carbohydrates and natural sugars, providing a healthy and energising snack to combat pregnancy-related fatigue and boost energy levels.
8 fruits to incorporate into your pregnancy diet
Oranges are an exceptional fruit to incorporate into your pregnancy diet due to their numerous benefits. They replenish essential nutrients in the body, helping combat the depletion caused by morning sickness. With their high water content, oranges aid in staying hydrated, while their vitamin C, fibre, potassium, and calcium contribute to the baby's brain, bones, and spinal cord growth. Moreover, oranges boost the immune system, reduce the risk of anaemia, and help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. With their refreshing taste and natural fibre, oranges can also assist in preventing constipation.
Nutritional value of orange
Here is the nutritional content value of oranges:
Vitamin C: 82.7mg
Potassium: 232 mg
Benefits of eating oranges during 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters
First Trimester: Oranges are beneficial during the first trimester due to their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C supports immune health and aids in developing the baby's tissues and organs.
Second Trimester: During the second trimester, oranges provide energy and hydration. They are a hydrating fruit with natural sugars that can quickly boost energy during increased growth.
Third Trimester: In the third trimester, oranges continue to be advantageous for your immune support. The high vitamin C content in oranges helps strengthen the immune system, benefiting both the mother and the developing baby.
Bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and phytochemical compounds, these ruby-red fruits offer myriad health benefits. One notable advantage lies in their potential to regulate blood pressure, mitigating the risk of conditions such as pre-eclampsia. Pomegranates contain natural compounds known to have blood pressure-lowering effects, promoting cardiovascular well-being, and their high water content provides hydration while delivering a refreshing taste. Incorporating pomegranates into your diet can support optimal heart function and promote a healthy pregnancy.
Nutritional value of pomegranate
Vitamin C: 28.8mg
Vitamin K: 46.2mcg
Eating pomegranate during 1st,2nd and 3rd trimester
First Trimester: Consuming pomegranate during the first trimester is beneficial due to its high content of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols. These antioxidants help protect against cell damage and support overall health during early fetal development.
Second Trimester: Pomegranate remains advantageous during the second trimester due to its rich nutrient profile. It is a good source of vitamin C, which supports immune function and aids in the development of the baby's tissues and bones.
Third Trimester: In the third trimester, pomegranate consumption can be beneficial for its potential to improve blood circulation. Pomegranate contains compounds that may help promote healthy blood flow, supporting the delivery of nutrients to the developing baby.
Guavas are a remedy for morning sickness and offer additional benefits during pregnancy. They help maintain stable blood pressure, reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, and prevent clotting. Guavas control cholesterol levels, aid in iron absorption, relax muscles and nerves and fight bacterial infections. They also regulate digestion and manage conditions like acidity and heartburn due to their potassium content.
Nutritional value of Guava
Vitamin C: 376mg
Eating guava during 1st,2nd and 3rd trimester
1st Trimester: Guavas are a great choice during the first trimester of pregnancy. They are rich in folate, which is crucial for the development of the baby's brain and spinal cord. Adequate folate intake during this stage can help prevent neural tube defects.
2nd Trimester: They are a good source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system and aids in the development of the baby's tissues and bones. Vitamin C also aids in iron absorption, helping prevent iron deficiency anaemia.
3rd Trimester: In the third trimester, guavas provide essential nutrients like potassium and dietary fibre. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels, and fibre supports healthy digestion and prevents constipation, a common issue during pregnancy. Consuming guavas can contribute to overall well-being in the final stages of pregnancy.
Apples are delicious and packed with essential nutrients such as fibre, antioxidants, and vitamin C, which support immune health and promote healthy lung function. Research suggests that consuming apples during pregnancy may lower the risk of childhood asthma and benefit the child's respiratory health.
Nutritional value of apple
Vitamin C: 9.2mg
Vitamin A: 6mcg
Eating apple during 1st,2nd and 3rd trimester
First Trimester: Apples are a nutritious choice during the first trimester of pregnancy. They are a good source of dietary fibre, which can help alleviate constipation, a common issue during early pregnancy. Additionally, apples contain essential vitamins such as vitamin C, which support the immune system and aid in developing the baby's tissues.
Second Trimester: Apples are rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids, which help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. These antioxidants can contribute to the overall health and well-being of both the mother and the growing baby.
Third Trimester: In the third trimester, apples offer hydration due to their high water content. Staying hydrated is crucial during pregnancy, and consuming juicy fruits like apples can help maintain proper fluid balance. Apples also contain natural sugars, providing a healthier alternative to satisfy sweet cravings
Mangos are a safe and delicious choice during pregnancy, packed with essential nutrients for both you and your baby. They provide valuable folate to prevent neural tube defects. Rich in vitamin C, A, fibre, B6, and copper, mangos support immune function, digestion, brain development, and red blood cell formation.
Nutritional value of Mangoes
Vitamin C: 60mg
Vitamin E: 1.5mg
Eating mangoes during 1st,2nd and 3rd trimester
First Trimester: Eating mangoes during the first trimester is safe and beneficial due to their high concentration of folic acid, aiding in the growth of the baby's nervous system.
Second Trimester: Moderate consumption of mangoes is safe during the second trimester, although women with gestational diabetes should be cautious due to the fruit's high sugar content. Choosing naturally ripened mangoes and peeling the skin before consumption is recommended.
Third Trimester: Mangoes can be enjoyed in moderation during the third trimester, providing a calorie-rich snack. However, it's important to be mindful of added sugars and calories from sweetened preparations like smoothies, desserts, and dried mangoes. Opt for fresh mangoes and avoid excessive sweeteners
Bananas are a must-have snack during pregnancy due to their rich nutritional profile. Packed with carbohydrates, potassium, and essential nutrients, they provide a natural energy boost for the day, helping to combat pregnancy hunger. Additionally, bananas offer various benefits such as managing morning sickness, supporting healthy blood pressure levels, and improving haemoglobin levels.
Nutritional value of banana
Vitamin C: 10.3mg
First Trimester: Bananas are a great choice during the first trimester of pregnancy due to their high content of vitamin B6. This vitamin plays a crucial role in the development of the baby's brain and nervous system. Consuming bananas can help meet the increased demand for vitamin B6 during this important stage of fetal growth.
Second Trimester: Bananas continue to be beneficial during the second trimester due to their high potassium content. Potassium helps maintain proper fluid balance in the body and supports healthy muscle function, including the muscles of the uterus. Adequate potassium intake can also help prevent muscle cramps and promote overall well-being during pregnancy.
Third Trimester: As the pregnancy progresses into the third trimester, leg cramps can become more common. Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that helps relax muscles and prevent cramping. Including bananas in your diet during this trimester can help alleviate discomfort and promote better sleep by reducing the frequency and severity of leg cramps.
Berries are a pregnancy superfood, offering a wide range of benefits for both the mother and the baby. They support proper blood vessel functioning, ensuring optimal blood flow to the developing baby. Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, enhance iron absorption, provide healthy carbohydrates, antioxidants, and fibre, promoting overall well-being and supporting healthy digestion.
Nutritional value of berries
Vitamin C: 66.2mg
Eating berries during 1st,2nd and 3rd trimester
First Trimester: Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are an excellent choice during the first trimester of pregnancy. They are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C and various phytonutrients, which can help support the immune system and protect against cellular damage.
Second Trimester: During the second trimester, the baby's organs and tissues continue to develop rapidly. Berries provide essential nutrients like folate and potassium, which are important for proper growth and development. Folate aids in the formation of the baby's neural tube, while potassium supports healthy heart function and fluid balance.
Third Trimester: Berries offer multiple benefits in the third trimester. They are a great source of dietary fibre, which can help prevent constipation, a common issue during pregnancy. The high water content in berries also helps maintain hydration. Additionally, berries provide natural sweetness and can satisfy cravings for sugary treats in a healthier way.
Avocados are a pregnancy powerhouse, offering numerous benefits for both you and your baby. Their healthy fats support fetal development and overall maternal health. Avocados provide essential nutrients such as potassium for fluid balance and folate for neural tube development. They also offer fibre for digestion, blood sugar regulation, and appetite control.
Nutritional value of avocado
Vitamin C: 10mg
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Vitamin K: 21mcg
Eating avocado during 1st,2nd and 3rd trimester
First Trimester: Avocados are a nutritious choice during the first trimester of pregnancy. They are packed with folate, a vital nutrient that aids in the early development of the baby's brain and spinal cord. Adequate folate intake during this trimester is essential for preventing neural tube defects.
Second Trimester: Avocados provide numerous benefits during the second trimester. They are rich in healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats, which are crucial for the development of the baby's organs and tissues. These healthy fats also support the mother's cardiovascular health and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
Third Trimester: In the third trimester, avocados are beneficial due to their high fibre content. Fibre aids in maintaining regular bowel movements and preventing constipation, a common issue during pregnancy. The creamy texture and mild flavour of avocados make them an easily digestible and versatile addition to meals and snacks.
How much quantity of fruit I should consume during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, it is recommended that individuals consume a minimum of five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, with an emphasis on variety. This can include fruits in various forms, such as fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.
As a guideline, a serving of fruit is typically considered to be one piece of fruit, such as those larger than the size of a tennis ball or one cup of chopped fruit. By incorporating a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables into their diet, pregnant women can ensure they receive essential nutrients to support the development of their babies and maintain their own well-being, potentially reducing the risk of certain diseases and defects.
Fruits to avoid during pregnancy
Three fruits to be cautious about during pregnancy are pineapple, papaya, and grapes.
Pineapple: Although pineapple contains beneficial nutrients, it also contains bromelain, which can soften the cervix and potentially lead to early labour if consumed in large quantities. Limiting pineapple intake to the first trimester is advised.
Papaya: Unripe papaya contains latex, which can induce premature contractions. Even ripe papaya skin and seeds are unsafe to consume. To avoid potential risks, many pregnant women choose to avoid papaya altogether.
Safety Tips to Consume Fruits during Pregnancy
Opt for organic and pesticide-free fruits to minimise exposure to harmful chemicals.
Thoroughly wash fruits before consumption to remove any potential contaminants.
Store fresh fruits separately from raw meat in the refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination.
Remove any bruised areas on fruits, as they may harbour bacteria or fungi.
Practise proper hygiene while handling fruits, including washing hands before and after taking them.
Incorporating fruits into your pregnancy diet provides a multitude of benefits for both you and your baby. Fruits are an ideal and nutritious snack as they offer a wealth of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support overall health and well-being during pregnancy. So go ahead and indulge in various fruits to nourish yourself and your baby while enjoying the delicious flavours and natural goodness they offer.
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About The Author: Dr. Ujwala Patil (MBBS DGO, LCCE )
Dr. Ujwala Patil, founder of Polaris Health Care, specializes in gynecology and obstetrics. With extensive experience and training, she offers expert advice, especially in infertility, cervical cytology, and colonoscopy. Empaneled at Surya and Life point hospitals, she has successfully managed high-risk obstetric cases and conducted over 1000 deliveries, providing compassionate care for women from diverse backgrounds.