Avoid these 3 fruits during pregnancy
Created by Chayanika Sen Updated on Jan 26, 2021
Eating well while one is pregnant needs careful planning to ensure that the body gets all the nutrients it needs to carry the baby to term as well as provide for all the needs of the growing baby. Pregnancy diet assumes a lot of importance in all stages for the proper growth and development of the unborn baby. Though eating a healthy diet may be difficult in the initial days of pregnancy because of morning sickness, and then pregnancy cravings, yet a healthy diet during pregnancy should be a priority – and we must make a conscious effort for it.
Eating Fruits During Pregnancy
Fruits are considered great for pregnant women because of the nutritional benefits they offer. It is often advised that pregnant women should have atleast 3 servings of fresh fruit everyday. Apart from proving vitamin C and folic acid, fruits are also rich in fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
However, it is to be ensured that fruits are washed thoroughly so as to remove all traces of soil. Unwashed or unpasteurized fruits may expose the prospective mother's body to a lot of risks. During pregnancy it is very important to prevent infections from taxmoplasmosis caused by a parasite which has devastating effects on the development of the unborn baby. While almost all fruits should be a part of a pregnant women's diet, consumption of a few fruits should be totally abstained because of the ill effects they may have on the pregnant woman as well as the developing foetus. Let us discuss which fruits should be avoided during pregnancy.
Fruits To Be Avoided During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very delicate time for a woman, and everything she eats or drinks influences affects the unborn baby's growth and development. There are some foods that are not considered suitable for consumption by mothers-to-be. Though fruits do offer many benefits and must be included in pregnancy diet, yet there are some fruits that are best avoided – or consumed rarely to steer clear of any ill effects. Below, we are listing 3 such fruits that should be definetly be avoided during the course of pregnancy.
1.Papaya – Especially Unripe, Green Papaya
Pregnant women should refrain from consuming papaya, especially the unripe ones. Ripe papayas are considered safe during pregnancy and are very rich sources of Vitamin C & Vitamin E. However unripe and semi-ripe papayas should strictly be avoided during pregnancy. Many women avoid papaya altogether to be on the safer side. Reasons why unripe papaya is advised to be avoided are-
- Detrimental to growth of unborn baby: Papaya contains enzymes named papain and pepsin which are considered "proteolytic". These enzymes may lead to cell dissociation in the foetus and may impact vital membranes of the developing baby. Consumption of papaya may weaken the cell growth and be detrimental to development of tissues of the foetus
- May trigger uterine contractions: Papaya is said to be rich in latex, a component which triggers uterine contractions. It can also lead to premature labour or miscarriage
- Increases chances of miscarriage: The enzymes present in Papaya are teratogenic and abortifacient. That is to say these enzymes present in papaya not only increase chances of abortion but these enzymes also impact the physiological growth of the unborn baby. Infact, history has it that it was used as an abortfacient in many Asian countries to abort a pregnancy
- Surplus bowel movements: Papaya is also said to alleviate constipation. This may instigate surplus bowel movement which may in turn create pressure within the uterus resulting in miscarriage
- Increases chances of internal bleeding: Unripe papaya can put a lot of pressure on blood vessels thereby increasing chances of bleeding in the placenta or internal bleeding. Development of the foetus may be adversely impacted as this may in turn slow down blood circulation in the pregnant women's body
- Powerful emmengogue: Papaya fruit is a powerful emmengogue, hence may lead to bleeding and miscarriage
2.Green Grapes And Raisins
Grapes are another fruit which must be avoided during pregnancy especially during the third trimester. Since raisins belong to the family of grapes, consumption of raisins should also be carefully monitored when one is pregnant. Though grapes provide a lot of vital nutrients like vitamins, folic acids, antioxidants, fiber, pectin and organic acids, consumption of grapes should be very controlled and minimised during pregnancy due to the following reasons-
- Heat generating effect: Due to inherent characteristic of this fruit, it generates heat in the body which may be harmful for the developing baby. Though science and Ayurveda may differ on this one, yet, many people consider heat inducing foods as harmful during pregnancy
- Use of pesticides: Nowadays various pesticides are used on grape plants to keep the insects away. Since one has to be extra cautious while expecting, it is advised not to consume grapes during this span of time. Pesticides make grapes inedible especially during pregnancy
- Resveratrol content could be toxic: The skin of grapes contains a natural compound named resveratrol which is believed to be toxic. At a stage when women generally suffer from hormonal imbalance, resveratrol poisoning may cause harmful reactions on pregnant women. Hence grapes should be avoided to avoid resveratrol consumption which may further aggravate complications during pregnancy
- May lead to constipation: Grape skin is believed to be tough to digest. This may lead to constipation in pregnant women
- Medical conditions: Grapes are also not advised to pregnant women who have gestational diabetes, are obese or overweight or are already prone to digestive problems
3.Pineapple In Huge Quantities
Pineapple also belongs to the category of fruits which women should abstain from consuming during pregnancy. There is a school of thought which considers pineapple consumption in moderation to be perfectly healthy. Pineapples are very rich in Vitamins, folic acid and dietary fiber. However the below facts should be considered strongly before consumption of pineapple during pregnancy-
- Bromelain content: Enzyme bromelain is present in abundance in this fruit. This component softens the cervix which may lead to diarrhea which may further cause dehydration. Besides bromelain may also have allergic reactions and nausea
- Increases risk of miscarriage: Bromelain breaks down proteins and since the newly conceived baby is made up of proteins, consuming pineapple may cause bleeding which may lead to miscarriage. During early trimesters its consumption increases the risk of uterine contractions and may prove to be disastrous for the growing womb
- High sugar concentration: Sugar concentration is very high in pineapples. High sugar content may be very harmful for pregnant women with gestational diabetes
- Heat generating effect: Same as grapes, pineapples are also known to generate heat in the body. This may lead to miscarriage or pre term birth.
- May cause heart burn: The acidity pineapple can cause may lead to reflux or heart burn
- Used as a tool to induce labour: Doctors advice consumption of pineapple or pineapple juice to induce labour pain. Pregnant women should strictly keep away from pineapples as they have multiple hazards to the baby in the mother's womb
All in all, a pregnancy diet should be a balance of fruits, grains and vegetables to get maximum nutrition. Always consume freshly cut fruits and try not to refrigerate and then eat them. Avoid fruits that seem rotten or carry a foul smell, discard them immediately. Because pregnancy weakens the mother's immune system, care and precautions must be exercised to ensure she does not get any infections. Happy eating!