An apricot is a golden orange colored fruit that closely resembles a peach. Apricots fall into the category of drupe fruits, which mean, they can be consumed in both dry and fresh forms. They are delicious and sweet tasting fruits that can be relished as a dessert after meal. Apricots are high on nutritional value and can offer pregnant women key vitamins and minerals needed during the phase. Dry apricots are the most popularly consumed form of the fruit in India, as the fresh versions are not easily available. They are rich in iron, magnesium, calcium and even dietary fiber. Read on to know more about the apricot benefits in pregnancy.
Is Apricot Safe During Pregnancy?
It is a common question that whether it is safe to consume apricots during pregnancy. Apricots are safe to be consumed during pregnancy and can be quite beneficial when has regularly. However, be sure to remove the bitter tasting tip of the apricot, which contains a harmful ingredient called “amygdalin” which can cause stomach upset and nausea.
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Benefits of Apricot During Pregnancy:
1. Dried Apricots contain high quantities of iron and copper. During pregnancy, a woman is prone to anemia and oxidative stress. Dried apricots during pregnancy help in hemoglobin production plus absorption of iron through its rich copper content.
2.Folic acid in apricots aids in the prevention of certain birth defects in new-born babies, such as spina bifida.
3. A pregnant woman need around 300 calories to support her developing fetus. Apricots in the daily diet help in the uniform distribution of such calories in the mother’s body.
4. The high fiber and starch content in this fruit helps in proper digestion and controlling of hemorrhoids plus constipation in expecting mothers.
5. The rich content of vitamins and minerals helps in the overall development of the fetus. Apricots are also rich in retinol.
6. Apricot dry fruit during pregnancy also keep the blood glucose levels under control, thus averting gestational diabetes.
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Risks Of Apricot For Pregnant Women:
1. Apricot also contains the harmful ingredient “amygdalin” that is released from glycoside amygdalin during digestion. Hence, too much of apricot consumption might result in nervous system depression, vomiting, cramps or even respiratory failures.
2. Gastric is already a common discomfort in pregnant women. If apricots are not fully ripe, they may aggravate release of gastric juice in expecting mothers.
3. Sulphur is apricots might results in anaphylactic shock or cause sulphur allergies in sulphite sensitive women.
4. The seed tips of apricots contain the chemical “laetrile”, which taken in excessive quantities can upset the bodily functions.
5. Unnecessary apricot consumption also causes dizziness and frequent headaches.
Dried Apricot fruit in Pregnancy:
Since ages, dried apricots have been known to be a source of herbal medicines during pregnancy. Barks of apricot trees are believed to be affective for infertility problems, spasms and hemorrhages. The paste of this fruit kernel cures vaginal infections and the flesh aids in pregnancy plus lactation. Dried apricots are rich in calcium, folic acid, iron and fibres; thus acting as the ideal replacement to the food cravings of an expectant mother. However, as per some health advisors, too much of kernel intake might result in an increased possibility of birth defects.
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Anything can be good only when consumed in moderation. Although apricots are beneficial to the human body, overeating them can certainly lead to a number of health complications. Apricots, particularly the dry ones, can be found in all fruit markets. They can be eaten as whole or can be chopped and used in salads, smoothies or even along with cereal. The famous sweet “Khubani ka Meetha” is also made using these delicious dry fruits. So, what are you waiting? Grab your daily dose of apricots during pregnancy and enjoy its health benefits.
1. What is the best time to eat Apricots during pregnancy?
While there is no particular time to eat apricots, the recommended guideline is to consume it along with breakfast or as a snack in between meals. Dry apricots, especially can be difficult to digest during the night. Hence, eat them at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.
2. How To Prepare Dry Apricots At Home?
Dry apricots can be made from fresh fruit, but there is a process involved. Apricots are first washed thoroughly, pitted and dehydrated in oven. It usually takes about 10 hours for the fruits to be completely dry, yet have a chewy, leathery texture.
3. Is there a suitable alternative to apricots if allergic?
While it’s very rare for someone to face allergic reactions with apricots, there are suitable alternatives. Peaches, nectarine and even mango can be used as a substitute to apricots. They offer similar nutritional value and also taste great.