Craving in a pregnant woman could manifest in any form. It could be in the form of sweets, it could be for spicy food or sometimes even from the visual appearance of the food. Dragon fruit as we all know is reddish wine coloured fruit with a scaly appearance making it very attractive and can immediately raise a desire to try the same. But wait a minute – Is it safe to consume dragon fruit during pregnancy? Check out this article to know more about the dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit is not very commonly sold in Indian markets, but if there is some store which stocks exotic fruits, then there are chances that you would spot dragon fruit there. Dragon fruit has a reddish or wine colour with a scaly surface. On removing the skin peel, the flesh of the fruit appears to be red or purple. It contains black-coloured seeds. The texture of the fruit is gelatinous like Kiwi and has a mild sweet taste. This fruit is also believed to bring good luck in Chinese mythology.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a fruit native to Southern America, Mexico and some parts of Central America but is now easily available all over the world including the Indian subcontinent. It is also commonly known as pitaya. This fruit comes in the reddish wine colour and is scaly from the outside. It has a combination taste of sweet and sour. Its inner texture is similar to that of kiwi and is white with small back seeds.
Let us read in further details about the benefits of dragon fruit for pregnant ladies.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Dragon Fruit and Is it Safe to Eat Dragon Fruit in Pregnancy:
Some certain fruits and beverages should be avoided altogether as they are considered heat-producing. Pitaya fruit, on the other hand, can be consumed without any inhibitions. Besides the nutritional benefits contained in it makes Dragon fruit is safe during pregnancy and a must-have. To begin with, you can try the reddish Dragon Fruit to get used to its taste.
See More: Drinking Water During Pregnancy
Nutritional Values of Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy:
Dragon fruit contains multiple nutrients in small quantities. It is a good source of iron, magnesium, and fibre. Have a look at the nutritional value of dragon fruit per 100gm.
Nutritional Component Value
- Calories 60
- Proteins 1.2g
- Fats 0
- Carbohydrates 13g
- Fiber 3g
- Vitamin C 3%
- Iron 4%
- Magnesium 10%
We can see that dragon fruit is rich in magnesium and fibres and low in calories, which makes dragon fruit good for a pregnant lady.
Dragon Fruit Health Benefits During Pregnancy:
Following are the various benefits of dragon fruit for pregnant woman:
1. Rich in Antioxidants:
Eating Dragon fruit during pregnancy is considered good as it is richly packed with Vitamin C.Vitamin C is also known by the name of ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid consumption in any form be it, in the form of raw fruits and vegetables or in the form of juices is considered good while you are pregnant because it contains lots of powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help your body during pregnancy by helping your cells fight free radicals, help to strengthen your immune system, help to regulate collagen synthesis in your body and also help to prevent problems associated with joints and gums.
2. Prevents Neural Birth Defects:
Apart from Vitamin C, Dragon fruit also contains Vitamin B12 or folic acid. Women who are pregnant are advised to take B 12 vitamin supplements during pregnancy so that the neural growth of the developing baby can take place appropriately.
3. Prevents Cancer:
Other vitamins belonging to the B-complex family, such as Beta-Carotenes and lycopene are also present in the Dragon fruit in copious amounts. They work together to repair the internal damages and take care of the free radicals. They also provide the body with anti-carcinogenic bodies to prevent the growth of any tumour.
4. Prevents Gestational Diabetes:
Dragon fruit contains lots of dietary fibre or roughage. This is of a lot of importance during pregnancy because high fibre food helps to keep you fuller for longer and prevents sugar cravings and hunger pangs. Also, high-fibre foods are considered good for those who have gestational diabetes or those prone to developing diabetes in later life due to obesity or family history. High-fibre foods help to keep your heart healthy too.
5. Helps to Relieve Constipation:
Dragon fruit, due to its high roughage content works towards, keeping constipation at bay by soaking up moisture in the intestine and increasing the bulk of stools, as well as softening it. This also helps in preventing haemorrhoids, which is a very commonly faced problem by pregnant women.
6. Energy Boosting Carbohydrates:
Dragon fruit, also known as Monster fruit, contains healthy carbohydrates which help in providing you with the energy you need to carry out day to day activities. Natural foods are a much better source of calories than sugary beverages, which contribute nothing towards nutrition.
7. Assist in Teeth and Bone Development:
Dragon fruit also contains calcium. Calcium is required to keep your bones and teeth healthy and to keep those of your developing baby in good health, as well. Calcium has a role to play in muscular contractions as well. So, if you are lactose intolerant and cannot take milk products than dragon fruit would help to make up for the additional calcium requirement in your body.
8. Boosting Immunity:
Dragon fruit has phytochemicals, which are strong antioxidants which strengthen your immune system and help your body battle against infections.
9. Haemoglobin Elevation:
The elemental Iron (Fe) present in Dragon fruit helps the blood cells improve the oxygen-carrying capacity, thereby reducing the severity of anaemia if any in pregnant women.
10. Protects Against Infection:
Getting infected can pose a risk to the baby in the womb as the microbes can find their way to the baby through the placenta. The Dragon fruit provides the benefit of cellular regeneration that helps in preventing the infection. Besides, the antifungal and antibacterial bodies, it can handle the microbes already present in the body.
11. Prevents Preeclampsia:
Hypertension during pregnancy can cause pre-eclampsia. Dragon fruit helps in maintaining the blood pressure and the blood sugar and thereby minimising the complications associated with pregnancy.
12. Reduced Risk of Miscarriage:
There is a high risk of miscarriage during the first trimester. Dragon Fruit is rich in folic acid, and its consumption reduces the risk of miscarriage to a great extent.
Side Effects of Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy:
To your surprise, there are hardly any side effects of consuming pitaya fruit during pregnancy making it safest for consumption without any inhibitions.
How to Include Dragon Fruit in a Pregnancy Diet?
The following are the various ways in which you can include dragon fruit in your pregnancy diet:
- Consume it as a regular fruit
- Extract the juice and consume it
- Add it to your fruit salad and make a tasty preparation
Hope we have solved all your queries related to dragon fruit during pregnancy. Including pitaya fruit during your pregnancy will probably be one of the best decisions to support the healthy and safe growth of your baby inside the womb. It has numerous potential benefits without any risks, and that makes dragon fruit one of the safest fruits for consumption during pregnancy.
See More: Best Pregnancy Vitamins
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:
Q1: Is it ok to Eat Dragon Fruit During Breastfeeding Time?
Ans: Though absurd in look and typical in taste, dragon fruit is highly nutritious to be consumed during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. In fact, it is one such fruit that has no inherent side effects and can be easily consumed without any restriction. So, it is absolutely ok to eat dragon fruit during breastfeeding time.
Q2: What are The Various Types of Dragon Fruits? Which One is Best for Pregnancy?
Ans: There are three main types of dragon fruits or Pitaya. They are:
- This is a Hylocereus Undatus or the white-fleshed pitaya
- Hylocereus Costarricense or the red-fleshed pitaya
- Hylocereus Megalanthus or the yellow-skinned pitaya with white flesh
All these three types of dragon fruits are best for consumption during pregnancy.
Q3: Can I Consume Dragon Fruit Juice During Pregnancy?
Ans: Pitaya fruit health benefits in pregnancy makes it ideal to be included in the pregnancy diet be it in any form. You can safely drink the dragon fruit juice during pregnancy or consume it in any form of your choice.