Pregnancy, “Regardless of whether your pregnancy is planned or happened by surprise, it is sure to say that your life will be changed forever.” Pregnancy isn’t always easy because of the new emotions, fatigue, morning sickness, and difficulty in finding a comfortable position. It is, hence crucial that a proper diet is essential for a pregnant woman. She needs additional vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients for the development of the baby inside. Though regular food contains all the vitamins and minerals, some healthy snacks like dry fruits should also be included in the diet during pregnancy because of their various benefits to both the unborn baby and the mother-to-be.
Why Dry Fruits are the Best Diet During Pregnancy?
A regular, well-balanced diet will help the pregnant lady meet the daily requirements of essential nutrients and vitamins. Still, dried fruits help in giving that extra protein and nutrients like iron, folate, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and omega-three fatty acids. Also, these dried fruits serve as a healthy evening snack or to satisfy sudden hunger pangs. For vegetarian women, these dry fruits can serve the need to provide all the essential nutrients to their bodies equivalent to those who consume meat.
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Benefits of Dry Fruits During Pregnancy:
- Dry fruits are rich in fiber content. Constipation is the main complaint in pregnant women because of various reasons like hormonal changes, intake of pills, etc. A high-fibre diet can resolve the issue of constipation, and hence dry fruits should be a regular addition to the diet of pregnant women.
- Some pregnant women have iron deficiency, which may lead to anemia. Dry fruits such as dates and nuts serve the purpose of building the iron content in the body and prevents anemia.
- Vitamin A, an essential nutrient that is responsible for the growth of the baby’s bones. Dry fruits are enriched with Vitamin A.
- Dry fruits are rich in magnesium content, which helps in the development of the nervous system in the baby.
- Pregnant women often face the issue of fluctuating blood pressure. The potassium content in dry fruits has the ability to control blood pressure.
- Dry fruits like prunes are said to strengthen the muscles of the uterus, which helps in a smooth delivery.
- Dry fruits are also rich in Vitamin E, which is helpful in the development of lungs and cells in the baby’s body. It also can prevent asthma in the baby.
- Dry fruits such as almonds are enriched with magnesium, which ensures the growth and maintenance of bones and helps in bowel movement.
- Studies reveal that consuming dry fruits daily by the mother can reduce the risk of developing asthma and wheezing in the baby.
Side Effects of Eating Dry Fruits During Pregnancy:
Any food when consumed in optimum quantities is beneficial for the body when consumed in excess, it will have side effects. Dry fruits have side effects if consumed in excess. Here are some of them:
- Dry fruits and nuts are rich in caloric value, which may lead to excessive weight gain if consumed in excess.
- Excess consumption of dry fruits can lead to gas, bloating, and even diarrhoea.
- Dry fruits contain natural sugars like fructose, which may cause tooth decay when consumed in excess.
Precautions and Tips To Take:
Dry fruits, having a number of benefits for pregnant women, should be consumed in moderate quantities. Pregnant women should also follow some precautions.
- It is always advised to check for the expiry dates before purchasing dry fruits.
- Some dry fruits contain added sugar in them apart from the natural sugars. As far as possible, avoid these types of dry fruits.
- Don’t try to stock up the dry fruits in the house. They may get spoiled if left untouched.
- Some packaged dry fruits contain preservatives such as sulfur dioxide in them, which can lead to allergic reactions or sometimes respiratory issues. Try to buy organic, preservative-free fruits from reputed sellers only.
Ways of Including Dry Fruits in the Pregnancy Diet:
There are different ways to incorporate dry fruits into the diet. Here are some of them:
- These can be included in salads, desserts, or ice creams.
- Including these with a milkshake is the best combination a pregnant woman should try.
- Mince some dates and walnuts, roll them in some grated coconut, store this in a refrigerator, and your dry fruit candy is ready. You can consume it for ten days.
- Some dry fruits are hard to chew, hence soak them in water for some time and then consume them.
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Different Types of Dry Fruits:
Dry fruits, almost all of them are essential for the pregnant lady because of the various nutrients present in them. Each of the dry fruits has its speciality. Here is the list of them.
- It is, one of the famous dry fruits, are the most abundant source of protein. Almonds also contain healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in them, which are heart-healthy. These also support the growth and development of the baby.
- These almonds are rich in calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E, riboflavin, and protein.
- Almonds help in the regulation of blood pressure helps in preventing the low birth weight of babies, boosting brain development, etc.
- Walnuts are enriched in omega-three fats, which are termed as brainy fats.
- The body cannot produce this essential fat on its own; hence walnuts are necessary to consume.
- These fats are responsible for the development of the unborn baby’s brain, nervous system, and also eyes.
3. Dried Apricots:
- Dried apricots are energy-dense fruits that can treat constipation.
- These dry fruits contain iron, fibre, Copper, Vitamin-A, and E, which are essential for pregnant women.
- Eating dried apricots boosts the immune system, prevents constipation, prevents anemia (iron deficiency), and lowers the risk of pre-eclampsia.
- Cashews provide an excellent source of protein, which is one of the three macronutrients the body uses for energy.
- Cashews contain zinc, which helps in boosting the immune system of the pregnant lady. Also, zinc is the key nutrient for a healthy pregnancy, and growing babies have a high zinc requirement.
- This dry fruit also contains phosphorous in it, which ensures a regular heart rate of the pregnant woman.
- The Dates are the fruits that come from the date palm tree, which are chewy with a sweet flavour.
- Dates are rich in calorie content; the calorie content comes from carbs. 100gms dates contain approximately 277 calories.
- These dry fruits are very rich in fibre content, which helps in smooth digestion and relieves the issue of constipation.
- These also contain folate, which is said to reduce any congenital disabilities.
- Dates are loaded with iron content; eating dates increases the iron content in the body, which helps fight iron deficiency.
6. Dried Figs:
- Dried figs are considered one of the healthiest fruits, which help you deal with morning sickness, a common problem during the first trimester.
- These contain calcium which is an essential element in the development of bones in the unborn baby. This calcium content also helps in strengthening the bones of the mother during and after pregnancy.
- Dried figs are considered a rich source of omega-3 and folate, which is an excellent nutrient for the baby’s brain development. Moreover, dried figs are also rich in fibre, which helps boost digestion and regulates bowel movement.
- Iron deficiency might lead to a lack of oxygen supply to the unborn baby. Dried figs contain iron in them, which is said to prevent anaemia or iron deficiency.
- Raisins, the dry black grapes, are enriched with fiber, which helps in easy digestion and reduces any constipation issues during pregnancy.
- Like many other dry fruits, raisins also contain iron in them. Iron helps in regulating the blood flow and ensures the oxygen supply to the fetus. Iron deficiency may cause complications in pregnant women. Raisins help fight iron deficiency and anaemia.
- Raisins also contain calcium in them, which are essential for the bone development of the unborn baby. This ensures the baby’s bone density stays at normal levels and develops appropriately.
8. Pistachios (Pista):
- Pistachios are low-calorie fruits but are packed with a rich source of energy nutrients. One serving of these dry fruits can fulfil almost all the daily requirements of iron, folate, and calcium for the pregnant woman.
- These dry fruits contain proteins that are essential for the development of the baby’s tissues and muscles.
- Pistachios are said to maintain blood lipid levels because they contain monounsaturated fats, which help in increasing good cholesterol levels and reducing the bad cholesterol levels in the body.
- These dry fruits contain a few B-complex vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, and Vitamin B6, which are essential for fetal development.
- Pista also contains copper, which helps in maintaining the RBCs during pregnancy.
9. Dried Apples:
- These are one variety of dry fruits that can be consumed during pregnancy because of the fibre and potassium content present in them.
- The fibre content present in these dry fruits helps in smooth digestion and improves bowel movement, thus reducing constipation.
- These dried apples also contain potassium, which is said to control blood pressure during pregnancy.
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Dry fruits come packed with a lot of nutrients like iron, phosphorous, copper, magnesium, potassium, etc. and also with vitamins and minerals that are essential for the mother-to-be. Be choosy and eat only those dry fruits which cope with your body without having any nausea or any side effects. Eat them only in moderate quantities, and don’t miss to consult your doctor before consuming any of the above dry fruits.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1. What is the best time to eat dry fruits during pregnancy?
Ans: Dry fruits can be eaten during the whole pregnancy. There is no specific period to consume. But, eating dry fruits during the first trimester can ease your morning sickness.
Q2. Is it safe to eat dry fruits during breastfeeding?
Ans: Yes, it is safe to eat dry fruits during breastfeeding. In fact, eating dry fruits during breastfeeding can increase lactation in mothers.
The content provided in the article is only for information purposes and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your physician before making any changes to your diet. We will not be responsible for any adverse outcomes after eating dry fruits.