Best Summer Fruits for Pregnancy
June 27, 2018
Staying hydrated during pregnancy is crucial for the health of mom and baby. The health of a pregnant woman’s amniotic sac and placenta depends on proper hydration.1
Women who have morning sickness are at a greater risk of dehydration.1 One way to help combat the negative effects of losing more fluids than you take in during pregnancy is by consuming fruit. A serving of fruit is either one cup or one piece of fruit. For example, an apple or orange about the size of a tennis ball counts as one serving.1
According to the American Pregnancy Association, a pregnant woman should consume two to four servings of fruit each day.2 The vitamins, minerals, water and fiber in fruit make it a nearly perfect food. Summer is an ideal time to add more fruit to your diet. Here are a few summer fruits that offer a great combination of nutrients and hydration:
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries offer essential phytonutrients like anthocyanins and flavonoids. They are rich in vitamin C, carbohydrates and folate. Eating nutrient-dense carbohydrates offers an energy boost and a quick infusion of nutrients that supports both mom’s and baby’s health.3
Oranges contain high levels of folate, a B vitamin that supports baby’s spinal cord and brain development.1 High levels of vitamin C found in oranges may help protect cells from oxidative stress and is important for proper iron absorption.1
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. B6 may help relieve vomiting and nausea that are common during the early months of pregnancy.1
A serving of mangoes offer 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. They also contain high levels of vitamin A, which is important for immune support and the prevention of respiratory infections.1
Lemons may help relieve constipation by stimulating the digestive system, and lemon water helps some pregnant women overcome pregnancy-related nausea. They are also high in vitamin C.1
Avocados, which are rich in folate, also offer potassium, choline, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B and magnesium. The potassium and magnesium in an avocado may help to combat pregnancy-related nausea and leg cramps, and choline is crucial for baby’s nerve and brain development.1
Watermelon is 92 percent water, which makes it the perfect antidote to dehydration. It’s full of essential minerals and has more cancer-fighting and immune-supporting lycopene than tomatoes.4 Lycopene may also help fight preeclampsia, reduces leg cramps common in the third trimester, and supports cardiovascular health.4
Cantaloupe has high levels of beta-carotene, which is essential for baby’s tissue, vision, immune system and cell development.5 It also offers potassium, folic acid and vitamin C. It’s crucial to thoroughly wash the skin of cantaloupe before cutting it, however. The risk of listeria contamination is real, so it’s best to avoid purchasing precut cantaloupe.5
How to Clean Summer Fruits
Even if your fruit is prewashed, it’s important to clean it yourself. Make fruit instantly accessible at home by washing it right away when you bring it home from the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Because of their small size and odd shapes, berries may be more difficult to clean. Mix three parts cold water to one part white vinegar and let berries soak for about 10 minutes.6 Strain and store in a single layer in a shallow dish and refrigerate. The vinegar helps reduce harmful bacteria.
With the exception of bananas, it’s important to wash all fruits, even if the peel isn’t edible. When you cut into a melon, orange or lemon, the knife drags any bacteria on the surface of the fruit to the edible portion.5
Organic Versus Conventional Fruit Choices
While there is no known nutritional difference between conventionally grown and organically grown fruit, there are advantages to choosing organic food when possible.7
It’s especially important for pregnant women to avoid toxic substances. Choosing organic food is one way to reduce exposure to chemicals and pesticides.
Organic fruits are typically more expensive than conventionally grown fruits.8 The Environmental Working Group publishes a list of conventionally grown vegetables and fruits exposed to the highest levels of chemicals and pesticides. They also publish a list of produce that is at minimal risk of contamination in a conventional growing situation. For example, a conventionally grown strawberry showed 20 pesticides while less than 1 percent of conventionally grown avocado samples showed any pesticides.8
Prenatal Vitamins with Vitamins C & B
The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive take a prenatal vitamin to fill nutritional gaps.2 A healthy diet before and during pregnancy is essential to support mom’s health and baby’s development. If you are struggling to obtain the nutrients from eating fruit regularly, the Prenate® Vitamin Family offers a line of prenatal vitamins that contains many of the nutrient forms mentioned in this article.
Prenate Pixie® is a small but mighty prescription vitamin designed to supplement the dietary needs of women trying to conceive. For pregnant women, Prenate Mini® offers important nutritional support for the health of both mom and baby. Talk to your doctor about whether a prescription vitamin is right for you.