Proper nutrition is always important, and doubly so when you are pregnant! Your diet is a vital determinant of the health of your baby, once she is born. But have you wondered whether dry fruits can be consciously included in your pregnancy diet?
In this article, we put your worries to rest – dry fruits are considered as a helpful dietary commodity that you require all through your pregnancy and beyond. Let’s know more about the various benefits of dry fruits during pregnancy.
Why A Balanced Diet?
A nutritiously-balanced diet is essential to help your little one grow well in your tummy. Eating healthy in the first trimester of your pregnancy is especially important, as this is when your baby is first formed and thus, needs the most nutrients from you.
- The first trimester is the phase when you need to stimulate growth and development of the baby.
- Some milestones that your baby attains in the first trimester are brain and lung development, along with overall growth.
- Making sure you have a balanced diet, once you start trying for a baby, will help your baby attain these milestones easily.
- You would certainly want to give a healthy start to your baby. This will reduce chances of birth defects and also further complications in the future.
[ Read : Nutrition During Pregnancy ]
Health Benefits Of Dry Fruits During Pregnancy:
Dry fruits are rich in minerals and vitamins that your unborn baby needs to meet all milestones. Let us have a closer look at the nutritional value of dry fruits and how they help you in different stages of pregnancy:
One of the most important nutrients that you need at this stage is the dietary fiber. Dry fruits are rich in fiber.
- Hormonal changes result in constipation, which gets further aggravated by intake of iron supplements. A high-fiber diet can solve this problem of constipation.
- Apricot of 1/4 cup contains 1.63 gm of fiber. Prunes of 1/4 cup contain 2 gm of fiber and 1/4 cup of dried apples contains 1.3 gm of fiber that can meet a major part of your daily fiber requirement.
- You can add 25 gm to 30 gm of fiber, for instance, in the form of dry fruits, in your pregnancy diet suggests American Pregnancy Association.
[ Read : Constipation During Pregnancy ]
During pregnancy you need around 27 mg of iron every day to ensure proper blood development of your baby.
- Iron supplements also help reducing risks of preterm birth.
- Dry fruits rich in iron help you attain most of your body’s iron requirement.1/4 cup of apricot contains 0.6 gm iron that completes 2% of your daily iron need.
- Raisins of same amount contain 0.78 mg of iron. Prunes and apples are also good sources of iron.
- Dried figs and dates can be taken every day to meet some of your daily iron requirements.
[ Read : How Much Iron Is Needed During Pregnancy ]
3. Minerals And Vitamins:
Apart from being a rich source of iron and dietary fiber, dry fruits in pregnancy also offer all essential minerals and vitamins.
- Dry fruits such as dates are rich in magnesium that helps in development of nerves, bones and aids normal functioning of your baby’s body.
- Dry fruits are rich in potassium that ensures muscle control. Potassium helps in reducing risks of high pressure that is highly detrimental in pregnancy.
- Dry fruits contain vitamin C that acts as antioxidants and prevents damage of tissues. It helps developing a healthy immune system and helps you absorb iron well.
- Dried apricots are rich in vitamin A and aids proper development of teeth and bones of your baby.
[ Read : Vitamin C In Pregnancy ]
Some Other Benefits:
Apart from the vital role minerals, vitamins, iron and fiber plays in your pregnancy, eating dry fruits during pregnancy have additional health benefits as well. Let us have a look:
- The high percentage of natural sugar in dry fruits makes them easy to digest. The sugars get easily absorbed in your body and acts as a major source of energy that is used by the muscles of your body.
- Prunes and dates strengthen the muscles of the uterus and makes the delivery process easier. These dry fruits reduce chances of bleeding that might occur after delivery.
- Study conducted by the Thorax Journal in 2007 found benefits of dry fruits beyond the womb.
- The study suggested those who took dry fruits regularly transferred health benefits to their babies. The risks of wheezing and asthma were reduced among babies, whose mothers regularly took dry fruits.
[ Read : Dates During Pregnancy ]
Be Careful Of The Calories:
You need to remember that dried fruits contain more calories than fresh fruits. Thus, make sure to eat them in moderation, so that you do not put on unnecessary weight.
- Apricot 1/4 cup contains 53 calories.
- Prunes of the same amount contain 63 calories.
- Raisins of 1/4 cup contain 124 calories.
- It is important that you limit your sugar consumption in pregnancy, as it adds unnecessary calorie to your diet.
[ Read : Apricot During Pregnancy ]