A golden orange-colored fruit, Apricot is categorized under drupe fruits. This means that apricots during pregnancy can be eaten in both fresh and dry forms. This sweet and tangy fruit also resembles a peach and is very delicious to eat. Loaded with all essential nutrients, they are highly beneficial to a pregnant woman. Apricots can potentially provide the key vitamins and minerals required during pregnancy. In the Indian subcontinent fresh apricots are not readily available; hence they are mostly consumed in the dried form. Loaded with calcium, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber, the health benefits of eating apricots during pregnancy are many. Keep reading to find out more.
7 Amazing health benefits of eating apricots during pregnancy
Since apricots are packed with essential nutrients, they become superfoods with amazing health benefits to be eaten when expecting. Let us read on to know better.
Folic acid is a highly essential nutrient when pregnant, especially during the first trimester. During the early days of pregnancy, folic acid helps in the development of the neural tube of the baby. Folic acid also helps to prevent some major defects in the baby’s brain like anencephaly and spina bifida. Hence, high amounts of folic acid in apricots make them a wonderful food to be consumed during pregnancy.
Rich in iron and copper
Iron requirements increase during pregnancy as more blood is required to carry oxygen to all parts of the body and developing fetus. Similarly copper is essential for the formation of a baby’s heart, blood vessels, skeletal and nervous system. Apricots are rich in iron and copper making them a superfood for expecting women.
Apricots have amazing fiber content. These high levels of fiber make them a wonderful food to relieve constipation during pregnancy. Hence, include apricot in your diet to increase the fiber content.
Improves the immune system and vision in the baby
Apricots are rich in beta-carotene that gets converted into Vitamin A inside the body. They help in boosting the immune system, improving the vision, and formation of tissues in the baby.
Provides extra energy
A pregnant woman is likely to have increased energy requirements. This amounts to some extra 300 calories on a daily basis. Consuming half a cup of apricots can easily fulfill that extra requirement.
Maintain optimal blood pressure
Apricots are a rich source of potassium, which helps to optimize blood pressure levels by maintaining fluid balance. Thus, apricots are one of the best fruits to be had in pregnancy.
Apricots are rich in beta carotene which gets converted to vitamin A inside our body. This helps to maintain healthy skin in the expecting mother and baby.
Side effects of consuming apricots in pregnancy
A balanced diet is key to good health whether pregnant or not. It is highly important to consume anything within acceptable limits. It is the same for apricots too. Although apricots are highly nutritious to the expecting mother and unborn child, there could be potential side effects too. So, let us find out the side effects of consuming too many apricots in pregnancy.
- Women who have sulfur sensitivity or are allergic to sulfites should avoid apricots. This is because apricots contain sulfur dioxide and it may cause reactions in women allergic to sulfites.
- Eating apricots that are not ripe can lead to gastric troubles and discomfort in pregnant women.
- A chemical named amygdalin is found at the tip of apricot fruit which is harmful to our system. Hence, it is highly essential to remove the tip before consuming the fruit to reap the best benefits.
How should apricots be eaten during pregnancy?
Ripe apricots can either be consumed fresh or in a dried form. There are many ways to incorporate these delicious fruits into our diet at moderate levels. Let us look at some methods.
Dried apricots can be soaked overnight and blended into your delicious smoothie drink along with other ingredients like milk, nuts, seeds, and fruits.
Apricots can be cut into small chunks and added to your breakfast bowl of porridge, oats, or cereal and had as a delicious meal.
The health benefits of apricots are many and the fruit is fairly safe to be consumed during pregnancy. However one should not go overboard in eating them, because moderation is the key to good health. Some women might be allergic to sulfides, they should avoid eating apricots as they contain sulfur dioxide. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or dietician before including or omitting food from your diet when pregnant.