Pregnancy is sometimes synonymous with the onset of sudden strong urges and cravings. It can be anything- from the mid night cravings for a strawberry cream dessert to the urge to devour kiwi fruit. If you are constantly tempted by Kiwi fruit in pregnancy, then this article is for you. Know all about Kiwi benefits and side effects, nutritional value of kiwi and if it is safe to eat kiwi during pregnancy.
Table of Content:
1. About Kiwi Fruit in Pregnancy
Kiwi fruit, grown in sun kissed vines, is often called the nutrition powerhouse owing to its intense nutritional density. Carrying twice the amount of Vitamin C found in lime, Kiwi fruit is the delicious and delightful alternative to sweet lime. Power packed with Folic acid, dietary fiber, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Cartenoids, antioxidants, Potassium and trace minerals, there isn’t a reason why you should stay away from eating kiwi when pregnant.
University of Oslo (Norway) conducted a study on kiwi fruit benefits, and discovered the interrelation between cardiovascular health and Kiwi. This juicy fruit reduces fat content in the blood, keeps it thin and prevents internal blood clotting.
When compared with other fruits, Kiwi outweighs banana in terms of Potassium content it offers, has higher Vitamin C than an orange, and is an excellent source of Alfa Linoleic Acid and Vitamin E. It is highly beneficial to eat Kiwi fruit in pregnancy, especially in the early stage, for it helps in the development of foetus.
2. Nutritional Value of Kiwi
One medium sized Kiwi fruit contains 42 calories, 0.8 grams of Protein, 0.4 grams of fat, and 2.1 grams of fiber. A 2” diameter Kiwi fruit weighing 69 grams would contain:
% Daily value based on 2000 calorie diet
Now you sure know why Kiwi is a recommended fruit to eat during pregnancy.
3. Benefits of Eating Kiwi During Pregnancy
The various benefits of eating Kiwi during pregnancy are:
i) Folic acid
A pregnant woman needs minimum 400 micrograms of Folic acid for healthy development of brain and cognitive abilities in the foetus. Folic deficiency can cause neural defects in the unborn child. For this sole reason, doctors prescribe folic supplements and recommend folic acid rich fruits to eat during pregnancy. Hence, Kiwi fruit rich in Folic acid should be included in a pregnant woman’s regular diet. It even prevents miscarriages during the early stages of pregnancy.
ii) Vitamin C
Kiwi fruit supplies 106% of daily required amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an immunity boosting nutrient that safeguards pregnant women from allergies and harmful effects of free radicals. Vital for healthy brain functioning as it is essential for the formation of neurotransmitters; Vitamin C boosts energy levels and prevents lethargy.
iii) Aids in digestion
Constipation and hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy. Kiwi fruit being rich in dietary fiber helps prevent constipation, aids in digestion, acts as natural laxative, and provides relief from stomach discomforts (cramps, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea).
iv) Natural Sugar
If you develop cravings for sweet food during pregnancy, try eating Kiwi fruit during pregnancy. The natural sugar present in Kiwi satisfies your sweet tooth without causing a surge of insulin in the blood. Kiwi fruit has low glycemic index which makes it a healthy dessert. It regulates blood sugar, thereby preventing gestational diabetes.
The developing foetus in a mother’s womb requires a good amount of iron that makes the mother susceptible to anemia (deficiency of iron). Kiwi, rich in iron, must be made part of regular diet to prevent anemia. Kiwi fruit even helps in absorption of iron from other foods.
Calcium is vital for the development of bones, teeth, muscles, and healthy heart of the baby. If the mother doesn’t take adequate amount of calcium through food, her body starts taking the required amount of calcium from her bones. This leaves her prone to osteoporosis and rheumatism in old age. For the healthy development of foetus and for her own health, a pregnant woman should intake calcium through foods like Kiwi during pregnancy.
vii) Hormonal Balance:
Pregnancy brings about a lot of mood swings due to hormonal changes. It can cause anxiety, stress and nervousness in expectant mothers. Eating Kiwi fruit in pregnancy helps balance hormones, thereby preventing mood swings.
4. Ideas to Incorporate Kiwi Fruit in Your Diet
Are you curious about how to include Kiwi fruit in pregnancy diet? Here are a few pointers:
i) You can eat Kiwi fruit raw by just peeling the skin and devouring sinfully delicious treat on its own.
ii) Make your own nutritious salad with all the recommended fruits for pregnant women in it. Hints: include Kiwi, banana, apple, pomegranate, orange and mangoes in the fruit salad. You can use yogurt and honey as a dressing to double the nutrient dosage.
iii) Make Kiwi yogurt smoothie whenever the craving for sweets sets in.
iv) Make Kiwi popsicles by freezing Kiwi pulp/ juice in ice tray. Nutritive way to beat the heat.
5. Risks and Precautions While Eating Kiwi During Pregnancy
As with every other fruit, Kiwi must also be eaten in moderation. Just like benefits, there are certain side effects of Kiwi. Over-consumption of Kiwi fruit can cause:
i) Oral Allergies like itching in mouth, swelling of lips etc. It can trigger allergy caused problems like asthma, hives and rashes.
ii) Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
iii) Trigger latex allergy
If you are on a prescription taking anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs, anti inflammatory or anti fungal medicines consult your doctor before eating kiwi fruit in pregnancy. As a general rule of thumb, it is better to stick to 2-3 kiwis per day during pregnancy. If you are facing any digestion problems, it is best to avoid kiwi entirely.