Fruits are an essential part of a well-balanced diet. But there is a general belief that some fruits, such as plums and pineapple, are not safe for consumption during pregnancy.
Plums are luscious and please the taste buds, but can you have them during pregnancy? Find out about it in this MomJunction post. Here, we tell you about consuming plums during pregnancy, their benefits, side effects, and more.
Is It Safe To Eat Plums During Pregnancy?
Plums and prunes (dried plums) could be good for pregnant women, as they are rich in nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A and C (1). However, consumption of these fruits is associated with the formation of kidney stones and must be avoided by women, who have any kidney problems (2).
Plums, like any other food, should be consumed in moderate quantities. Learn more about it in the next section.
How Much Plum Is Safe To Consume In Pregnancy?
The National Health Service, England, recommends pregnant women to eat five to seven servings of various fresh fruits every day. You may take plums as one of the servings; two plums make one serving. You can have a fresh or dried form of the fruit or a glass of fresh plum juice (3).
Besides satiating your cravings, the nutrients in plums can offer you plenty of health benefits. Learn more about it next.
Nutritional Profile Of Plum
One piece of plum weighs around 66 grams. And 100 grams of the fruit contains 46 calories, 11.42g carbohydrate, 1.4g dietary fiber, 9.92g sugar, 6mg calcium, 7mg magnesium, 16mg phosphorus, and 157mg potassium. It also contains essential vitamins such as vitamin C or ascorbic acid (9.5mg), folate (5µg), vitamin A (RAE, 17µg), vitamin K (phylloquinone, 6.4µg), and vitamin A (345IU) (1).
Each of these nutrients offers some benefit to pregnant women.
[ Read: Eating Jamun During Pregnancy ]
Health Benefits Of Plum During Pregnancy
Adding plums in your routine pregnancy diet could be beneficial. Here’s how.
- Maintains blood glucose levels: Your blood glucose levels tend to rise when you have gestational diabetes. Eating low glycaemic index (GI) foods, such as plums, can help control the glucose levels in the body (4).
- Relieves constipation: Pregnant women suffer from constipation due to hormonal changes, less physical activity, or iron supplementation. But drinking prune (dried plum) juice could treat constipation (5).
- Improves bone health: Dried plums or prunes are rich in calcium and can aid in improving the bone health of the mother. Including prunes in your regular diet, therefore, is a good idea (6).
- Prevents premature delivery: Lack of vitamin C in a pregnant woman’s diet could increase the chances of premature rupture of membranes. Including foods such as plums that are high in vitamin C might help in mitigating this risk (7).
There are no known major side effects of eating plums during pregnancy. But it is best to exercise caution if you have any health concerns that could get aggravated due to the consumption of this fruit.
Possible Side Effects Of Plums During Pregnancy
Plums contain oxalate and should be avoided in pregnancy if you have or had kidney stones. Restricting the intake of plums can help in reducing the risks of calcium oxalate stones (a type of kidney stones) (2).
Sometimes, these fruits may interfere with the medications. So if you are on medication, ask your doctor whether you can eat plums or not. Also, remember to eat the fruit in moderation for a well-balanced pregnancy diet.
Craving Plums In Pregnancy: What Does It Mean?
Although there is no study to say why pregnant women crave plums, some theories suggest that they tend to crave fruits due to the deficiency of vitamin C (8). Another reason could be hormonal changes that could heighten the sense of taste and smell, thereby resulting in cravings.
Plums are best when consumed fresh. Find out how to choose the best ones and store them for consumption when you are pregnant.
[ Read: Eating Prunes During Pregnancy ]
How To Select And Store Plums?
Keep these points in mind when you are buying and storing plums.
- Do not pick plums that have shriveled skin, breaks, blemishes, or spots.
- Select plums that are plump, but not be too soft or hard.
- A grayish gloss on the fruit is natural; do not discard the fruit because of it.
- The fruit should have even color all around.
- As plums have water content, hold it in your palm and notice the weight. It should be weighty and not too light.
- If the plums are unripe, you can leave them to ripen at room temperature.
- You can store plums in a plastic bag and keep them in the refrigerator for three to four days.
You may enjoy the taste and reap the benefits of plums in pregnancy in various ways. Keep reading to know how.
Safe Ways To Include Plums In Pregnancy Diet
It is essential to wash plums before you make a delicious preparation of it.
- You may have plum sauce with bread, waffles, or pancakes.
- Make a fruity salad with plums and berries such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries. You may add mint and honey to enhance the taste.
- Add plums to your breakfast cereals or to make a healthy trail mix.
- Make a yummy smoothie with fresh plums.
- Jellies and jams can also be made with this fruit.
[ Read: Grapes During Pregnancy ]
Plums are a good addition to your pregnancy diet. However, have them in moderation. Do not worry if you are not much of a fan of these fruits. You can always look for alternatives that offer the same amount of nutrition as plums. But really, who could refuse a succulent and tangy fruit like a plum?
Did you crave plums when you were pregnant? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.
2. Oxalates and health; PKD Foundation
3. A healthy diet in pregnancy; Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
4. Healthy eating for gestational diabetes; Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
5. E. Abeer, E. Dalia, and S. Ahmed; Utilization of prune juice or puree as a laxative for constipation pregnant rats induced iron intake during pregnancy and the impact on newborns; International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences (2013)
6. Food for strong bones; NHS
7. A. V. Haas; Prematurity is preventable; Midwifery Today #72, Winter 2004-2005
8. C. Twu; Uncovering the causes of pregnancy cravings; Hawaii Pacific Health
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