Consuming plums during pregnancy can provide you with various essential nutrients. However, you must eat them in moderation. Although some anecdotal evidence suggests that plums and pineapples are not safe during pregnancy, there is no harm in adding plums in moderation to your well-balanced pregnancy diet.
Plums are luscious. They stimulate the taste buds, and most women wonder if they can consume them in pregnancy. Read on to know the benefits and side effects of plums during pregnancy and how many plums a pregnant woman can consume.
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).
How Much Plum Is Safe To Consume In Pregnancy?
The National Health Service, UK 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 may 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 might offer you some health benefits. Learn more about it next.
Nutritional Profile Of Plum
A serving of 100g plum fruit can provide you the following nutrients.
|Nutrient||RDA (4) (5) (6)||Per 100g of plum (1)|
|Magnesium||350 – 360mg||7mg|
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 glycemic index (GI) foods, such as plums, might help control the glucose levels in the body (3).
- Helps relieve constipation: Pregnant women suffer from constipation due to hormonal changes, less physical activity, or iron supplementation. Drinking prune (dried plum) juice could treat constipation that could be attributed to its dietary fiber content (7).
- Improves bone health: Dried plums or prunes contain calcium and might aid in improving the bone health of the mother. Therefore, it is a good idea to include prunes in your regular diet (8).
- Might mitigate the risk of 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 good in vitamin C might help in mitigating this risk (9).
Some believe 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 could 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 (10). Another reason could be hormonal changes that could heighten the sense of taste and smell, thereby resulting in cravings.
Plums should ideally be consumed fresh. Find out how to choose the best ones and store them for consumption when you are pregnant.
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 may 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.
Safe Ways To Include Plums In Pregnancy Diet
It is essential to wash plums before you make a delicious preparation from 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.
If eaten in moderation, plums during pregnancy may be an excellent and healthy addition to your prenatal diet. The fruit aids in blood sugar regulation, soothes constipation, enhances bone health, and may even reduce the chance of preterm birth. Plums are high in vital pregnancy nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins, but you should avoid them if you have a history of kidney stones. If you don’t like plums, you may always explore alternatives with the same amount of nourishment.
2. Low-Oxalate Diet; Beth Israel Lahey Hospital Winchester Hospital
3. Healthy eating for gestational diabetes; Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
4. Michelle A. Kominiarek and Priya Rajan, Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation; Med Clin North Am (2017)
5. Micronutrient Needs During Pregnancy and Lactation; Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University
6. The Role Of Fiber; University of Michigan Health System (2016)
7. 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)
8. Food for strong bones; NHS
9. V. Haas, Prematurity is preventable; Midwifery Today #72, Winter 2004-2005
10. Twu, Uncovering the causes of pregnancy cravings; Hawaii Pacific Health (2017)