Nectarines share similarities with peaches in terms of appearance. The fruit is packed with sweetness and juicy goodness that can make you crave nectarines when pregnant. But just like any other food, it is natural to be skeptical about its safety when you are an expecting mother. So if you want to try one of these but cannot decide if you should eat it or not, scroll through. We will tell you about nectarines, including their safety in pregnancy and health benefits.
What Is A Nectarine?
Nectarines are close cousins of peaches. They are also popular as stone fruits, and they belong to the Rosaceae family. The fruits resemble peaches in their appearance. Nectarines possess a unique aroma. The fruit encloses a hard seed within it, and outer juicy flesh covers the seed. The nutritional content of the nectarines offers several health benefits (1).
Is It Safe To Eat Nectarines During Pregnancy?
Yes, you can enjoy eating nectarines during pregnancy. However, you should wash the fruit before you eat it, as an unwashed nectarine may contain harmful parasites and bacteria that can lead to hazardous food-borne diseases, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. So, wash the fruit to ensure you can safely enjoy eating it during pregnancy (2). However, it is advisable to consult your nutritionist or doctor before eating nectarines during pregnancy to be completely safe.
Health Benefits Of Nectarines During Pregnancy
1. Prevents birth defects:
Eating nectarine during pregnancy helps in preventing the risk of birth defects in your fetus. The mineral, vitamin, and folate content in the fruit minimize the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in your unborn baby. Also, consumption of the fruit promotes fetal health (3).
2. Fetal growth and development:
Nectarines are a great source of fiber and vitamin C, which contribute to the appropriate growth and development of your fetus. The nutrient content in the fruit helps in the development of muscles and blood vessels of your unborn baby. Also, the potassium content in nectarines prevents muscle cramps and boosts you energy levels during pregnancy (4).
3. Safeguards eyes:
Nectarines possess lutein, a crucial nutrient that promotes your eye health and minimizes the risk of eye diseases during pregnancy. Also, lutein acts as a strong antioxidant and prevents the risk of development of nuclear cataract. Vitamin A and beta-carotene content in the fruit helps you maintain good eye health, improve your vision, and prevents the risk of xerophthalmia and blindness (5).
4. Prevents the risk of hypokalemia:
Potassium content in nectarines is highly beneficial for appropriate functioning of your cells and nerves during pregnancy. Potassium aids in protein synthesis and metabolic process, maintains electrolyte balance, promotes the functioning of your muscles, and utilizes carbohydrates. The fruit prevents the risk of disorders such as hypokalemia, which may affect your muscular health adversely while expecting (6).
5. Promotes healthy skin:
Nectarines contain bioflavonoids, lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants that safeguard your skin from damage and promote your skin health substantially during pregnancy. Vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis and maintains toned up skin tissues, tendons, bone, and cartilage. Lutein provides a photo-protective effect and safeguards your skin from free radical damage and UV rays induced erythema (7).
6. Aids digestion:
The dietary fiber content in the alkaline, nutritious nectarine helps in promoting digestion and maintaining good health while expecting. Fiber absorbs water easily, promotes smooth bowel movements, and prevents the risk of constipation, ulcers, and gastritis during pregnancy. Also, nectarines promote detoxification and wards off harmful toxins out from your body (8).
7. Protects from cancer:
Chlorogenic acid in nectarines helps prevent tumors. The acid inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and protects you from the development of colon and lung cancer while expecting (9).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many nectarines can I eat a day in pregnancy?
Eating two servings (1 cup) of fruit a day, including nectarine, is recommended during pregnancy (10).
2. Will I gain weight if I eat nectarines during pregnancy?
Nectarine is relatively low in its calorie and fat content (11); also, eating fruits and vegetables is associated with promoting healthy weight management. Therefore, eating nectarines cannot lead to weight gain during pregnancy (12)
3. Will eating nectarines in pregnancy lead to gestational diabetes?
Nectarines are high in sugar content, and you may avoid their excess consumption to reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes or manage existing gestational diabetes effectively (13).
Nectarines are refreshing fruits that you can use to make different delectable dishes. You can safely consume nectarine during pregnancy in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet. Being rich in vital nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they can help meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy. You can eat nectarines as is or add them to salads, casseroles, and pasta to make delectable dishes. Alternatively, you can also use nectarines to make refreshing mocktails and fruit punches. However, since such drinks are high in sugar, strictly limit their intake.