Apricot belongs to the family of plums, peaches, and cherries and has immense health benefits. But is it safe to consume apricots during pregnancy? Well, this fruit is known to be rich in vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which are needed in your body during pregnancy. In addition, having apricots when pregnant is also known to strengthen the immune system and improve the baby’s vision. Read on to know more about the benefits of having apricots, its recommended quantity of intake, and a few of its possible side effects during pregnancy.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Apricot?
Yes, apricot is a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron (1) (2). However, the kernels or seeds of the fruit must not be eaten as they have a certain chemical that can metabolize to cyanide, which is harmful to the mother and the baby. As the edible part of the fruit may also contain smaller amounts of the chemical, it is good to eat the fruit in moderation (3).
Nutritional Profile Of Apricot
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average weight of one apricot is around 35 grams. About 100 grams of apricots contain 48 calories, 0.38g fat, 11.12g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 13mg calcium, 0.39mg iron, 10mg magnesium, 259mg potassium, and 23mg phosphorus. The fruit also contains about 10mg vitamin C and 96µg vitamin A (IU) (4).
Can Dried Apricots Cause Constipation During Pregnancy?
No, apricots are a good source of fiber and can provide you constipation relief and improved digestive health. Include apricots to add more fiber to the diet, but keep the intake restricted to the recommended amounts to avoid any side effects (5).
Health Benefits Of Apricots In Pregnancy
Eating fresh or dried apricots during pregnancy:
- Boosts immunity and improves baby’s vision: Apricot is a good source of beta-carotene, a compound that is converted into vitamin A in the body. Apricot consumption in pregnancy can help in the development of the baby’s vision, immune system, and cell-tissues(6).
- Maintains blood pressure: According to the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute, high blood pressure affects around 1 in every 12 to 17 pregnancies in women aged 20 to 44 in the United States. Apricot is a good source of potassium, which may help maintain healthy blood pressure. They may also help reduce the risks of bone loss and kidney stones. Dried and fresh apricots could be one of the best options for you to have in pregnancy (7).
- Helps develop the baby’s tissues: Vitamin A from apricots helps in developing the baby’s tissues, but the intake of vitamin A should be within limits to prevent overdosing (8).
- Provides energy: During pregnancy, you require an extra 300 calories for the growth and development of the baby. Half a cup of apricots could be a good option to fulfill this requirement (9).
You may eat this nutritious fruit when you are pregnant but in moderation. But, apricots should be avoided in some instances.
Possible Side Effects Of Apricots In Pregnancy
Consuming apricots in excess may lead to a few unfavorable outcomes, although there are no studies to back these theories.
- If you experience gas and bloating during pregnancy, you may avoid or reduce the intake of foods such as apricots that contain polyols (10).
- Apricot kernels contain a compound called amygdalin, also called laetrile (semi-synthetic and purified), which is used as an anti-cancer agent. While there is no proper evidence on the toxicity of this compound, chewing the kernels can break the amygdalin down and release a compound called cyanide, which is not good for pregnancy health (11) (12).
More studies are needed to determine if these fruits have any negative impact on pregnancy health. To stay safe, pregnant women should consume apricots in moderation, and after consulting the doctor.
Fresh Or Dried Apricot In Pregnancy: Which Is Better And Why?
Both forms of apricot are safe for consumption during pregnancy. Dried apricot is the dehydrated form of the fresh fruit, but the nutritive elements are intact. However, this should also be consumed in limited quantities.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How and when to eat dried apricots in pregnancy?
Dried apricots can be consumed in moderation during pregnancy. You can chop some dried apricots for breakfast or as healthy snacks to satisfy your food cravings.
2. Is apricot good for weight loss during pregnancy?
Raw apricots have low calories (100g of raw apricot contains only 48 kcal) (4); therefore, they can be an excellent addition to your weight loss diet or weight management during pregnancy. However, every 100g of dried apricot contains 241 kcal and can promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy (13). Therefore, you should eat dried apricots in moderation.
3. Can apricots cause allergic reactions during pregnancy?
Apricots are generally considered safe for pregnant women in moderate quantities. However, there is suggestive evidence that individuals with peach or birch-pollen allergies may experience allergic reactions due to cross-reactivity with apricots (15) (16).
4. Are there any traditional recipes or dishes that include apricots for pregnant women?
Apricots can be included in a variety of dishes such as custard, jam, smoothies, desserts, yogurt, salads, and porridge, or be consumed as fresh juice. However, it’s best to follow a dietician’s guidance when including these in your pregnancy diet.
If you wonder whether fruit intake, such as apricots, during pregnancy is safe, well, it is. When taken in fresh or dried forms, apricot is safe and even healthy during pregnancy. These vitamin-rich fruits have significant quantities of carbs, fiber, calcium, and potassium. In addition, they aid in boosting immunity, providing energy, and regulating the expectant mother’s blood pressure. However, avoid over-consumption of the fruit and be careful not to consume apricot seeds and kernels as they put you at risk of adverse outcomes during pregnancy. If you have further doubts about consuming apricot during pregnancy, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider
Infographic: Potential Benefits And Precautions Of Apricots During Pregnancy
Packed with nutrients, apricots are delicious fruits that are a healthy choice for pregnant women. The nutrients found in apricots include vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Check out the infographic below to learn some potential benefits of incorporating apricots into your diet during pregnancy and some precautions to follow.
- Apricots are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, making them a recommended food for pregnant women in limited quantities.
- Pregnant women should avoid eating apricot seeds and kernels because they contain harmful chemicals that can be harmful to both the mother and baby.
- Eating apricots during pregnancy can boost immunity, improve vision, maintain blood pressure, help develop tissues, and provide energy.
- Overconsumption of apricots during pregnancy may lead to side effects such as gas and bloating.
Pregnant? This is a special time for you to choose your foods carefully. Learn about the amazing benefits of eating apricots for you and your baby when pregnant!
2. Apricots; Washington WIC & Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
3. Facts About Cyanide; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4. Apricots, raw: USDA Nutrient Database
5.Constipation Nutrition Tips; Stanford Cancer Nutrition Services
6. 5 Foods to Eat During Pregnancy; Doylestown Health (2016)
7. Getting Enough Potassium; British Columbia
8. Vitamin A; University of Rochester Medical Center
9. Food choices during pregnancy; Kaiser Permanente
10. Bloating: Causes and Prevention Tips; Johns Hopkins Medicine
11. Acute health risks related to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides in raw apricot kernels and products derived from raw apricot kernels; European Food Safety Authority
12. Adele Stapf, et al; Amygdalin/Laetrile; NAFKAM
13. Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked; US Department of Agriculture
14. Adding Soluble Fiber to Lower Your Cholesterol; National Lipid Association
15. Allergy information for: Apricot (Prunus armeniaca); The University of Manchester
16. Simona Barni et al; Phenotypes and Endotypes of Peach Allergy: What Is New?; NCBI