9 Healthy Reasons To Eat More Watermelon During Pregnancy

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Watermelons are tropical fruits rich in nutrients. If your doctor has recommended that you consume watermelon during pregnancy, it is for good reason. Watermelon is known to cure the common pregnancy symptoms of morning sickness, muscle cramps, and heartburns while keeping the stomach cool.

Watermelon can be consumed in fruit form or as a refreshing drink. This summer fruit is rich in minerals, vitamins, and water and may help regulate blood pressure. However, excessive consumption may result in undesirable effects.

Dive into this post to know more about watermelons, how they can benefit pregnant women, and some possible side effects.

Health Benefits Of Eating Watermelon During Pregnancy

Most doctors will tell you it is good to have watermelons while you are pregnant, as it is full of nutrients. Here are some amazing health benefits of watermelon during pregnancy (1) (2):

1. Relieves Heartburn

Pregnant women commonly suffer from digestive issues like heartburn and acidity.  Watermelon eases these problems by soothing the food pipe and stomach. It provides instant relief from heartburn.

2. Reduces Swelling:

Mild swelling in the hands and feet or edema is common during pregnancy. The high water content present in watermelon reduces the blockages in the blood vessels and muscles, thus treating edema.

3. Alleviates Morning Sickness:

Drinking a glass of fresh watermelon juice early in the morning is a superb idea during pregnancy. Watermelon provides a soothing and refreshing experience all through the day. The energizing and nutritional properties of watermelon also help alleviate morning sickness.

4. Treats Dehydration:

Dehydration leads to premature contractions and causes premature birth. Pregnant women should drink lots of water to prevent dehydration. Watermelon contains around 90% water and eating it is a great way to avoid dehydration (3).

5. Relieves Muscle Cramps:

A pregnant woman’s body goes through many changes. The increasing weight and fluctuating hormones can lead to pain in the muscles and bones. Including watermelon in any form helps the body to cope with and ease muscle cramps.

6. Prevents Pigmentation:

Pigmentation is a common skin problem during pregnancy. It takes away the joy of pregnancy. Watermelon plays a key role in preventing the condition. Watermelon promotes easy digestion and keeps bowel movements smooth. This may improve your skin’s texture and help maintain your glow.

7. Diuretic And Detoxifying Effects:

Watermelon has diuretic properties. It helps flush out harmful toxins from the body. It stimulates kidney function, helps the liver process ammonia, and increases the flow of urine without straining the kidneys (4).

8. Boosts Energy Levels:

Watermelon is rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium and vitamins like A, B1 and B(3).These nutrients are natural energy boosters, thus offering great energy for the body. They are also useful for the development of your baby’s eyesight, immune, and nervous systems.

9. Reduces Blood Pressure:

Watermelon contains high lycopene levels that may help reduce blood pressure in women with hypertension or prehypertension. However, more research is required to avail conclusive evidence.

Side Effects Of Eating Watermelon In Pregnancy

Watermelon may cause some side effects if consumed in excess These side effects are as follows:

1. Gestational Diabetes:

Excess consumption of watermelon, especially in juice form, can increase the blood glucose levels, thus increasing the risk for developing gestational diabetes. However, moderate consumption in fruit form does not cause major changes in glucose levels (5).

2. Gastric Issues:

Avoid eating watermelons or other melons that have been kept in the open for a long time as they can lead to nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal issues. Always choose to have fresh-cut fruit or juice (6).

As with any food you eat when you are pregnant, it is important to check with your doctor first. If your doctor says it is safe for you to have watermelon when you are pregnant, go ahead and try these delicious watermelon recipes.

Easy Recipes That Include Watermelon

Here are some refreshing and easy recipes that all include watermelon:

1. Three Melon Smoothie:

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You Will Need:

  • 2 cups seedless and cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup cubed honeydew watermelon
  • 1 cup cubed cantaloupe melon
  • ½ cups ice cubes

How To:

  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender.
  1. Blend it to a smooth consistency.

2. Avocado Watermelon And Spinach Salad:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2 large peeled, pitted, and diced avocados
  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar salad dressing – you may check with your doctor first else ask for a pregnancy-safe alternative

How To:

  1. Mix all the fruits and spinach leaves in a bowl and toss them together.
  2. Add the dressing just before serving the salad.

3. Watermelon And Tomato Salsa:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1 ½ cups chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
  • 1 cup chopped watermelon
  • 1 chopped and seeded tomato
  • 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper
  • ¼th cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼th cup fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper as per taste

How To:

  1. Mix the red onion, watermelon, cantaloupe, jalapeno pepper, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice in a big bowl.
  1. Add the salt and pepper.
  1. Store in the fridge for at least four hours to let it cool before eating.

4. Spicy Watermelon:

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You Will Need:

  • ¼th tsp ground cumin
  • ¼th tsp ground coriander
  • ¼th tsp chili powder
  • ¼th tsp salt or as per taste
  • 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
  • Juice from half a lime

How To:

  1. Mix the cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Put the watermelon in the serving bowls. Sprinkle with the spicy mix. Squeeze the lime juice just before eating. You can first chill it in the refrigerator if you wish to.

5. Watermelon Sherbet:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 4 cups diced and seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • Salt as per taste
  • ¼th cup of cold water
  • Some unflavored gelatin – you may check with your doctor if you can use it during pregnancy
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream

How To:

  1. Mix the watermelon, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a big bowl. Stir them together to coat the watermelons properly. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  1. Once the time is up, take it out of the fridge and blend in a blender. Make sure you make a smooth paste out of it. Now pour it back into the bowl.
  1. Put the cold water in a saucepan. Add the gelatin to the cold water and let it stand aside for about a minute. Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook it for about two minutes. Keep stirring it. Now add the gelatin mix to the watermelon mixture that you earlier blended. Add the heavy cream and beat it all together to get a smooth consistency. Make sure the mix is fluffy.
  1. Put the mix in an ice cream maker and freeze it for as long as required as per the instructions on the gelatin. You can also check to see when it reaches a soft to serve consistency. Once the consistency is perfect, take it out and place the ice cream into a lidded plastic container and let it set in the freezer overnight.

6. Watermelon And Strawberry Lemonade:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 8 cups of cubed and seeded watermelon
  • ½ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 cups of water

How To:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and blend them in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Let the mix chill in the fridge before consuming. 

7. Cucumber And Watermelon Salad:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 6 cups of cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 4 cups of cubed cucumbers
  • 1 tsp salt or as per taste
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar – make sure you check with your doctor whether you can have it while you are pregnant

How To:

  1. In a large bowl, place the watermelon and the cucumber cubes.
  1. Now add the salt and the sugar. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar lightly and toss the mix so that everything is properly coated.
  1. Let it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let it chill properly. Take it out once the time is up and toss it once more before serving.

Tips For Including Watermelon:

  • You can easily make delicious watermelon sorbet by blending watermelon pieces, ice and keeping in the freezer for some time.
  • It can be combined with savory foods for a great taste. For example, watermelon pieces with cheddar cheese for a perfect appetizer.
  • You can also consume the white rind as it is used as a vegetable in some places. It can be pickled or stir-fried.

Watermelon during pregnancy can provide many crucial vitamins and minerals. These nutrients and fiber and water content may help ease pregnancy discomforts such as morning sickness, dehydration, and edema. You may eat raw watermelons, drink juice, add them to salads, or cook them with other vegetables. Chopped or powdered dry watermelon seeds may also benefit in pregnancy. Avoid excessive watermelon juice consumption as it may increase the risk of gestational diabetes. Check with your doctor if you face gastric issues after eating watermelons.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I eat watermelon seeds during pregnancy?

Yes. You can eat dried watermelon seeds during pregnancy in chopped and powder form. One ounce (28.35g) of watermelon seeds can offer you sufficient energy and nutrients, such as fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and good fats (7). These nutrients can contribute to your daily nutritional needs and enhance your diet’s nutritional value.

  1. How much watermelon can I eat during pregnancy?

Pregnant women need to consume two to four servings of fruits daily (8). So, you can consume one serving, i.e., one cup or around a one-inch-thick wedge of watermelon.

  1. Can watermelon cause miscarriage?

No, watermelon doesn’t cause miscarriage. But overconsumption might increase blood sugar levels, putting you at a greater risk of miscarriage. Therefore, pregnant women with gestational diabetes should consume this fruit in limited quantities.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.

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