Is It Safe To Have Pomegranate & Pomegranate Juice During Pregnancy?

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Pomegranate is a sweet-tangy, nutritious fruit that most people love. Some enjoy eating pomegranate seeds, while others enjoy its juice. If you crave pomegranate during pregnancy, knowing how much you can safely consume daily is essential to avert the complications that its excess intake can cause.

Read on as we give you an insight into the safety of pomegranate and its juice for pregnant women, how many pomegranates you can eat daily, its possible health benefits, side effects, and effective ways to include the fruit in your pregnancy diet.

Is It Safe To Have Pomegranate And Pomegranate Juice When You Are Pregnant?

Pomegranate juice is known to prevent certain pregnancy risks such as preterm birth and preeclampsia (1) (2). However, overconsumption of this superfood and its juice is not suggested, as it may have a few side effects during pregnancy.

How Many Pomegranates Can A Pregnant Woman Eat In A Day?

Two to eight ounces of pomegranate juice per day is known to offer benefits for adults. But there is no standard quantity of pomegranate recommended for pregnant women (3). So, it is safe to say that expecting mothers can limit their intake to less than what is suggested for the others.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Pomegranate During Pregnancy?

Pomegranate is a good source of potassium, vitamins, iron, folic acid, and antioxidants (1). Here are the benefits of consuming pomegranate during pregnancy:

  1. Reduces hypertension: Some pregnant women suffer from preeclampsia or excessively high blood pressure. This disorder can increase the risks of maternal and fetal mortality. Drinking pomegranate juice can help reduce the blood pressure as it contains a polyphenol called punicalagin, which is known to have bioactive properties (4).
  1. Improves heart health: The antioxidants in pomegranate reduce cholesterol and prevent heart diseases, which makes the fruit good for your cardiovascular health (5).
  1. Protects fetal brain: The polyphenolic antioxidants of pomegranate juice and its anti-inflammatory properties are known to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Drinking juice during pregnancy can help protect the fetal brain from any injuries (6).
  1. Improves bone density: Eating pomegranate has led to increased bone calcium content in pregnant women. Regular consumption of the fruit can prevent bone loss and also enhance bone formation (7).
  1. Prevents pregnancy complications: Some pregnant women suffer placental problems that could result in preterm birth or low weight in babies. These may occur due to oxidative stress. Antioxidants in pomegranate juice have shown positive effects and consuming the fruit can prevent all such risks (2).
  1. Strengthens immune system: Antioxidants and vitamins in pomegranate are known to improve your immune system and fight infections. So, it is recommended that you drink pomegranate juice when you are pregnant (8).

In the next section, we see if there are any risks associated with eating pomegranate during pregnancy.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Pomegranate Consumption?

The general risks of consuming pomegranate are as follows (7) (8).

  • Pomegranate juice can interfere with some medications. To prevent any pregnancy complications, you should consult your doctor before including the fruit in your regular diet.
  • Pomegranate is high in calories, hence ingesting more than what is required could increase your weight during pregnancy.
  • There is no research suggesting that pregnant women can take pomegranate supplements or extracts. So it is better to avoid them during pregnancy and enjoy the seeds and freshly made juice instead.

How To Include Pomegranate In Your Pregnancy Diet?

Consume pomegranate in the following ways to enjoy its taste and benefits.

  1. Pop a few pomegranate seeds into your mouth when you want to eat a snack.
  1. A freshly made glass of pomegranate juice can make you feel rejuvenated.
  1. Adding the ruby-red seeds of the fruit in cereals and salads can enhance their taste and nutrition.
  1. You may garnish your dishes with pomegranate seeds.
  1. A pomegranate smoothie or milkshake can also fulfill your pregnancy cravings for something sweet and sour.
  1. Mix pomegranate seeds in any of your dessert recipes.

But before you do that, read about the tips to consume this fruit safely.

Tips For Consuming Pomegranate

  • Always buy fresh and ripe pomegranates. Pick the heavy ones with firm skin.
  • While scooping out the seeds, see that you are not adding any part of the rind.
  • Avoid buying pomegranate juice from outside as they may have preservatives. Make it fresh at home.

Eating pomegranates during pregnancy can benefit both the mother and the developing baby. Both seeds and juice in moderate amounts are safe for consumption during this period. The vitamins, iron, folic acid, and antioxidants present in pomegranates support pregnancy and may help reduce its complications. It is better to consume fresh fruit and avoid pomegranate extract or supplements available over-the-counter. Check with your doctor to rule out any effect of pomegranates on the medications you might be taking during pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does eating pomegranate during pregnancy make the baby dark?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest a correlation between the consumption of pomegranate and baby color.

2. Can consuming the white membrane surrounding pomegranate seeds be harmful during pregnancy?

Although the white membrane in pomegranate is not proven to be harmful, it is best to avoid consuming it, for it tastes bitter (9) and may not be relished when pregnant.

3. Can consuming pomegranate help in a baby’s brain development during pregnancy?

One study found that in pregnant women with Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), pomegranate juice could impact the fetal brain structure and function. However, more investigations are needed to prove this in a larger population (10).

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.
  1. N. Breuner, C. Gorgon, K. Hanley, and M. Bunning; Pomegranates; Food Source Information: Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center Of Excellence
    http://fsi.colostate.edu/pomegranates/
  2. Pomegranates juice may prevent pregnancy complications; Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (2013)
    https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/pomegranate-juice-may-prevent-pregnancy-complications/
  3. Y. Wang et al.; Supplementing punicalagin reduces oxidative stress markers and restores angiogenic balance in a rat model of pregnancy-induced hypertension; The Korean Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology (2018)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019869/
  4. Aviram M, Rosenblat M. Pomegranate for Your Cardiovascular Health. RMMJ 2013;4 (2):e0013. doi:10.5041/RMMJ.10113
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/02e6/6bc116a014e754babf1397870d544103ef86.pdf
  5. Y. Ginsberg et al., Maternal pomegranate attenuates maternal inflammation-induced fetal brain injury; American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (2017)
    https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(16)31248-0/fulltext
  6. M. Monsefi, F. Parvin, and T. Talaei-Khozani; Effects of pomegranate extracts on cartilage, bone and mesenchymal cells of mouse fetuses; British Journal of Nutrition (2012)
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/effects-of-pomegranate-extracts-on-cartilage-bone-and-mesenchymal-cells-of-mouse-fetuses/1154885FB182ABE75E92AC0478F1B284
  7. Health Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds and Juice; Heal With Food
    https://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/pomegranate-seeds-juice.php
  8. M. Shah, S. Shah, and M. Patel; Review On: “The Aspects of Punica Granatum”; Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Bioscientific Research (2011)
    http://www.jpsbr.org/index_htm_files/6_0947.pdf
  9. The Health Benefits of Pomegranates.
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/pomegranate-benefits/
  10. Lillian G. Matthews et al., Maternal pomegranate juice intake and brain structure and function in infants with intrauterine growth restriction: A randomized controlled pilot study; PLoS One (2019).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6703683/#:~:text=In%20conclusion%2C%20maternal%20pomegranate%20juice
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Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different... more

Reda Elmardi

Reda Elmardi is a registered dietician, certified nutritionist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist trainer. The 32-year-old is a certified nutritionist from the UNC's Online MPHwWith Nutrition concentration, with more than 10 years of experience. Reda has been an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Trainer since 2015 and owns thegymgoat.com. He shares sports nutrition tips and gives guidance on... more