Are you pregnant and looking for healthy ways to increase your nutrition intake? Do you love the delicious taste of pomegranates and pomegranate juice, but are afraid of indulging in them as you are pregnant?
If you want to know about whether or not is it safe to eat pomegranate during pregnancy or have pomegranate juice, and if it has any nutritional benefits, read our post here.
Is It Safe To Have Pomegranate And Pomegranate Juice While You Are Pregnant?
Most doctors will happily ask you to continue eating pomegranates and drinking pomegranate juice throughout the course of your pregnancy. However, get a checkup done to be on the safe side. Moreover, science does not know whether is pomegranate good during pregnancy, so it is better to steer well clear of these during your pregnancy. Pomegranate is full of several nutrients that will help you and your unborn baby through the pregnancy. On the other hand, pomegranate juice is a great way to hydrate your body and to satiate your craving for something sweet while you are pregnant .
Health Benefits Of Eating Pomegranate During Pregnancy:
Here are some of the health benefits of pomegranate during pregnancy:
Half a cup of a pomegranate contains about five gm of fiber.
- When you are pregnant, it is common to suffer from bouts of constipation and other bowel-related problems.
- Including fiber rich foods in your daily diet will ensure you can prevent constipation while you are pregnant. The fiber in the pomegranate will help regulate your bowel movements, without any discomfort.
- According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should have about 25 to 30 g of fiber each day while you are pregnant.
Pomegranate is one of the richest sources of iron.
- Not having enough iron in your body can put you at the risk of anemia. If you have anemia, it can lead to many problems for both the baby and you. Pregnant women who suffer from iron deficient anemia run the risk of a preterm delivery. Babies born in such cases often have a low weight at birth.
- To keep your iron levels at their healthy best, your medical provider may recommend some iron supplements. However, eating pomegranates is a natural and great way to ensure you consume the required amount of iron in your daily routine. It is a delicious way to fulfill your need for iron. If your doctor prescribes you iron supplements, make sure you tell them about eating pomegranates so that there is no over dosage in the intake.
- When you eat fruits that are rich in iron content, you automatically create an iron reserve in your body that will help your increasing iron needs during pregnancy.
[ Read: Healthy Juices To Drink During Pregnancy ]
3. Rich In Vitamin C:
Pomegranates are also a great source of the vitamin C.
- Having vitamin C ensures that your body can absorb all the iron from various food sources and even supplements.
- When you eat a pomegranate, the vitamin C content in the fruit will help to absorb its iron content, giving you all the benefits.
Health Benefits Of Drinking Pomegranate Juice During Pregnancy:
Here are some of the health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice while pregnant:
1. Fulfills Your Calorific Requirement:
When you are pregnant, you need between 2,000 to 2,200 calories during your second and third trimesters.
- Eight ounce of pomegranate juice contains roughly 136 calories, which provides you a healthy percent of your daily calorific requirement.
- You can also drink a larger amount of pomegranate juice through the day to hydrate your body, something that is crucial while you are pregnant.
- While pomegranate juice will provide you with a lot of calories, make sure that you include a variety of fruit and vegetable sources for your calorie intake, as keeping it varied will help absorb more calories.
During pregnancy, the vitamin folate plays a crucial role for both you and your baby’s development.
- A serving of pomegranate juice will give you the goodness of 60 mg of folate.
- While you are pregnant, you should have about 600 mg of folate on a daily basis, and as minimum as 400 mg per day.
- Having the right amount of folate while you are pregnant will keep your baby safe and protected against various birth defects, including neural tube birth defect.
[ Read: Is Sugarcane Juice Safe During Pregnancy ]
3. Vitamin K:
Pomegranate juice is a great source of the vitamin K.
- One serving of pomegranate juice contains 26.1 micrograms of vitamin K.
- On a daily basis, you need about 90 mcg of vitamin K while you are pregnant.
- Vitamin K plays a big role in strengthening your and the developing baby’s bones. It also aids in the normal process of blood clotting, again for both you and the developing baby.
Having eight ounces of pomegranate juice in a day will ensure you get 538 milligrams of potassium, which is another important nutrient while you are pregnant.
- You need around 4,700 milligrams of potassium during your pregnancy.
- Cramps, especially in your leg, are quite common during your pregnancy. Having potassium-rich foods will help prevent and even ease cramps.
- Potassium also promotes the proper functioning of your muscles and nerves.
- When you are pregnant, there is a rise in the blood content of your body. Potassium will help properly influence the required fluid levels in your body.
Pomegranate juice is rich antioxidants, which have many benefits and play a crucial role for a healthy pregnancy.
- Antioxidants help lower the risk of placental injury. They repair any free-radical damage to the cells of the placenta.
- They also help reduce the risk of injury to the fetus’ brain.
- A group of antioxidants known as polyphenols help lessen the brain damage caused by oxygen deficiency,which typically occurs during labor.
Pomegranate Juice Prevents Pregnancy Complications:
A recent laboratory study at Washington University states that pomegranate juice prevents pre-eclampsia, pre-term birth, and growth restriction when pregnant women consume it on a regular basis. Their research findings were stated in the American Journal Of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism.
When there is an increase in free radicals, the cells in the body undergo oxidative stress. Pomegranate juice contains a high amount of antioxidants that help to protect against free radicals in complicated pregnancies. Oxidative stress contributes to problems of the placenta, which in turn leads to complications like pre-eclampsia, where the pregnant woman’s blood pressure levels spike. Placental problems can, therefore, cause lower birth weight in babies and also lead to premature birth.
In the above study, pregnant women in their 35 – 38 weeks of pregnancy were selected. They were given 8 ounces of either pomegranate juice of apple juice (placebo) until their delivery time. Placental tissues were then collected from 12 pregnant women (4 from pomegranate juice group and 8 from the placebo group) for analyzing oxidative stress. The results showed that pomegranate juice reduced oxidative stress in the placenta and also limited the death of fetal cells. It is because of the polyphenolic antioxidants present in pomegranate juice.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Pomegranate Consumption?
Now that we know the benefits of consuming pomegranate during pregnancy, let’s look at the risks associated with it. Some of them include:
- Avoid taking pomegranate extract as it also contains the rind that can induce early labor due to contractions.
- Pomegranate juice is high in calories, hence you should take in moderate amounts.
- It can sometimes interact with other medications like blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, statins and blood pressure medications.
Ways To Include Pomegranate In Your Pregnancy Diet:
- You can sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on any dessert or salad to give an extra taste.
- It can be a great addition to a smoothie, either you can blend it along with other fruits or add the seeds on top.
- You can sprinkle juice or seeds along with some fresh mint over a slow baked shoulder of lamb.
Having pomegranate both as a fruit and in the form of juice is extremely beneficial while you are pregnant. Make sure you speak to your doctor about it and include it in your daily diet. Ancient Egyptians used the pomegranate as a symbol of fertility and for treating infections.
What did you enjoy more during pregnancy, eating the fruit or having it as juice? Did you derive any health benefits? Did the doctor recommend it or are you allergic to pomegranates and you had a replacement ready? Tell us below. Fellow moms would love to know.
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