Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a bright red-colored exotic fruit indigenous to Southeast Asia. Its sweet taste and nutrient-rich profile make it a healthy choice. However, if you are a pregnant woman, you might want to know if it is safe to consume Rambutan during pregnancy. Read on as we give you the answer in this post.
Adding this nutrient-rich fruit to your pregnancy diet may provide vital nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, calcium, and fiber and contribute to your increased dietary needs. So, scroll down and read more about the safety of Rambutan for expectant mothers, its possible health benefits and side effects, and the right ways to include Rambutan in your diet.
Is It Safe To Eat Rambutan Fruit During Pregnancy?
You may have rambutan in small quantities. The fruit is high in fats and calories and might help you meet the daily caloric requirements (1).
In some Asian communities, pregnant women are discouraged from eating rambutan as the fruit is believed to cause miscarriage in the early weeks due to the heat generated by it. It is also believed to block the birth canal and complicate labor (2). These are long-standing cultural taboos that are not based on science or real-life studies.
Nutritional Profile Of Rambutan Fruit
Rambutan contains 68kcal and small amounts of potassium (140mg), calcium (15mg), magnesium (10mg), sodium (2mg) and iron (0.1 -2.5mg) (3). The edible flesh contains about 2.8g of dietary fiber per 100g of the fruit. It has around 70mg of vitamin C that helps in absorbing dietary iron.
Why You May Eat Rambutan During Pregnancy
Rambutan could help you meet the daily recommended values of various nutrients during pregnancy.
- Vitamin C acts as a natural antioxidant, and improves immunity and fights common illnesses and diseases.
- The sweet and sour taste of the fruit could help you get relief from nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
- The dietary fiber could support digestion.
- Iron helps improve your hemoglobin levels and fights dizziness and fatigue.
- Calcium supports bone and muscle health that is important to sustain the growing fetal weight.
Possible Side Effects Of Rambutan During Pregnancy
Overeating rambutan might lead to the following problems.
- Overripe rambutan has high sugar content and might increase blood sugar levels if taken in excess amounts.
- Overripe fruit could also have traces of alcohol. Any kind of overripe fruit can have traces of alcohol and high sugar content.
How To Select And Store Rambutan Fruit?
Follow the below tips while selecting the fruit:
- Fresh fruits are available from June to December.
- Choose bright red varieties. Roll your fingers over the fruit to check if the hairs are soft and flexible.
- Choose fruits that are firm as they have good flesh and are juicy.
- Avoid dull or brownish fruits and dried or brittle hairs as they are old fruits.
- Store the fruit in a cool, dry place. They are likely to remain fresh for up to five days.
Ways To Include Rambutan In The Pregnancy Diet
Rambutan is juicy and succulent. It can satisfy your cravings for sweets during pregnancy.
- Fresh fruit can be eaten as-it-is without any seasonings or additions.
- The flesh can be added to fruit salads, puddings, ice creams, and other desserts.
- The juice can be a refreshing summer drink.
- Can be used in jams, jellies, sauces, syrups, and sorbet.
Rambutan is a nutritious fruit rich in vitamin C, fiber, and copper. Consuming it as a part of a balanced diet can impart several health benefits over time. Though you can eat this delicious fruit as is, you can also use it to make delectable dishes, such as salads, puddings, desserts, smoothies, and shakes. Rambutan is high in carbohydrates, so its overconsumption can cause a glucose spike, which can affect diabetic mothers. Thus, you can safely consume rambutan during pregnancy, but ensure you do so in moderation.
2. RianDiana et al; Food taboos and suggestions among Madurese pregnant women: a qualitative study; Journal of Ethnic Foods (Dec, 2018)
3. Francis T. Zee; Rambutan; Horticulture & Landscape Architecture – Purdue University (1998)
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