Is It Safe To Eat Oranges During Pregnancy?

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Oranges! These yummy fruits are rich in vitamin C. Whether consumed as tangy juice or fresh slices, you surely love the fruit. However during pregnancy, you have to be cautious. You need to know whether or not oranges are safe to eat. Read on as MomJunction tells you about oranges during pregnancy.

Is It Safe To Eat Oranges During Pregnancy?

Oranges are safe to eat during pregnancy, but you should have them in moderation. They provide plenty of nutrients and are a rich source of vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and more. In order to reap the range benefits of oranges, you can consume them every day.

When eaten in excess they have some uncomfortable side effects. The high fiber content in orange affects the digestion directly. When eaten too much, this might lead to abdominal cramps and diarrhea. 

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Health Benefits Of Oranges During Pregnancy

Here is a quick look at the nutritional benefits that you and your unborn child will get from oranges:

1. Improves immune system functions

Vitamin C boosts the immune system, and pregnant women require healthy immunity as they may be prone to many allergic and food-borne illnesses. Consuming oranges will not only strengthen your immunity but also keep your baby healthy (1)The healing properties of oranges comes from their phytonutrient compounds like anthocyanins, citrus flavanones, variety of polyphenols and hydroxycinnamic acids.

Vitamin C also helps to absorb certain nutrients such as iron that in turn helps form the baby’s cartilage, blood vessels, bones, and tissues.

2. Aids brain development

The need for folate increases by five to ten times during pregnancy and oranges can fulfill the requirement. Folateaids the development of fetal brain and prevents neural tube defects in babies. Folate also helps develop new blood cells and tissues, and improves the baby’s birth weight (2).

3. Prevents constipation

The rich fiber content helps in easy bowel movements and prevents constipation which is a common problem during pregnancy (3). The fiber in oranges not only help in good digestion but also regulates blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and prevents atherosclerosis.

4. Controls blood pressure

The high potassium index of oranges prevents hypertension in pregnant women by controlling blood pressure (4).

[Read: Pregnancy Induced Hypertension]

5. Promotes hydration

Oranges contribute greatly to the daily fluid intake, thus providing sodium and potassium to maintain the fluid levels in the body (5).

6. Treats kidney stones

Oranges increase the pH value of urine, thereby increasing the citric acid excretion from the body. The fruit, therefore, helps in the prevention of kidney stones (6).

7. Supports respiratory system

The high carotenoid content in oranges helps in maintaining respiratory health during both normal and pregnancy phases (7).

8. Benefits skin

Vitamin C in oranges offers two beauty benefits. The antioxidative effect (8) keeps the skin moist and taut, and also helps you deal with acne, which is a common problem during pregnancy.

The fruit as such is good for health, but…

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[Read: How Much Vitamin C Is Safe During Pregnancy]

Are Orange Peels Good For You?

Orange peels contain double the amount of vitamin C than the fruit does. They are a rich source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, they are perfect for consumption during pregnancy. Simply grate the peel and add to yogurt, porridge, or salads.

But you need to wash the orange thoroughly before using the peel. You could also wash them in warm water. However, note that the peels of fruits and vegetables are laden with pesticides and harmful microbes. Also, you need to eat the fruit in moderation.

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How Many Oranges Can You Eat In A Day?

The US National Institute of Health recommends a daily dosage of 85 milligrams of vitamin C, which can be obtained from two oranges.

But you need to consider the quantity of vitamin C present in the other fruits and foods that you may consume in the day. Therefore, make sure that your overall intake of vitamin C meets the recommended daily dosage, as oranges are acidic in nature; and excess consumption could lead to acidity issues.

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What Is The Best Time To Eat Oranges?

Oranges or any other citrus fruits can be eaten at any time of the day, even on an empty stomach. You can eat them two to four times a day by including the fruit in your diet in various ways.

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How To Include An Orange In Your Diet?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Add some sliced oranges to a salad for extra taste
  • Mix with other fruits for a rich fruit bowl
  • Peel and blend the fruit with some water and sugar for fresh orange juice
  • Top orange slices with brown sugar and microwave them to broil.
  • Make orange juice cups or popsicles by putting in molds and freezing them.

Oranges are indeed nutrient-packed fruits, and are very easy to eat. But, they could come with a bunch of side-effects.

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Side Effects Of Oranges In Pregnancy

Although the benefits of eating oranges are multi-fold, during pregnancy, you must be aware of the unwanted effects of their excessive consumption.

  • The high citric acid content can lead to a sore throat and is also bad for the enamel (9).
  • It can increase the fiber content in the body, which may have a negative effect on digestion, leading to loose motions and abdominal cramps.
  • It can increase your calorie intake and sugar levels, thus putting you at risk of gestational diabetes if you eat them excessively.
  • Being high in acidity, they can cause heartburn. If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it may aggravate the condition.
  • Excess vitamin C can lead to preterm labor (10).

With all that information, you might have a few questions to ask. In the next section, we have covered a few commonly asked questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is orange juice a healthy option during pregnancy?

Yes, pasteurized orange juice without any additives is a good option. You can have up to two glasses of orange juice a day mostly one to two hours after a meal. It is rich in calcium and helps in having healthy bones.

Fortified orange juice is also a good option in case you are suffering from morning sickness or are lactose intolerant. However, you should consult your healthcare provider before using it (11).

[Read: Juices To Drink During Pregnancy]

2. What happens if you eat orange seeds during pregnancy?

Orange seeds will not cause any problem, but in rare cases, large seeds might choke you. Therefore, go for navel oranges as they are seedless and easy to peel.

3. Are halos safe to eat?

Halos are California-grown mandarins. They are grown in rich, fertile soil, and are sweet and delicious. They are safe to eat unless you consume more than four a day.

4. Are cuties good for you?

Cuties are another type of California-grown mandarins that are seedless. They are bright, sweet, and have superior flavor. They are good to eat in moderation, and are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

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Oranges are incredibly healthy, but do consult your doctor before consuming them to ensure the best for you and your baby. In permitted quantities (two a day), oranges will not harm you. Eat healthy, stay strong, and have a great pregnancy.

If you have any more information on oranges in pregnancy, you may let us know in the comments section below.

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