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8 Benefits Of Dates During Pregnancy And How They Ease Labor

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When it comes to delivery, all you need is easy and healthy labor. Although many things help, there is something exciting about dates too. A research study finding says that consuming them in late pregnancy is effective in shortening the labor process and aids healthy delivery. If you are not sure about it, you should be reading this MomJunction post about dates during pregnancy.

Is It Safe To Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

Yes, dates are safe and beneficial to the mother and baby. The fructose sugars in dates break down quickly offering energy without altering blood sugar levels in the body. They also have laxative properties, which stimulate contractions in the uterus and shorten labor (1).

What Does Research Say About Dates During Pregnancy?

“Consuming dates during late pregnancy affects labor and delivery positively without causing any risk to the mother and the child.” — Pubmed journal (2).

So, why are dates good during pregnancy?

Nutrition Facts About Dates:

The quantity of essential nutrients per 100g of dates (3) are:

Energy277Kcal
Proteins1.8g
Fiber6.7g
Fat0.2g
Folate15mcg
Iron0.9mg
Vitamin K2.7mcg
Magnesium54mg
Potassium696mg

[ Read: Benefits Of Pistachios During Pregnancy ]

Benefits Of Dates During Pregnancy:

Now we know that dates are highly nutritious as they are high in proteins, fiber, and vitamins, which aid in easy and healthy pregnancy. Here are a few specific benefits of eating dates during pregnancy:

  1. Provide energy: During pregnancy, you need more energy than usual. Consuming a handful of dates every day will supply the required sugars without adding extra calories.
  1. Keep constipation away: As dates are rich sources of fiber, they keep the digestive system healthy and treat pregnancy-related constipation. They make the tummy full, reduce cholesterol levels, and help maintain a healthy weight.
  1. Proteins produce amino acids: Dates provide sufficient amount of proteins required by your body to build amino acids, which are essential for body growth.
  1. Helps in preventing birth defects: Dates are a good source of folate. Folate prevents birth defects related to the brain and spinal cord.
  1. Vitamin K boost to the baby: Babies are born with low Vitamin K. If the mother consumes dates, they meet the requirement of the vitamin when the baby breastfeeds. Vitamin K aids in clotting and bone development.
  1. Prevents anemia: Dates can provide you with the iron content required during pregnancy to keep anemia at bay. Iron maintains hemoglobin in the body and strengthens both yours and your baby’s immunity.
  1. Maintains water-salt balance: Dates contain potassium, which maintains water-salt balance, regulates blood pressure, and avoids muscle cramps. Deficiency of this mineral could lead to kidney related issues.
  1. Bones and teeth in the baby: Magnesium is another essential mineral as it helps in the formation of teeth and bones in the baby. It also regulates your blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Dates help in preventing magnesium deficiency which may otherwise cause liver and kidney abnormalities.

[ Read: Dry Fruits During Pregnancy ]

How Does Eating Dates Help In Labor?

Dates boost the oxytocin effect (contraction of the womb), which increases the sensitivity of the uterus. The saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in the fruit supply energy and produce prostaglandins required for labor (4). Also, the serotonin, calcium, and tannin present in dates help in the contraction of uterine muscles (5).

How To Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

Dates can be eaten in many ways.

[ Read: Nutritious Fruits During Pregnancy ]

There are numerous varieties of dates such as red, black, soft, dry, and more, sold worldwide. Soft dates are very sweet and are rich in moisture. Semi-dry dates are less sweet and chewier. Dry dates are usually used in baking and are not eaten raw. Dry, soft, or any other texture, dates make healthy and delicious snacks.

When To Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

Dates can be eaten at any stage of gestation. You only need to be cautious about the amount you eat.

Some women avoid dates during summer as they are believed to produce heat and upset stomach or body temperature. But this is not scientifically proven.

Harmful Effects Of Dates During Pregnancy

Dates do not have any side effects when taken in moderation. However, if you overeat them, they may cause:

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Are Medjool dates safe during pregnancy?

Medjool dates have all the nutrients and vitamins essential for pregnant women. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, and fiber, and have low fat content. They are rich in vitamins including niacin, folate, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamins A, C, and K. All of these play a vital role in metabolism and aid in the baby’s growth and development. The iron content reduces bad cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues. They are rich in antioxidants and prevent cancerous growths.

[ Read: Iron During Pregnancy ]

2. Can you eat Chinese red dates during pregnancy?

Chinese red dates are high in iron and therefore help to prevent anemia in pregnant women and babies. They improve the nutritional quality of a mother’s milk and prevent hemorrhages after delivery. You could find more details on Chinese red dates in Chinese Dates: A Traditional Functional Food (6).

Though dates are a storehouse of goodness, do take your doctor’s opinion on how, when, and how much to consume.

Have you tried any yummy date recipes during your pregnancy? Let us know in the comments section.

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Rebecca Malachi

She is a Biotechnologist with a proficiency in areas of genetics, immunology, microbiology, bio-engineering, chemical engineering, medicine, pharmaceuticals to name a few. Her expertise in these fields has greatly assisted her in writing medical and life science articles. With 8+ years of work experience in writing for health and wellness, she is now a full-time contributor for Momjunction.com. She is passionate about giving research-based information to readers in need. Apart from writing, she is a foodie, loves travel, fond of gospel music and enjoys observing nature in silence. Know more about her at: linkedin.com/in/kothapalli-rebecca-35881628
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