How Many Prunes Should I Eat While Pregnant? Prunes (dried plums) are a great addition to any pregnancy diet. They are rich in fiber and important vitamins, especially vitamin K. In fact, prunes have the highest fiber content of all commonly eaten fruits. Pregnancy is often characterized by gastric upset so prunes can help you to feel better when you’re feeling nauseated or constipated.
Prunes During Pregnancy : Good or Bad?
Are prunes good for pregnancy? This is a widely common question asked by several pregnant women. While fruits are generally associated with benefits they give during the phase of pregnancy, there are also certain foods which are recommended not to eat at this stage. On the other hand, there are always negatives and risks associated with certain foods.
Read this article to know more about prunes during pregnancy, their benefits, risks and side effects along with the nutritious values it delivers.
What are prunes?
Prunes are plums that have been dehydrated for preservation purposes. Sometimes called dried plums, prunes are deep red-brown with a chewy texture and a savory-sweet flavor.
Unlike fresh plums, prunes can last in your pantry for about six months. When stored in the fridge in a sealed container, they remain edible for up to a year.
The many plum varieties originate from two main types: the Japanese plum and the European plum. Fresh Japanese plums are larger and juicier, ranging from yellow to medium red. Fresh European plums are smaller and denser with dark blue or purple-red colorations.
When brought to North America by settlers, both types of plums were used to cultivate the popular varieties we enjoy today. Research now supports the varied health benefits of eating these dried plums.
Are prunes safe during pregnancy?
A common question faced by us is ‘are prunes good for pregnancy.’ While many have that dilemma within for consuming the prunes, it is always good to know the complete picture. Prunes are generally very helpful to reduce hunger instantly and hence they are the perfect snack for the pregnant women with a blend of several dietary fibres, vitamins built from within. Hence they in turn also build muscles and strengthen them. This greatly augments in a smooth delivery process.
How Many Prunes is Safe
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you eat two servings of dried fruit per day for a healthy diet, which can include fruit juice. A serving of prunes is a half a cup, or 10 to 12 prunes, while a serving of prune juice is one cup. California Dried Plums recommends if you are not used to a diet high in fiber, start with a smaller serving of four to five prunes and gradually increase your consumption to avoid digestive side effects.
Nutritional benefits of prunes during pregnancy:
While we often ask is it safe to eat prunes during pregnancy, the answer is yes due to the rich nutrient values in the fruit. Prunes are very rich in dietary fibres along with iron, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, natural sugars, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. This help greatly in the health of the mother to be and growth of the fetus. They help also strengthen the uterus and in turn, helping with the delivery. Hence no wonder, if someone asks you can I eat prunes during pregnant, you definitely know the answer!
Health Benefits of Eating Prunes During Pregnancy
Given below are some of the main benefits of eating prunes:
1. Excellent for Combat Constipation
Prunes help to keep constipation in check and help to restore good bowel motions. One of the most common issues most pregnant women have is constipation or other kinds of bowel difficulties. Due to their high fiber content, prunes are an ideal choice to help to relieve constipation symptoms and help to bring your bowel movements to normalcy.
2. Help Combat Iron Deficiency
Prunes are an excellent choice to ward off anemia and hike up the iron levels in your system. One of the major nutrients absolutely necessary for the growth and development of that precious bundle growing inside you is iron and prunes have plenty of it. During pregnancy, the requirement for iron increases significantly, and just the usual stuff you eat will simply not suffice. Prunes help correct this deficiency by assisting to improve hemoglobin and arrest anemia.
3. Aid in Improving Your Immunity System
During pregnancy, a woman must be extremely careful as certain infections can interfere with the pregnancy and affect the growth and development of the fetus. Allergies are also frequent when you are pregnant. Prunes play a significant role in improving your immune system, so you don’t fall sick frequently.
4. Help in Combating Nausea
Morning sickness is common during pregnancy and is of huge inconvenience for a pregnant woman who may struggle to keep her intake in. Prunes help combat morning sickness and ease discomfort.
5. Keep Blood Pressure and Depression at Bay
As prunes are veritable sources of potassium they help in lowering blood pressure, managing tension, and avoiding depression.
6. Maintain Your Skin in Top Shape
Prunes are ideal to work wonders on your skin keeping it soft and beautiful. They are even good for your baby’s skin too.
7. Prunes are Also Helpful in Averting Pain in the Joints
A lot of women experience cramps and pain in the joints during their pregnancy period. Consuming prunes on a regular basis is quite effective in averting and getting relief from these discomforts. Prunes have also been known to assist in avoiding any kind of inflammation which can occur during your pregnancy period.
8. Good For Your Baby’s Eyes
Prunes are proven to also be quite effective in the development of your unborn baby’s eyes too.
9. Prunes Help to Cleanse Your System
Prunes contain traces of chlorogenic and neo-chlorogenic acids, which belong to the hydroxycinnamic acid family. These acids are proven to act as excellent radical scavengers while you are pregnant, giving your system a good cleanse.
However, there are also some disadvantages to consuming too many prunes during your pregnancy period. Any food for that matter, if overeaten can trigger some ill effects and the same applies in the case of this dry fruit as well.
10 Promotes Hemoglobin Count
Healthy hemoglobin count is very important during pregnancy. Hemoglobin count is needed for the healthy development of the fetus. Hemoglobin is extremely essential in the formation of your baby’s red blood cells and transportation of oxygen. Your doctor is likely to suggest iron supplements to be consumed during the pregnancy to maintain healthy hemoglobin count.
Prunes are rich in iron which is required for good hemoglobin count. Along with other iron rich foods you can also make prunes a part of your pregnancy diet for help in boosting the hemoglobin count. Prunes also help in fighting anemia, fatigue, and in building immunity during pregnancy.
11 Storehouse of Essential Minerals
Prunes are a rich source of essential minerals such as copper, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals are very important in the development and proper functioning of your baby. The minerals present in prunes help in regulating your metabolic functions and nerve impulses. They are also effective in providing energy to expecting mothers as discussed above.
Including prunes in your prenatal diet helps in making sure that you receive all the essential minerals required for the smooth development of the pregnancy. It is also an additional and tasty source of essential minerals that you can add to your diet during pregnancy.
Probable Risks Associated With Eating Prunes When Pregnant
Excess consumption of prunes can reduce your appetite for the next meal, thereby, lowering your required amount of calories and nutrition consumption, which is absolutely necessary for you and your baby inside you.
- Prunes are known to be an excellent laxative. For this reason, overeating prunes can trigger diarrhea.
- Eating prunes in excess can cause unpleasant gastric disorders like flatulence and bloating of your tummy.
Anyhow, these probable after-effects are not yet proven and can only be triggered if you happen to overeat prunes.
The fact that prunes are an ideal nutritional supplement during your pregnancy cannot be denied. Prunes are beyond doubt a nutritive and tasty snacking option to reach out whenever those hunger pangs hit you during those nine months. You could also opt for prune juice if you do not feel like eating this dry fruit as prune juice is quite tasty and refreshing too.
So the best option would be to consult your doctor before you add prunes to your pregnancy diet and make sure they are absolutely safe and beneficial for you to consume in limited quantities. You can be sure to experience its wonderful positive effects as soon as you begin munching them.
Tips to Prevent Constipation During Pregnancy
Some people who are pregnant will have constipation that develops after they get pregnant, which is typically related to the hormones of pregnancy (which can slow the digestive system down). Other people suffer from constipation before pregnancy and the condition is simply a continuation and/or amplification of their normal problem.
Constipation can have other side effects. Some people who have constipation will develop hemorrhoids, which are swollen blood vessels in the rectum which can be very uncomfortable (if they cause pain, itching, or bleeding).
Making a few lifestyle changes might help you avoid constipation and might be able to relieve any constipation that you are already experiencing. While these measures might not work for everyone, many people find that regular maintenance helps keep their bowels moving.
Drink More Water
Simply drinking enough water each day can help make your bowel movements more frequent and easier to pass. Staying hydrated is important for everyone, particularly in pregnancy. If you make a point to drink enough water every day (which is good all-around health advice) you’ll likely find that you will have fewer problems with constipation.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber is found in natural sources like many fruits and vegetables, also in beans and some grains. These natural sources will help your bowel movements be more regular. You might find it helpful to use prune juice as a natural laxative, should you already be experiencing problems with constipation. Eating a few prunes a day might also help prevent the problem.
Exercise is known for helping to keep your bowels moving regularly.3 This does not have to be an aerobics class or running several miles. Simply adding more movement to your day can improve your bowel functions.
This can be walking around the neighborhood, or getting in more steps at work. It can be swimming in the pool or dancing with your partner. Anything that moves your body and gets your heart rate up is good for your overall health in pregnancy and beyond.
Watch Your Calcium Intake
Too much calcium can cause constipation. Calcium is found in many foods and supplements, particularly dairy products. If you overdo it on the milk and cheese, you might find your bowels get backed up.
Food sensitivities can sometimes contribute to constipation. Keep track of what you eat to see if certain foods (like dairy or gluten) are related to bouts of constipation.