When considering a new fruit for your daily diet, it’s necessary to know if that fruit will benefit your health, especially for pregnant women.
So, can pregnant women eat dragon fruit? The answer is yes. Dragon fruit or pitaya or strawberry pear contains essential minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that help you maintain great health and beauty.
Thanks to the rich carbohydrate content, this fruit can surprisingly help get rid of fatigue during pregnancy.
Besides explaining if it’s safe for pregnant women to eat dragon fruit, this post will focus on the fantastic benefits and possible side effects that it may bring.
Is It Safe to Eat Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy?
Yes, you can safely have dragon fruit during pregnancy. Besides, eating this fruit while pregnant has proven to benefit both the baby and mother. These fruits comprise valuable contents that can do wonders for health.
According to the USDA, dragon fruit is fat- and cholesterol-free. A serving of 100g might provide the eater with these nutrients that would help meet pregnancy needs:
- Calories: 60 kcal
- Protein: 1.18 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.94 g
- Dietary fiber: 2.9 mg
- Calcium: 18 mg
- Vitamin C: 2.5 mg
- Iron: 0.74 mg
- Magnesium: 40 mg
Carbohydrates contribute significantly to recovering the energies in a pregnant woman’s body. Meanwhile, the generous volume of calcium is vital for developing a fetus’s bone structure.
A robust immune system is critical during this period, and potassium, iron, and multiple proteins in the fruit will help you take care of it.
Apart from those usual components, pitaya also contains folic acid – a beneficial element for developing the baby’s neurology. Beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamin C are essential contributors to the mother’s overall conditions.
For detailed information about all the health benefits, this excellent fruit can offer pregnant women, let’s head to the next section!
Benefits Of Dragon Fruit for Pregnant Women
Just to labor the point, eating pitayas is the gateway to numerous valuable nutrients.
And more importantly, these nutrients help sustain the mother’s health, but they’re also crucial for the fetus’s growth.
1. Rich in Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid consumed in any form, whether its vegetables and raw fruit, or juices, is critical to any normal body and especially a pregnant woman’s body.
The antioxidants present help your cells confront free radicals, strengthen your immunity system, control collagen synthesis, and prevent issues linked with gums and joints.
2. Prevent Cancer
Besides the immune-fostering property, vitamin C also does a great job in cancer prevention. We want to emphasize in this part the role of lycopene present in pitayas – vital antioxidant lending the fruits the red color.
Research suggests that this antioxidant contributes significantly to deterring cancerous cells from developing in your body.
Some reports pointed out the paramount deed of red pitaya extract in breast cancer treatment and prevention.
Yet, scientists still need more time to ensure its function in breast cancer chemoprevention.
3. Prevent Gestational Diabetes
Pitaya is high in roughage or dietary fiber – an essential element to prevent hunger pangs and sugar cravings and keep you full for longer.
Plus, high-fiber plants are good for people susceptible to diabetes due to family genetics or obesity or with gestational diabetes.
Your heart will also be healthier with the help of dietary fiber.
4. Prevent Neural Birth Defects
Parallel with vitamin C, dragon fruit contains folic acid or vitamin B12.
Moms-to-be should take B12-vitamin supplements while pregnant so that the fetus’s neural growth can occur appropriately.
5. Relieve Constipation
Pitayas can help control constipation by wicking moisture inside the intestine away and increasing and softening the stools, thanks to their rich roughage content.
Plus, this property can support the body in blocking hemorrhoids – a pretty common problem you may face during pregnancy.
6. An Energy Booster
This Monster fruit possesses plentiful healthy carbohydrates. Add it to your daily diet, and you’ll get a huge energy supply to carry out everyday activities.
Indeed, natural food is always a healthier source of sugars and calories than those sugary drinks, which provide nothing of nutrition.
7. Enhance Immune system
Those with a weak immune system are usually more vulnerable to various diseases, including common flu and cold and infections.
Strawberry pears are plentiful in vitamin C, so consuming them will help boost your immunity and protect your body from free radicals and foreign invaders (bacteria and germs).
To add, unstable atoms or free radicals in your body could result in cell damage.
8. Prevent Infection
Microbes and bacteria might become a severe threat to your baby once they find a way to penetrate the placenta.
Eating dragon fruit can help with preventing any infections and cellular regeneration.
Your body will tackle the microbes better and provide the fetus a secure place to grow, thanks to this fruit’s essential antibacterial and antifungal properties.
9. Prevent Preeclampsia
Hypertension is a common issue during pregnancy and may induce pre-eclampsia.
The elements in pitaya will help maintain the blood sugar and pressure, hence reducing the complications linked with pregnancy.
10. Assist in Bone and Teeth Development
Calcium is one of the primary elements in strawberry pears, which can keep your baby’s teeth and bones and yours, as well, healthy.
This element also plays a prominent role in muscular contraction.
Thus, if you’re allergic to dairy products or lactose intolerant, this fruit is a helpful way to meet your body’s calcium requirement.
Can You Eat Too Much Dragon Fruit?
An average dragon fruit weighs about 350-400 grams. A mom-to-be can eat 200 grams of this food per day based on standard recommendations.
So, feel free to enjoy your favorite food without worrying that you’re overeating.
However, these figures somehow may vary, depending on your physical condition.
If you’re unsure about anything (like the consumption levels), reach out to your healthcare provider.
And more importantly, even when you’re not allergic to this food, it’s always advisable to consume it in moderation.
Anything excessive during pregnancy could result in unfavorable outcomes.
What Are The Side Effects Of Dragon Fruit?
Indeed, there are barely significant adverse effects when consuming pitayas while pregnant.
However, overeating them can open the gateway to some unwanted health problems during this period, such as diarrhea or skin rash.
Sometimes, eaters may experience allergic reactions, like mouth feeling a burning sensation, sneezing, vomiting, hive or tongue swelling, or itching.
In this case, stop consuming the food and seek help from your doctor immediately.
If you once have fruit allergic symptoms and have never eaten strawberry pears before, it’s advisable to consult your doctor first.
If you haven’t had a food allergy record, this highly-nutritious fruit should pose no side effects and be safe to include in your daily diet.
We’ve solved some common queries relating to eating dragon fruit while pregnant. Take a look!
Is Dragon Fruit A Superfood?
Yes, nutritionists consider pitaya a superfood as it contains few calories but is rich in probiotics, healthy fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.
Notably, antioxidants are crucial for protecting cells against free radicals, which cause aging and chronic disease.
Some of the vital antioxidants present in this fruit are flavonoids, hydroxycinnamates, betaxanthins, and betacyanins.
What Is The Best Time to Eat Dragon Fruit?
Scientifically, morning is the best time to eat fruits, in general, and strawberry pears.
The nutrients in fresh dragon fruit will assist the digestive system in breaking down the sugar fast and providing the body with vitamins and minerals.
Eating fruits before bedtime or at night is not a recommended idea, or sincerely, the worst one.
Doing so might increase your blood pressure and sugar level, keeping you awake during the night.
How Many Types Of Dragon Fruit Are There?
Pitayas come in four types: three with pink skin and one with yellow skin.
Among three pink-skinned varieties, one has purple flesh, one has red flesh, and one has white flesh.
The yellow-skinned variety has white flesh, too. These varieties contain tiny black, edible seeds and feature a textured and scaly outer skin, just like kiwi.
You can choose any variety to eat once your healthcare provider permits you to go ahead. These four varieties are all great to have during gestation.
How Can I Make Dragon Fruit Taste Better?
- Scoop it out: Simply cut the food in half. After that, scoop the flesh out with a spoon. You can enjoy the food fresh or cream some honey over and eat your delicious mid-meal.
- Blend into smoothies: Here’s our favorite smoothie recipe: blend some scoops of pitaya with strawberry and coconut milk.
- Add to salads: Toss some pieces and mix with other vegetable or fruit slices. Then, there is a refreshing salad side dish for lunch.
- Make the ice cream: The easiest way is to throw your food into the freezer. You can add cinnamon to spice up your ice cream or make a tropical treat by adding pitayas to strawberry ice cream.
See the yummy pitaya salad in the clip below.
In short, including dragon fruit in your pregnancy diet is a wise decision to support and nurture the safe and healthy growth of the fetus in your womb.
The important note is that a doctor is the most reliable guide regarding any aspect and stage of gestation.
They’ll give you the best advice on whether you can eat the fruits or how much you should munch on.
For the new mothers out there, best wishes for you and your son/daughter!