Is It Healthy to Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, you might crave all kinds of foods. Some foods are clearly to be avoided, such as raw fish or unpasteurized cheese. But there are some foods that leave you with plenty of questions. Eating dates during pregnancy is one of those points that cause confusion among pregnant women. Here’s what you need to know about eating dates when pregnant, and whether they are helpful or harmful.

Can I Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

Not only can you eat dates when pregnant, you should! There are many surprising benefits to this fruit of the date palm. Studies have shown that those who ate dates during their pregnancy saw faster labor, as well as a jump-start to labor and easier cervical dilation, all of which make life much easier for the mom-to-be.

Studies have also shown that those who ate the date fruit in the last four weeks of pregnancy saw the most significant advantages. Women who are getting close to their delivery date might want to consider adding a regular regimen of dates to their diet, as this could help them have a shorter labor. It certainly can’t hurt to try!

Health Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy

Dates give you plenty of things that are good for mom and baby. Here are some of the advantages:

Protein

The amount of protein in dates allows your body to build more amino acids, which are the building blocks of everything you do. Protein is essential to help your body stretch and your baby grow.

Fiber

Any pregnant woman who has dealt with constipation knows how important fiber is! Fiber keeps your digestive system working smoothly, reduces cholesterol levels, helps you feel full and helps you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.

Folate

This very important part of dates helps your baby avoid serious problems, such as spina bifida, and keeps you healthy by helping you avoid a certain form of anemia that is common during pregnancy.

Vitamin K

Babies are often born with low Vitamin K, which means they need a boost of it after birth. You can help them with this clotting and bone development vitamin by eating more dates during pregnancy.

Iron

This very important mineral helps your body build collagen and enzymes, prevents anemia and helps oxygen reach all cells of the body, including the body of your baby.

Potassium

This helps with maintaining blood pressure, water balance, muscle function, heart health, and more. It can also help you avoid kidney problems that result from not enough potassium in the body.

Magnesium

This helps move calcium and potassium ions across the cells, which helps keep a normal heart rhythm. It also helps control muscle contractions.

Sugars

The fructose in dates is a natural sugar that won’t spike blood sugar levels too much, but will give you greater energy. For a laboring mom, dates during late pregnancy is a good idea to keep the energy up.

 

How to Take the Most Benefits of Dates

Ways to Enjoy

There are many ways to eat this sweet, luscious fruit. Consider mixing dates into a smoothie with yogurt, stuff the dates with peanut butter or a walnut or two, mix them up in a salad, or blend small bits of dates with fresh couscous. You can even make a date blend syrup, with a bit of milk and dates pureed in a blender, which you can then drizzle over everything from oatmeal to ice cream. When baking cookies, use dates in place of chocolate chips or nuts.

When to Eat

The time of year you eat dates might matter, too. Dates are said to produce heat in the body, so some women swear by eating them during the winter but avoiding them during the summer. Some women are concerned that eating dates during the summer might cause enough heat to lead to miscarriages, but this is definitely not proven. Eating dates in winter can help you through the colder months, especially when you have cold feet and hands.

Precaution

But remember, a woman pregnant with one child needs to have only an additional 300 calories a day. Make sure that the intake is proper, so that there is no chance of having a higher-than-safe pregnancy weight. Use all sorts of healthy foods to do this, making dates one of the many options for good eating during pregnancy. 

 
 
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