Pomegranate During Pregnancy

Getting pregnant is a very exciting experience and your body needs extra care during this time. During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, the body requires around 300 extra calories per day. The body also needs extra vitamins and minerals and the best way to keep up with these demands is to take a healthy and nutritious diet.

Historically pomegranate has been referred to as a "Gift from God", this nutrient packed fruit is associated with a lot of health benefits. But is it suitable during pregnancy?

Is Pomegranate During Pregnancy Healthy?

Pomegranate During Pregnancy

Yes, of course. Pomegranates are rich in anti oxidants, vitamins and phytochemical compounds which are great for the heart. They are packed with nutrients and this makes them an ideal choice to take during pregnancy. Pomegranates have an added benefit of keeping the blood pressure in control. There can be a higher risk of pre-eclampsia if you are having high blood pressure during later stages of pregnancy. Pomegranates have an ability to reduce the blood pressure and taking them can reduce the risk of complications.

Here are a few more health benefits that pomegranates offer during pregnancy:

1-Rich in Fibre

Constipation and pregnancy go hand in hand. To avoid this unpleasant situation and to keep the bowel movements regular, 25 to 30 grams of fibre is recommended every day. Pomegranates are rich in fibre and half cup of pomegranate contains around five grams of fibre.

2-Good Source of Iron

During pregnancy, there is an increased need for iron to maintain a healthy haemoglobin level. Iron supplements are very commonly prescribed during pregnancy to avoid iron deficiency and to build up on body’s iron stores. Pomegranates are rich in iron and can be a great source of this essential mineral. Taking pomegranate during pregnancy can keep your iron levels at an optimal level and it tastes delicious.

3-Vitamin C

Vitamin C is required by the body for proper absorption of iron and other essential nutrients. It is vital to take adequate amounts of this vitamin during pregnancy. Pomegranates are full of vitamin C and provide maximum health benefits by increasing iron absorption.

4-Folate

Taking adequate amounts of folate is crucial during pregnancy. It prevents serious birth defects like neural tube defect and spina bifida and is essential for normal development and growth of the baby. 400 to 600 mg of folate must be taken by all pregnant women daily and a single serving of pomegranate juice (200 ml) contains around 60 mg of folate in it.

5-Vitamin K

Vitamin K is necessary for the bone development of the baby and plays a crucial role in regulating the clotting mechanism of the body. Daily recommended amount of vitamin K during pregnancy is 90 micrograms. Pomegranates are great source of vitamin K and one serving provides 26 microgrames of this essential vitamin.

6-Potassium

Potassium is a very important mineral and it regulates the function of muscles and nerves. Lack of potassium can lead to cramps which are very common during pregnancy. Taking potassium rich foods like pomegranate during pregnancy can reduce the occurrence of painful muscle spasms and a glass of pomegranate juice provides around 530 mg of potassium. It is also helpful in regulating the fluid balance of the body.

7-Antioxidants

Pomegranates belong to the group of super foods due to a very high content of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the placenta from the damaging effects of free radicals. Pomegranates are also rich in polyphenoles which protects the baby’s brain and reduce the risk of brain injury due to lack of oxygen supply that can occur during prolonged labour.

Ways to Enjoy Pomegranate in Pregnancy

  • The best way to cut a pomegranate is to divide and slice it into two parts. Give both parts a little squeeze and keep them inverted on a bowl. With the help of a wooden spoon, tap it firmly so the seeds and juices are released.
  • These seeds can be sprinkled on salads and desserts for extra oomph.
  • These tangy seeds go perfectly into smoothies and other juice drinks. You can either blend them in or sprinkle over for added texture.
  • To add some glamour to a slow cook lamb shoulder, add some pomegranate seeds and mint leaves on top of it and enjoy a beautiful blend of flavours.

Fresh Fact:

In ancient times, Egyptians considered pomegranates as a symbol of fertility and used it to treat wounds and infections.

Precautions to Take

Though it is perfectly safe to take pomegranate during pregnancy, it advised to stick to the fresh fruit and juice. Try to avoid pomegranate extract as it can contain some harmful substances found in the pomegranate rind and can lead to premature labour. It is also very high in calories so try to consume this delicious fruit in moderation to keep your weight under control.

Pomegranate can interact with the metabolism of some medications like statins, anti- hypertensive medications and blood thinners. If you are taking these, try to talk to your health care provider first before indulging into this delicacy.

 
 
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