Are you expecting? Congratulations!!
Pregnancy is a time of various cravings and food indulgences. As an expectant mommy, you want to be sure that what you eat is indeed healthy for you and the baby. Once you are pregnant, almost everyone starts advising you on what to eat and what to avoid. One such food item that has a lot of confusion surrounding it is dates. It is important to know the positives and negatives about eating dates in pregnancy that will help you make an informed choice.
A Sneak Peek At The Nutritional Value Of Dates:
Per 100 grams, *% of daily value
Eating Dates During Pregnancy:
There is no clear study to indicate that dates should not be had during pregnancy. In fact, they are loaded with nutrients that can benefit both you and your baby.
Benefits Of Eating Dates:
Dates are rich sources of proteins, fiber and many vitamins, while being very low in fat. They contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber and thus are helpful in maintaining your digestive system. Dates have a good amount of natural sugars. They are rich in potassium and low in sodium, and thus help regulate the nervous system.
Here are some of the most important benefits of eating dates:
1. Good Sugars: During pregnancy your body needs a lot of energy. Sugar is the fastest energy provider.
2. Protein: Protein consists of amino acids, which are the building blocks of your body. Even as your body stretches and grows to accommodate the baby, so does the fetus. To support this growth, your body needs an adequate amount of proteins.
3. Fibre: It helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system and helps in dealing with pregnancy related constipation. It reduces the cholesterol levels and keeps you protected from infections. There is always a chance of developing pregnancy related blood pressure and diabetes and this is where fibre helps. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. You will often feel hungry and the fibre in dates will provide a feeling of fullness for a long time.
4. Folate: Folate or folic acid aids in the formation of new cells and prevents a form of anaemia. It helps in the prevention of dangerous birth defects, which may damage the brain and spinal cord of your new-born, like Spina bifida and Anencephaly.
5. Vitamin K: Vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting and keeping the bones strong. Babies are generally born with low levels of Vitamin K and thus the need for compensation during pregnancy. Deficiency of Vitamin K in infants can be hazardous since it affects the blood clotting and can lead to a life-threatening situation. It also aids in bone development of the baby.
6. Iron: Iron plays an important role in a number of metabolic processes. Along with globin molecules, iron helps in making oxygen reach all the cells of the body. It is particularly important during pregnancy because iron is an integral part of myoglobin, collagen and enzymes. It prevents anaemia in the child and makes immunity stronger.
7. Potassium: Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. It helps in maintaining the blood pressure. Potassium also helps in maintaining water balance during pregnancy. It helps in maintaining heart health, digestive tract and optimal muscle functioning. During pregnancy, consumption of adequate amount of potassium helps in your nerves and muscles function. A deficiency of potassium causes kidney problems and can also lead to death.
8. Magnesium: Magnesium helps in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across the cell membranes, which help in muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm. It helps in the formation of teeth and bones and also maintains blood sugar levels. Research suggests that inadequate intake of magnesium during pregnancy can lead to elevated blood pressure, liver and kidney abnormalities, poor vision, etc. A study from Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2011 suggests that dates can help in easy delivery since it causes cervical dilation and also reduces the duration of labor.
It is always essential to remember that anything you consume should be held in moderation. The same applies to dates, and you should only have a handful a day, not more.
Post by Renee, One to One midwife