Pregnancy is a time of strange food cravings. One day you want to indulge in comfort, but unhealthy foods like burgers and pizzas, the other day, you wish to go the healthy route. Besides, you also get tons of advice daily on what you should be eating and what you must avoid. One of the fruits that’s a subject of confusion is dates. So is it safe to eat dates during pregnancy? We’ll find out that and more in the article below!
Dates, popularly known as khajur or khajoor in India, Rutab in Arabic and Datil is Spanish, have been cultivated for over thousands of years, making it one of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world. The benefits of this fruit is well documented in Islam, especially for its benefits during pregnancy.
Benefits Of Eating Dates During Pregnancy:
Dates contain plenty of vital nutrients to support the growth of your baby and boost your health, making them a beneficial addition to your pregnancy diet. Let’s have a look at the benefits of eating dates during pregnancy below.
Prevents Constipation And Anemia During The First Trimester:
Eating dates in the first trimester of pregnancy can prevent pregnancy complications like hemorrhoids and constipation, due to the high levels of fiber in it. As per a study published in the issue of “American Journal of Hypertension,” a high fiber diet also reduces the risk of preeclampsia. So eating dates is a must in the first trimester of pregnancy. And it will even help maintain a healthy weight.
Iron present in dates will maintain hemoglobin levels in the body, thereby preventing anemia. It will also help the oxygen reach all parts of your body and cell, including the fetus.
Provides Sufficient Amount Of Calories:
During pregnancy, women are advised to eat extra 300 calories every day. This helps to support the pregnancy. So instead of binging on high in calories and low in nutrient fruits, you can choose dates. One mejdool date contains around 66 calories. So just consume a couple of it, and you’re good to go. Dates will not just help you meet your daily caloric needs, but will also provide you with sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Dates Is A Nutrient Dense Food:
Dates is nutrient dense food, making it beneficial for women in general, not just pregnancy women. The high levels of potassium in dates will maintain the electrolyte balance in the body, which is caused due to the expansion of blood volume during pregnancy. Folate in dates will prevent the possibilities of spina bifida. Calcium, on the other hand, will support your fetal’s growth. You’ll also get a generous supply of vitamin B-6, folate, niacin, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.
Even Sugars In Dates Can Help Pregnant Women:
Fructose, the natural sugar present in dates will keep you energized while preventing a spike in the blood sugar levels.
A study conducted in Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that pregnant women who consume dates regularly are less likely to need medication to start or progress a labor (1). They even labored for less than 7 hours. That happens because dates contain a compound that imitates oxytocin, a hormone that causes contraction. This compound stimulates the uterine contraction and reduces hemorrhage associated with postpartum. And it also stimulates contractions of the muscles of the uterus, thereby easing labor.
High Levels Of Protein:
The high levels of protein in dates will help the body build amino acids, which are the building blocks. They even aid in the development of the baby. So you must eat dates during pregnancy.
It’s a known fact that babies are often born with low levels of vitamin K. If you keep eating dates regularly in the first and second semester of your pregnancy, you can avert this condition. It will prevent clotting of the blood as well.
How To Eat Dates During Pregnancy?
There are several ways to enjoy this luscious fruit. You can mix the dates with yogurt, smoothie, couscous or salad. Alternatively, you can make a date syrup to drizzle on your oats, ice cream, and pancakes.
Purchasing And Storage Of Dates During Pregnancy:
The Colorado State University Extension Program says that you should check the quality and expiry period of the dates before consuming. Organic dates would be your best option.
One thing you need to remember is that pregnant woman can eat extra 300 calories a day. Since dates are high in calories, do not go overboard with it. Overeating dates can lead to the following side effects:
- A rise in blood glucose levels
- An increase in the gestational weight
- The possibility of developing gestational diabetes and
- Tooth decay if you do not clean your teeth after eating
While it’s safe to eat dates during pregnancy, we’d still suggest you consult your doctor before including anything in your diet. What did your doctor tell you about eating dates in pregnancy? Tell us by commenting below!