When pregnant, it is of the utmost importance to pay attention to the food you eat. Your dietary habits could make all the difference in the world. During this time, it is difficult to decide what to eat and what not to eat. So, if you are wondering if it is safe to eat apricot during pregnancy, you have come to the right place.
Your pregnancy diet should include all the necessary nutrients you and your baby need, in sufficient amounts. Thus, it is important to consume foods that have real nutritional value. Is apricot such a fruit? Is it safe to eat them? Are there any risks? How should you include it in your pregnancy diet?
This article shed some light on these questions and many more regarding eating apricot during pregnancy.
What Are Apricots?
Before we focus on apricots during pregnancy, let us first learn what exactly an apricot is, generally.
Apricots are small, yellow fruits that belong to the Rosaceae family (along with peaches, plums, cherries, and more). They are stone fruits because they have a “stone” or pit in the middle. They have a sweet but tangy taste, which makes them appealing for pregnant women with cravings. They belong to a category of ‘drupe fruits’ which can be eaten both fresh and dried.
They are incredibly nutritious. Apricots are chock-full of vitamins A, C, and E. Apricots are rich in polyphenols, a class of carotenoids with well-defined health benefits, including liver and heart protection. It is well known for its antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good addition to your list of pregnancy superfoods. Microelements like zinc, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium are abundant in apricots1.
Is It Safe To Eat Apricots During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to have apricots during pregnancy.
Although there are some general precautions (like washing it thoroughly) that you have to follow, and a few potential side effects, the nutrients provided by apricots can provide you with many amazing health benefits. You should also practice some moderation.
It is safe for you to have around 1 to 2 apricot kernels during pregnancy each day.
Related Reading: Eating Cherries During Pregnancy- Benefits, Risks And Precautions
Health Benefits Of Having Apricots During Pregnancy
When having apricot during pregnancy there are many things you need to take into account. As with any food, you need to read up on it and decide for yourself if it is the right choice for you. But first and foremost, it is important to research the many benefits of consuming apricots. The following list will make this easier for you. Here are just a few of the perks of having apricots during pregnancy:
1. Good for eyes
Apricots are a rich source of many vitamins, including vitamin A. Vitamin A has many benefits such as cell growth and even helps to boost immunity during pregnancy. It is also known to be good for eye health. Additionally, apricots contain beta-carotene which gets converted into vitamin A2.
During pregnancy many mothers experience vision problems. It also helps with the development of the baby’s vision. As such, having apricot during pregnancy is greatly beneficial for both you and your baby.
2. Apricots during pregnancy combat constipation
Amidst all the various digestive issues pregnant women are prone to face, constipation is one of the biggest. It also has the potential to be dangerous if allowed to prolong. Hence, it is important to have food that will mitigate the problem.
Apricots do just that, whether fresh or dried. They are full of fiber, which is essential for proper digestion. Including apricots in your pregnancy diet can serve as both prevention and cure to digestive problems such as constipation and bloating, ensuring smooth digestion3.
3. Maintain blood pressure
When pregnant, blood pressure often poses the biggest issue to women. Whether it’s too high, or too low, it’s bound to cause problems. So, it should be a priority to maintain healthy blood pressure.
One of the minerals that will help in this is potassium, which not only maintains blood pressure but also helps prevent kidney stones. Apricots are rich sources of potassium, and therefore, will be very helpful in keeping your blood pressure healthy4.
4. Apricots aid in development of baby
Having apricot during pregnancy can help your baby’s overall growth and development in multiple ways.
As mentioned above, it is full of vitamin A, which is very important for embryonic growth. It will help in the development of the baby’s heart, lungs, central nervous system, kidneys, bones, eyes, and more. It also contains folic acid, which is very helpful in preventing dangerous congenital defects and disabilities, like spina bifida.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
5. Maintain blood sugar
Like blood pressure, your blood sugar levels are also something you need to keep careful control over. Apricots can help you with this.
Apricots help control and maintain blood sugar at a healthy level. It helps prevent the complications that arise from having an unbalanced blood sugar level, such as gestational diabetes, which is one of the most common complications faced by pregnant women5.
6. Apricots during pregnancy can boost energy levels
Are you pregnant and feeling low? Do you constantly feel exhausted and listless? You are far from alone. Pregnancy can be very difficult to deal with, especially if you are having a complicated one. And even if you are not, pregnancy takes a lot out of you, and growing a human being requires a lot more energy than you can imagine.
Having apricots can help with that. The many nutrients in apricots can provide will give you the energy boost you need to make it through the day.
Related Reading: 12 Simple Ways to Prevent Pregnancy Nausea
7. Combat anemia
Anemia during pregnancy is a fairly common complaint, but it can be dealt with if you are mindful of your diet. Iron and copper are minerals that can help your body increase hemoglobin, which in turn prevents and/or treats anemia. Apricots are a rich source of these nutrients6.
8. Good for skin
In addition to vitamins A, C, and E, apricots contain antioxidants and beta-carotene. Vitamin C neutralizes and protects the skin against free radicals, which are a major cause of skin damage. These antioxidants are great for your skin and can offer protection against sunburn and UV damage. Additionally, having a high-water content, apricots can help in the hydration of your skin. Additionally, the vitamins in apricots enhance the strength, elasticity, and radiance of your skin. All of these are highly beneficial for preventing skin issues during pregnancy such as pigmentation and dryness7.
Thus, having apricot during pregnancy can give your skin that extra glow, and protect it from various threats.
Can You Eat Dried Apricots During Pregnancy?
Yes, just like fresh apricots, it is perfectly safe to have dry apricots during pregnancy. Dried apricot is nothing more than the dehydrated version of fresh apricots, and there is not much of a change in its nutritional value. It is an excellent source of important nutrients like vitamins, iron, potassium, and more. So, it can be beneficial to add dried apricots to your pregnancy diet.
Here are some of the benefits of having dry apricot during pregnancy.
- They are a rich source of potassium, which will help you heal and prevent one of the most common infections during pregnancy: swelling
- They can help treat heartburn
- Pregnancy brings with it a whole host of cravings, often for sweet foods. The natural sugar and glucose in dried apricot can help abate this
- Like fresh apricots, dried apricots are good for your digestion and can help treat digestive issues you are facing
- They are a rich source of calcium which is instrumental for the baby’s healthy bone development. It also helps you keep your bone strength
Related Reading: Plums During Pregnancy- Are They Safe?
Risks And Side-Effects Of Having Apricots While Pregnant
Despite the many health benefits of apricots mentioned above, there are also a few potential risks you must watch out for. After all, you cannot be too careful during this delicate time. It is important to thoroughly research your diet and ensure it is safe for you.
So, here are the risks and possible side-effects you need to keep in mind when having apricot during pregnancy.
- Try to avoid having apricots that are unripe or immature. They can sometimes cause stomach discomfort or issues relating to digestion
- Apricots can cause allergic reactions. They contain sulfur dioxide. So, if you have an allergy relating to it, or sulfur sensitivity, you should avoid eating apricots, as an allergic reaction can cause complications
- The top of this fruit contains a substance called amygdalin. Amygdalin is a chemical that can cause damage to your system and your baby. Hence, you should remove the apricot’s tip before eating it
Incorporating Apricots In Your Pregnancy Diet
If you have decided to include apricots in your pregnancy diet but are asking yourself the question “how to eat apricot during pregnancy”, you have come to the right place. There are plenty of ways you can incorporate apricots into your menu.
As mentioned above, it is perfectly safe to eat both fresh and dried apricots. You do not even need to cook it! You can slice it into small pieces (after deseeding it) and add it as toppings to your cereal, porridge, or oats. You can also have it in the form of condiments, like apricot jam during pregnancy.
If it’s the middle of summer and you are starting to feel the heat, you can have some nice cool apricot juice during pregnancy. If you want it to be more refreshing, add some ice and milk in order to make a delicious and refreshing smoothie.
In conclusion, generally speaking, there is no problem with treating yourself to apricot during pregnancy. Apricots are incredibly nutritious and can provide you with a variety of incredible benefits that can both maintain your health, and boost your baby’s development.
However, it is important to also remember that there are some possible side effects. It is important to make sure it is safe for you (ensure you are not allergic to it) and also follow precautions, such as washing it and removing the seed.
But overall, apricots are one of the safer pregnancy foods, all things considered, and they can be a welcome addition to your diet.