It is important to make fruits a significant part of the pregnancy diet. Mango, the king of summer fruits, is a much-beloved fruit of many expecting mothers. As the mango season nears, many health forums flood with doubt about eating mangoes during pregnancy.
A long list of do’s and don’ts always accompanies a given pregnancy.
Most of the time majority of these suggestions will be about what to eat and what not to. You may not be able to touch many of your favorite food during pregnancy due to various reasons. However, mango is not one of them. Yet you have to take care of some factors while eating mangoes during pregnancy.
Eating Mangoes During Pregnancy- How Safe Are They?
There was a trend to avoid mango during pregnancy, it was believed that it is not safe. However, there was a health concern behind it. Earlier, a dangerous chemical called calcium carbide was used to treat unripe mangoes to ripen them artificially.
However, ever since 2016, the Indian FDA has barred this chemical from artificially ripening mangoes. Therefore, now, eating juicy farm-fresh mangoes during pregnancy is safe and even advantageous for the healthy development of the baby.
Mangoes are an excellent source of energy, antioxidants, and vital nutrients. However, when it comes to mangoes during pregnancy, like all other nutritious food, moderation is the key. Overindulgence can bring about certain side effects that could hamper the normal progression of the pregnancy.
The nutritional profile of mangoes
Mangoes are an excellent source of energy. They are also loaded with antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins, which are essential during pregnancy. The nutritional profile of mango goes as follows:
- Mangoes are a rich source of Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6
- This king of summer fruits is packed with flavonoids like alpha and beta carotene & beta-cryptoxanthin
- Mangoes also have a significant amount of potassium, folate, and copper
- It also contains iron
Health Benefits Of Eating Mangos During Pregnancy
The following are the health benefits of consuming mangoes during pregnancy.
1. Eating mangoes during pregnancy can prevent anemia
Mangoes aren’t the richest source of iron. 100 grams of mango contains only 0.22 mg of iron. But still, this fruit helps to boost the hemoglobin levels in the blood.
This so happens because mangoes are a rich source of Vitamin C which is very important for iron absorption. Vitamin C in mangoes could bring down the risk of preterm labor as well.
In India, pregnancy-related anemia is very common. Eating mangoes helps to meet the iron requirements during pregnancy and helps to beat/ prevent anemia.
2. Mangoes during first trimester can avert neural tube defects
Mango is an excellent source of folic acid. 100 grams of mango contains around 48 µg folate. Folic acid is very important for the development of the fetal brain and spinal cord. Its deficiency in the early weeks of pregnancy can bring about neural tube defects in babies.
Related Reading: 15 Fruits Not To Eat During Pregnancy
Mango also contains a significant amount of vitamin B6, another vitamin like folic acid, which is ideal for the development of the nervous system. Therefore eating mangoes during pregnancy first trimester helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the baby.
3. Aids in digestion
Mangoes are rich in fiber. 100 grams of mango contains 1.8 grams of fiber. This high fiber fruit not only helps you feel full for a longer time (helps to beat hunger pangs) but also aids in digestion.
Mangoes have laxative properties. Eating mangoes also facilitates bowel movements and hence help overcome constipation, a common annoying issue faced by a majority of expecting mothers.
4. Improve the fetal development
Mango fruit is loaded with vitamin A. 100 grams of mango contains 1061IU Vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a vital role in the formation of teeth and bone of a baby. It is also essential for eye development. Vitamin A also aids in the development of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Vitamin E in mangoes helps with fetal muscle development.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
Copper in mangoes also helps in the formation of the heart, skeletal system, and blood vessels of the unborn baby. Therefore, eating mangoes during pregnancy helps to boost the development of the fetus.
5. Eat mangoes to beat morning sickness during pregnancy
Mangoes contain a significant amount of vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial to prevent morning sickness. and nausea during pregnancy. Moreover, the fresh taste of this yummy fruit also helps to beat morning sickness.
Therefore, you can safely eat mangoes during the initial months of pregnancy when nausea and vomiting bother you.
6. Helps to prevent preeclampsia
Mangoes contain a reasonable amount of magnesium. Eating mangoes during pregnancy is one of the natural remedies for preeclampsia. Further vitamin E in mangoes also helps to prevent preeclampsia.
This can be counted as one of the important health benefits of mangoes during pregnancy.
7. Provides all the benefits of potassium
Mangoes contain potassium, and this mineral plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and heart rate during pregnancy. It also helps to relieve intolerable muscle cramps during pregnancy.
8. Helps to maintain electrolytic balance
The blood volume increases around 50% during pregnancy. Therefore, your body requires more minerals to maintain electrolytic balance. Electrolytic imbalance can create many serious issues during pregnancy. Swelling in hands and feet is one of them.
Related Reading: How To Stay Hydrated During Pregnancy?
Mangoes are rich in electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. Therefore, eating mangoes during pregnancy helps to maintain fluid balance. Fluid balance is important to ensure the mother’s nerves, heart, brain, and muscles are working as they should.
9. Mangoes are a healthy replacement for sweet cravings
Mangoes are a healthy alternative for sweets during pregnancy. Many mothers crave sweets during pregnancy. Eating mangoes is a safe option because besides satisfying the sweet tooth, this nutritious fruit also contributes to the healthy progression of pregnancy. Therefore choose mangoes over sweets that contain synthetic sugars and preservatives.
10. Provide benefits of copper and calcium
Mangoes provide all the health benefits of copper and calcium. Eating mangoes helps to maintain the bone health of the mother. It is important to increase the intake of calcium during pregnancy because otherwise, it will adversely affect the bone density of the mother.
What Are The Potential Risk Of Eating Mango During Pregnancy?
Even though eating mango in pregnancy benefits the mother and child in many ways, overindulgence can bring about many potential side effects. Some of the potential risks of overeating mango during pregnancy are:
1. Can bring about loose motions
Mangoes are loaded with fiber and are well known for their laxative property. If it exceeds the moderation mark, eating mangoes could trigger diarrhea.
Diarrhea during pregnancy is dangerous. Diarrhea increases the risk of dehydration which in turn can bring about many issues that get in the way of the healthy progression of pregnancy.
2. Can cause excessive weight gain –pregnant or not
Mangoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates. It is always best to eat any food item in moderation to reap its benefits.
Related Reading: Household Work During Pregnancy – What Do And What To Avoid
Eating mango in pregnancy 3rd trimester contributes to increasing pregnancy weight. It also may increase the risk of delivering an overweight baby.
3. Increased risk of gestational diabetes
The sugar level in mango is very high, and this sugar contributes to the majority of the calories in mango. Therefore this summer fruit has the potential to raise blood sugar.
Therefore eating mango during pregnancy is not recommended for mothers who are experiencing gestational diabetes. However, if you can’t resist the craving, eating one or two pieces may not harm the pregnancy.
4. Allergic reactions
Mango allergy is rare but not unheard of. As a pregnant woman’s immunity is compromised, she is prone to allergies that she has never experienced earlier. More often, rather than the flesh, it is the skin of the mango that triggers the allergic reaction.
The signs of mango allergy include breathing issues, itchy eyes and mouth, swelling of eyelids and mouth. If you experience any kind of allergic signs after eating mangoes during pregnancy, never eat this fruit.
Mangoes are loaded with fiber and help with digestion. However, you can reap this benefit if you restrict the intake to moderation. Over-eating mangoes during pregnancy can lead to gases and discomforts associated with it.
6. Reactions from artificially ripened mangoes
Even though artificial ripening of mangoes with chemicals is banned in India, you can’t be 100 percent sure this law is followed. We have to doubt the purity of the ripe mangoes that are available on the market before the season starts.
Artificially ripened mangoes can potentially affect the health of the mother and unborn child. The most common ripening agent is calcium carbide. This chemical agent exposes the mother and unborn child to the ill-effects of arsenic and phosphorus.
Eating artificially ripened mangoes during pregnancy increase the intensity of mood swings and could bring about sleeplessness, dizziness, severe headaches, etc. during pregnancy.
Tips To Eat Mango During Pregnancy
- Wash the mangoes thoroughly to remove the chemicals lingering in the skin
- Always eat high-calorie fruits like mangoes at breakfast, rather than before going to bed
- Try to choose organic mangoes to avoid the risk of chemical contamination
- Peel the skin and eat only the fleshy part
- Another convenient tip is to buy raw mangoes from the farmers and ripen them at your home. This way, you can 100 % sure that that they are free of calcium carbide
Raw mango craving in pregnancy
One of the myths about raw mango during pregnancy is connected to gender prediction. However, there is no scientific base for craving raw mango during pregnancy boy or girl.
The raw mango is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Eating unripe mango in the first-trimester helps to reduce the intensity of nausea and morning sickness. it also helps to fight off acidity and improve immunity
Unripe mango also carries all the health benefits of ripe mango. However, it is always wise to reduce the intake of raw mango in pickle form as it is high in salt and oil.
Mangoes can potentially increase the core body heat. Increased body heat during pregnancy can trigger bleeding. Therefore, excessive intake of mangoes during the first trimester of pregnancy can trigger miscarriage.
Excessive mango consumption during pregnancy is not good as this fruit is immensely loaded with sugar. Even in its natural form, excessive intake of sugar can create unwanted consequences like gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Mangoes are high in calories and therefore a great source of energy. Pregnancy is a time mother is in need of lots of energy. However, they used to feel low energy during the first trimester due to morning sickness and during the last trimester due to maxing out of physical issues.
Eating one mango per day is the safest option during pregnancy. Also, this will boost your energy considerably.
It is fine to drink mango shake during pregnancy. However, never overlook the fact that mangoes are loaded with sugar. Also, one mango per day is a healthy way of consuming. Keep this in mind while preparing juice. Half a cup of mango shake per day will not impede the healthy progression of pregnancy.