There is nothing more beautiful than being pregnant. Yet, it comes at the expense of nine months of unimaginable hardships, including food cravings, mood swings, and hearing never-ending advice even from strangers. One of the most common pieces of advice is to eat fruits regularly. However, there are many fruits that you can and cannot eat while pregnant. The bright-red, summer fruit, watermelon, during pregnancy is safe, thankfully.
Watermelon is a summer fruit that is rich in minerals and certain vitamins. It also has high fiber content. Not only the fruit, but the seeds of this fruit are also crunchy and wholly edible. Find out the health benefits and certain risks and precautions to follow while having watermelon during pregnancy.
Is Watermelon Safe During Pregnancy?
Watermelons are safe to consume during a normal, healthy pregnancy. Watermelon has numerous health benefits. It’s loaded with water, vitamins, and other nutrients. Thus, when consumed in moderation, watermelons are not only safe but also beneficial to a pregnant woman and her developing fetus. However, as with anything, it should be consumed in moderation.
Nutritional Profile Of Watermelon
92% of watermelon, as the name implies, is water. Moreover, this summer fruit is high in essential nutrients such as vitamin A, C, B6, and minerals like magnesium, and potassium. According to the source, one cup of sliced watermelon contains,
- 12 grams of carbs
- 12.3 mg of Vitamin C
- 4.56 µg folate
- 42.6 µg Vitamin A
- 461 µg beta-carotene
- 6890 µg Lycopene
- 170 mg of Potassium
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Watermelon also has a high mineral content, including phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. This summer fruit also contains traces of zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and fluoride.
Benefits Of Eating Watermelon During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, drinking watermelon juice first thing in the morning helps you feel refreshed and energized as well as providing relief from morning sickness making it one of the essentials to combat morning sickness during pregnancy. There is, however, much more to watermelon during pregnancy.
Incorporate watermelon into your pregnancy diet for these 7 unexpected benefits.
1. Helps to reduce edema
Pregnant women are likely to experience edema (slight swelling of the feet and hands). The high potassium content of watermelon and its 92 percent water content make it diuretic. It also contains citrulline, an amino acid.
Known for its relaxing effects on blood vessels, this amino acid can potentially inhibit fluids from leaking into surrounding tissues. It is therefore beneficial to eat watermelon while pregnant to prevent/reduce edema.
Related Reading: 15 Home Remedies For Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
2. Watermelon during pregnancy eases heartburn
During pregnancy, the body is subjected to significant hormonal changes. As a result of these changes, many women experience discomforts like acidity and heartburn throughout pregnancy. Besides having cooling properties, watermelon can also soothe the digestive system.
Acid reflux and heartburn during pregnancy are typically relieved almost immediately by watermelon – and many expecting mothers claim it provides long-lasting relief. Therefore, if you’re suffering from digestive discomfort during pregnancy, you should go for these delicious watermelons.
3. Helps to combat dehydration and cure UTI
Dehydration during pregnancy is very common, and thus to avoid dehydration, all pregnant women should drink plenty of water. Premature contractions and birth can occur as a result of dehydration. Watermelon contains more than 90% water, so eating it is a delicious way to stay hydrated.
This juicy fruit has antibacterial properties as well. In this way, watermelon aids in the flushing of stagnant bacteria from the urinary tract, lowering the risk of urinary tract infection. According to studies, UTI is very common in pregnant women and, if left untreated, is associated with adverse maternal, fetal, and neonatal outcomes.
4. Helps with fetal bone development
Watermelon also has a high calcium and potassium content. These minerals are directly related to your unborn baby’s proper bone development.
5. Helps to reduce pregnancy complications and boost immunity
Lycopene is a plant chemical from the carotenoid family. Watermelon contains lycopene, which gives it its red color. Lycopene also has a strong antioxidant property. Research suggests a link between lycopene and reducing the chances of some pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, growth restriction, and newborn breathing problems.
In a pregnant woman’s body, her immune system fights off illnesses and infections not only for her but also for the growing baby. This may impact her immunity levels. The powerful antioxidant property of lycopene in watermelons helps boost immunity levels.
6. Helps in reducing muscle cramps
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes a slew of changes. Muscle cramps are one of the common issues during pregnancy that is triggered by excess weight and hormonal changes. Watermelon is high in minerals like potassium, which could help to alleviate or prevent muscle cramps during pregnancy. Watermelon, in any form, helps to reduce the muscle cramps that occur during pregnancy.
7. Helps to detox the body and enhances skin health
This fruit is diuretic, which means it eliminates toxins from the body and reduces uric acid levels. Thus, watermelons can keep the liver and kidneys healthy throughout pregnancy.
Additionally, detoxifying helps make skin more resistant to ultraviolet rays. It is common for the skin to look patchy and dull during pregnancy because of the hormonal fluctuation taking place in the body. Watermelons, by flushing out the toxins, may contribute to pigment-free & glowing skin during pregnancy.
Incredible Benefits of Watermelon Seeds During Pregnancy
Besides the fruit, watermelon seeds also have some incredibly healthy properties. Watermelon seeds have a high nutritive value while having a low-calorie count. Their crunchy texture and high nutritive value make them perfect for snacking on Watermelon seeds and can also be incorporated into many different dishes to enhance their nutritional value.
Following are 5 amazing benefits of watermelon seeds in pregnancy.
1. Filled with essential minerals that boost healthy fetal growth
Watermelon seeds are loaded with essential minerals such as potassium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. It is difficult to obtain all of these minerals from one source. These minerals are crucial for healthy fetal development.
This makes it an excellent reason for the expecting mother to incorporate these seeds into her pregnancy diet. The seeds of watermelons contain potassium, which plays an important role in the development of teeth and bones in fetuses.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
2. Watermelon seeds are excellent immunity boosters
Vitamin C is abundant in watermelon seeds. This helps to boost not only your but your unborn baby’s immunity as well. Eating watermelon seeds protects expectant mothers who are prone to allergies and infection.
3. Makes a cheaper and healthier snack
Your baby grows in size as the pregnancy advances. The nutritional needs of the developing fetus necessitate frequent snacking as the pregnancy progresses. Throughout your pregnancy, you can reap the benefits of watermelon seeds.
Lightly roasted watermelon seeds are a healthy snacking option. It is a less expensive and healthier alternative to other processed snacks such as chips and munchies. Even if you eat a fistful of roasted watermelon seeds, you will feel satisfied and happy as you are free from the guilt of consuming unhealthy calories.
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4. Boosts metabolism
Watermelon seeds are high in nutrients such as folate, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and potassium. These seeds are considered to be extremely nutritious due to their high content of amino acids, proteins, and vitamin B complex. All of these nutrients work together to boost your body’s metabolism, which is especially important during pregnancy.
5. Contains vitamins that are beneficial to the unborn baby
Watermelon seeds are high in B vitamins and folate. These nutrients contribute to the overall development of the fetus, says a study.
How to Incorporate Watermelon Seeds in Pregnancy Diet?
You can enjoy watermelon seeds in a few different ways during pregnancy:
- You can add powdered watermelon seeds for a mineral boost to smoothies and teas. These preparations de-stress your body during pregnancy and help detoxify it
- You can sprinkle watermelon seeds over salads to boost the flavor. Being nutrient-dense, besides making the salad taste better, watermelon seeds makes it more nutritious as well
- You can roast watermelon seeds in a microwave or on a Tawa. In addition to strengthening the flavor, roasting makes the seeds crunchy and tasty
Risks And Precautions When Eating Watermelon During Pregnancy
Despite its many benefits, women with certain underlying health issues should avoid watermelon during pregnancy. It is also important to be aware of some risks and precautions to take when adding this summer fruit to your pregnancy diet.
- This fruit has a moderate carbohydrate content but a very low fiber content. This combination may contribute to an increase in blood sugar levels. As a result, women with pre-existing diabetes or who are experiencing gestational diabetes should avoid eating large portions of watermelon
- Watermelon is well known for its detoxification and diuretic properties. This fruit can effectively flush toxins from the body. If taken in excess, some essential nutrients will also lush out during the detoxification property. This is not a viable option during pregnancy
- Consuming a watermelon that has been left out in the open for an extended period can cause nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal problems
Related Reading: 10 Health Benefits And 4 Risks Of Eating Banana During Pregnancy
One of the most serious risks of eating watermelon while pregnant is an increased risk of contracting listeria. If the fruit is not handled properly or has been left out for an extended period, it is very easy to contract listeriosis. Listeria has the potential to cause pregnancy complications.
You should thoroughly wash a watermelon before slicing. Also, refrigerate the unused watermelon properly as soon as possible. Here are some precautions to take when eating watermelon during pregnancy:
• Whole watermelons are preferred over pre-cut ones
• After you properly wash the fruit, you may cut the fruit with a clean knife
• Scrub the fruit with a fruit brush before cutting it to get rid of any dirt
• Freshly cut watermelons are the best. This fruit spoils easily
• To avoid contracting food poisoning, pregnant women should avoid eating watermelon that has been sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours
• Eating watermelon that sits at room temperature for too long may cause nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal problems in pregnant women
Ways To Include Watermelon During Pregnancy
It’s fine to eat watermelon slices, but it’s not the only option. Here are some other ways you can enjoy watermelon during pregnancy:
Juice: Blending watermelon flesh (after removing the seeds) with mint leaves and ginger will enhance the taste and appeal of the juice. It may need to be filtered if you prefer water consistency.
Soup: Using fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, basil and garlic, you can make a refreshing chilled watermelon soup.
Grill it: Slice the watermelon and grill it for two minutes. You can top with honey, lime zest, garlic chili sauce, and coriander leaves.
Salad: Add cubes of watermelon to salads to make them tastier.
Related Reading: 9 Common Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of
It is believed that pregnant women may need more vitamin C, which is found in fruit, which may explain their craving for watermelon and other fruits. Although there is not enough research to support this belief, it is still one of the leading theories. However, if you go ahead with keeping all the points mentioned in this article. Nevertheless, if you crave watermelon during pregnancy, you can take the advice given in this article.
Yes, consuming excessive amounts of cold watermelon can have serious side effects on pregnant women. Side effects include stomach pain and diarrhea.
Before going to bed, it’s best not to eat watermelons. This summer fruit is slightly acidic. Thus, it may slow down digestion at night when the body is not active.
The best time to eat watermelon is around noon or 1 pm when digestion is at its peak.
No official upper limit exists on watermelon consumption. As a general rule, if you do not eat other fruits, try to limit your daily intake to 2 cups (300 grams) during pregnancy.
You can safely consume one cup of freshly cubed watermelon if you consume other fruits as well.
It is believed that a woman who craves watermelons during pregnancy will have a baby girl. This belief has no scientific backing and is simply a myth.
You cannot tell the sex of your unborn baby without an ultrasound, even though guessing can be fun.
Morning sickness is common in pregnant women. Because watermelon has 92% water content, it may help alleviate morning sickness.
Eating watermelon also aids in hydrating when vomiting or the nausea is too excruciating to consume much liquid.