Known as a nutritional powerhouse, Chinese gooseberry or kiwi is a fruit loaded with vitamins and minerals. So, can an expecting woman relish kiwis during diverse stages of her pregnancy? If you are craving kiwis to satisfy your sweet tooth, here’s everything you need to know about kiwi for pregnancy:
Kiwis: an overview
Kiwi is a delicious fruit that has a fuzzy, fibrous, thin, and light brown colored skin. Its flesh is golden or light green and it has rows of black seeds which are edible. The soft texture of the fruit along with its sweet, unique flavor make it a perfect tropical fruit to savor. It has an acidic taste and people have it cooked or raw.
Native to Eastern and Central China, kiwifruits are now available everywhere. As far as kiwi nutrition is concerned, it is a fantastic source of fiber, lutein, choline, vitamin C, etc. It has 17 minerals and vitamins. So, anyone who likes eating kiwis gets better sleep, radiant and elastic skin, and less chances of having high BP and heart ailments. But how effective is kiwi for pregnancy? Let’s find out!
Is it safe to include kiwi in your pregnancy diet?
When you are pregnant, you must be vigilant of every food you eat. That’s because several foods that are otherwise safe can have adverse effects on the health and development of the fetus. Luckily, kiwi is among the Vitamin C rich fruits for pregnancy that has a range of health benefits. It is not just safe but recommended by doctors as kiwi contains folate, calcium, and other vital minerals.
The only exception is that your body may have some reactions if you have developed a kiwi allergy. Keep reading to know about the allergy symptoms in detail.
Advantages of kiwi for pregnancy during first, second, and third trimester of pregnancy
To help you understand the kiwi fruit benefits during pregnancy, we will explain in detail how it can be beneficial during each trimester.
- Folic acid: According to nutritionists, one average kiwi has 17 mcg of folate, thus making this fruit an incredible source of folate. And to reduce the chances of having folate-deficient anemia during pregnancy, providing enough folate to your body is crucial. Folate also prevents various neural tube defects in the baby and as these defects happen during the initial 4-6 weeks of pregnancy, having folate-rich foods is a must during your first trimester.
A doctor’s advice:
The food that you eat may not meet your body’s daily requirement of folate which is 400 mcg. So, the U.S. Center for Diseases and Prevention urges expecting moms to have a folic acid supplement every day.
- Calcium: Very few people know that there is a link between fetal development and kiwi. Your baby requires sufficient calcium to have strong muscles, bones, teeth, and heart. As 23.5 mg of calcium is there in one kiwi, this fruit will provide you with calcium which is crucial for your baby’s growth.
For lactose intolerant people, it becomes challenging to have enough calcium. So, they can rely on non-dairy alternatives that have calcium and kiwi is one of them.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for a pregnant lady as it facilitates iron absorption. If your body cannot absorb iron properly, you and your baby will suffer from health issues. You need this vitamin more than your baby to prevent anemia.
Once you have conceived, you may suffer from digestive issues and constipation. This happens due to the sudden changes in your hormonal levels that slow down the process of digestion. Every kiwi has nearly 2.07 grams of dietary fiber. So, this fruit can prevent constipation if you have irregular bowel movements.
As you enter your second trimester, you will need adequate amounts of zinc, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, and vitamin A. Eating a kiwi daily will boost your system will all these nutrients. 2.76 mcg of Vitamin A is present in a medium-sized kiwi and its zinc content is 0.097 mg.
Gestational diabetes is not uncommon during the third trimester. The glycemic index in kiwis is lower than several other fruits. The glucose content in 100 gm of this fruit is only 1 teaspoon. This means your blood sugar levels won’t increase if you eat kiwis. And as the fruit is sweet, it will help you resist the temptation of ordering sugary drinks or desserts.
The amount of vitamin K in one kiwifruit is 27.8 mcg. This vitamin can promote healing and it plays a key role in clotting blood. So, as your deliver date approaches, make sure you have fruits that are good sources of vitamin K.
How to consume kiwi fruit?
Kiwi is a juicy and tasty tropical fruit that should be a part of your pregnancy diet. But are you bored of having it regularly? Then have a look at these pregnancy diet recommendations to enjoy having kiwi:
- You can prepare a homemade nutritious jam with kiwi fruit extracts.
- The simplest way of eating kiwi is by chopping it in small pieces and adding it to your regular salad.
- Kiwi toppings in Greek yogurt or custard can enhance the taste of a boring dish.
- Kiwi smoothies are extremely healthy and easy to make.
- If you aren’t a fan of smoothies and jams, you can eat your grilled fish or chicken with a sauce made of kiwi puree.
- As you should not eat too many ice creams when pregnant, you can keep kiwi popsicles in your fridge. To make popsicles, you simply have to freeze the pulp in popsicle molds.
You will find many other unique recipes using kiwi on YouTube.
How many kiwis should you eat daily?
Over-intake of any food can have adverse effects on your health. Hence, to reap the kiwi fruit benefits during pregnancy, you can have one kiwi per day. Avoid having unripe kiwi and eat the fruit when it’s ripe. You should also have it in moderation for the best results.
Are there any side effects of eating kiwi during pregnancy?
Some people can be allergic to kiwi and they may develop the following symptoms after eating it in excessive amounts:
- Hives, rashes, latex allergies, and asthma
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Rashes and sores in the tongue or mouth
Whatever the symptoms – there is no reason to panic as they will disappear once you stop eating kiwi. If you are still worried, report the issues to your doctor to keep complications at bay.
Point to remember:
Studies have revealed that women who are allergic to wheat, figs, poppy seeds, and hazelnuts have a tendency to be allergic to kiwis as well. You should stay away from kiwis if you have a history of allergy after having birch pollen food.
So, from aiding digestion to regulating your blood sugar – eating kiwi fruit during pregnancy has many advantages. It is one such fruit that you should feed your family members as well. But if you notice any allergic reaction after having kiwi, stop eating it and consult your healthcare provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are kiwis safe to eat during pregnancy?
Kiwi is one of the safe fruits in pregnancy as kiwi is packed with various nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. So, you should incorporate kiwi in your diet to have a blissful pregnancy and a less-stressful delivery.
Q. What are the nutritional benefits of kiwi for pregnant women?
Kiwi is a tart and sweet fruit that should form a part of your healthy breakfast. High in dietary fiber and vitamin C, doctors recommend it for its nutritional value. Additionally, it is a rich source of multiple antioxidants that decrease oxidative stress.
We don’t use any tertiary reference but rely only on studies conducted by medical associations and research institutions.