Dry Fruits During Pregnancy

It is always a good idea to look out for your dietary choices during pregnancy. Some foods are good for both you and baby, other foods may be questionable. Dry fruits during pregnancy offer fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep your bowels moving and nourish your growing baby, but precautions need to be taken.

Can You Eat Dry Fruits During Pregnancy?

Yes! Dry fruits during pregnancy are full of nutrients that will be beneficial and even help relieve some uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Dried fruits are a healthy snack, delicious on a bowl of cereal, mixed into yogurt, or tossed onto your salad.  Here are some of the nutrients you will find in dry fruits:

Fiber

Constipation is one of the biggest pregnancy discomforts. This is because the hormones of pregnancy slow your bowel movement down so that your baby gets the most nutrients out of what you eat. On top of hormones, add the iron you get from your prenatal vitamins. If you are not eating enough fiber, you may not be able to go as often as before you were pregnant.Eating dry fruits during pregnancy can help you get needed fiber daily.

Iron

You will need around 27mg of iron daily during pregnancy. Your body needs iron to produce more blood volume and also helps make extra hemoglobin for your baby. You will be responsible for building up your baby’s iron stores and most importantly, the iron in your blood will help the baby receive plenty of oxygen from your lungs.

Vitamin A

There is a very high level of vitamin A in dried apricots. This comes from large amounts of beta-carotene that your body converts to vitamin A. This is a necessary nutrient to help your body use red blood cells, develop your baby’s vision, and keep your immune system healthy.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is important in the right amounts during pregnancy to help with baby’s cell and lung development. It may also help you keep your blood sugar level under control and prevent your baby from developing asthma. Vitamin E also helps you absorb vitamin A better.

Other Benefits

  • They are very easy to digest due to natural sugars.
  • Quick energy that helps feed the muscles.
  • Studies showed that mothers who ate dry fruits during pregnancy had babies with less asthma and wheezing issues.
  • Low on the “glycemic index” meaning they are less likely to raise your blood sugar high and quickly.

Precautions for Eating Dried Fruits During Pregnancy

There are a few precautions to eating dry fruits during pregnancy including:

1)      May contain trace amounts of acrylamide, a toxin. Food forms this chemical when heated for long periods of time. It can be a carcinogen and affect the nervous system and fertility. Look for “sundried” fruits that are not processed inside a plant.

2)      High sugar content with added sugars. Nature doesn’t always make things as sweet as we would like, so companies often add much sugar to dried fruits to improve taste.

3)      They are an energy dense, but calorie packed food. During the drying process not only do the vitamins get denser, so do the calories. Limit yourself to small portions to prevent eating too many calories.

4)      Some may contain “sulfur dioxide.” This is a chemical that is known to cause allergic reactions and/or asthma attacks. This preservative makes dried fruit look pretty, but can be dangerous to those sensitive to it. Make sure you buy “all-natural” dried fruit with the fruit listed as the only ingredient and no additives.

Quick Note: Making dry fruits at home can ensure you are getting a healthier version. You can avoid preservatives, extra sugar, and chemicals to make it pretty. It will look browner than store bought versions, but taste just as good. Buy yourself a dehydrator and give it a try!

Recommended Dry Fruits and Nuts During Pregnancy

Dry Fruit

Nutrient

Calories

How It Helps

Dried Apricots

Fiber, vitamin A, Copper, Vitamin E

381 Calories/1 cup

The fiber helps to prevent constipation. Vitamin A builds up your immune system and helps you process red blood cells. The copper helps your organs and muscles function at their best. Vitamin E may help lower the risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure at the end of pregnancy.

Dried Apples

Fiber, Potassium

209 Calories/1 cup

Apples are high in fiber to help promote healthy bowel function. They are also high in potassium when dried which helps with healthy muscle function and blood pressure control.

Dried Bananas

Magnesium, vitamin B6,

vitamin C

147 Calories/1 oz.

Magnesium can help baby’s bones, nerves, and muscles grow and develop. A little magnesium in the diet is a natural laxative and promotes healthy bowel movements. Bananas can also help promote a healthy blood pressure. Vitamin B6 helps keep cholesterol levels in healthy range. Vitamin C helps with baby’s brain development and promotes a healthy immune system.

Dried Dates

Iron, Fiber, Calcium

277 Calories/3.5 oz.

The high amount of iron in dates helps to prevent anemia. Rich in fiber, they help prevent constipation. They are also high in calcium which can help build strong bones, teeth and a healthy nervous system in baby. Calcium can also help prevent pre-eclampsia and hypertension during pregnancy.

Dried Pears

Copper, Vitamin C, Iron, and Vitamin K

236 Calories/ per ½ cup

The benefits of those nutrients are explained as above. They go great tossed into your salad.

Dried Peaches

Iron, Potassium, Vitamin A and Copper

191 Calories/per ½ cup

Dried peaches give you a whopping 34% of your needed vitamin A for the day and contain; potassium, niacin and copper. They also provide 18% of the iron you need for the day!

Raisins

Iron, Fiber

488 Calories/1 cup

Helps prevent anemia. Raisins can also help prevent constipation.

Nuts

Nutrient

Calories

How It Helps

Almonds

Calcium, Magnesium, Protein, Riboflavin, vitamin E.

529 Calories/1 cup

Healthy strong bones, promotes healthy skeletal growth, prevents small birthweight, provides protein, helps baby’s brain development, and may help prevent hypertension.

Walnuts

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

523/1 cup

Omega-3 fatty acids help promote healthy brain cells in baby. They also help to build a healthy immune system. If you are not allergic, walnuts during pregnancy are very good for your baby!