Peaches are a very popular fruit and its not hard to see why. Peaches are sweet and juicy; making for a wonderful treat, especially when you are pregnant and looking for something natural and healthy to snack on.
There is often a lot of conflicting information about what you can and can’t eat during pregnancy and the same goes for eating peaches during pregnancy.
So let’s take a good look at peaches and what it means to eat peaches when you are pregnant, make sure to read the entire post for all the benefits and dangers of eating peaches while pregnant.
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The Nutritional Value Of Peaches
As you can see in the table below peaches are low in calories, fat and cholesterol and they are high in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A and C, Iron and Magnesium. This means that peaches are highly nutritious and great for pregnancy.[table id=38 /]
The Benefits Of Eating Peaches During Pregnancy
Peaches are juicy and refreshingly sweet, plus they have some great nutrients. They are a great fruit to eat while pregnant, here’s what the nutrients of peaches mean for you and your growing baby:
While pregnant you need to ensure that you have a balanced diet and peaches provide dietary fiber which is essential for pregnancy. Dietary fiber will help to prevent constipation which is very common during pregnancy. According to experts dietary fiber will also lower your blood pressure.
It is important to get in the right amount of Vitamin A into your diet while pregnant. Vitamin A contributes to the proper development of your baby’s eyes. Vitamin A also plays a very important role in your baby’s immunity, skin cell production and the development of alveoli (tiny air sacs) in your baby’s lungs.
Vitamin A is also important for pregnant women since it plays a large part in supporting your immune system which will benefit your overall health when pregnant. You will need take in more Vitamin A during your third trimester of pregnancy when your baby’s Vitamin A requirements are increased due to increased blood volume and accelerated development. It is always important to remember that your body will ensure that your baby gets priority over you, which means if you are not taking in enough Vitamin A it will all go to your baby leaving you with a Vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin C is essential during pregnancy to help your body make collagen which is a structural protein that is a component of bones, skin, cartilage and hair.
Vitamin C is also important for healthy skin, wound healing tissue repair and bone repair and growth. Iron absorption (especially vegetarian sources) is aided by Vitamin C intake.
Vitamin C boosts your immune system, assists your body to fight infections and acts as a powerful antioxidant protecting your cells from damage.
Research has shown that a Vitamin C deficiency in newborn babies could lead to impaired mental development.
Potassium contributes greatly to maintaining the important balance of electrolytes and fluids in your body. During pregnancy your blood volume will increase up to 50% which means that your body will require additional electrolytes (potassium, chloride and sodium working together) to keep your fluids in the correct chemical balance.
Potassium is essential for helping your muscles to contract and for sending nerve impulses.
Leg cramps are very common during pregnancy and a lack of a potassium could be responsible.
Magnesium help your baby to build healthy bones and teeth.
Magnesium relaxes muscles while calcium and potassium stimulate your muscles to contract. According to research getting in enough magnesium while pregnant can help to prevent your uterus from early contractions.
The Dangers Of Eating Peaches During Pregnancy
The biggest risk factor you have with eating peaches is that they are on the top of the list of most pesticide-ridden fruits, add in the fact that they have such a thin skin and this could potentially pose a risk for your baby. There is only so much that washing and peeling will do for a thin skinned fruit like a peach.
How pesticides work is to attack the nervous system of insects to cause them to die.
During the first trimester of pregnancy your baby is developing his nervous system and coming into contact with pesticides can be dangerous for your baby.
In the first 3 to 8 weeks your baby’s neural tube is developing and research shows that coming into contact with pesticides during this time of pregnancy could cause neural tube defects.
For this reason it is advised to either not eat peaches during the first trimester of pregnancy or to only consume certified organic peaches.
One other concern, and this goes for most fruit, is that peaches are high in sugar content. It is best to eat peaches in moderation. Extra caution needs to be taken by women that have, or are risk of getting, gestational diabetes. If you are a high risk pregnancy it would be best to discuss whether you should be eating peaches with the medical practitioner overseeing your pregnancy.
Two Strange Claims About Eating Peaches When Pregnant
I have come across two strange (in my opinion) claims online about eating peaches when you are pregnant:
One is that you should avoid peaches at all costs if you have a sore throat while pregnant because the peach skin with hairs can worsen your sore throat. Honestly that just sounds strange and there appears to be no scientific data to back it up, along with the fact that it has nothing to do with pregnancy anyway, it has to do with having a sore throat.
The other thing I read is that peaches eaten in excess can lead to internal heat build up. This was just one claim that I read on Quora and it seems like a really strange thing to say and once again not backed up by any scientific facts. Whether this is true or not peaches should not be eaten in excess during pregnancy anyway due to the high sugar content.
Peaches are highly nutritious and delicious. Eating them during pregnancy is perfectly safe if you stick to two main things – eat certified organic peaches so that they are pesticide free and eat them in moderation taking into account the high sugar content.