There’s no doubt about it, mangoes are a delicious fruit that have many amazing health benefits for you. However now that you are expecting you may be asking yourself whether this tasty fruit is safe to eat during pregnancy.
Many people advise to stay away from mangoes when pregnant, along with loads of other advice that you may be bombarded with as soon as people know that you are pregnant.
While pregnant you want to grow a healthy and strong baby, while still enjoying the foods that you love. So let’s take a look at mangoes in relation to being pregnant.
The Nutritional Value Of Mangoes
Mangoes are low in calories, low in sodium and contain great nutrients that have many health benefits both for everyone, including pregnant women. The table below shows the ntutrional value of 100g of mango along with the % of recommended daily intake.[table id=36 /]
The Benefits Of Eating Mango During Pregnancy
As you can see from the above table mangoes are packed full of awesome nutrients as well as being tasty and refreshing to eat. There is a reason why mangoes are called the King Of The Fruits. All these great nutrients come with amazing benefits for everyone, including pregnant women.
Along with the table above mangoes are also rich in copper, manganese and zinc, as well as poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds which are known to protect against breast cancer and colon cancer.
Let’s take a closer look into the benefits all these nutrients provide.
Mangoes are rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber which aid in digestion and elimination. As any pregnant women will tell you, pregnancy very often comes with constipation problems. Mango can help relieve pregnancy constipation.
The enzymes in mangoes help in breaking down proteins which further aids digestion.
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in healthy skin, healthy mucous membrane , neurological function,maintaining healthy vision and much more. It is a fat soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant. Just like all antioxidants, Vitamin A reduces inflammation by fighting free radical damage.
A diet high in antioxidants is a great way to slow aging naturally.
Other benefits of consuming Vitamin A include gene regulation, building strong bones, facilitating cell differentiation and supporting a healthy immune function.
The Importance of Vitamin A During Pregnancy
During the first trimester of pregnancy the demand for Vitamin A is at its highest and this is the most common time for pregnant women to have a Vitamin A deficiency. If a pregnant woman does not have enough Vitamin A intake she can suffer from night blindness.
Vitamin A is essential for your developing baby. It contributes to the healthy development of your baby’s eyes, build strong lungs and assists in healthy skin cell production. Vitamin A also plays a part in your baby’s immunity.
Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine. It is one of the vitamins incorporated in the vitamin B complex family. Vitamin B, like all B vitamins play an essential role in a number of physical, as well as psychological functions.
They are most well known for maintaining a healthy metabolism, liver function, eye and skin health, and boosting energy levels.
Vitamin B6 has several derivatives, these include pyridoxamine, pyridoxal 5-phosphate and pyridoxal. These are essential compounds involved in a number of biological functions. Vitamin B6 is used by the body daily as it plays a role in such vital functions including movement, energy expenditure, memory, and blood flow. A deficiency in Vitamin B6 can manifest a variety of symptoms, some are temporary but others are more serious.
Vitamin B6 also assists the body to make hemoglobin, to maintain a healthy nervous system, to balance our blood sugar levels, to provide our bodies with energy from the food that we eat, to act as a natural pain reliever and to boost our moods, as well as to create the antibodies for our immune system which protect us.
The Importance of Vitamin B6 During Pregnancy
Vitamin B6 is crucial for your baby’s nervous system and developing brain. It also assists your baby to metabolize carbohydrates and protein.
Some studies have shown that Vitamin B6 can relieve morning sickness.
Vitamin B6 is also important to aid your body with metabolizing carbohydrates and protein and assists the formation of antibodies, red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C is found in abundance in vegetables and fruits. It helps the body to build and maintain connective tissue, including blood vessels, skin and bones.
Vitamin C assists with repairing and regenerating tissues, protecting against heart disease, aiding in the absorption of iron, preventing scurvy, and decreasing total and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.
Studies show that vitamin C may help preventing a variety of cancers by combating free radicals, as well as helping to neutralize the effects of nitrites.
Vitamin C supplements can shorten the lessen the duration and the symptoms of a common cold, help delay or prevent cataracts, and also supports healthy immune function.
The Importance of Vitamin C During Pregnancy
Vitamin C is essential for you during pregnancy and for your baby since it is essential for making collagen, which is a structural protein that is a component of bones, tendons, cartilage and skin.
Some researchers believe (based on animal studies) that deficiency in Vitamin C in newborn babies can cause impairment to mental development.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant,protecting cells from damage and also helps your body fight infections
Vitamin C is also essential because it helps your body to absorb iron, which is especially important during pregnancy.
Iron is a mineral that is essential to your health and well-being. Low iron is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the US and close to 10% of all women are iron deficient.
Iron transports oxygen through the entire body. Iron is a component of hemoglobin which is the substance that carries oxygen in your red blood cells, from your lungs to the rest of your body. Hemoglobin makes up about two thirds of the iron in your body.
If you have a lack of iron your body won’t be able to make enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen. When this happens it is called iron deficiency anemia.
When your body does not get enough oxygen you will feel fatigued. This fatigue can cause numerous problems in your body from weakening your immune system to impaired brain function.
Iron is also to maintain healthy cells, hair, nails and skin.
The Importance of Iron During Pregnancy
You need more iron when you are pregnant to support the increase in maternal red blood cells. This is what supplies your baby oxygen and his placenta during the third trimester. In addition to this your baby needs to store enough iron for the first six months of his life. Having enough iron will aid your baby’s health after birth and decrease his chance of iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency during pregnancy is the most common nutritional deficiency. It is occurs most often during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Not getting enough iron when pregnant can lead to health problems for you and for your baby such as premature birth, low birth rate, pregnancy anemia and an increase in the risk of perinatal infant mortality.
Magnesium is crucial to the proper functioning of your body. Magnesium helps keep your bones strong, your heart rhythm steady and blood pressure normal. Taking in less than the required amount of magnesium can lead to elevated inflammation markers. Inflammation has been linked with health conditions such as diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease. It also leads to higher risk of osteoporosis.
The Importance of Magnesium During Pregnancy
Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium where magnesium causes muscles to relax and calcium stimulates your muscles to contract. Research suggests that getting enough magnesium intake during pregnancy can assist with preventing the uterus from contracting too early in the pregnancy.
Magnesium helps your baby to build strong bones and teeth.
Intravenous magnesium is used to treat pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
Potassium is a vital nutrient that maintains electrolyte balance and fluid in your body. It is the third most abundant mineral in your body and it is needed for the functioning of several organs, including the kidneys, heart, brain and muscular tissues.
Why Potassium is Important During Pregnancy
Potassium contributes to sending nerve impulses and assisting your muscles to contract.
When you are pregnant your blood volume increases by up to 50 percent. This means you will need more electrolytes to maintain the right chemical balance in the extra fluid. Potassium plays an essential part in the maintenance of the balance of fluids and electrolytes in your body’s blood cells.
Leg cramps are very common during pregnancy, this could be due to a lack of potassium. Alternatively it could be due to a lack of calcium, magnesium or sodium.
Calcium is the mineral that is the most abundant in your body. Almost all of your body’s calcium (99%) is stored in your bone and teeth structure. Many people are not eating enough food that is calcium rich. Many people associated calcium with dairy but there is plenty of calcium to be found in other food forms such as sardines, broccoli and kale to name a few.
It is important to consume enough calcium rich foods for your body to achieve and maintain optimal nerve transmission, hormone secretion, muscle contraction and blood clotting. Calcium also controls your body’s acid and alkaline levels and PH.
Calcium is stored in your bone and teeth structure and is released into the bloodstream when needed elsewhere by your body.
The top benefits of calcium are bone health, cancer prevention, weight management, heart health and blood pressure.
The Importance of Calcium When Pregnant
Your growing baby needs calcium in order to build healthy teeth and bones during pregnancy. Calcium also assists your developing baby to form a healthy heart, muscles and nerves, as well as to develop blood clotting capacity and a normal heart rhythm.
Calcium also lowers your risk of pre-eclampsia and hypertension. It is essential for you to get enough calcium intake during pregnancy, otherwise your baby will draw calcium from your bones which will have a negative impact on your health.
Folate is also known as folic acid or vitamin B9. It is a water-soluble B vitamin that is present naturally in some foods, such as green leafy vegetables, avocados and of course mangoes.
Folate is an essential vitamin for copying and synthesizing DNA, supporting nerve damage, producing new cells and supporting immune function.
Research has shown that eating plenty of foods rich in folate can help to prevent heart disease, anemia, birth defects and cognitive decline.
The Importance of Folate During Pregnancy
Many women start taking folic acid when they are trying to conceive, as well as during the first trimester of pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects which are serious birth defects of the brain ( such as anencephaly) and of the spinal cord (such as spinal bifida).
The part of the embryo where your baby’s brain and spine develop is the neural tube. These defects happen very early in pregnancy when your baby is developing, it often occurs before many women even realize they are pregnant. This is why it is so important to start taking folate if you are trying to conceive.
Some studies suggest that folate can help lower the risk of other defects in your baby such as certain types of heart defects, cleft palate and cleft lip, as well as lower your risk of pre-eclampsia.
Folate is also needed for the formation of normal red blood cells that prevents a certain type of anemia. It is also vital for producing, repairing and the functioning of DNA. Folate is needed for the rapid cell growth of your placenta and developing baby.
Eating Mangoes During The First and Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
While you should always check with your doctor about consuming anything before you deem is safe during pregnancy mango is considered safe to eat in moderation during the first and second trimester.
As you can see from all the nutritional information provided above mangoes are not only delicious but they provide great nutrients for anyone, including pregnant women that are needing some extra nutrients for their developing baby as well as for themselves to stay healthy during pregnancy.
While mango does have a high sugar content it is a natural source of sugar so it is a much better alternative than eating processed sugars.
Eating Mangoes During The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy
If you have heard that mangoes are not safe to eat during pregnancy this is true to an extent in that you should avoid eating too many mangoes late in pregnancy. This is due to the high sugar content which could lead to gestational diabetes.
If there is a family history of allergy to mangoes it would also be advised to be careful with eating mangoes.
Eating Ripe VS Unripe Mangoes During Pregnancy
It is also fine to eat unripe mangoes during early pregnancy which provide you with a good amount of vitamins and minerals. In fact in some cultures it is traditional to give pregnant women unripe mangoes to satisfy their cravings for sourness of green mangoes.
However during the last trimester it is not advised to eat unripe mangoes. It is also recommended to stay away from Aam Panna which is an Indian drink made from green mangoes, as well as Achaar made from mangoes.
Drinking Mango Juice During Pregnancy
Yes it is safe to drink fruit juice during pregnancy, including mango juice. However due to the high sugar content in mangoes and mango juice it is advisable to drink it in moderation and to limit your intake even more during the last trimester of pregnancy.
Taking in too much sugar can put you at risk of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.