Dates are one of the sweetest and healthiest snacks that you can consume during pregnancy. Honestly, you may not have given this dry fruit much thought, but dates contain a considerable amount of nutrition that many of us are unaware of. In the former times, dates were considered to be taken in the last trimester of pregnancy, as they were effective to expedite and ease labor. But is it okay to eat dates during the early trimester of pregnancy?
Dates come from a flowering plant called the date palm, which has been an integral part of Middle East cuisine for thousands of years. A pregnant women can benefit from its nutritional properties, as it is filled with nutrition like natural fructose, fiber, iron, potassium, and folate. The benefits of dates extend to the mother as well as to her unborn child. They are safe to enjoy during pregnant, regardless of what stage or trimester you are at. Below are some of the amazing benefits consuming dates during pregnancy:
Offers instant Energy
Dates are enriched with fructose and natural sugar. Taking a couple of dates keeps your energy level high and helps you cope with all the mood swings and morning sickness during the pregnancy. They also contain a large amount of natural sugar that breaks down to produce energy without causing a significant spike in blood glucose levels.
Dates are high on fiber, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. It helps to prevent constipation during pregnancy and keeps the digestive tract healthy. A date contains about 6.7 grams of fiber, constituting approximately 25% of the 20 to 35 grams of fiber recommended each day. As a result, you feel full helps you to maintain healthy body weight, and lowers cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
Lower risk of Spina Bifida
Dates are a good source of folate with 15 mg per 100 g. Folate is an important nutrient which is vital during pregnancy. It lowers the risk of spina bifida which is one of the most common serious birth defects. It is advisable for pregnant women to take 600 micrograms of folate daily to fulfill their requirement.
Dates are rich in iron. Consuming dates during pregnancy alleviate the deficiency of Anemia. Anemia occurs more frequently in pregnant women and they need twice as much iron as their non-pregnant counterparts. A severe iron deficiency can increase your probability of giving birth to a preterm or underweight infant.
Maintains Water-Salt Balance
Dates are a rich source of potassium which helps in maintaining the water-salt balance in the body. It also helps in regulating blood pressure and preventing muscle cramps, which are common during pregnancy. The deficiency of this electrolyte mineral increases the risk of kidney problems.
Ease and stimulate Labor
During pregnancy, consuming a sufficient number of dates can help in shortening labor and ease the whole process of delivery. Dates have similar effects of oxytocin to the body, which contracts the womb causing the uterus to become more sensitive. Three different studies have determined that women who consume dates at 36-37 weeks of pregnancy experience fewer labor inductions, shorten the first phase of labor, and have a larger cervical cavity at the time of delivery.
All said and done, dry fruits are most commonly consumed during pregnancy, but with high calorie contents in them moderation is the key to munch on these superfood. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consuming dates, as they are high in calorie contents. You should consume no more than a few at a time. Dates enhances the journey of being a new mother and fills it with its sweetness and goodness. Along with satisfying their sweet tooth they also fulfills their sugar craving without compromising with health.
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