Eating Dragon Fruit in Pregnancy: Safety, Benefits & Risks
Pregnancy can lead to cravings in a variety of forms. Food aversions and cravings are some of the classic pregnancy symptoms. These cravings could take the shape of desserts or even specific flavours or fruits. And stimulated by its visual appeal, dragon fruit arouses a craving in pregnant women. It is a colourful tropical fruit native to South and Central America. However, being on the pregnancy journey often calls for super cautious mommies who already want the best for their little ones! Making conscious food choices is some of the many ways you try to ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby. After all, the foods you eat provide direct nutrition to your growing baby. So if you are tempted to eat dragon fruit in pregnancy, but are not sure if it is safe to consume, worry not! We have compiled this article to highlight the safety, benefits, and risks of eating dragon fruit!
What is Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit, also knowns as pitaya, is native to the regions of South America and Mexico. However, dragon fruit has also found its presence in the Indian subcontinent. The fruit has a scaly outer covering and usually has a combined taste of sweet and tang. It closely resembles kiwi in terms of inner texture and the presence of black-coloured seeds. Dragon fruit can be considered a healthy food for pregnant women (1); to know more about it, keep reading!
Nutritional Value of Dragon Fruit
If you are wondering if consuming dragon fruit in pregnancy is safe or not, maybe these nutritional values can add some perspective! Dragon fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients that contains the following essential nutrients -
- • Carbohydrates help in restoring energy in pregnant women.
- • A substantial amount of calcium helps in the development of the bone structure of the baby.
- • Iron, potassium and several other nutrients help to boost the immune system.
- • Folic acid in dragon fruit is beneficial in developing the fetal nervous system.
- • Lycopene, the critical component and the unique feature of dragon fruit, helps in combating various health problems and reduces the risk of cancer.
- • It is rich in Vitamin C, fibre, and beta-carotene, which benefits the mother's overall health.
Is Eating Dragon Fruit in Pregnancy Safe?
Dragon fruit is healthy food for pregnant women. So if you are still wondering if eating is safe, it is a yes! Consuming this nutrient-rich fruit for you and your baby has several health benefits. Moreover, eating red dragon fruits is a great way to get accustomed to their taste and flavour. However, if you have some existing fruit allergies and have never eaten this fruit before, it is advised to consult your doctor before consuming dragon fruit in pregnancy. Some common allergies to eating dragon fruit include swelling of the hives, tongues, vomiting, etc.
Health Benefits of Eating Dragon Fruit in Pregnancy
The following are the potential health benefits of consuming dragon fruit in pregnancy -
Good fats in a pregnant woman's body are essential for high energy levels. It helps to keep the various metabolic processes running smoothly and also helps in the formation of the fetal brain. Dragon fruit constraints a good proportion of fats, most of which is monounsaturated.
Dragon fruits have a large number of carbohydrates which become the source of energy that is easily accessible and can be directly transferred to the foetus.
One of the primary concerns for every mother-to-be is having their little one at risk of being infected by microbes. These microbes can easily find their way to the baby through the placenta. Moreover, dragon fruit provides the benefit of cell regeneration for the treatment of wounds, which in turn prevents infection.
Dragon fruit is rich in fibre, which benefits the persistent constipation problem in pregnant women. During the early trimesters of pregnancy, women often face constipation and gas issues, and eating dragon fruit can reduce its effects.
The iron in the dragon fruit helps improve the blood cells' capacity to carry oxygen, thereby boosting the haemoglobin levels.
Calcium in dragon fruit helps in developing the fetal bone structure. Moreover, phosphorus plays an essential role in it as well. Both these nutrients work together to maintain good dental health in the mother.
How to Include Dragon Fruit in Your Pregnancy Diet?
Now that you are convinced that eating dragon fruit in pregnancy is completely safe let us look at some of the ways to include it in your diet -
- • It can be consumed raw, just like any other fruit.
- • You can extract its juice.
- • You can add pieces of dragon fruit to your salad preparations.