Avocado is a superfood that is known for a lot of health benefits. These fruits are filled with good fats, folate, and high dietary fiber. Thus, they are beneficial for pregnant women. Now, let us read further and know about some of the best benefits of eating avocados during pregnancy.
Nutritional Value Of Avocados:
Avocados are a rich source of several nutrients, which are essential in high amounts during pregnancy, including folate, magnesium, and vitamin C. Folate is essential more during pregnancy because it plays a crucial role in the fetal development.
Taking half an avocado or 100 grams of the fruit will offer you about 14% of your daily folate requirements during pregnancy.(2)
As per the United States Department Of Agriculture or USDA, one avocado includes 322 total calories, 29.47 grams of total fat, 4.273 grams of Saturated fat, 3.65 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 19.696 grams of monounsaturated fat, 14 mg of Sodium, 975 mg of Potassium, 17.15 grams of total carbohydrate, 13.5 grams of Dietary fiber, 1.33 grams of sugar, 4.02 gram of protein, 14 mcg of Vitamin A, 20.1 mg of Vitamin C, 24 mg of Calcium, and 1.11 mg of Iron.(3)
Benefits Of Eating Avocados During Pregnancy:
Avocados have a lot of benefits and they are extremely beneficial for women during their pregnancy. However, it is known that these fruits are known to be the fertility fruit for both women and men.(4) Let us talk about the essential benefits of eating avocados during pregnancy.
Avocados Are A Nutritious Fat Source:
Avocados are a nutritious fat source and are highly essential during pregnancy. Avocados are packed with healthy fats known as monounsaturated fats. The fats present in these fruits might help in improving heart health, regulate levels of blood sugar, and also help in keeping you full in between your meals.(5,6)
Taking a high amount of monounsaturated fat-rich foods, such as avocados during pregnancy might help in improving the quality of sleep and thus ease pregnancy insomnia.
Avocados Combat Morning Sickness:
Morning sickness is one of the common signs during pregnancy. You would feel extremely tired in the first 3 months of your pregnancy. Taking vitamin C-rich foods like avocados are beneficial in treating morning sickness.(7)
They Are Packed With Fiber:
Fiber is extremely important for optimal health during pregnancy. It is crucial for promoting healthy bowel movements. Moreover, adding avocados or fiber-rich foods to your diet during pregnancy might reduce the risk of getting gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.(8)
Just adding half an avocado or 100 grams of the fruit offers you just under 7 grams of fiber, i.e. about 25% of the minimum daily recommendation for fiber (or 28 grams) during pregnancy.(9)
Avocados Help In Treating Anemia:
A deficiency of iron during the pregnant phase can result in anemia in pregnant women. Avocados are rich in iron and thus beneficial during pregnancy.(10)
They Help In Nutrient Absorption:
Avocados not only provide essential nutrients but also help your entire system absorb nutrients from other foods. Say, for example, avocados make the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins present in certain foods like leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes possible.(11)
Avocados Help In Enhancing Fetal Brain Development:
One cup of avocado has 22 mg of Choline that is known to be essential for fetal brain and nerve development.(12) So, by adding avocados to your daily diet during pregnancy, you can enhance fetal brain development.
They Provide Healthy Supplements Of Vitamins:
Avocados are rich in various types of vitamins. It contains almost all the essential vitamins that are required for the mother’s health and the fetus’ growth.
Avocados Help In Digestion:
Stomach illness, upset stomach, and constipation are some of the common symptoms experienced by the pregnant woman. The rich content of fiber found in avocados helps in proper digestion and eases bowel movements.(13)
They Are Rich In Powerful Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are beneficial compounds known to protect against cellular damage and might help in promoting our health in many ways.
Avocados are particularly rich in the carotenoid lutein and Lutein has potential antioxidant properties. It is also important for the eye development and brain function of your baby.(14)
Since Lutein is a fat-soluble compound, it gets absorbed more efficiently from avocados than from other lutein-rich fruits or vegetables having low-fat content. Apart from this Lutein, avocados also contain many other antioxidants like Beta carotene, Zeaxanthantin, and Vitamin C.
It must be mentioned that carotenoid antioxidants, like beta-carotene, zeaxanthantin, and lutein are present in mother’s breastmilk. Their levels depend directly on the mother’s intake of these antioxidants. Consuming more of avocados during breast-feeding phase can help in increasing the carotenoid content in breast milk, which is essential for your baby’s proper growth and development.
They Help In Maintaining Lipid And Blood Sugar Levels:
You can have a safe and healthy pregnancy by keeping your blood sugar and blood fats at optimal levels. Consuming avocados might help in reducing some risk factors of heart disease and regulate blood sugar levels, thus reducing your risk of any complications during pregnancy.
Avocados are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and healthy fats, thus making them an excellent choice for pregnant women with diabetes or high blood sugar levels.
Eating avocados might help in lowering post-meal blood sugar levels in patients having high blood sugar. In addition to this, these fruits might also help boost the HDL or the good cholesterol and lower the LDL or the bad cholesterol levels, which might help in reducing the risk of heart disease and promote overall well-being during pregnancy.(15,16)
They Relieve Leg Cramps:
Pregnancy comes with many symptoms and leg cramps are one of the most common among them. However, you can get relief from leg cramps by taking avocados during pregnancy. These fruits have enough potassium and calcium; and they help in easing cramping.
Avocados Help In Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure:
Being rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium, avocados are especially beneficial in a healthy blood pressure regulation. During pregnancy, if you eat plenty of potassium-rich foods like avocados you can lower the risk of developing gestational hypertension.
For an instance, a study conducted in the year 2013 taking 263 pregnant women has demonstrated that those women who consumed 250 mg to 300 mg or more of potassium every day, had a significantly lower risk of developing high BP during their pregnancy.(17)
Taking just half an avocado o 100 grams of it can offer you 485 mg of potassium.(18) Additionally, avocados are also rich in magnesium that is a crucial mineral for blood pressure regulation.
They Lower The Risk Of Weight Gain:
Avocados are loaded with dietary fiber and thus help lower the chances of significant weight gain. Almost 25% of the fiber is soluble and helps friendly bacteria in your digestive tract improve your metabolic health.(19) So, you should add avocados to your pregnancy diet if you do not want to increase weight unnecessarily.
How Many Avocados Can You Eat In A Day During Pregnancy?:
We all know that anything when taken in excess can turn out to be worst. So, moderate consumption of avocados is always the key, since it contains all essential types of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and oils in varying quantities. It is always best to restrict yourself to 1 avocado per day to avoid any complication or side effects during pregnancy.
Though avocados are beneficial for health, especially during pregnancy; you should limit or stop eating them if you are allergic to latex(since the fruit has been associated with latex allergies), or if you are trying to manage your weight.
It is always good to consult with your doctor before taking avocados during your pregnancy.
So, avocados are an excellent choice for pregnant women. They are not only extremely nutritious but are also tasty and filling. Moreover, adding these fruits to your diet might offer you and your baby plenty of health benefits during your pregnancy.
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