Can You Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

Can You Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

18 Jul 2022 | 6 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 511 Articles

Dates during pregnancy are a healthy snacking option, you just can’t go wrong with dates. Dates are considered the world’s oldest cultivated fruit and are a fruit from the date palm tree, which is a type of flowering plant.

Dates are a source of folate and dates during pregnancy help reduce the likelihood of certain birth defects, including spinal cord and brain abnormalities. They also provide iron and Vitamin K, integral to a healthy pregnancy. Dates also contain fructose that breaks down quickly and offers instant energy without altering one’s blood sugar levels. Dates for pregnant women are recommended as they contain laxatives which aid in uterus contractions and ease labour by shortening it. Read on to know more.

Nutritional Value Of Dates

Dates are good for pregnancy for their nutritional value. The nutritional content in 100 g of dates are:

Fibre – 6.7 g

Proteins – 1.8 g

Iron – 0.9 mg

Folate – 15 mcg

Fat – 0.2 g

Vitamin K – 2.7 mcg

Potassium – 696 mg

Magnesium – 54 mg

Dates in pregnancy are highly recommended as they can reduce the risk of anaemia, relieve morning sickness, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, get rid of toxins, boost immunity, and maintain healthy calcium content in the body.

How Can You Include Dates In Your Diet During Pregnancy?

Can pregnant women eat dates? Yes, they can. Some of the ways to include dates in your pregnancy diet are:

  1. Smoothie: You can add a handful of dates with a cup of yoghurt and mix them in a blender to make a smoothie.
  1. Syrup: You can also make a date syrup at home by blending a few dates with milk. Drizzle the mixture over ice cream, toast, waffles, or oatmeal and enjoy it.
  1. Dessert: Making a simple date dessert can be a good idea. All you need to do is add a few to some steamed semolina and top it off with some honey.
  1. Pie Crust: Try to mix dates and nuts in the grinder and make a smooth puree. Now, mix that with the pie dough for a healthy and tasty crust.
  1. Sweetener: Try to replace sugar with dates in milk and other drinks as consumption of fructose is a better option than sucrose.
  1. Cookies and muffins: To enhance the taste, you can add dates to your cookie or muffin batter.
  1. Wraps: You can also include dates in chicken and tuna wraps and rolls for an innovative sweet taste.
A powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, eating dates during pregnancy have a host of health benefits. | Image Source: freepik

7 Benefits of Dates During Pregnancy

A powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, eating dates during pregnancy have a host of health benefits. These are also rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from cell damage. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Dates contain proteins that help build amino acids that are required for the expecting mum and the baby.
  1. According to medical research, more than 83% of the women who ate dates had their membranes intact when admitted to the hospital, and less than 28% of these women were given synthetic oxytocin or prostin during labour.
  1. Dates can help boost the oxytocin effect, the contraction of the womb which in turn, enhances uterus sensitivity.
  1. Dates contain calcium, serotonin, and tannin and help in the proper contraction of the uterine muscles.
  1. Loaded with saturated and unsaturated fatty acids that supply energy, dates also help in producing prostaglandins. Both the oxytocin effect and prostaglandins are vital for labour.
  1. Dates during pregnancy are good, especially in the first trimester when constipation mostly takes over. Dates aid in a healthy bowel movement and relieves any internal discomfort.
  1. You can also eat dates during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester as it will help in shortening labour and make the entire delivery process easy, owing to its natural laxative properties which aid contractions.
It is advisable to stop eating dates if you experience tingling, itchiness, or swelling around your mouth or tongue after consuming dates. | Image Source: freepik

Side Effects of Dates In Pregnancy?

Although there aren’t any side effects of eating dates during pregnancy, it is advisable to consume them in moderation.

Eating dates in pregnancy during the first and third trimesters is excellent for your health as well as your baby’s growth. However, excess consumption of dates might lead to:

  • Excessive weight gain
  • Chances of developing gestational diabetes
  • Tooth decay
  • A rise in blood sugar levels

Can Dates Help In Labour?

Medical research shows that depending on how many dates you eat during pregnancy, your labour can start without the help of medication since dates are believed to promote natural induction.

Researchers have also found that mums who ate dates had significantly less need for medical intervention to induce or expedite labour compared to mums who didn’t eat dates.

Conclusion

A healthy pregnancy is all about eating a healthy, balanced diet that can include plenty of fresh fruits and dried fruits. Plus, dates in pregnancy are an excellent choice because they’re a rich source of fibre and have other nutrients and vitamins. It is advisable to consult a doctor regarding how many dates you can consume during pregnancy.

FAQs

Can I eat dates during pregnancy?

Dates are a source of folate and reduce the likelihood of birth defects, including spinal cord and brain abnormalities. They also provide iron and Vitamin K, integral to a healthy pregnancy.

How many dates should I eat during pregnancy?

Usually, six dates per day during pregnancy is fine. It is advisable to consult a doctor regarding how many dates you can consume during pregnancy.

When should I start eating dates during pregnancy?

You can eat dates during the first and third trimesters. Try to avoid eating dates during the second trimester if your blood sugar levels are high or your glucose test is not normal as there might be a chance of having gestational diabetes.

Can dates cause Braxton Hicks?

Braxton-Hicks occur when the uterus muscles tighten and loosen and might increase as you approach your due date. Dates affect the oxytocin receptors and make uterine muscles respond better to oxytocin. This results in more effective uterine contractions.

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