Avocado During Pregnancy

With pregnancy comes some dietary restrictions, and it is time to find out if you can continue having avocados in your smoothies, purees, and curries throughout the next 9-10 months.

Avocado During Pregnancy

Can you eat avocado while pregnant

Avocado, with its healthy fat content and countless nutrients, is considered a pregnancy superfood, meaning it is one of the most beneficial foods you can have for both yourself and your baby [1, 24].

Are avocado oil and leaves safe to eat

A research showed that adding avocado as well as its oil to salsa or salads would increase your body’s antioxidant absorption, though it is advisable to talk to your doctor before implementing it.

Avocado leaves are mostly prepared into a tea because of its numerous health benefits, but it is better to avoid during pregnancy as there have not been enough studies to confirm its safety [23].

Benefits: How is avocado good for pregnancy

Studies reveal avocado to be a pregnancy-safe food because of its immense nutritional benefits, thus advising expectant women and lactating mothers to include it as a part of their diet.

Rich source of folate

Folic acid plays a significant role in lessening neural tube defects as well as birth deformities like spina bifida and anencephaly related to the spinal cord and brain. Pregnant women require an adequate amount of folic acid (400 micrograms) from the first trimester as the baby’s central nervous system (comprising of the brain and spinal cord) develops since then. Avocados make up for 45  micrograms of the daily requirement of folate, thus being a great food choice mothers-to-be can opt for in early pregnancy [2, 3].

Good source of MUFA (Monosaturated Fatty Acids)

MUFA accounts for two-thirds of the fatty acids present in avocados [4, 5]. Being an essential component of a Mediterranean style diet, MUFA alongside other nutrients play an important role in regulating blood pressure in expectant mothers as shown in the given research.  Women who are trying to get pregnant or have just conceived, need to follow a healthy diet where MUFA plays a significant role, as revealed in this study. Including avocado to your food list when you are trying to conceive, in early as well as late pregnancy would be helpful.

High in dietary fiber

One cup of avocado contains 10 grams of dietary fibers, making for 27% of the daily value, therefore making it useful for managing constipation [5, 6, 7]. Findings have also deduced that an increased fiber intake during pregnancy minimizes risks of preeclampsia.

Antioxidant properties

The antioxidants present in avocado include carotenoids such as neoxanthin, lutein and chrysanthemaxanthin alongside Vitamins C and E. Studies also suggest that antioxidants play a significant role in maintaining the blood sugar levels during pregnancy [8].

High potassium content

Another advantage of eating avocado during pregnancy is its rich potassium content that surpasses bananas, with 100 grams of it making up for 14% of the daily value [7]. This mineral plays a significant role in maintaining the electrolyte and fluid balance in the cells of your body during pregnancy [10]. Hence including avocado as a part of your diet amongst other foods rich in potassium, would be a beneficial option.

Loaded with vitamins

Avocados are rich in a number of vitamins including B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, and K [13]. B2 takes care of the eyes and skin, B3 facilitates a better digestion, also lessening nausea, B5 fosters hormone creation besides relieving leg cramps [11]. Apart from its antioxidant properties, vitamin C helps in collagen formation, tissue repair, healing of wounds and cell growth [12]. Vitamin E on the other hand benefits in maintaining the structure of cells as well as helping in the fetus’ lung development [14]. Vitamin K has healing properties, helping the body to recover well particularly post-delivery, as well as helping in maintaining bone health during pregnancy by raising absorption of calcium [7, 15].

Beneficial in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Studies have revealed that avocado, being low in fat, plays a significant role in reducing the total level of cholesterol [7], thus helping to shed off the bad fat and retain the good fat. Women troubled with high cholesterol can consider taking an avocado a day in pregnancy, though not without the consultation of a doctor [19].

Ways to eat avocado in pregnancy

  • Sliced and added in sushi rolls [16, 22]
  • Blended into a creamy smoothie or juice [17]
  • Prepared as a milkshake or added in ice-creams
  • Mashed into a tasty dip (guacamole) [1]
  • Chopped and sliced to make a crunchy summer salad

Though unripe avocados are not said to come with any adverse effects, if you are eating the fruit raw, make sure to limit your consumption.

Are there any disadvantages of eating avocado when pregnant

Though the fruit has no known side effects, eating too many at a time may be bad for your digestive health. Moreover, some might be intolerant to it, particularly those allergic to latex or birch pollen. When you are expecting, certain foods that you were not allergic to before might also cause a reaction. If you experience swelling, itching or any other symptoms after having avocado, seek medical help at once. You can also conduct a latex allergy test at home. [20, 21].

References:

  1. https://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/avocados-during-pregnancy-huge-benefits/
  2. https://www.babycenter.com/0_folic-acid-why-you-need-it-before-and-during-pregnancy_476.bc
  3. http://www.parenting.com/article/avocados-and-folic-acid
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882725/
  5. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/constipation-during-pregnancy/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/22-high-fiber-foods
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado
  8. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20030328/antioxidants-prevent-birth-defects
  9. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5
  10. https://www.babycenter.com/0_potassium-in-your-pregnancy-diet_655.bc
  11. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/b-vitamins#2
  12. https://www.babycenter.com/0_vitamin-c-in-your-pregnancy-diet_660.bc
  13. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php
  14. https://www.aptaclub.co.uk/article/pregnancy-nutrients-vitamin-e
  15. https://www.aptaclub.co.uk/article/importance-of-vitamin-k
  16. https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x568586/is-it-safe-to-eat-sushi-in-pregnancy
  17. http://blogs.mom365.com/creamy-avocado-pregnancy-smoothie/
  18. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/manage-cholesterol-levels-during-pregnancy#when-to-worry4
  19. https://www.tylertolman.com/health-articles/avocado-benefits/
  20. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/how-to-cope-with-an-avocado-allergy
  21. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/how-to-cope-with-an-avocado-allergy#1
  22. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/99204/cucumber-and-avocado-sushi/
  23. https://india.curejoy.com/content/benefits-avocado-leaves/
  24. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3612279/Avocados-perfect-pregnancy-food-according-science.html

 

 

Editorial Team
 

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