Why Eat Kiwi When You're Pregnant?
Kiwifruit are egg-shaped fuzzy fruits that taste like a cross between a pineapple and a strawberry. Their furry brown skin hides a bright green center that has the texture of a peach, and includes tiny, edible black seeds. Certain women have slight allergic reactions to kiwifruit – as well as other fruits and vegetables – so if your mouth tingles or breaks out after eating kiwifruit, simply avoid them. Kiwifruit are not dangerously allergenic as peanuts are, so use commonsense and eat one to two kiwifruits a day rather than five or six.
Fiber is important during pregnancy because many expectant mothers experience constipation. Laxatives can be dangerous during pregnancy, because of cramping. Eating a diet that’s naturally high in fiber is a safe way to prevent constipation and avoid the need for laxatives.
Kiwifruit are very high in vitamin C – one fruit contains 140 percent of the recommended daily dosage -- which is excellent for mothers-to-be and their developing babies. Vitamin C is important in the formation of neurotransmitters which are crucial to brain function. It is also a powerful antioxidant which helps protect RNA and DNA from the harmful effects of free radicals. The Linus Pauling Institute recommends that expectant mothers take in between 80 and 85 mg of vitamin C per day.
Kiwifruit, like all fruits, contains natural sugars that can help tame out-of-control cravings for sweets. Natural sugars like those in fruits have a lower glycemic index than processed and refined sugars which means that they don’t cause an insulin spike. Regulating blood sugar and insulin levels is a concern since gestational diabetes is a problem for many pregnant women.
Low in Calories
One kiwifruit, which averages about 3.5 oz, contains only 61 calories. Gaining enough weight – between 15 and 40 lbs., depending on your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI, or body mass index – is necessary for the health of your baby. But, gaining too much weight can put a strain on your heart, and lead to gestational diabetes and other complications. Sweet, natural, low-calorie snacks like kiwifruit can keep your hunger satisfied without piling on the pounds.
- Ohio State University Extension; Nutritional Needs of Pregnancy and Breastfeeding; Jaime Foster and y Julie Shertzer; July 2008
- Linus Pauling Institute; Micronutrient Information Center; Vitamin C; Jane Higdon, Ph.D.
- Texas A&M University: Kiwifruit (Chinese Gooseberry);
- NSW Food Authority: Pregnancy and food safety