Grapefruit During Pregnancy-Health Benefits And Risks

6 min read

Grapefruit is a tasty as well as nutrient-rich fruit. It originated from an accidental cross between pomelo or shaddock and sweet orange. At first, it was named as forbidden fruit, and gradually this citrus fruit got its present name. But the question is whether this once forbidden fruit should be forbidden for women when they are pregnant? What are the benefits and risks of eating grapefruit during pregnancy? Let us take you deep into it.

Grapefruit During Pregnancy

Can You Eat Grapefruit During Pregnancy?

Yes, pregnant women can eat grapefruit without worry. Grapefruits during pregnancy can be beneficial for the mother as well as the baby during this period. In comparison to apples, peaches, and banana grapefruits consist of more nutrients and fewer calories. Grapefruits have nutrients like fiber, folate, and vitamin B complex which are highly required during pregnancy for the fetus’s growth.

Nutritional Facts of Grapefruit

A single grapefruit consists of a lot of nutrients and minerals. The nutrient intake of grapefruit per 100 g is:

  • Carbohydrates 10.66 g
  • Fiber 1.6 g
  • Protein 0.77 g
  • Fat 0.14 g
  • Folic acid 13 mcg
  • Vitamin C 33.3 mg
  • Vitamin E 13 mg
  • Iron 0.06 mg
  • Potassium 148 mg
  • Calcium 12 mg
  • Zinc 0.07 mg
  • Magnesium 9 mg
  • Phosphorus 18 mg
  • Choline 7.7 mg
  • Calories 42 kcal

Is Grapefruit During Pregnancy Safe?

Yes, grapefruits during pregnancy are safe, but in moderation. So you will have to consume grapefruit in a fixed quantity. Also while purchasing grapefruit from the market you need to go for the organic ones as they will be pesticide-free. And even if you buy it from the supermarket with proper packaging, wash it before having it. You need to wash all your fruits and veggies in lukewarm water for safety against the Covid 19 virus or any other microbes.

8 Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Grapefruit During Pregnancy

pregnant women holding grapefruit

There are numerous benefits of consuming grapefruit during pregnancy. Some of them are:

1. Relief From Insomnia

Sleeplessness is highly associated with pregnancy. Particularly in the third trimester, it becomes very difficult to have a sound sleep. Grapefruits have a positive result in combating the sleeping disorder. But don’t eat grapefruits just before sleeping as the Vitamin-C in it can cause acidity and hamper your sleep instead.

2. Grapefruit During Pregnancy Helps Cure Indigestion

Rapid hormonal changes lead to indigestion and acidity problems in pregnant women. The D-limonene present in grapefruits can neutralize and soothe acidic problems. But to get the benefit you will have to take them after breakfast or lunch. Eating them at night before sleep will reverse its effects.

3. Reduces the Risk of Preeclampsia

In Preeclampsia the risk of premature separation of the placenta from the uterus becomes high. This can cause premature delivery, rupture of the liver, heavy bleeding, and even fetal death. Though there aren’t enough studies, yet it is believed that the presence of potassium, lycopene, and flavonoids in grapefruits controls preeclampsia.

4. Maintains Healthy Weight

Everyone will advise you to eat ghee and butter to gain weight during pregnancy. But gaining too much weight will cause a hurdle in the process of smooth delivery. Your baby needs to get a healthy birth weight but at the same time, you will have to be fit for delivery. The low-calorie nutrient-rich grapefruits are thus the ideal fruit for pregnant women.

5. Grapefruit During Pregnancy Fights Gestational Diabetes

Due to hormonal changes, women often caught diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can increase the baby’s birth weight unnaturally and cause complications during delivery. The antioxidants in grapefruits keep a check on the body’s glucose level. According to NCBI, fresh grapefruit juice can increase insulin levels and reduce obesity in people.

6. Reduces Swelling and Water Retention

During the 3rd trimester, swelling in the legs becomes common due to water retention in the body. The vitamin C and bioflavonoids of grapefruits help to reduce water retention.

7. Combats Anemia

Anemia is one of the greatest fear during pregnancy. Some studies show that B Vitamins can lessen the chances of anemia. And Vitamin C helps to absorb iron. Grapefruits have both.

8. Cures Constipation

Constipation is another common issue during pregnancy. Grapefruits are fiber-rich and thus can ease constipation. Also according to the study of Michigan State University, grapefruits have 91% water (more than any other fruit), which will keep your body hydrated and clear your stool every morning.

One average size grapefruit is enough for a day. You will require 85 mg of vitamin C daily during pregnancy. And only 100 g of grapefruits contain 33.3 mg Vitamin C. Thus an average grapefruit with 200 or 250 g weight can single-handedly meets your daily Vitamin C needs. And no matter how much you love grapefruits or how much nutritious they are, you should not consume more than this.

Risks of Consuming Too Much Grapefruit During Pregnancy

pregnant women eating grapefruit

As we have said, nothing is good when it is excessive. There are some risk factors of eating grapefruits beyond recommended limits for pregnant women. These are:

  • High fructose levels during pregnancy can harm the placenta and restrict fetal development. And grapefruits increase the fructose level. So you should have it limited.
  • Mothers-to-be who have problems like stomach ulcers, hepatitis or other kidney troubles, cystitis, or any allergy to citrus fruits should avoid grapefruits.
  • Eating grapefruit on empty stomach will cause acidity and heartburn.
  • According to FDA, some drugs like Zocor, Procardia, BuSpar, etc do not go well with grapefruits. So consult with your doctor before having grapefruits.

How to Pick the Right Grapefruit?

It is quite easy to choose fresh grapefruits. Here are some tips for you:

  • You need to figure out if there are any cuts or rotten soft spots on the skin or not. If yes then avoid that one.
  • There is a thick layer of skin outside the actual flesh of the fruit. So pick the heavy ones to get maximum fruit flesh.
  • There is no need to refrigerate grapefruits as such. They ripen slowly. Only when you feel it is going bad then refrigerate.
  • The membrane that separates the fruit flesh from the skin is tough, and bitter in taste, but contains essential nutrients. You can add it if you are drinking homemade grapefruit juice. You can barely feel the bitterness in the juice.
  • Is Grapefruit Seed Extract safe for Women?

No, not at all. Grapefruits are beneficial but not their seeds. The grapefruit seeds are poisonous to the skin fibroblast (cells within the dermis layer). So do not eat them. Remove all the grapefruit seeds before making the juice or eating it raw.

Best Ways to Add Grapefruit to Pregnancy Diet

grapefruit juice

There are a lot of ways by which you can add grapefruit to your daily diet:

  •   Making fresh sugar-free homemade juice is the most common one.
  •   You can include all the fruits you love and make a fruit salad.
  •   Add grapefruits as toppings on your custard or yogurt
  •   Also, you can make a grapefruit smoothie or mocktail as it has a tangy flavor
  •   Use the grapefruit skin while you are boiling your tea- this will help you combat nausea.

So grapefruits are beneficial during pregnancy. But you will have to consume it within limits. And it is safe to get your doctor’s consent as only s/he can recommend you well after judging your health conditions.

FAQ’s

1. Is Grapefruit Good for Baby?

Yes as it is good for the mother, grapefruit is healthy for the baby also. The nutrient-rich grapefruit will boost the immune system of the baby and prepare the baby for the outside world.

2. When is the Best Time to Eat Grapefruit?

Grapefruits are available in the market throughout the year. But it is in between November and June when you will get the fresh and best ones.

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