Plums During Pregnancy: Benefits & Risks

10 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

plums during pregnancy

Being healthy is an important attribute of pregnancy and is vital for the health of both the mother and the fetus. A pregnancy diet refers to the intake of all important nutrients such as folate, iron, calcium, vitamins, etc. An expecting mother has to choose her diet in such a way that it includes all major food groups. Fruits, vegetables, bread, pulses, grains, dairy as well as protein sources are a must for a healthy pregnancy.

Plums during pregnancy can also be a good option as they are delectable as well as nutrient-loaded, ultimately making them extremely beneficial for the mom-to-be. However, before including it in the diet, it is vital to know the nutritional intake, how safe plums are during pregnancy, the health benefits, side effects, some important tips for consuming it during pregnancy, etc. Read on to know more about eating plums during pregnancy.

In This Article

What are Plums?

Plums are very colorful fruits as they come in a variety of shades. They are available as both fresh plums as well as dried plums, more popularly known as prunes. We have a number of varieties of this delicious fruit and it grows on a variety of soils.

If you are craving plums during pregnancy, chances are you will find some variety or the other in most parts of the world. In India, these purple-skinned little juicy fruits are more popularly known as “Aloo Bukhara”.

Plums during pregnancy are a good option because one can find sweet or sour plums, either juicy or dried, according to those taste buds that change as pregnancy progresses.

They are small, easy to carry along in a bag and you can pop one into your mouth even when you feel nauseous. Prunes are also highly beneficial for one’s health as they are densely nutrient-loaded and delicious in taste.

Eating Plums During Pregnancy

prunes

When you are pregnant, you need to ensure that you have a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Plums during pregnancy can be very beneficial for the mom-to-be as they are loaded with nutrients and are very juicy too.

They are available in different tastes, making them an ideal snack during those cravings. Though these fruits are very healthy, if you have any kidney-related issues or kidney stones, you need to check with your doctor before you can binge on plums.

What is the Nutritional Value of Plums?

As mentioned earlier, eating plums during pregnancy can be very beneficial to both the mother and the fetus as these fruits are high in nutritional value:

  • It comprises minerals like potassium, vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A.
  • Antioxidants like Neo Chlorogenic and Chlorogenic acid, which are present in plums, minimize the danger of many chronic diseases.
  • Plums contain about 46 calories for every 100g consumed.
  • They have no fats and are loaded with minerals as well as vitamins.
  • They even help to increase the iron intake in the body.

How Are Plums Picked?

women buying plums

Haven’t tried this delicious fruit so far? Want to give it a try?

There are a number of varieties of this fruit and this makes plums during pregnancy an interesting option.
When you pick a plum;

  • Ensure it is heavy for its size so that it is juicy and not dry.
  • They should not be very soft as they may be over-ripe.
  • None of them should have been marked as it can make them rot sooner.
  • Different varieties come in different colors. Learn about them first and then choose your pick.

How are Plums Stored?

If you have taken a liking towards plums during pregnancy, chances are you want to stock up so that you can reach for them as and when you want a tasty snack or your cravings kick in.

  • Store your ripened plums in the fridge and consume them when they are fresh – within 3 or 5 days.
  • If they are yet to ripen, store them in a paper bag and wait until they are ripe, and then consume them.
  • If you want to store them for longer, you can freeze them.
  • However, the plums have to be pitted first.
  • Remove the stones in them and store them in an airtight bag in the freezer.
  • You can grab a few as and when you want.

15 Amazing Benefits of Plums During Pregnancy

pregnant women eating plums

Fruits have a number of benefits when added to your regular diet, pregnant or not. When your diet includes plums during pregnancy, both mother and baby in the womb start to gain the benefits.

Here are 15 amazing benefits of plums during pregnancy:

1. Improve Immunity

On a regular day, a slight sniffle or a heavy cough may not be an issue. But when you are pregnant, it can not only be a cause for concern, but can be downright uncomfortable too. Regular consumption of plums during pregnancy can keep such illnesses at bay as they are rich in Vitamin C.

2. Help in Managing Gestational Diabetes

Plums during pregnancy can be a great option due to their low glycemic index and high nutritional content. Gestational diabetes is a very common health complication that comes with pregnancy. Foods low in glycemic index are very good for such women.

3. Helps to Regulate Blood Pressure

High blood pressure during pregnancy is common and can lead to preeclampsia. Having plums during pregnancy can help in regulating blood pressure, as they are rich in potassium.

4. Provide Energy

Plums during pregnancy can be a good source of energy for you. As a pregnant woman, you will need more energy than usual, and eating plums along with your regular diet can fulfill this requirement.

5. Controls Pregnancy weight

Gaining weight during pregnancy can be a worrisome situation when it is too fast. One feels hungry every so often while pregnant. At such times, snacking on prunes or fresh plums can not only fill your stomach but can also add nutritional benefits.

Plums, though sweet, are not heavy in calories and can be a good go-to option to satiate those sweet cravings.

6. Ease Constipation

Dried plums, also known as prunes, act as a laxative and are very good for digestion. Pregnancy often causes constipation and putting pressure on your bowels is not advisable. Eating plums during pregnancy can ease such constipation episodes and smoothen out your bowel movements on a daily basis.

7. Prevent Haemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a common issue faced by many expecting women. Regular intake of plums during pregnancy can prevent this uncomfortable condition and help the digestive tract work smoothly.

8. Prevents Preterm Labor

Plums are rich in magnesium, which helps to relax the muscles. Eating plums during pregnancy helps the cervical muscles to relax, thereby keeping early labor contractions at bay.

9. Good for Eyesight

Consuming plums during pregnancy and even otherwise can reduce your chances of developing retina degeneration and loss of sight.

10. Good for the Brain:

Plums are rich in antioxidants that can prevent your brain cells from oxidative degeneration, by protecting the lipid content. Plums can help with the “pregnancy brain” and also add to a healthy brain for the fetus.

11. Support Bones

A lot of calcium is required for the fetus to grow all those bones! Calcium tablets are prescribed right from the start of the pregnancy and even feeding mothers are advised to take them as letting the calcium levels drop in your body can lead to bone health issues in the future.

Eating plums during pregnancy can be a good source of calcium, Vitamin K, and D. Vitamin A is also a major constituent of a plum that helps to boost bone growth and development. It even has potassium and phosphorus.

All these elements help to maintain the bone density of the mother and in the development of the skeletal system of the fetus.

12. Helps With Stress and Fatigue

Most pregnant women find it difficult to carry on with their regular routine because of the weight gain. Growing a human inside you requires a lot of energy and takes a toll on the body. Fatigue and stress seem like a pregnant woman’s new best friends.

Consumption of plums during this time helps in combating these issues as it has vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to increase the energy levels of the body and also offer support to the body’s functions as well.

13. Helps Iron Absorption

Maintaining a good iron level is crucial during pregnancy. Pregnant women can get anemic, which can lead to many complications in the pregnancy. Consuming plums during pregnancy can help your body absorb more iron from all foods and thereby keep your hemoglobin levels in check.

14. Prevents Blood Clotting

Your blood tends to clot fast during pregnancy. This is your body’s way to limit blood loss during labor and delivery. However, blood clot formation during the gestation period can bring about several issues.

Consuming plums during pregnancy can increase the level of Vitamin K in your blood, which is known for preventing blood clots. Don’t worry; eating plums are not going to stop your blood from clotting when you are in the delivery.

15. High Fiber Content

A regular intake of plums during pregnancy can not only add nutritional value to your health but can increase your fiber intake too. The fiber content in this fruit can satiate your hunger pangs for longer and help ease your bowel movements.

Are there any Side Effects of Eating Plums During Pregnancy?

Side Effects of Eating Plums

The benefits of having plums during pregnancy are many; however, this fruit need not be a healthy addition always.

There are a few side effects too:

Risk of Kidney Stones

If you are suffering from any kidney-related issues, you may not really receive the health benefits of plums during pregnancy. Pre-existing kidney stones or other kidney issues can get aggravated by the regular consumption of plums.

Zero Calorific Content

Plums during pregnancy can be a great option for those who want to keep their weight in check. However, a pregnant woman has to include more calories than usual to help the fetus grow. The high fiber content in these plums can make you feel fuller for longer. This reduces your calorie intake, which may not be such a good idea after all.

Allergy Warning

Though plums are very healthy, like any other food, they can cause allergies in some women. Plums fall under the “birch pollen” allergens category, which includes celery and apples. Women with this type of food allergy must avoid plums at all costs, especially when pregnant.

Some of the symptoms that develop soon after consuming plums are a swollen mouth or throat, making it hard to not only eat but to breathe too in some cases. Some women can feel an itch inside their mouths and throats. If you develop any of these allergies, stop eating the plums immediately and rush to a doctor.

When Should You Avoid Eating Aloo Bukhara?

Trying for Healthy Weight Gain

Irrespective of their high nutritional value, there are a couple of situations in which you should avoid eating Aloo Bukhara during pregnancy:

When You Are Trying for Healthy Weight Gain

Optimal weight gain is a sign of healthy pregnancy. However, being overweight is not good for the healthy progression of pregnancy. Likewise, failing to gain enough weight can also bring about many complications during pregnancy.

Plum is rich in fiber and is well known for its weight loss properties. Pregnant women who are trying for healthy weight gain should stay away from eating Aloo Bukhara.

If You Have a Kidney Problem

People who have a kidney problem should strictly avoid eating plums. This is because they contain oxalates, which can combine with calcium in the kidneys and form stones. Therefore, pregnant women who are prone to kidney stones should stay away from eating plums.

Tips to Eat Plums During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very crucial phase in a woman’s life. There are too many do’s and don’ts attached to the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which is dependent on the health conditions of pregnant women. Having an excessive amount of plums during pregnancy is not advisable as it can be harmful later.

So one should follow these guidelines to ensure balanced consumption:

  • It is advisable to consume fresh plums during pregnancy as they are more beneficial.
  • As plums are high in natural sugars, consume some nuts and seeds along with your plums.
  • These are rich in protein and will slow down the release of natural sugars from plums.
  • Plums are nutritious, but sole intake is not sufficient for calorie consumption.
  • One should always take other supplements to suffice the need.
  • Check with your doctor for any doubts regarding eating plums during pregnancy.

How do I Eat Plums During Pregnancy?
plum salad

Wondering how you can eat plums during pregnancy? Here are a few ideas:

  • You can eat them fresh and raw to relish the juicy fruit completely.
  • Have it as a snack whenever you feel like popping something in your mouth. Plums are any day a better option than some random junk.
  • Include a few pieces in your morning or midday salad. This will give that sweet and sour touch to your salad bowl.
  • Add prunes to your morning cereal. This way, you can have a juicy bite of fruit now and then while eating your chunky cereal.
  • If you are craving something cold all the time, you can make popsicles. Juice the plums and make popsicles out of them for a quick “cold shot”.
  • You can also add them to your fruit custard or a trifle pudding if you like to have cold plums during pregnancy.
  • If you are an oats fan, you can have a couple of plums along with your oats.
  • If you like granola, add a few plums into your granola for a juicy bite here and there.
  • You can add a sweet variety of plums to your smoothies too.
  • Increase your water intake by adding a plum or two to a bottle of water, thus adding flavor to it.
  • Add some to your porridge for a healthy breakfast.

FAQ’s

1. How Many Plums Can I Have in a Day During Pregnancy?

You can consume up to 80g. This can be 2 small plums or one medium sized plum. Having more on a regular basis might affect your kidneys.

2. Can I Eat Plums Everyday While Pregnant?

Yes you can. Plums are rich in antioxidants. It can help you and your unborn baby.

3. Can I Eat Plums When Constipated?

Yes, you can. Plums can help relieve constipation. Opt for the dried variety as it has more laxative effect than the fresh ones.

4. Are Black Plums Good for Pregnant Women?

Yes, they are. They are rich in magnesium. This helps is preventing premature deliveries.

Conclusion

A balanced diet is essential during pregnancy. Whether you are consuming plums during pregnancy or are following a strict diet plan, ensure it is well balanced with all your other foods.

Listen to your body and if you suspect any allergic reaction or feel a certain food is not suiting you, avoid it. Never hesitate to seek medical and professional help. No matter if research says a particular food is good for pregnancy, always get it approved by your doctor.

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