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Starting a family and bringing a new life into the world is truly and out-of-the-world feeling. You will experience hundreds of new things around you and your priority will be to keep yourself and your growing baby in a healthy condition. Of course, during these nine crucial months, you will receive a lot of well-meaning and unsolicited advice from friends and relatives about the type of food you should eat throughout the pregnancy. Pregnant women are often in a dilemma over eating certain kinds of food and eating raw mango during pregnancy is certainly one of them.
Is Eating Mango During Pregnancy Safe?
Eating ripe mango in pregnancy has its own advantages, provided the portions are monitored properly so that you never overdo it. Being rich in Vitamin A, B6 and C, mangoes provide the essential nutrients you would need during pregnancy, not to forget the presence of folic acid, potassium and iron.
There is a common myth that eating mangoes during pregnancy increases body heat, otherwise known as the thermogenesis of food. Foods like spices, ginger, chillies and strong herbal products need energy to digest and process and are responsible for increasing body heat. There is however no proof that mangoes increase heat and cause harm to the baby.
Mangoes are a great source of energy and antioxidants which are essential during this trying period of pregnancy. However, while buying these golden delicacies, make sure you stay away from the chemically ripened ones we often come across in the market. Like for other fruits, eat them when they are in season, never before or after, so that you are assured of the natural ripening of the fruit. Also, your doctor is the best person to check with about its inclusion in your diet and the amount to be consumed.
Nutritional Value of Mango
The king of fruits, as mango is often known as, is packed with nutrients and vitamins that supplement the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman’s body. The nutrients in mango are shown below in an easy-to-understand chart:
|Total Fat||0.27 g|
|Dietary Fibre||1.80 g|
|Pantothenic acid||0.160 mg|
|Pyridoxine(vitamin B-6)||0.134 mg|
|Vitamin C||27.7 mg|
|Vitamin A||765 IU|
|Vitamin E||1.12 mg|
|Vitamin K||4.2 Âµgmicrogram|
- Mango is a rich source of Vitamin A
- It is packed with flavonoids like alpha and beta carotene & beta cryptoxanthin
- Pre-biotic fiber is also found in large quantities in mangoes
- Mangoes provide Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that the body needs
- It also consists of potassium, folate and copper in good quantities
How Many Mangoes To Consume When Pregnant?
Mangoes are a great source of energy and are rich in calories, both being needed in abundance during the third trimester. If your doctor has asked you to increase your calorie intake, it is a good idea to add mangoes to your diet. However, moderation is the key here so do not exceed eating beyond one mango per day.
Health Benefits Of Eating Mango During Pregnancy
Due to a unique combined sweet & sour taste, mangoes are a favorite with pregnant women as the feeling of nausea is reduced to a great extent. Based on its nutritional quotients, the following are the health benefits of eating mango during pregnancy:
1. Pregnant women should consume iron supplements to prevent anemia which is a common condition during pregnancy. Mango offers an iron-rich diet if you can consume 1-2 mangoes every day that increases the red blood cell count to fight anemia.
2. Mango contains folic acid in abundance which aids fetal development during pregnancy. The growth of the nervous system and brain of the fetus is enhanced by consuming folic acid in the mango in pregnancy first trimester. Neural tube defects that happen during early pregnancy can also be averted by consuming mango in the right quantities.
3. Mango has a high level of dietary fiber that is necessary to keep the digestive system in a robust condition. In order to overcome constipation, you should eat mango during pregnancy so the morning defecation is smooth and pain-free. Keep a watch on the quantity though as excessive intake can lead to gasesgasses and an uncomfortable feeling.
4. As the mango fruit is rich in Vitamin C, it acts as a potent antioxidant, preventing the free radicals in the human body from growing. Tobacco, radiation or any kind of chemical substance can create free radicals which can lead to cancer and affect fetal growth too. Vitamin C in mango can lessen pre-term labor risk in some cases.
5. Mangoes are enriched with Vitamin B6 which, like folic acid, is ideal for the development of the fetal brain and nervous system.
6. Mango contains Vitamin A which is useful for the development of the growing babyâ€™’s bones and teeth, while enriching the eyes and nervous system too. If you are already consuming Vitamin A supplements, then consult your doctor since excess of this vitamin can cause liver toxicity in the baby.
7. Mango is enriched with magnesium which is a natural cure for high blood pressure and prevent the hypertensive condition called preeclampsia. Since preeclampsia can lead to seizure during pregnancy, adding mango to your diet can help prevent this.
8. The sweet-sour taste of mangoes is wonderful to help address morning sickness, a common condition pregnant women experience. Vitamin B6 in mango is responsible for making morning bearable for you.
9. Potassium is the substance that helps us to maintain our body fluid balance, which is especially critical during pregnancy. Fluid accumulation in the lower limbs can hamper movement and excess fluid can be dangerous too.
10. The natural sugars present in mango make sure you do not succumb to sugar cravings and prevents consumption of synthetic sugars and preservatives.
Side effects of Mango in Pregnancy
While natural ripened mangoes do not have any major side-effects, artificially ripened mangoes may contain traces of calcium carbide, the ripening agent used, and expose the mother and baby to the ill-effects of arsenic and phosphorus. Here are a few side-effects of eating artificially ripened mangoes
- Mood Swings
- Tingling in hands and feet
Tips to reduce mango’s exposure to toxins
It is not always easy to tell if the mangoes you are buying are artificially ripened or not, a few simple precautions can help reduce the risks of adverse effect. These include:
- Washing thoroughly: Washing the mango before consumption ensures that any residual ripening agent is removed
- Peeling the mango: Removing the peel before you eat the flesh also reduces ris of exposure to toxins
- Maintaining hygiene: Make sure you clean your knives, chopping board and wash your hands thoroughly after peeling and cutting the mangoes
Another useful tip is to buy raw mangoes and ripen then at home. This is the surest way of knowing that they are free of calcium carbide and its side-effects
1. Which mangoes are safe during pregnancy – ripe or Raw?
Mangoes, raw or ripe, can be consumed during pregnancy and are safe. Ripe mangoes stimulate appetite, help in digestion and are a natural way to improve your complexion. Due to the natural sugars present in mangoes, it helps to stay away from other high-calorie deserts. Raw mango contains vitamins that fight acidity and morning sickness, making it completely safe for consumption during pregnancy.
2. Is it safe to eat mango in late pregnancy?
The last trimester of your pregnancy is the most crucial part and you should be careful while consuming the king of fruits at this time. Excess consumption of mango fruit can lead to gestational diabetes so make sure the portions are limited. If you have faced any allergic reactions to the fruit earlier, do not aggravate the situation by eating mango during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
3. How would I know if they are ripe?
If you are keen to eat a fully ripe mango, make sure you have check the following before eating one:
- Texture: A ripe mango will always feel slightly soft to touch. You can buy a firm mango and leave it to ripen, but should be consumed before it becomes mushy.
- Smell: Mango is a sweet fruit and you should look for a sweet scent, something like a combination of a pineapple and a melon.
If the quantity of mango consumed is within permissible limits, you can eat it during pregnancy without fear. Speak to your doctor about including mango milkshakes and mango slices in your daily diet and enjoy the sweet, tangy taste of fresh mangoes throughout the pregnancy.