Grapefruit and Pregnancy

Grapefruit is a divinely delicious citrus fruit belonging to the same family as oranges and lemons. These have a yellow or pinkish yellow skin but depending upon the color of their flesh, they are categorized as ruby, pink or blonde (white). The flesh is tangy, tart and sweet. The exquisite taste makes its Latin name "Citrus paradisi" or citrus like paradise a very well suited one.

These are usually four to six inches in diameter and some varieties contain seeds while others do not. It is full of flavor and rich in nutrients but is it safe to have grapefruit during pregnancy?

Is It Safe to Eat Grapefruit During Pregnancy?

A lot of nutrients and vitamins are present in grapefruit and pregnancy is the time when the body needs extra nutrients, this makes grapefruits a good choice to have during pregnancy. They have adequate amounts of calcium, potassium, and vitamin B complex, all of which are necessary for proper growth of the baby. The role of folic acid in preventing birth defects is well documented and grapefruits are a good source of it.

Not only grapefruits taste good they also strengthen the immune system making the mother less likely to have any viral or bacterial infections.

grapefruit and pregnancy

Benefits of Eating Grapefruit During Pregnancy

If you like grapefruit and pregnancy is making you crave for something sweet and sour, go for it, for its added health benefits during pregnancy. Eating grapefruits during pregnancy can:

1.    Relieve Digestive Discomforts

Pregnant women are more prone to have constipation and the high fiber content of grapefruit makes it a good laxative and it can help to regulate bowel movements. Acid reflux and increased acidity can be bothersome during pregnancy, especially in the later stages. Grapefruit can reduce these symptoms as well because it creates an alkaline environment and can neutralize the acid.

2.     Control Blood Pressure and Prevent Complications

Grapefruits are rich in potassium and lycopene, both known to keep the blood pressure in control. High blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to a lot of complications and preeclampsia is a life threatening one. It is absolutely crucial to keep the blood pressure within normal limits. Grapefruit can lower blood pressure and can prevent these complications.

3.    Help in Sleeping

Grapefruit and pregnancy go well together. As pregnancy progresses, sleep becomes more and more uncomfortable. It becomes hard to find a comfortable posture with a growing belly and the apprehension and worries make the matter worst. If you eat a grapefruit before going to bed, it can help you to relax and have good night’s sleep.

4.     Keep Your Weight in Check

Weight gain is normal during pregnancy but it should not be excessive. The more you put on the harder it gets to shed it off after the delivery.  An average sized grapefruit contains only 52 calories and the high fiber content makes you feel fuller after snacking on it. If you are pregnant and are concerned about extra weight gain, grapefruit is a good choice to munch on without the fear of consuming a lot of calories.

5.     Alleviate Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is very common in pregnancy and is usually the first sign of being pregnant. Some women have it more than the others. Having a grapefruit in breakfast can help to decrease the nausea and reduces the chances of throwing up.

6.     Get Rid of Water Retention and Swelling

If you enjoy grapefruit and pregnancy causes swollen feet, eat some grapefruit to help. Grapefruits are rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These are extremely beneficial to reduce water retention which can lead to swelling of feet and legs during pregnancy.

7.     Reduce the Risk of Bone Density Loss

The growing baby needs a lot of calcium and if the mother's diet is not providing enough amounts, calcium is extracted from bones leading to bone density loss. One grapefruit can provide 2% of the daily calcium requirement and combined with other sources of calcium it can be helpful to prevent the bone density loss due to lack of calcium.

8.     Make Your Skin Glow

The pregnancy glow is a well observed phenomenon but many women experience acne and other skin problems during pregnancy. The raised hormone levels of pregnancy can cause a lot of skin problems. The vitamin C in grapefruits can prevent these and can lead to a brighter and clearer skin.  

9.     Help in Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Women with gestational diabetes need to be extremely careful about the blood sugar levels to prevent any complications. The low sugar content of grapefruit makes it an ideal fruit for consumption during pregnancy. It increases insulin resistance and leads to lower blood glucose levels. It also helps to keep the weight in control. 

Ways to Enjoy Grapefruit

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There are many ways to enjoy a grapefruit and pregnancy is a good time to savor it in many ways. You can make a grapefruit smoothie, fruit salad or juice. It is great mixed with other fruits for a more refreshing taste. You can mix various fruit juices with grapefruit juice, for example:

  • Mix some orange and lemon juice with grapefruit juice for a refreshing cocktail.
  • Mix grapefruit juice with some fresh apple juice for a delicious low calorie option.

You can add some slices of grapefruit to the herbal teas or boil some grapefruit rind in water for a rejuvenating brew.

Precautions to Take with Grapefruit

There are a lot of health benefits associated with grapefruit and pregnancy is not a time to give up on this tasty treat; however, excess of anything can be harmful. There are certain precautions that need to be observed.

  • Do not eat more than half grapefruit daily.
  • If you have kidney disease or liver disease, it is better to avoid grapefruit.
  • Since it has a tangy taste, many people believe that it is acidic in nature which is not true. It is alkaline and if grapefruit juice is taken empty stomach it can damage the stomach lining.
  • It can interact with certain medicine and can either decrease or increase their desired effects. If you are taking any regular medication for any medical condition, avoid grapefruits. You can discuss with your doctor if it is safe for you to have grapefruit with your medicines.
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