With pregnancy comes some dietary restrictions, and it is time to find out if you can continue having avocados in your smoothies, purees, and curries throughout the next 9-10 months.
Can you eat avocado while pregnant?
With its healthy fat content and countless nutrients, Avocado is considered a pregnancy superfood, meaning it is one of the most beneficial foods you can have for yourself and your baby.
Are avocado oil and leaves safe to eat?
Research showed that adding avocado and its oil to salsa or salads would increase your body’s antioxidant absorption, though it is advisable to talk to your doctor before implementing it.
Avocado leaves are mostly prepared for tea because of their numerous health benefits. Still, it is better to avoid it during pregnancy as there have not been enough studies to confirm its safety.
Benefits: How is avocado good for pregnancy?
Studies reveal avocado to be a pregnancy-safe food because of its immense nutritional benefits, thus advising expectant women and lactating mothers to include it as a part of their diet.
1. Rich source of folate
Folic acid plays a significant role in lessening neural tube defects and birth deformities like spina bifida and anencephaly related to the spinal cord and brain. Pregnant women require adequate folic acid (400 micrograms) from the first trimester as the baby’s central nervous system (comprising the brain and spinal cord) develops. Avocados make up 45 micrograms of the daily requirement of folate, thus being a great food choice mothers-to-be can opt for in early pregnancy.
2. Good source of MUFA (Monosaturated Fatty Acids)
MUFA accounts for two-thirds of the fatty acids present in avocados. Being an essential component of a Mediterranean-style diet, MUFA, alongside other nutrients, plays an important role in regulating blood pressure in expectant mothers, as shown in the given research. Women trying to get pregnant or have just conceived need to follow a healthy diet, where MUFA plays a significant role, as revealed in the study. Including avocado on your food list when you are trying to conceive, in early as well as late pregnancy, would be helpful.
3. High in dietary fiber
One cup of avocado contains 10 grams of dietary fiber, making for 27% of the daily value, making it useful for managing constipation. Findings have also deduced that an increased fiber intake during pregnancy minimizes the risks of preeclampsia.
4. Antioxidant properties
The antioxidants in avocados include carotenoids such as neoxanthin, lutein, and chrysanthemaxanthin, alongside Vitamins C and E. Studies also suggest that antioxidants play a significant role in maintaining blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
5. High potassium content
Another advantage of eating avocado during pregnancy is its rich potassium content surpassing bananas, with 100 grams making up 14% of the daily value. This mineral plays a significant role in maintaining the electrolyte and fluid balance in your body’s cells during pregnancy. Hence including avocado as a part of your diet, amongst other foods rich in potassium, would be a beneficial option.
6. Loaded with vitamins
Avocados are rich in several vitamins, including B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, and K. B2 takes care of the eyes and skin. B3 facilitates better digestion, lessening nausea. B5 fosters hormone creation, besides relieving leg cramps. Besides its antioxidant properties, vitamin C helps in collagen formation, tissue repair, healing of wounds, and cell growth. On the other hand, Vitamin E benefits in maintaining the structure of cells and helping in the fetus’ lung development. Vitamin K has healing properties, helping the body to recover well, particularly post-delivery, and helping maintain bone health during pregnancy by raising calcium absorption.
7. Beneficial in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Studies have revealed that being low in fat, avocado significantly reduces the total cholesterol level, thus helping to shed off the bad fat and retain the good fat. Women troubled with high cholesterol can consider taking an avocado a day in pregnancy, though not without a doctor’s consultation.
Ways to eat avocado in pregnancy
- Sliced and added to sushi rolls
- Blended into a creamy smoothie or juice
- Prepared as a milkshake or added to ice-creams
- Mashed into a tasty dip (guacamole)
- Chopped and sliced to make a crunchy summer salad
Though unripe avocados are not said to have any adverse effects, but if you eat raw fruit, limit your consumption.
Are there any disadvantages of eating avocado when pregnant
Though the fruit has no known side effects, eating too many at a time may be bad for your digestive health. Moreover, some might be intolerant to it, particularly those allergic to latex or birch pollen. When you are expecting, certain foods you were not allergic to might also cause a reaction. If you experience swelling, itching, or any other symptoms after having avocado, seek medical help at once. You can also conduct a latex allergy test at home.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.