Dates During Pregnancy - Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, And Side Effects

Is It Safe To Eat Dates During Pregnancy?

Eating a healthy and nutritious diet during the pregnancy period is very essential. You need to consume healthy foods to provide vital nutrients to your baby. Dried fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and many other nutrients that your baby needs to grow. Dates are among those dry fruits which provide you numerous vital nutrients that are required for the healthy growth and development of your baby. Dates are a great source of energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In this article, we're going to tell you all about having dates during pregnancy.

Dates during pregnancy benefits & side effects

Health Benefits of Dates during Pregnancy

Dates are not only sweet and delicious but they also contain numerous vital nutrients that are required for a healthy pregnancy. Some of the amazing health benefits of eating dates during pregnancy are:

1. Promote Overall Fetal Development

Dates are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that your body requires throughout your pregnancy period to nurture your baby. They are fully packed with several essential nutrients that are crucial for the normal growth, development, and overall well-being of your baby. Hence consuming dates during pregnancy helps to promote overall fetal development.

2. Prevent Cancer

Dates contain antioxidants flavonoids such as lutein, ß-carotene, and zeaxanthin. All these antioxidants are capable to protect cells from the harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals. Hence, the consumption of dates reduces the chances of developing breast, colon, endometrial, lung, and prostate cancer. 

3. Great Source of Iron

Dates are a rich source of iron. During pregnancy, your body requires iron to make extra blood for you and your little one. Iron makes red blood cells for you and as well as for your baby. Getting an adequate amount of iron is also essential to prevent a condition called anemia that causes a lack of red blood cells or dysfunctional red blood cells in the body. Severe anemia can lead to fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. 

4. Maintain Fluid Balance

They're a good source of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. Both of these electrolytes help to maintain fluid balance in the body. Potassium also has the ability to keep your blood pressure under control thereby reduces the risk of developing hypertension or heart-related issues. The potassium and sodium content of dates also helps to strengthen your nervous system.  They're free from cholesterol and contain very little fat hence keep heart-related complications at a bay. 

5. Packed with minerals

They're fully loaded with essential minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. All these minerals are required for the healthy growth and development of the fetus.

6. Strengthens Bones and Teeth

Dates contain an ample amount of calcium which is an essential mineral that helps to strengthen teeth and bones. It is also required by the body for muscle contraction, and blood clotting. Dates also contain magnesium, a mineral that is essential for bone growth. Dates are a great source of manganese, magnesium, selenium,  copper, and all of these are required to keep your bones healthy and strong. These minerals also reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become weak and brittle. 

7. Rich in Protein

They're an excellent source of protein that helps to keep you fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy. Protein plays a key role in the development of a healthy fetus and also maintains maternal health. It helps to build up your baby's soft tissues and placenta. It also helps to form your baby's nails, hair, bone, and organs.

8. Healthy Snack

They contain natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose, and fructose which makes them a healthy substitute for your sweet cravings during pregnancy. Dates combined with other dry fruits work really well as a quick snack. 

9. Aids Digestion

The high fiber content of dates keeps constipation at a bay and promotes digestion thereby keeps your digestive tract healthy. The fiber content of dates keeps you full for a longer time thereby helps you to maintain a healthy weight gain while pregnant. 

10. Boost Energy

Dates are a powerhouse of energy. They're high in calories. They contain natural sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose which provide you instant energy. Dates incorporated with other dry fruits such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc. are one of the perfect energy-boosting snacks during the pregnancy period. 

11. Prevent Birth Defects

Dates are a good source of folate which is one of the most crucial nutrients that you required during pregnancy. It helps to prevent your baby from birth defects. It also helps to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

12. Good Source of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for the baby's bone development. It helps in blood clotting that is essential to prevent serious bleeding. Vitamin K helps to improve bone density and strengthens bones. The deficiency of vitamin K can be hazardous for the baby as it affects blood clotting. So, it's essential to take an adequate amount of vitamin K throughout your pregnancy.

13. Prevent Cramping

Dates are a great source of magnesium, a mineral that supports muscular health and also helps to reduce muscle cramping during pregnancy. This mineral also helps in the formation of teeth and bones. It also keeps your blood sugar levels under control during pregnancy.

Side Effects of eating dates during pregnancy

Although dates are healthy and nutritious so it's good to consume them while pregnant. They provide numerous health benefits to both the expectant mother and her growing baby. But remember to eat them in moderation. Overconsumption of dates during pregnancy can cause adverse effects on your health. Some of the side effects caused due to the overeating of dates during pregnancy are:

  • Increased risk of Gestational Diabetes
  • Increase in Blood Sugar Levels
  • Excess Weight Gain
  • Tooth Decay

Precautions to be taken while eating dates during pregnancy

Some of the precautions that you should take while consuming dates during pregnancy include:

  • Eat them in moderation.
  • Avoid overconsumption of dates as it can lead to excess weight gain or other health issues during pregnancy.

Nutritional Value of Dates

100 g of dates contain the following nutrients:

Calories 277 kcal
Carbohydrates 74.97 g
Fats 0.15 g
Protein 1.81 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 6.7 g
Vitamin A 149 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.050 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.060 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1.610 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.805 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.249 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 15 µg
Vitamin C 0 mg
Vitamin K 2.7 µg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 696 mg
Calcium 64 mg
Iron 0.90 mg
Magnesium 54 mg
Manganese 0.296 mg
Zinc 0.44 mg
Copper 0.362 mg
Phosphorus 62 mg
Carotene-ß 89 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 23 µg

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are dates good for pregnant women?

Yes, dates are a great choice as they're a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All of these nutrients are highly recommended for a healthy pregnancy.

2. Do dates induce labor?

Yes, consumption of dates in late pregnancy helps to induce labor and make your delivery process shorter and easier. 

3. Are dates safe during pregnancy?

Yes, dates are safe to consume during pregnancy. They're an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Your body requires all of these nutrients for a healthy pregnancy and to nourish your little one as well. 

4. Is it safe to eat Medjool dates during pregnancy?

Medjool dates are a good source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They're low in fat and contain many essential nutrients that are required for the healthy growth and proper development of the fetus.

5. How to eat dates during pregnancy?

There are so many ways to include dates in your pregnancy diet. Some of the easiest ways to include dates in your diet are:

  • Deseed the dates and consume them with other nuts and dry fruits of your choice.
  • You can add chopped dates with salad or dessert of your choice.
  • You can add it to a glass of warm milk.

6. When should I start eating dates during pregnancy?

You can eat dates at any stage of your pregnancy. 

Eating Dates during the first trimester

Constipation is a common complication during the first trimester of pregnancy. Dates contain a good amount of fiber that helps to fight against constipation. Eating them during the first trimester of pregnancy is extremely beneficial. However, remember to eat them in moderation.

Eating Dates during the second trimester

You can eat dates in your second trimester as well but remember to eat them in a moderate amount as overconsumption can lead to several health issues. Avoid eating dates if your blood sugar levels are high as it can increase the chances of developing gestational diabetes. 

Eating Dates during the third trimester

Consuming dates during the third trimester is quite beneficial for the expectant mother as it has laxative properties which help to promote uterine contractions. 

Eating Dates during late pregnancy

Consumption of dates during the late pregnancy helps to ease the delivery process. It helps to promote uterine contractions. So, the consumption of dates helps to induce labor and also reduces the chances of postpartum hemorrhage.

7. How many dates should I consume per day during pregnancy?

You can consume 3 to 5 dates per day during pregnancy. Deglet Noor dates are smaller and a bit darker than Medjool Dates. If you're eating Deglet Noor dates then 5 to 6 dates per day is fine. If you're having Medjool Dates then eat 3 dates per day during your pregnancy period. 

8. How does the consumption of dates help in pregnancy?

Date fruit has a laxative effect that helps to stimulate uterine contractions. It also helps to reduce the chances of postpartum hemorrhage. 

Dates are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They're highly nutritious and provide numerous health benefits to the expectant mother and her baby. If you're expecting and want to add this dry fruit to your diet consult your doctor first and add this magic dry fruit to your pregnancy diet.

Also, read other pregnancy-related articles:

Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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