The sight of fresh, red, and delicious dragon fruit may stimulate your food cravings while you are expecting, but your brain stops you, and reminds you to be extra careful about what you eat.
While choosing to eat dragon fruit, or any new food, you need to know whether it is safe for pregnant women, and whether it has any health benefits. So, read our post below and learn more about eating dragon fruit during pregnancy.
What Is A Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit, widely popular as pitaya, originally belongs to cactus genus Hylocereus and is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. However, today you can find the delicious, scaly fruit in all parts of the world. It is available in sweet and sour varieties, depending on the species. Pitaya possesses a texture similar to kiwi, and it contains small black seeds (1).
Is It Safe To Eat Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy?
Yes, you can enjoy eating dragon fruit while expecting and satisfy your food craving. In fact, eating the fruit is highly beneficial for you and your unborn baby’s health. The nutrients in the dragon fruit not only ensure a healthy pregnancy but also protect your unborn baby from several birth defects and disorders. So, make it a point to eat an appropriate amount of red dragon fruit during pregnancy (2).
Health Benefits Of Eating Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy:
Dragon fruit doesn’t just satisfy your food craving during pregnancy, but it also provides you several health benefits, some of which include:
1. Prevents Birth Defects:
Folate is one of the vital nutrients that are essential during pregnancy. Dragon fruit contains good amounts of folate that helps protect your unborn baby from neural tube defects effectively. Also, the nutritious fruit is full of several beneficial vitamins, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C, and other vitamins, that promote appropriate health, growth, and fetal development (3).
2. Promotes Bone Development:
The calcium content in dragon fruit helps strengthen your bones and teeth during pregnancy. Also, calcium and phosphorus in the fruit ensure appropriate development of bones of your fetus while expecting.
3. Boosts Hemoglobin:
Dragon fruit contains high amounts of iron and vitamin C that help boost your hemoglobin count substantially during pregnancy. Good hemoglobin levels prevent the risk of development of anemia and its adverse effects (4).
4. Treats Constipation:
The fiber content in dragon fruit helps promote smooth digestion, smooth bowel movements, and prevents the risk of constipation troubles during pregnancy. Also, nutrients in the fruit provide cleansing effects and prevent the development of several digestive disorders.
5. Prevents Microbial Infections:
Antibacterial and antifungal properties of the delicious fruit inhibit the growth of bacterial and fungal infections in your organ systems and help you combat harmful bacterial and fungal infections during pregnancy. Also, consumption of dragon fruit while pregnant promotes cell regeneration and healing of injuries and wounds effectively (5).
6. Prevents Cancer:
The high antioxidant and vitamin C content of dragon fruit help neutralize free radical activity, boost your immunity, and prevent the risk of cancer development during pregnancy. Also, the carotene content in the nutritious fruit provides you anti-carcinogenic benefits and inhibits tumor growth (6).
7. Supplies Energy:
Carbohydrate is a crucial source of energy that you require for appropriate growth of your fetus. Dragon fruit is a natural source of carbohydrates which provide you sufficient energy during pregnancy. Just 100 grams of the delicious fruit provide you about 9 to 14 grams of carbohydrates (7). Isn’t this one of the great benefits of dragon fruit during pregnancy.
8. A Healthy Source Of Fats:
Fats in the dragon fruit not only provide you energy but also promote brain formation of your unborn baby. Just one serving of the fruit provides you about 0.1 to 0.6 grams of fats, prominently monounsaturated fats.