When a woman is expecting, her body needs additional amount of food. During this period, nutritions intake should be considered carefully, both in quantity and quality. Fruits are compulsory food to eat during pregnancy. Amongst them, melon is one with the most benefits.
I know what you’re thinking. Melon? Really? Only a few people know the healthy benefits of melon. Let alone, its benefit for pregnant woman. Well, you can read on to find out and thank me later.
Melon, also known as honeydew, is arguably the most favourite type of Muskmelon. Despite its popularity, there is no information of the true origin of melon. Largely grown in French during the fifteenth century, it is easy to find everywhere nowadays. I guess the origin doesn’t matter because there are more significant things to know about this particular fruit.
Good news for every mom-to-be out there: Melon is not only fulfilling and tastes very good. It is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals as well. We can gain healthy nutrients from melon, such as Vitamin A, B, C, Potassium and Folic Acid to name a few. Most of them are important nutrients for pregnancy. I compile 11 little known benefits of melon that are essential during pregnancy:
1. To prevent abnormalities in a fetus
Melon has a high amount of folic acid or vitamin B9. Folic acid is a vitamin which plays significant role in the early development of an unborn baby. Furthermore, melon also contains zinc which helps developing body’s tissues. Studies show that the possibilty of neural tube defects in a fetus can be reduced up to 50 percent when a pregnant woman consumes the suggested amount of folic acid and zinc.
2. To boost immune system
500 grams serving of melon will provide the minimum amount of Vitamin C needed per day by an expectant. Vitamin C helps greatly in enhancing immunity to fight illness and infection for both mother and unborn baby.
3. To prevent anemia
Health benefits of melons during pregnancy very important to prevent anemia. The high amount of Vitamin C in melon aids in the assimilation of iron. Iron is vital during pregnancy because it forms not only red blood cells, but also tissues for both baby and placenta. Women who suffers from anemia during pregnancy is likely to experience premature labor and infant mortality.
4. To maintain blood pressure level
Melon is a good source of potassium which helps controlling the balance of fluid and electrolyte in body’s cells, which in turn maintains blood pressure level. Constant high blood pressure level during pregnancy can lead to certain complications or even a premature delivery.
5. To prevent leg cramps
Most likely than not, expectant woman suffers from leg cramp. You might want to look into that because it can be a sign of potassium shortage intake. Pregnant woman needs 4.100 mg of potassium per day and one kilogram of delicious melon could meet the amount.
6. To develop unborn baby’s brain, bone, teeth, muscle and nerve system
B vitamins such as Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B6 can also be found in melon. Thiamin (Vitamin B1) promotes brain development. Riboflavin helps in developing baby’s bone and muscle. Vitamin B6 helps in developing new red blood cells, which in turn promotes brain development and nerve system as well. Calcium can also be found in melon which helps form bones and teeth. Furthermore, melon carries Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are significant in developing nerve system and bone respectively.
7. To develop unborn baby’s vision and skin cell growth
Melon contains 88,5 IU of Vitamin A per 177 grams. Vitamin A contributes an essential role in developing unborn baby’s eyes. It also supports the production of skin cell, which in turn supports baby’s immune system even after birth.
8. To support pospartum tissue recovery
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in liver and fat cell’s of body. With sufficient consumption of Vitamin A during pregnancy, it helps in recovering mother’s damaged tissue after delivery.
9. To provide energy
During pregnancy, a woman needs double amount of energy to support her body. Consider to eat melon as a delicious source of energy, because it contains carbohydrate and protein. Carbohydrate is faster than protein when it comes for body to turn them into energy. However, protein can provide energy that last longer than carbohydrate.
10. To moisturize skin
Pregnant woman should consider to reduce the use of chemical bodycare since the ingredients may give negative effects on the baby. Melon consists a lot of water, 159 grams per 177 grams of serving. This will help to moist the skin from the inside.
11. To help in digestion and stabilize weight
Last but not the least, melon is good for digestion as it contains soluble and insoluble fiber. As soluble fiber helps balancing blood sugar and lowering cholesterol level, insoluble fiber helps preventing constipation or other digestive problems. Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. An insoluble fiber, also known as dietary fiber, can reduce or control bowel movement which in turn prevent constipation. Other than that, melon also carries calories so a pregnant woman can meet the extra amount of calories intake, especially on the second and third semester. It is normal for expectant to feel hungry easily and gain weight gradually. However, one should watch her pregnancy weight closely as it is associated with the baby’s weight.
Being pregnant should be a wonderful experience for every woman. Aside from regular exercise and enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet ensure smooth pregnancy. Melon is definitely the kind of fruit to consume during the process without feeling guilty. Whether a pregnant woman want to eat it between meals or to satisfy late night craving, melon is the right option for you.