Being a pregnant woman, you should certainly pay attention to the nutrients consumed, especially vegetables and fruits. Many vegetables and fruit, like the benefits of blackberries, are useful for fetal growth to facilitate the much better process of childbirth. One of the most in-demand fruits is bananas.
Bananas are fruits that contain many nutrients good for the body and is one of the oldest cultivated plants. Based on research by K. P. Sampath Kumar, et al at the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, bananas are fruits that have all the benefits for different treatments or purposes:
- Banana flowers can be a remedy for bronchitis, dysentery, and ulcers. Cooked flowers can be given to diabetics.
- The sap can overcome hysteria, epilepsy, leprosy, fever, bleeding, acute dysentery, and diarrhea, and can be applied to hemorrhoids, bites, and insect stings.
- Its young leaves can also be placed as poultices on burns and other skin diseases, while the older ones can be taken for dysentery, diarrhea, and malignant ulcers.
- Its roots can treat indigestion, dysentery, and other diseases.
Reported from the Department of Agriculture, United States, 100 grams of bananas contain the following nutrients:
- Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
- Vitamin B6
According to a study conducted by Sarah E. Santiago from the University of California Department of Psychology, bananas are the type of fresh fruits most commonly consumed by pregnant women. This is because bananas have a type of essential nutrients that provide many benefits for maternal health and fetal development. Plus, they can also give the benefits of bananas for babies as well.
With all its benefits, no wonder that bananas become one of the most loved fruits for pregnancy. Here’s some of their best benefits :
Health Benefits of Banana During Pregnancy
- Relieves Constipation
One of the benefits of bananas for pregnant women is to prevent or relieve constipation.This condition often occurs in pregnant women, due to slowing digestion due to several factors.
To overcome it, mothers are recommended to consume fiber as much as 25 to 30 grams per day. Bananas can be chosen as a daily source of fiber, because in 1 medium-sized banana there is about 2.5 grams of fiber.
Just by consuming them regularly, moms can gain the beneficial health benefits of banana for constipation.
- Treats Morning Sickness
Early in pregnancy, pregnant women tend to become lazy or reluctant to eat. This is caused by morning sickness that can cause nausea and vomiting, so the appetite is greatly reduced.
Though it occurs naturally, moms still need to eat something healthy despite the coming problems of morning sickness. They need something that’s easy and safer to consume to relieve this.
The Vitamin B6 content makes it possible for bananas to help to relieve morning sickness indications like frequent vomiting and unpleasant nausea. In addition, bananas are also easy to digest and quite filling so moms can feel more energized and spirited.
- Contains A Lot of Vitamin C
The recommended intake of vitamin C for pregnant women is about 80-85 mg per day. Bananas contain vitamin C that serves as an antioxidant to ward off free radicals, forming collagen in bones, cartilage, muscles, skin and blood vessels; and is important for tissue repair and wound healing.
If you have no bananas, you can still enjoy the health benefits of kiwi fruit that’s more common to find.
- Fulfills Folic Acid Needs
Folic acid is needed by pregnant women to prevent birth defects in infants, especially defects in neural tubes and the brain. This usually occurs in the early 3-4 weeks of pregnancy in mothers who are deficient in folic acid.
So, they need to consume foods rich in folic acid, such as bananas. To reduce the risk of defects in fetal neural tubes, pregnant women are advised to consume about 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
This intake can be met by consuming foods rich in folic acid and pregnancy supplements prescribed by a doctor. Bananas are surely the safest way.
- Prevents Anemia
The next and final benefit of bananas for pregnant women is to prevent anemia. Anemia is a common occurrence in pregnant women.
For that, moms need more iron than their usual daily needs. According to Mayo Clinic website, pregnant women need twice as much iron as pregnant women.
As said by Dr. Iwinosa Ehigiator, gynecologist at Estate Clinic, Benin, during pregnancy, the body produces about 50 percent more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of developing babies.
Bananas contain iron at least 3% of the total vitamin content to help to produce hemoglobin and further prevent anemia during pregnancy. However, the benefits of turkey berry can also help you with this, in case you need an alternative.
According to the Department of Primary Industry in the United States, pregnant women are advised to consume 2 medium-sized bananas per day. These amounts are ideal to help your nutritional intake.
In addition, there are some side effects that a mother needs to understand first before consuming this fruit. Some of the risks or side effects of consuming high amounts of bananas include:
- Bananas can increase sugar levels in the body, so you are not advised to consume this food if you have a history of gestational diabetes.
- Some people can also experience allergies due to a type of enzyme called chitinase contained in bananas.
Because it has these risk factors, it does not hurt if you monitor your health condition and consume bananas naturally while pregnant. Though the taste is pretty good, don’t take it excessively.