During pregnancy, mothers should aware about what fruits they should consume and what fruits they should avoid. Consuming fruits during pregnancy is important especially in the first trimester because during that time most mothers are still suffering morning sickness while the fetus is in important stage of development. During the first trimester, high amount of nutrients required to the development of brain and nervous system. Consuming fruits like plums are great to get rid the worst symptoms of morning sickness and at the same time fulfilling the nutrients required.
What are Plums?
Plums are from genus Prunus and still in the same family with peaches and cherries. There are some varieties of plums from Prunus domestica which is originated from Europe, while Asian people are familiar with plums from varieties Prunus simonili and Prunus salicina. The name of plum comes from old English ‘plume’. Right now, people are consuming plums in two ways, fresh plum which is simply well known as plums and dried plums are best known as prunes which are widely used as the additional ingredients of cake.
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Nutritional Values of Plums
|Plums (Fresh Plums)|
Serving Size: 100 g
|Panthothenic Acid||135 mg|
|Vitamin A||345 IU|
|Vitamin C||5 mg|
|Vitamin E||26 mg|
|Vitamin K||4 g|
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Plums are one of the fruits you should add to your diet during pregnancy because this fruits are not only packed with nutrients that every pregnant mother needs to maintain their health but also contained some important compounds that are essential to optimal development of fetus. Indeed, here are the health benefits of plums during pregnancy:
- Prevents Premature Birth
There are a lot of factors that could cause premature birth but consuming plum regularly could help women preventing premature birth to occur. It is because plum is containing magnesium in relatively high amount. Magnesium has significant role in relaxing the muscles, so early contraction could be prevented.
- Optimizes the Iron Absorption
Iron is one of the prominent mineral that mothers should consume during pregnancy. Iron is essential to the production of red blood cells and red blood cells are important to the development of fetus. Without enough amounts of red blood cells, the risk of child born with birth defect is getting higher. Plum contains relatively high amount of vitamin C which will optimize the absorption of iron.
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- Get Rids of Constipation Naturally
During pregnancy, the intestine is getting slower because there is baby in the belly that will take more place in the stomach, so sometimes is hard to avoid constipation because the bowel movement is not normal. However, plum is rich of fiber that will help mothers to get rid of constipation naturally because fiber will assist in normalizing the movement inside the digestive tract.
- Solutions to Fatigue and Stress
Sometimes is very difficult to avoid stress during pregnancy that could lead to fatigue. There are a lot of factors that could cause stress during pregnancy including hormone imbalance. What you need is foods that could make you happy and since plum contains potassium and antioxidant that could boost your energy, instead of feeling stressful you will feel energized.
- Prevents Gestational Diabetes
Besides, premature birth, one of the fears that pregnant mothers should face is gestational diabetes. However, plum is one of the fruits recommended to consume in daily basis with benefit to prevent gestational diabetes. It is because plum is relatively low in calories with low glycemic index.
- Controls Blood Pressure Efficiently
Do you know that during pregnancy the spike of blood pressure is not only fatal for the mother but also for the baby? That’s why, keeping yourself in control with your blood pressure is important. Consuming foods rich of potassium is one of the ways to control blood pressure and luckily, plum is the great source of potassium with lower sodium.
- Greats for Bone
During pregnancy, calcium you consumed is not only required for baby development but also to keep the mother healthy. If the amount of calcium in the body is not enough, the requirement of calcium for fetus development will be taken from the calcium stock in the mother’s bone. Surely you don’t want that to happen and consuming plum which is rich of calcium could help you making sure of that.
- Natural Immunity Booster
As rich of antioxidants and vitamin C, surely plum is also great for immunity booster. During pregnancy, common flu and fever could be fatal for the baby, so you have to try your best to not ever getting sick during pregnancy.
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- Prevents Abnormal Blood Clots
Abnormal blood clots are dangerous for every human and it becomes more dangerous for pregnant mother. Plum contains potassium that will eliminate the excessive amount of sodium while vitamin K will the accumulation of abnormal blood clots.
- Greats for Brain
It is a common knowledge that foods rich of folate is great for brain. Consuming fresh plum regularly during pregnancy could produce a baby with great brain, especially during critical time which is in the first trimester.
- Contains Strong Antioxidants
Well, surely you have known that foods rich of vitamin C may contain high amount of antioxidants and plum is not the exception. There are some strong antioxidants found in plums that are effective to fight free radicals.
- Great Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential during pregnancy. Some doctors will suggest mother to take supplement in order to fulfill the daily intake of vitamin C. Unfortunately, supplement also contains some chemical compounds that could be harmful for the fetus. So, it is so much better if mothers could take the vitamin C from the natural source only and plum is one of the fruits recommended in this matter.
- Controls Weight
Getting obese during pregnancy could be fatal for the baby and in most case, mothers should ended up with the C-section in their stomach because the baby is too big to be born in normal way. However, underweight during pregnancy is also dangerous. Plum has enough carbohydrate to prevent from being underweight but also rich of fiber and relatively low in calories that will not cause any weight gain.
- Combats Anemia
Pregnant mothers are vulnerable to anemia because unhealthy diet will affect the production of red blood cells. Consuming foods that are rich of iron is highly recommended in this matter because iron deficiency will lead to severe anemia. Plum is one of the fruits that are rich of iron and recommended and relatively safe for mothers to consume during pregnancy.
- Greats for Skin
One of the drawback of pregnancy is sometimes body will suffer hormone imbalance that could affect the appearance of the mothers. Skin will get darker, some spots will appear, the skin looks dull, acnes, excessive oil and many more. Plum contains antioxidants and vitamin C that will keep the health of your skin so no matter how big your belly is, you still are a beautiful mother.
- Healthy Snack during Pregnancy
Snacking during pregnancy is important because during pregnancy, you are not allowed to eat in big portion because when you eat, it doesn’t mean the baby is eating with you. To make sure that the baby is getting all the nutrients, you will be recommended to eat more often but in smaller portion.
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Cautions of Plums
During pregnancy you should really careful with what you eat. Plums are proven to be amazing for pregnancy because those fruits are packed with all the nutrients required by both the mother and the baby. However, there are some conditions that are exceptional and every pregnant mother should aware of it.
- Plums contain zero calories. As mentioned above, plums are great to control weight during pregnancy because obesity could be fatal during pregnancy. However, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid calories at all. Calories are still important for human including pregnant mothers. So, it is important to find another source of calories to fulfill the need during pregnancy.
- Plums also prone to kidney stones. Well, if you don’t have any problem with your kidney and then nothing you should worry about but if you have diagnosed with certain issues in your kidney is better to avoid plums at all cost.
- During pregnancy is better to only consume fresh prunes instead of the dried plums or prunes because dried fruits are relatively high in sugar and sodium. No matter how high potassium contained in plums but you cannot make sure whether the amount is the same or reduced during the preservation process.
Pregnancy is a special gift from God for women. Only those who have experienced pregnancy could understand how special they are as women and how hard they should do to keep and give birth to a healthy baby. If you think that the hardest part of pregnancy is giving birth to the baby, well you’re probably wrong, giving birth to the baby is probably the most important part but the hardest part is when mothers should carry the baby for around 9 months inside their belly, keeping the baby healthy and at the same time keeping themselves healthy as well because only healthy and happy mother who could give birth to healthy and happy baby. Thus, there are the health benefits of plums during pregnancy.