Avocado during pregnancy

Why are avocados so good for pregnant women

If you are wondering whether you should have avocado during pregnancy or not, you are in the right place. A powerhouse of nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium, lutein and folate, avocados are a rich source of vitamin B, which provide immunity and protection against diseases. They also have vitamin C and E, with natural plant chemicals, which may help against cancer. This wonder fruit is low in sugar, contains adequate fibre, and gives you satiety for long hours.

Here is a list of both macronutrients and micronutrients that are present in avocados.

  • Carbohydrates- Eating avocados during pregnancy can be beneficial as it contains very little sugar. Half of an avocado (68 grams) contains 109 calories, only 0.5% of sugar, in the form of glucose, fructose and galactose. As the sugar content is extremely low, avocados have a low glycemic index score, which means they don’t raise sugar levels after consumption.
  • Fibre- As a whole, avocado is rich in carbohydrates (79%). Half an avocado gives you 4.5 grams of fibre, which is an extremely high amount. Dietary fibre is crucial for pregnant women to avoid constipation and regulate the appetite. This fibre also feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut and has short-chain fatty acids, which some people find hard to digest.
  • Fat- Avocados contain monosaturated fats and oleic acid, which is the main component of olive oil, and has been linked to reduced inflammation and protection against cancer. Avocado oil is a rich source of good fats but comes with high kilocalories.
  • Vitamins and minerals- It has folate, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, B6 and C, which perform multiple functions in the body. They offer protection against free radicals and inflammation, control blood pressure, ensure normal cell functioning, and promote tissue growth etc.
  • Other plant compounds- Avocados have carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) that are beneficial for eye health and can reduce age-related eye diseases. Persenones A and B (unique antioxidants that have protective effects against inflammation and cancer) and D-Mannoheptulose (a type of sugar which is believed to assist with blood sugar control) are its other components.

Benefits of eating avocado during pregnancy

Eating avocados during pregnancy can have multiple benefits, which are listed below:-

  • Promotes nutrient absorption- It assists the body in absorbing multiple nutrients during pregnancy. If eaten with green leafy vegetables and sweet potatoes, it assists in absorbing antioxidants from them.
  • Maintains glucose level- As avocado has a low glycemic index, it maintains the body’s sugar level.
  • Provides ample amounts of minerals- Pregnancy demands nutrients for further development of the baby. Avocado has calcium, magnesium, potassium (rich amount), copper, zinc, phosphorus and tons of vitamins, which are crucial for both the mother and baby. Folate aids in the development of the baby's brain and reduces the risk of spina bifida while the potassium and calcium provide relief from leg cramps.
  • Supplies good fats- Avocado has mono-unsaturated fats and is resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making it a healthy and safe choice that protects the baby and the mother from any inflammation. Multiple studies have reported that avocados reduce heart diseases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Rich in antioxidants - Being high in antioxidants, it is a wonder food which can protect the mother and baby against dangerous free radicals and cancer.
  • Easy to incorporate into meals - Avocados are delicious and can be used easily to make a quick snack or a nutrition meal. You could whip up a quick avocado smoothie or eat avocados slices on a toast, incorporate it into a salad, or make an avocado chaat with a pinch of salt, garlic and lime juice. Avocados makes you feel lighter and slows down digestion, aiding in long term satiety.

The common cons associated with this fruit are its pricing and bland taste. However, the price you pay is worth the many benefits avocados offer, and the taste can be enhanced with dressings and spices.

Conclusion

Avocados are a superfood that are loaded with beneficial nutrients that are much needed during pregnancy. A recent study (published in a magazine called Nutrients) concludes this about avocados –

“Avocados are a unique nutrient-rich plant-based food that contain many of the critical nutrients for fetal and infant health and development. They fit within the guidelines for a Mediterranean-style diet (that is, they contain MUFA, fiber, antioxidants, and are low-glycemic), which is known to be beneficial for disease reduction in most populations, including pregnant and lactating populations.”

So, go ahead and eat up this wonder fruit.