Eating Watermelon While Pregnant Is It Good or Bad

Eating Watermelon While Pregnant Is It Good or Bad

Eating Watermelon While Pregnant: Is It Good or Bad?

Watermelon has essential vitamins and minerals that benefit pregnant women. When eaten in moderation, it can be a healthy and delicious snack during pregnancy.

Old wives’ tales and misinformation can make it challenging to determine which foods are safe during pregnancy. Watermelon is a particularly controversial food, with some claiming it provides health benefits for pregnant women and others believing it can be harmful. If you’re expecting, you may be wondering if eating watermelon while pregnant is a good idea.

Watermelon offers potential health benefits during pregnancy, but it also has two risks. Discover the pros and cons of consuming this fruit during pregnancy.

One cup of diced watermelon provides these nutrients:

  • Water: 139 grams
  • Calories: 45.6
  • Protein: 0.927 grams
  • Total lipid (fat): 0.228 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 11.5 grams
  • Fiber: 0.608 grams
  • Sugars: 9.42 grams

Watermelon is mostly water, helping to keep you hydrated during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends drinking 64 to 96 ounces of water daily. Staying hydrated improves digestion and supports proper amniotic fluid formation.

Watermelon is also an excellent choice for pregnant individuals watching their calorie and fat intake. Normal-weight pregnant women should consume an extra 340 calories daily during the second trimester and 450 calories during the third. A one-cup serving of watermelon contains only 46 calories and less than 1 gram of fat, making it an excellent low-calorie and low-fat snack throughout pregnancy.

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However, the fiber content in a serving of watermelon is less than 1 gram. A fiber-rich diet during pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus and excessive weight gain. If you want to increase your fiber intake, other fruits like raspberries provide more fiber. For example, a ¾ cup serving of raspberries offers 9 grams of fiber.

What minerals and vitamins does watermelon provide for pregnant women?

Watermelon contains essential vitamins and minerals that benefit pregnant women. A one-cup serving of watermelon provides the following vital micronutrients:

  • Calcium: 10.6 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 15.2 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 16.7 milligrams
  • Potassium: 170 milligrams
  • Vitamin A: 42.6 micrograms
  • Vitamin C: 12.3 milligrams

Pregnant women need adequate micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A to protect their health. Insufficient micronutrient intake during pregnancy can lead to malnourishment, increasing the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus and mortality.

Micronutrients also support proper baby growth before and after birth. A gestational diet lacking in micronutrients can lead to conditions such as premature birth, low birth weight, cardiometabolic changes, cognitive and neurological delay, reduced immune function, and stunted growth.

Watermelon is a good source of micronutrients that boost the health of pregnant women and babies. For example, one serving of watermelon provides almost 11 milligrams of calcium, promoting baby growth and reducing the risk of premature birth. Watermelon also contains 15 milligrams of magnesium, which may lower the risk of pregnancy complications like hypertensive pregnancy syndromes and leg cramps.

Can eating watermelon during pregnancy prevent preeclampsia?

Some believe that watermelon’s high concentration of antioxidants, like lycopene, can help prevent preeclampsia. Preeclampsia occurs when women develop high blood pressure and swelling at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In severe cases, it can lead to preterm birth, seizures, and coma.

A 2018 study provided pregnant women with preeclampsia LaPiSe juice, a mixture of watermelon, chayotes, and bananas. Those who consumed the juice had lower blood pressure compared to those who didn’t. This study suggests that consuming watermelon as part of LaPiSe juice can aid in preventing and treating preeclampsia.

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QUESTION

What are other health benefits of eating watermelon while pregnant?

Research on the health benefits of watermelon during pregnancy is limited, but some studies have discovered potential advantages.

One study found that extracellular vesicles in watermelon fruit and juice may enhance placental function and boost a baby’s growth during pregnancy.

An animal study examined the effects of watermelon juice on pregnant white mice fed with monosodium glutamate (MSG). The study found that watermelon’s antioxidants countered the harmful effects of MSG in pregnant mice. However, this study has not been conducted with human subjects.

What are the potential risks of eating watermelon while pregnant?

Most pregnant women can safely consume watermelon without adverse effects. However, there are two potential dangers.

First, improper handling of melons can lead to the growth of a dangerous germ called Listeria. Listeria causes an infection that can harm unborn babies and pregnant women. The mother may experience mild symptoms like fever and fatigue after contracting the infection.

Unborn babies exposed to Listeria can die in the womb, and the infection can cause preterm labor.

To reduce the risk of Listeria, avoid eating cut melon left at room temperature for more than four hours. Refrigerated cut melon should be discarded after seven days.

Additionally, research suggests a positive association between consuming fruits and gestational diabetes mellitus. Watermelon has a high glycemic index due to its sugar content. Pregnant women who eat excessive amounts of high-glycemic fruits are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Your obstetrician or nutritionist can guide you in consuming an appropriate amount of watermelon and other fruits during your pregnancy.

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How can you eat watermelon while pregnant?

Watermelon is a versatile food that can be enjoyed raw or mixed in dishes. Here are a few tasty ways to eat watermelon while pregnant:

  • Added to salsa
  • Cut into slices
  • Diced
  • Grilled
  • Frozen into a popsicle
  • Fruit salad
  • Smoothie

Is it good or bad to eat watermelon while pregnant?

When eaten in moderation, watermelon can be a healthy and delicious snack during pregnancy. It is a great source of antioxidants and micronutrients that help maintain the health of the pregnant person and baby during and after pregnancy. Start incorporating watermelon into your diet today to enjoy its potential health benefits.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Pregnant Women and Newborns," "Prevention," "Symptoms."

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: "About Preeclampsia and Eclampsia."

FoodData Central: "Raspberries," "Watermelon, raw."

Methods and Protocols in Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology: "The effect of dietary fiber supplement on prevention of gestational diabetes mellitus in women with pre-pregnancy overweight/obesity: A randomized controlled trial."

Molecular Nutrition & Food Research: "Watermelon-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Influence Human Ex Vivo Placental Cell Behavior by Altering Intestinal Secretions."

Molecules: "Minerals in Pregnancy and Their Impact on Child Growth and Development."

Pharmacognosy Journal: "The Effect of Giving Red-fleshed Watermelon Juice (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.)) on Pregnant White Mice (Mus Musculus) Exposed by Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Orally on the Number and Morphology of Fetus."

Proceedings of the 1st International Conference of Indonesian National Nurses Association (ICINNA 2018): "The Lapise Juice as an Alternative Drink to Reduce Blood Pressure of Pregnant Women with Pre-eclampsia."

Scientific Reports: "Excessive fruit consumption during the second trimester is associated with increased likelihood of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective study."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "How much water should I drink during pregnancy?” "Nutrition During Pregnancy."

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