Your pregnancy diet must include healthy and nutritious foods and fruits. Healthy eating is especially important during pregnancy. Here are Six fruits igbo pregnant women eat to get the nutrients they and their growing baby need.
It helps cure morning sickness, alleviate feelings of nausea and also gives relief from heart burns during pregnancy. Fresh watermelon is high in vitamins A and C as well as potassium. A dose of vitamin B6 and magnesium is gotten by eating fresh watermelon. All of these nutrients are especially important during pregnancy. Watermelon also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that can help prevent heart disease and cancer as well as boost the immune system and reduce skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends eating three servings of fresh fruit per day while you are pregnant. The high levels of water and vitamins in watermelon also help keep your body hydrated, which is important to prevent pregnancy fatigue and help their bodies flush toxins. The potassium and magnesium found in fresh watermelon can alleviate muscle cramps, which are often prevalent for pregnant women in the third trimester.
A research gathered by the “International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics” found that consuming foods high in lycopene, such as watermelon, there can be reduction in the risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition that can cause serious danger on babies. Getting plenty of lycopene while pregnant can also reduce the risk of having a baby who suffers from intrauterine growth retardation.
Igbo women eat ripe pawpaw during pregnancy because the fruit is considered so full of health benefits. It promotes digestion, builds the immune system, prevents constipation, lowers inflammation, prevents heart disease, complications from diabetes and atherosclerosis. However there is a precaution to the consumption of this fruit when it is unripe. It is believed that papaya may induce abortion or inhibit normal growth of the embryo, if consumed during pregnancy. This belief is partially true. Unripe or semi-ripe papaya when eaten by a pregnant woman may be fatal for the fetus, as it may induce uterine contractions. As such, the intake of unripe or half-ripe papaya for pregnant women is dangerous and definitely not recommended. Hence, ripe papaya is a rich source of nutrients, which would promote the normal development of the baby and also retain mother’s health. In fact, the eating of ripe papaya during pregnancy eases pre and post-partum symptoms and helps in lactation.
Similar to pawpaw, mangoes contain certain enzymes with stomach comforting properties and rich in fibre. Igbo pregnant women add at least one mango every day in their diet, this is to prevent constipation, piles and symptoms of a spastic colon. Research and studies published at Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety have demonstrated that dietary fiber has a positive effect on eliminating degenerative diseases, including certain cancers and heart conditions.
The garden egg, also known as eggplant is a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, copper and vitamin B1 for an Igbo mother and her unborn child. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, folate, magnesium and niacin. Eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid.
The garden egg plant can be regarded as a brain food because it houses the anthocyanin phytonutrient found in its skin, Nasunin, a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage.
Studies have shown that nasunin protects the fats in brain cell membranes. Nasunin is not only a potent free-radical scavenger, but is also an iron chelator.
Banana is an excellent source of potassium which Igbo women eat to keep their blood pressure at a normal level, during pregnancy. It is also important for a healthy nervous system and kidneys. One medium banana contains 350mg potassium, which is around 12% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
Of all fruits, bananas are the best source of vitamin B6, with one large banana providing 50% of the RDI. Vitamin B6 helps the body to make red blood cells, and neurotransmitters such as serotonin (the ‘feel-good’ hormone).
Bananas are a good source of Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants fight against damage caused by free radicals that can lead to some types of cancer, as well as heart disease and premature ageing. Vitamin C is very important during pregnancy as it helps to boost immune system. One medium banana provides 10mg vitamin C, a quarter of the RDI.
Dietary fibre is important but especially so during pregnancy. One medium banana provides 2.3g dietary fibre, almost 10% of the RDI.
It relieves pregnant women of pains, controls their blood pressure,helps to control excess weight accumulated during pregnancy, promotes healthy skin, prevents headache and rehydrates their body.