Pregnancy is a time of significant change and adjustment, not just emotionally but physically too. Among the many advice offered to expectant mothers, dietary recommendations might be one the most important. In this context, the humble custard apple emerges as a surprisingly potent ally.
Therefore, today we’ll talk about the 13 remarkable benefits of including this fruit in a pregnancy diet.
1. Reduction in Morning Sickness
Morning sickness can be a major hurdle for many pregnant women. Fortunately, custard apples contain Vitamin B6, known for its effectiveness in reducing nausea and vomiting. This vitamin works by moderating the production of pregnancy-related hormones that trigger morning sickness.
Moreover, its gentle taste and texture make custard apple an easy fruit to consume, even for those with heightened sensitivity to flavors during pregnancy.
2. Healthy Weight Gain
Healthily gaining weight is crucial during pregnancy. Custard apples, with their high calorie and natural sugar content, serve as an excellent choice for this. These sugars are easily metabolized by the body, providing a steady supply of energy.
The fruit’s calorie content supports the increased nutritional needs of the mother without adding empty calories, ensuring that both mother and baby get the right kind of nutrition.
3. Regulation of Blood Pressure
Fluctuating blood pressure is a common concern during pregnancy. Custard apples are rich in potassium and magnesium, both of which play a key role in regulating blood pressure.
Potassium, especially, helps balance the effects of salt in the body and eases tension in the blood vessel walls, while magnesium aids in relaxing the muscles and blood vessels, thus preventing hypertension and its associated risks during this period.
4. Relief from Constipation
Constipation is a frequent issue during pregnancy, often caused by hormonal changes and the pressure of the growing uterus. The dietary fiber in custard apples comes to the rescue, enhancing digestive health. This fiber adds bulk to the stool, facilitating easier bowel movements.
Additionally, it helps prevent other gastrointestinal issues like hemorrhoids, which are common in pregnancy due to increased venous pressure. Regular consumption of custard apples can maintain a balanced digestive system, making pregnancy more comfortable.
5. Reduction in Stress
Pregnancy can be a stressful period, with the body undergoing various changes. The magnesium present in custard apples plays a vital role in this aspect. By relaxing muscles and regulating the cardiovascular system, it helps reduce physical and psychological stress.
This relaxation effect is crucial for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, as excessive stress can have adverse effects on both the mother and the developing fetus.
6. Boost to Foetal Development
The comprehensive nutritional profile of custard apples makes them excellent for fetal development. They provide essential nutrients required for the formation of the fetus’s skin, tendons, and blood vessels.
The vitamins and minerals present in custard apples support the overall development and growth of the fetus, ensuring proper development of vital organs and systems.
7. Cleansing of Toxins From the Body
During pregnancy, the body’s need to eliminate toxins increases significantly. Custard apples, with their rich antioxidant content, are excellent for detoxifying the body. These antioxidants not only support kidney health but also strengthen the immune system, an essential aspect during this period.
By neutralizing harmful free radicals, they protect both the mother and the developing fetus from potential oxidative stress and related complications.
8. Relief From Dental Problems
Dental health is often overlooked during pregnancy, yet it is a time when women are more susceptible to dental issues. The fiber in custard apples promotes oral health. It aids in keeping the teeth clean and gums healthy, thus preventing common problems like gingivitis, which can escalate during this period due to hormonal changes.
Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of the fruit help in healing tender gums and maintaining overall oral hygiene.
9. Prevention of Premature Delivery
Custard apples contain copper, an essential mineral that plays a pivotal role in preventing premature births. Copper is involved in the formation of red blood cells and the development of the heart, blood vessels, and skeletal and nervous systems in the fetus.
Its adequate intake reduces the risk of miscarriage and premature delivery, ensuring a full-term and healthy pregnancy.
10. Helps in Digestion
Pregnancy often brings with it digestive challenges, and custard apples are a natural remedy. Their high fiber content ensures smooth digestion, preventing the discomfort of indigestion and heartburn, common in the later stages. This fiber also regulates bowel movements, reducing the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.
Furthermore, the soothing properties of custard apples can alleviate acidity and stomach ulcers, contributing to a more comfortable experience.
11. Enhances Mood
Mood swings are a well-known aspect of pregnancy, often driven by hormonal fluctuations. Custard apples, rich in Vitamin B6, play a significant role in mood regulation. This vitamin helps in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are crucial for maintaining good mental health.
Regular consumption can help in reducing feelings of depression and anxiety, ensuring a more balanced and positive emotional state during this period.
12. Provides Energy
Energy levels often fluctuate during pregnancy, and custard apples can be an excellent source of sustained energy. The natural sugars in custard apples are easily absorbed and metabolized, providing a quick energy boost without the crash associated with processed sugars.
This makes them an ideal snack for pregnant women, helping them stay active and energized throughout the day.
13. Increases Muscle Strength
Maintaining muscle strength is vital during pregnancy as the body prepares for childbirth. Custard apples, being higher in protein content than many other fruits, can contribute significantly to this aspect. Protein is essential for the repair and growth of muscle tissue.
The inclusion of custard apples in a pregnant woman’s diet can aid in strengthening muscles, which is beneficial for childbirth and post-delivery recovery.
Can eating custard apples help with iron deficiency during pregnancy?
Yes, this fruit can help with iron deficiency, which is common in pregnancy. They contain a moderate amount of iron, which is crucial for preventing anemia. However, they should be consumed as part of a balanced diet with other iron-rich foods for the best results.
Are there any allergy concerns associated with custard apples during pregnancy?
While these are generally safe, some individuals may have allergies to this fruit. It’s important for pregnant women to be aware of their body’s reactions. If they experience any allergic symptoms like itching or swelling, they should discontinue consumption and consult a doctor.
How can custard apples be incorporated into a pregnancy diet?
Custard apples can be eaten raw, added to fruit salads, blended into smoothies, or used as a topping for yogurt or cereal. They can also be made into a dessert or a refreshing drink. It’s important to consume them in moderation and as part of a varied diet.
Is it safe to consume custard apples throughout the entire pregnancy?
Yes, it is. However, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider, especially if there are any concerns or existing health conditions.
Can custard apples impact gestational diabetes?
Custard apples are sweet and contain natural sugars. If you have gestational diabetes, it’s important to monitor your sugar intake. Consult with your healthcare provider to understand how custard apples can fit into your diet without affecting your blood sugar levels.
Are there any parts of the custard apple that should not be consumed during pregnancy?
Pregnant women should avoid consuming the seeds of custard apples, as they contain small amounts of toxins that can be harmful if ingested in large quantities. The flesh of the fruit is safe and beneficial, but always ensure it is well-cleaned and ripe before consumption.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the custard apple is a powerhouse of nutrients and benefits, making it a highly recommended fruit for pregnant women. Its diverse range of advantages, from aiding in digestion to enhancing mood and supporting fetal development, underscores its significance in a healthy diet.
Integrating custard apples into daily consumption can significantly contribute to a safer, healthier, and more comfortable pregnancy.