Eating dates during pregnancy: 5 reasons why this is perfect for your sweet cravings

When women get pregnant, they start craving for certain foods. Sometimes they may get up in the middle of night and ask for ice cream. Other times, they will feel like eating chocolate. They can satisfy their sweet tooth by eating dates, which are healthy and have benefits. For 2011 study published in the US National Library of Medicine, 154 women participated. While 77 of them ate dates late in their pregnancy, the remaining 77 didn’t. It was found that the women who ate dates had significantly less need for medical intervention when it came to inducing labour compared to those who didn’t take the sweet fruit. Read on to find out the benefits of eating dates during pregnancy.

Benefits of eating dates during pregnancy

Dates are rich in sugar, but they also have many micronutrients like potassium, manganese, magnesium and copper, says Dr Chetna Jain, Director Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cloudnine Group of hospitals, Sector 14, Gurugram. They are also very high in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid, making them healthy.

Dates for good health
Eating dates during pregnancy is good. Image courtesy; Shutterstock

Here are some of the benefits:

1. Dates can provide instant energy

Pregnant women tend to get tired and feel weak. That’s because during pregnancy, there is 40 percent increase in load on cardiovascular system and kidneys, explains the expert. Weight gain and change of gravity along with pressure on lumbar spine leads to tiredness. So, eating dates can help to give energy.

2. Dates can help relieve constipation

High fiber content of dates can help to relieve constipation, which happens to many women during pregnancy. During pregnancy, physical activity gets reduced. Level of progesterone, which regulates periods and supports pregnancy, is very high. Nausea leads to reduced food and water intake. All this contributes to constipation, so consuming dates can be good.

3. Dates can prevent anemia

Rich in iron, dates can prevent or correct iron-deficiency anemia. In pregnancy, the blood volume expands more than red cells. Iron absorption is low, so this leads to anemia.

4. Dates can improve bone health

Micronutrients such as selenium, magnesium and manganese present in dates can help to improve bone health by reducing the chances of osteoporosis, which many women complain of.

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5. Dates can decrease hair fall

Some women experience hair fall during pregnancy. Due to high iron content and their property to increase blood flow to the scalp and hair, dates can be beneficial for your hair.

Dr Jain says dates can also stimulate labour, so pregnant women can start taking dates in the ninth month or after 36 weeks that is about four weeks before their expected delivery date.

Dates in a bowl
Eating too much of dates has side effects. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Excessive consumption of dates has side effects

Dates are known to promote normal labour and delivery, but excess of anything is bad. Here’s what can happen:

• Eating too much of dates can cause weight gain due to its high caloric content. Each date contains 23 calories that is about 280 calories per hundred grams of dates.
• It can increase blood sugar and worsen sugar control in women who are living with type 2 diabetes.
• Excessive intake of dates can lead to bloating and constipation due to bacterial growth in the gut.
• Dates can cause tooth decay if teeth are not cleaned after consuming them.
• High potassium content of dates can harm women as they can end up with renal disease.

Consuming dates is healthy, but eat in small quantities if you want to enjoy its health benefits.

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