During pregnancy, you crave the foods you’re strictly prohibited to eat and that’s the story of every woman. Well, fruits such as bananas are always loved and the best part is you can eat them in many different ways.
Bananas are rich in potassium, calcium, folate, and vitamin B complex which are all much needed during pregnancy. Moreover, there are many pregnancy-associated benefits of bananas too!
If they are so beneficial then, why to avoid banana during pregnancy?
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes are restricted to eat bananas because of the high amount of sugar present in them. Hence, the primary reason for avoiding bananas during pregnancy is diabetes but is it the only reason? No! There are many possible reasons that tell you why to avoid banana during pregnancy. So, let’s delve into it.
In this write-up, we’ll have a closer look at how bananas affect pregnancy, their benefits, side effects, and how to add them to your diet during pregnancy! So, to learn all about it, read on.
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Bananas During Pregnancy: What’s the Fuss About?
Pregnancy is when you’re advised to eat loads of fruits and veggies to boost your and baby’s health. Especially if it’s your first pregnancy, there must be dozens of questions popping up in your mind like what to eat and what not to, how to sit, how to lay down, and a lot more.
The most significant factor that plays a crucial role throughout your pregnancy is your diet! A healthy diet full of nutrition is what leads to a smooth pregnancy. Even the slightest negligence can make you suffer hard.
When we talk about diet, fruits make up a major portion of it, so, what about bananas? Are they good or bad during pregnancy? Every fruit has potential benefits and conditional side effects.
Bananas are generally the storehouse of potassium, calcium, and many more minerals and essential nutrients; however, do they benefit pregnancy? Well, they do benefit pregnancy and can also be a potential threat to it. Let us show you a detailed analysis.
Why Are Bananas Good In Pregnancy?
Bananas are rich in minerals such as potassium, vitamins such as B6, B9, and C, and fiber which is why they are recommended by the National Institute of Health for pregnant women. The nutrition detail of bananas shows how they can play a significant role in the development of the fetus (baby).
Nutritional Facts: (100 grams)
People prefer eating cooked bananas other than raw ones during pregnancy and there isn’t any concrete number of bananas to be added in the diet. You may consume one or two bananas but make sure to add them in moderation in your diet.
- During pregnancy, you’re supposed to take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent congenital defects of the nervous system. One medium-sized banana can help you take approximately 24 micrograms of folic acid which will enhance your natural Vitamin B9 (folate) intake.
- Calcium is a vital mineral whose proper intake is crucial in every stage of the life of a woman. Bananas are a good source of calcium as 100 grams of banana contains 5 grams of calcium. Hence, the mineral helps in the skeletal and neurological development of the child.
- Pregnant women usually struggle with nausea and here is where banana comes to the rescue. Bananas are rich in vitamin B complex which are anti-nausea and can help in getting rid of it.
- As your body develops another human inside it during pregnancy, it requires double the nutrition. Pregnant women often suffer from iron deficiency and thereby anemia (low level of RBCs/Hb). Bananas can help you maintain your iron levels to normal; however, supplementation becomes mandatory if you’re still deficient.
- The development of the brain of the fetus requires a good amount of folic acid, vitamin B complex, and iron which are all found in bananas.
- Digestive disorders such as constipation are quite common among pregnant women and can be prevented by adding bananas to the diet. Bananas are rich in fiber which makes them a suitable anti-constipation fruit.
- Ripe bananas are alkaline and can help in reducing acidity; moreover, they help in maintaining blood pressure, and even a small quantity can boost your energy levels.
Why to Avoid Banana During Pregnancy?
After reading the aforementioned benefits of bananas, you must be expecting zero side effects, then why to avoid banana during pregnancy? Although it’s an energy booster, and rich in both vitamins and minerals but certain factors might adversely influence your pregnancy.
It’s not that you should completely cut off bananas from your diet if you’re pregnant, a moderate quantity won’t do any bad to you but an excess of everything is bad! Avoid bananas during pregnancy if you are:
- A patient with gestational diabetes
- Suffering from allergies
- Allergic to the fruit
Bananas are high-sugar fruits that might boost your sugar level thereby they aren’t recommended to those with gestational diabetes. Moreover, there isn’t only one reason that tells us why bananas are not good for pregnancy, let’s delve into more of them!
Latex Fruit Syndrome
Some fruits contain latex allergens, banana is one of them, it has a substance called chitinase which can cause latex fruit syndrome. Such allergens increase the inner body temperature which is extremely dangerous for the developing fetus, especially in the first trimester.
In this condition, the fetus becomes more prone to cardiovascular problems and neural tube defects.
Pregnant women are at high risk of diabetes called gestational diabetes which is constant high blood sugar during pregnancy and vanishes after you’ve given birth. Banana is a sugar bomb which is why women with gestational diabetes aren’t recommended to consume bananas throughout their pregnancy. You may try alternate fruits and vegetables that don’t spike your sugar levels and are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as citrus fruits.
Risk of Diarrhea
Over-ripe bananas might make you suffer from gastrointestinal disorders which can cause diarrhea. During pregnancy, preventing diarrhea is vital as it can also lead to dehydration. Hence, it is better to avoid eating over-ripe or black bananas during pregnancy to avoid the risk of diarrhea and vomiting.
Source of Tooth Decay
During pregnancy, teeth are at the highest risk of damage because of hormonal changes leading to the loosening of tissues near the gums. Teeth are already sensitive during pregnancy as you can’t seek proper dental treatment due to the restriction of medicines. Bananas can aggravate your tooth decay due to their high starch content and adversely affect your oral health.
Your body has a compound called tyramine which maintains the blood pressure; however, excess of it leads to migraine. Bananas have this compound tyramine that might be the culprit behind your untimely headache. Migraine doesn’t directly affect the fetus, it just makes the mother suffer from stressful pain which might harm both the fetus and mother.
Bananas are fiber-rich fruits which makes them the most appropriate fruit for constipation but let me tell you, they can also lead to constipation. But how? Bananas have tannic acid which if taken in small quantities won’t do anything to your body; however, if you consume large quantities of bananas, then an increase in tannic acid might lead to constipation.
Hyper means high and kalemia means potassium and this condition can be observed during pregnancy if the mother consumes a very high quantity of bananas.
A suitable quantity of potassium is significant during pregnancy but extremely high levels can lead to a life-threatening disorder called “atherosclerosis” in which there is hardening of arteries. Hence, 1-2 bananas are more than enough during pregnancy.
Bananas promote sleepiness and drowsiness all the time and this is due to the high levels of vitamin B6 in the fruit. Vitamin B6 aids in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin that yields melatonin which regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Hence, the more you consume bananas, the more you’ll suffer from sleepiness.
Unripe bananas are quite acidic which is why they should be avoided during pregnancy. Such high-acid fruits can lead to the symptoms of heartburn that can have a negative impact on both mother’s and baby’s health.
Your stomach needs all the nutrients within the desired limit, excess of any nutrient can lead to abdominal problems. Bananas are high in fiber which makes them one of the best fruits for improving digestion. However, excessive consumption of bananas can lead to GIT disorders such as bloating and cramping which can be very painful for the mother.
Other Fruits to Avoid in Pregnancy
There would rarely be a fruit on earth that has an adverse effect on health; however, during pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations, sugar level, and some other factors must be considered while choosing fruits. Following fruits must be avoided during pregnancy:
- Pineapple – Make sure not to eat pineapples during your first trimester because it contains substances that might trigger uterine contractions leading to untimely miscarriage.
- Papaya – keeping the natural benefits of papaya aside, it might spike your body’s temperature and even lead to miscarriage due to the high amount of latex present in it.
- Watermelon – Although it flushes out toxins from your body during pregnancy, it might remove some useful substances along with toxins that might make your pregnancy rough.
- Grapes – When it’s your final trimester, you need to be extra careful as the developmental phase of the baby is wrapping up. Try to avoid grapes in your third trimester as grapes increase the internal heat thereby leading to severe complications.
You should also avoid bittermelon, dates, and frozen berries during pregnancy and make sure to wash fruits before eating properly. Rinse them with clean running water and cut the damaged areas to avoid any chances of infection.
Vegetables to Avoid During Pregnancy
Green leafy vegetables are prime sources of folic acid, vitamin C and B complex, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. When it comes to vegetables almost all of them are beneficial; however, some points must be considered to prevent any health risks.
- Avoid consuming raw moong beans and radishes because they might be the carrier of any bacteria that might lead to an infection. Hence, cooked beans are recommended.
- Several herbs such as black cohosh, blue cohosh, and juniper should be avoided because these are uterine stimulants and they can cause untimely contractions.
- Spices such as garlic, angelica, and peppermint aren’t suitable to be used during pregnancy. Some of them possess blood-thinning properties which can enhance the chances of bleeding and eventually miscarriage.
- Alfalfa is included among the foods to avoid during pregnancy because it exhibits estrogen-like properties which might create hurdles during pregnancy and even in breastfeeding.
- You must refrain from using prepackaged salad items because they are high risks for listeria toxicity which can be transmitted from mother to baby. It is a life-threatening problem that can cause miscarriages, bleeding, and even death of the newborn under extreme conditions.
In short, raw and uncooked vegetables are at higher risk of transmitting infection. Hence, wash your veggies and cook them properly to avoid any health risks.
Different Ways to Add Bananas to Your Pregnancy Diet
During pregnancy, you often feel nauseous and bloated due to which you avoid eating heavy meals. In such conditions light foods such as fruits come to the rescue! Banana is one of the most diverse fruits that can be dressed up as different dishes without much effort!
Let’s explore different ways how bananas can be added to your daily diet:
- Banana Chips – When you’re in the mood for munching, just grab a banana, slice it, add some salt, bake/air-fry it, and you’re done! Air frying might not make it crispy, so, you better try baking rather than deep-frying.
- Banana Milkshake – Add some low-fat milk, bananas, and brown sugar in a juicer and mix them well to enjoy your banana shake. You may also add ice cream for a creamy flavor.
- Banana Smoothie – Add up bananas and some low-fat milk and blend it to enjoy your fresh smoothie.
- Banana Oatmeal – You can also give your day a fresh start by preparing a healthy breakfast. Mix up some oatmeal yogurt with nuts and bananas and enjoy your meal!
- Banana Cake – Mix up the ingredients of cake and bananas and bake them for 15 minutes. You may also eat 1-2 bananas alone but make sure that you don’t overconsume.
Women often ask, what is the best time to eat fruits during pregnancy? Well, all three trimesters are equally important when it comes to diet and development; however, during the second and third trimesters, your caloric requirement increases. Hence, to keep your pregnancy smooth, improve your diet by adding the best fruits during pregnancy.
- Is Banana harmful during pregnancy?
No! Bananas are not harmful to be consumed during pregnancy, in fact, they are rich in potassium, calcium, folate, and vitamin B complex which makes them a suitable fruit for pregnant women. However, if you’re suffering from gestational diabetes, then bananas might not be a good choice for you because of their high sugar content. So, bananas are only harmful to those pregnant women who are suffering from diabetes.
- What things to avoid during pregnancy that can cause miscarriage?
Not every miscarriage is natural! Sometimes your negligence puts you in the most unwanted situations. When you’re pregnant, making some lifestyle changes becomes mandatory such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, doing exercise, and avoiding triggers that can cause miscarriage. Fruits such as pineapples and papayas, spices such as garlic, and alfalfa must be avoided because they can lead to miscarriages.
- Should I avoid bananas during pregnancy?
Avoiding bananas during pregnancy comes up with certain conditions. If you are suffering from gestational diabetes, then bananas are highly unrecommended as their high-sugar content can aggravate the condition. Moreover, bananas exhibit latex-like substances which can lead to latex fruit syndrome. You should also avoid bananas if you’re hyperkalemic. Hence, overconsumption of bananas can trigger migraine, constipation, GIT problems, and a lot more. So, eating 1-2 bananas is more than enough during pregnancy.
- Which fruit is avoided in pregnancy?
Fruits are energy boosters that shouldn’t be avoided at all; however, some fruits can often have harmful effects on both mother and the baby. Try avoiding papaya, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, bittermelon, frozen berries, and dates because all of them somehow can lead to miscarriage.
Thus, its now clear that, why to avoid banana during pregnancy? Although, bananas might be the best sources of vitamins and minerals but they are also rich in sugar and this trait kicks them out of the diet of pregnant women.
Eating bananas in moderation won’t do any bad to your pregnancy; however, excess consumption might hurt both the mother and baby.
Women with gestational diabetes are strictly prohibited to eat bananas as their high sugar content might aggravate the condition. On the other hand, an excess of bananas can also lead to latex-fruit syndrome, GIT problems, hyperkalemia, migraine, and a lot more.