The doctor has just told you “Congratulations madam, you’re pregnant!” You are happy, Excited. Pregnancy comes with a whole new lifestyle. A new set of rules to live by, several dos and don’ts! People are going to hurl a lot of advice at you. Most of these advice are hearsay with no scientific foundation. So you got to be prepared.Pregnancy comes with whole new cravings. Women that find themselves pregnant in the summer discover they just have this craving for mangoes. Several women have asked” is it safe to eat mangoes during pregnancy?” well, let’s see-
Nutritional content of mango
Mango is a rich source of Vitamin A
- It is rich in flavonoids like alpha and beta carotene, as well as beta cryptoxanthin
- Mangoes contain prebiotic fiber
- They are a good source of vitamin C which serves as an antioxidant
- It contains copper and folate and is also contains some good amount of potassium.
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Why you should eat mangoes during pregnancy
Mangoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals that the body needs. If you are pregnant, here are some reasons why you should eat mangoes:
1. They contain Vitamin A
The following are the health benefits of Vitamin A to the body:
- They enhance vision
- Strengthens your body immune system
- Since it contains carotene, they help in disease prevention
- It is very important in the development of the body’s vital organs – heart, kidneys, eyes lungs and bones.
- It helps in the development of different body systems
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2. They are fiber rich
- The dietary fiber content makes you full for a long period of time
- It serves to maintain the body’s digestive system
- They help to prevent constipation. Several women are usually prone to constipation in their first trimester. Eating foods rich in fiber like mango will help to prevent this.
- They help to reduce the blood pressure to normal
3. Vitamin C
It serves as a very powerful antioxidant
- It mops up oxygen free radicals- unstable molecules formed by several chemicals in the body- thus keeping the body safe from degenerative diseases like cancer
- It helps to form collagen and makes wounds heal faster
- It promotes healthy teeth and gum both for the pregnant mother and her unborn baby
- Another important benefit of vitamin C is that it helps the body to absorb iron. This is very important to a pregnant woman as it prevents pregnancy-induced anemia.
- Vitamin C plays a huge role in bone growth, tissue repair, and the development of a healthy skin
- It helps in keeping the electrolyte and body fluid equilibrium balanced. An imbalance may result in the legs been swollen thus making walking and movement very difficult.
- It helps the muscles to contract and sends out nerve impulses
- It provides relief for pregnancy cramps
5. Vitamin B6
This vitamin helps to maintain normal nerve functions and also helps in cognitive development
- Vitamin B6 helps in the body’s immune system healthy
- Studies have shown that B6 helps to relieve nausea and morning sickness, a very common symptom during pregnancy
- It helps in the formation of red blood cells as well as neurotransmitters. They help the baby’s nervous system and brain to develop properly.
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Copper is a vital ingredient necessary for the formation of red blood cells
- Since blood supply increases during pregnancy, the body’s requirement for copper also increases.
- It helps in the development of vital body organs such as blood vessels. Heart, and skeletal system
You most likely have been placed on folate supplement if you are pregnant. This mineral plays an important role when a woman is pregnant Lack of this mineral may result in a woman giving birth to a baby with malformed brain and spinal cord defects It helps in forming of red blood cell as well as DNA
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Now that we have examined the nutritional value of mango, is it safe to eat mango during pregnancy? Absolutely! As a pregnant woman, you will get to hear a lot of myths about consuming mango when pregnant. Most of these myths are false and baseless. From the health benefits of mango listed above, you will agree with me that it is very safe to eat mangoes even while pregnant. But because pregnancy is a very delicate condition, it is recommended that you consult your physician before you eat anything at all, and that includes mangoes.
Here are a few more reasons why it is safe to eat mangoes while pregnant
Mangoes are healthy and safe for a pregnant woman as long as you take it in moderation, just as you would eat every other thing in moderation.The minerals and vitamins mangoes contain will furnish you and your unborn child with the needed vital nutrients.
The sugars found in mango are natural sugar. They are richer in natural sugars than most fruits (they contain an average of 15g of natural sugar per 100g) this makes mangoes a safer and healthier option than falling for desserts that are high in artificial sugar and preservatives.
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Should mangoes be taken in late pregnancy?
The last trimester is a very critical stage in pregnancy and you need to be extremely careful. You will have to reduce you mango consumption so as to avoid gestational diabetes. Also if mango aversion runs in your family, you have to exercise extreme caution in eating mango. Pay close attention to your body even as you eat mangoes. If you experience any form of irritations, you should skip mangoes. Mangoes are rich in calories. They are a good snack option for you during the third trimester when you would require a lot of energy.
Unripe mangoes and late pregnancy
Mangoes- whether ripe or unripe- are good and safe to eat during pregnancy. They contain natural sugars which are a healthier and better option than the high calories desserts that are laden with artificial sugars and preservatives. The ripe mangoes help to improve appetite, aid the digestion of food and improve skin tone.
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Unripe mangoes are rich source o f vitamins. They play an important role in relieving morning sickness, fight against constipation and reduce acidity. The unripe mangoes contain Anti nutrients which are compounds that prevent the formation of sugar from starch Whatever form you prefer it – as smoothies, shake, lassi or any dessert – ensure you check out for any added sugars. You could also eat dried mangoes, murabba, mango candies and chutneys occasionally.
You need to be careful when you go to the market to shop for mangoes. It is common practice these days for mangoes to be treated with chemicals to make them ripen on time. Avoid such mangoes that are ripened with chemicals. Now, they can be quite difficult to detect but if you buy mangoes only when it is in season, the chances of getting the ones that were ripened with chemicals will be significantly reduced.
One very common chemical used in ripening mangoes is calcium carbide, which is a banned chemical under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations as well as the Indian Foods and Safety Standards Act. Calcium carbide contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus that are poisonous to the mother and the developing baby. The following are the
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associated with eating mangoes that were ripened with chemicals:
- Stomach upset
- Mood disturbances
- Numbness of the feet and hands as well as a tingling sensation
How to detect an artificially ripened mango
There are a few telltale signs that can help you determine whether or not a mango was ripened artificially
- Presence of a grayish white or black powdery coating
- It gives off offensive garlic like odor
- May appear ripe outside but inside is hard and raw
- Are usually tasteless
- Feels soft
- Will show signs of been over ripe quickly by the presence of black patches
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How to reduce the risk of exposing mangoes to toxins
For most people that buy and eat mangoes, you may not always be too sure whether or not the mangoes you bought ripened naturally or artificially. So here are a few tips that will help you remove any toxins present and reduce the risks
Wash the mangoes before eating them. This serves to get rid of whatever chemicals that was used in treating them. It also prevents the cross-contamination of your other food stuffs in your fridge and keeps your fridge safe and clean
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Don’t eat the skin
That’s the safest way to avoid whatever toxins they were treated with. Peel off the skin before eating the mango.
Wash your hands very clean
you should wash your hands very clean after you might have washed the mangoes. Also the chopping board and knives you used should be washed with warm water. It is recommended that you buy mangoes that are not ripe so that it could get ripe in your house. That way, the chances of it been ripened with calcium carbide is greatly reduced. Cross-contamination of whatever foodstuff you have in the fridge is also prevented. Also as a pregnant woman, you should avoid buying and eating fruits displayed on road sides. It is very unhygienic.
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As long as the quantity you eat is in moderation, mangoes are very safe and healthy to eat during pregnancy. If your doctor Okays it, just dash out to the nearest fruit shop and get yourself a bowl of fresh, juicy well diced mangoes. It is my belief that this article has helped to clear whatever doubts and misconceptions about whether or not it is safe to eat mangoes during pregnancy.