There’s an ever-growing list of foods and drinks that pregnant women are supposed to avoid. It can be discouraging or overwhelming at times to find foods and drinks that are safe.
One food you don’t have to worry about— in fact, we encourage you to eat—is apples! Apples have several health benefits during pregnancy for both you and your baby.
Here are 8 reasons why pregnant women should eat apples:
1. Apples boost your immune system.
The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is not just an old wives’ tale. Granted, you can still get sick if you eat apples, but they are packed with vitamin C, which helps keep your immune system strong. This is especially helpful for pregnant women because your immune system takes a hit while you’re carrying a baby.
2. Apples can help with or prevent anemia.
Apples also contain iron, which is an essential mineral that your blood needs to avoid becoming anemic during pregnancy. Anemia during pregnancy is a fairly common issue, so eating apples regularly can help to boost your iron levels (along with other iron-rich foods).
3. Apples boost your energy.
Apples give you a natural energy boost—and what pregnant woman doesn’t need that? Growing a baby is exhausting! Since you have to watch your caffeine intake, finding healthier alternatives like apples can be super helpful when that tiredness hits. Apples boost your energy by boosting your blood sugar with their combination of simple sugars.
4. Apples help with digestion.
Apples have a lot of dietary fiber in them, which can help with overall digestion and bowel movements. A lot of pregnant women have problems with constipation because of hormonal changes—not to mention a baby putting pressure down there! So, if you’re struggling with difficult bowel movements or extra gas, try eating foods rich in dietary fiber like apples.
5. Apples aid in heart health.
Apples can also help with heartburn, which is something that plagues most pregnant women (especially towards the end of pregnancy). The soluble fiber in apples also lowers bad cholesterol and slows plaque buildup.
6. Apples help prevent gestational diabetes.
Apples help keep your blood sugar more stable because of the fiber and flavonoids in them, so making apples a part of your diet can help you avoid developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
7. Apples prevent respiratory/asthma issues.
Apples also have lots of antioxidants in them. Antioxidants can help strengthen your lungs so you can stay healthier during pregnancy and avoid respiratory illnesses. They can also strengthen your baby’s lungs, giving them a lower chance of developing asthma later on.
8. Apples lower the chance of birth defects.
You probably have heard that taking folic acid (or folate) is very important during pregnancy to avoid certain birth defects. Apples contain folate, so eating them helps to give you a natural source to boost folate in your body.
If you have any questions or concerns about foods during pregnancy or other pregnancy issues, talk to your obstetrician. At All About Women, we want to make sure you feel comfortable and put your mind at ease. Make an appointment at our Gainesville or Lake City office today.