It may seem obvious that eating fruit is beneficial to the body’s overall health and is part of a balanced diet during pregnancy, but recent research has shown that eating fruit while pregnant may even make your growing baby smarter.
The results are preliminary, but researchers at the University of Alberta conducted a study showing that for every serving of fruit an expectant mother ate, the baby’s intelligence testing score at age 1 increased by 2.38 points.
However, correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, so scientists are cautious about making any sure claims just yet.
Whether or not this research holds up, it’s well known that most expectant mothers don’t get the recommended amount of fruit they need. Fruit provides many of the most important vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy.
Important Vitamins and Minerals for Pregnant Mothers Commonly Found in Fruit
- Fiber. Hemorrhoids and constipation are all too common in pregnant women. Eating fruit that’s high in fiber, along with drinking plenty of water, can help prevent this uncomfortable condition. Apples, oranges, kiwi and pears contain high amounts of fiber.
- Folic Acid. Getting enough folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects by up to 70 percent. Doctors recommend that expectant mother’s get at least 400-600 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day. Fruits high in folic acid include citrus fruits and avocado.
- Potassium. Potassium helps the body maintain a proper balance of fluid and electrolytes. Since your blood volume increases during pregnancy, it’s especially important to maintain this balance. Getting enough potassium can also help prevent the painful leg cramps that many women experience during pregnancy. Bananas, plums and oranges are good sources of potassium.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for your developing baby’s bones and teeth. It’s also important for creating collagen in your baby’s connective tissue. Oranges, strawberries and grapefruit all contain high amounts of vitamin C.
For more information on which fruits to eat during pregnancy, see our article: Fruits During Pregnancy: The Good, the Bad, and the Unhealthy.
The compassionate healthcare providers at All About Women are here to answer any questions you might have during your pregnancy. Schedule an appointment today.