15 Health Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy

Dates are an ancient species of fruit that are widely cultivated in the Middle Eastern and South Asian Countries. They are dark in colour, fleshy and sweet to taste with a seed in the middle. 

Dates are very well-balanced in nutrients and can serve as a healthy snack during pregnancy. They are a source of natural fructose and thus do not readily increase blood sugar level. There are many different types of dates available and all of them serve a healthy need. 

Read along to find why dates are beneficial for your health, especially during pregnancy.

 

Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy 

Benefits of Having Dates During Pregnancy

1. High Concentration of Antioxidants:

Compared to other fruits, dates have a significantly higher proportion of antioxidants. Antioxidants promote the well-being of cellular integrity. They help get rid of harmful radicals that affect cellular function. 

Antioxidants found in dates include phenolic acid, which has potential anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces chances of developing cardiac anomalies. 

Carotenoids are another form of antioxidants found in dates. It helps prevent macular degeneration. 

Dates contain flavonoids, another antioxidant that too has anti-inflammatory properties. They are also known to reduce diabetic symptoms and prevent chances of developing brain degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’ disease.

2. Prevents irregular bowel movement:

During pregnancy there is a rise in progesterone hormone which slows down muscle contraction in the intestine. It leads to constipation and uneasiness. Dates are high in fiber and can thus be very helpful for people suffering from conditions like irregular bowel movement. 

Research has also shown that consuming dates regularly resulted in low proportions of ammonia in the stool which indicates efficient bowel movement. 

 

3. Promotes healthy brain function:

It is widely known that brain cells do not regenerate. Any damage is irreversible. The presence of inflammatory markers like IL-6 or interleukin 6 can lead to development of Alzheimer's disease. Research has shown, consumption of dates regularly can reduce levels of IL-6.

An in-vivo experiment conducted on mice has shown regular consumption of dates can reduce amyloid beta-protein activity, which in turn reduces production of plaques which are severely harmful for the brain.

Moreover, studies have shown consumption of dates improves memory and helps relieve anxiety or stress.

 

4. Has anti-cancer effects:

Glucan is a compound which on in-depth research has shown to have anti-tumor properties. Such proteins have previously been found in other plant- based sources.

Dates have in them, a compound called beta D-glucan, which promotes anti-tumor activities in our body. Thus, reducing the chances of cancer and formation of benign tumors.

 

5. Promotes natural labor:

Dates consist of certain compounds that imitates the effects of oxytocin by binding to the receptor while promoting healthy contractions while in labor. These compounds alo increase tolerance to pain during labor.

Consuming dates, especially in the later stages of pregnancy can ease the delivery process. It increases chances of natural labor. Studies have shown that consumption of dates can help in reducing the intensity pressure applied while delivering a baby.

 

6. Reduces Diabetic Symptoms:

Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions that reduces recovery power of the body. It is recommended to include a few dates in your diet to abstain from chronic diabetes.

There are several medications available to promote insulin production in the body including injection of insulin artificially.

 

7. Promotes healthier kidney function:

Kidneys are one of the busiest organs in the body after the heart. They perform a wide variety of detoxifying functions. 

Dates have properties that ensure healthier kidney function. Consuming dates can reduce excess plasma and creatinine in the kidney and can readily reduce lesions caused by neurological anomalies.

 

8. Prevents Microbial Infections:

Microbial infection can cause a lot of problems during pregnancy. Also there are different types of antibiotic medicines available , it is better to prevent any bacterial infection in the first place.

Dates provide natural resistance to bacterial infection. Another added advantage is that, unlike antibiotics, dates do not have side effects. This makes it a healthier choice during pregnancy.

Dates promote the production of insulin hormone. Insulin is responsible for reducing the rate of absorption of glucose from digested food. 

 

9. Promotes Nerve health:

Dates are rich in potassium, which is crucial for the proper functioning of our nervous system. Potassium rich food promotes better communication between nerve cells.

During pregnancy, it's very crucial that your body has sufficient amounts of potassium so that both the mother and the baby remain healthy. Bananas are also a good source of potassium besides dates.

 

10. Has Anti-Inflammatory properties:

Inflammation is a responsive measure of the human body to help overcome ailments, trauma and infections. The production and circulation of inflammatory agents ensure the overall health of the patient. 

Dates play a vital role as anti-inflammatory and a recent report on the Ajwa dates showed that ethyl acetate, methanolic, and water extracts of Ajwa dates constrain the lipid peroxidation cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 and COX2, which are enzymes that re fund in sites of inflammation.

 

11. Increases tolerance of labor pain:

In the later stages of pregnancy, consuming dates promotes cervical dilation and lowers the need for oxytocin.

Dates also include a compound called tannin which promotes uterine contractions and thus reduced tolerance to pain during labor.

 

12. Promotes Bone Health:

Dates consist of a wide variety of nutrients including manganese, magnesium, copper and selenium. These are very important in making the bones strong. Including dates regularly in your diet will ensure you do not miss out on these nutrients,

Research has shown that dates are also effective in reducing chances of bone erosion that leads to conditions like osteoporosis. Such conditions can create a lot of complications during pregnancy. Dates are a natural remedy to keep such ailments at bay.

 

13. Prevent formation of piles: 

Piles are very common during pregnancy and it occurs due to low intake of fiber. 

Dates are a great source of fiber as mentioned before. Including a few dates in your daily diet can prevent formation of piles and ensure health bowel movement in the body.

 

14. Fixes iron deficiency: 

Studies have shown pregnant women are more likely to suffer from a low percentage of haemoglobin in their blood. Iron deficiency is one of the causes for such conditions.

Including dates in your diet can provide you with the essential amount of iron that your blood needs from blood. Even though there are chemical medications available to supply necessary iron, a natural remedy is always better when you are pregnant as you do not want any side effects.

 

15. Promotes healthier skin:

Dates are rich in vitamins, including vitamin C and D. Both of these vitamins are important in maintaining a healthy skin. 

There are several outbreaks on the skin during pregnancy. And it is not very effective to take chemical treatments to get rid of those breakouts. 

Dates are a natural and healthy means to keep skin problems at bay. Including a few dates in your diet can keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

 

How to Eat Dates During Pregnancy

How to Eat Dates During Pregnancy

Here are some ways to consume dates during pregnancy.

  1. As a natural dessert:  You can consume dates raw as a simple dessert. You can also eat it with some honey.
  2. As a smoothie: You may mix a few dates with a cup of yogurt in a blender to make a smoothie.
  3. In the form of syrup: You can make date syrup by blending a few dates with milk

 

Nutritional Value of Dates

This table states the only important nutritional values of a 100g of dates as approved by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture).

Parameter 

Nutritional value

Calories

277 Kcal

Carbohydrates

74.97 g

Protein

1.81g

Total Fat

0.15 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Dietary Fiber

6.7 g

Potassium (K)

696 mg

Magnesium (Mg)

0.296 mg

Manganese (Mn)

54 mg

Iron (Fe)

0.90 mg

Vitamin B6

0.249 mg

 

When To Eat

When To Eat Dates during pregnancy

Here is a proper guide for consuming dates during pregnancy:

Eating Dates in the First Trimester

During the first trimester, constipation becomes an alarming issue. Consume dates as dessert or in the morning to ensure the necessary fiber required for healthy bowel movement. But if you have diabetic symptoms are group B strep infection, reduce the number of dates consumed daily.

Eating Dates in the Second Trimester

If your blood sugar levels are on the rise during the second trimester, avoid consuming dates, as it will increase the risk of gestational diabetes.

If that is not the case, you may include a few dates, once every 2 days.

Eating Dates in the Third Trimester

During your third trimester, make sure you consume dates as it will help in reducing the lobar time and increases your tolerance to pain.

It is recommended to consume up to 6 dates from the 36th week from the estimated date of delivery in order to ensure less discomfort.

 

Any side effects of having dates in pregnancy?

Dates are a very well-balanced fruit and do not have any harmful side effects in general. Research shows they are also harmless to consume during pregnancy. 

However in case of over consumption, you may experience the following problems:

  • rapid weight gain
  • gestational diabetes
  • increase in blood sugar levels

So we can conclude that dates are a fascinating group of fruits with several health benefits. Make sure you follow the guide mentioned above before consuming dates so that you may receive maximum benefit during pregnancy.


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