Add prunes to your diet to get the nutrients essential during pregnancy
There is no special diet for a pregnant woman, but eating foods that provide all the nutrients for the baby to develop and grow is recommended. For the first three months, a pregnant woman's diet should include foods rich in iron, folic acid and calcium.
Pregnant women usually experience constipation because the digestive system is influenced by hormonal changes during pregnancy. The body produces more oestrogen than normal to ensure proper foetal growth; however, these hormones tend to slow down the intestinal movements leading to constipation. Prunes provide the critical amount of fibre required to help intestinal movement.
Nausea (often accompanied by reflux) is common in the first trimester of pregnancy and may even carry forward to the advanced stages of pregnancy. Prunes can make a tasty and nutritive snack while providing several essential nutrients in significant quantities. They help maintain energy levels and calm the nerves.
Iron requirements go up significantly during pregnancy (from 18 mg to 27 mg) and because it is usually not possible to get this from your diet, it is recommended that an iron supplement be taken. However, this can lead to gastro intestinal irritation and further aggravate the situation. Prunes and prune juice are a safe way of combating this issue.
Potassium in prunes is known to reduce high blood pressure and act as a natural anti-depressant as anxiety levels can be extremely high during pregnancy.
Beta-carotene and Vitamin A are proved to promote eye development and healthy skin, boosting the immune system and assisting with blood production and prunes are known to be a good source of both.
A portable fat-free snack, prunes can be easily had when hunger pangs strike during pregnancy.
(Courtesy California Prunes Board)