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    Food For Thought: Busting The Myth That You Should Avoid Certain Fruits During Your Pregnancy

    It is not an unknown fact that fruits are the best source of vitamins and minerals. Fruits are known to have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive benefits. According to a 2019 survey conducted by the HealthifyMe app, the highest amount of fruits were consumed as morning snacks. Some even consumed fruits as an evening snack as well. Unfortunately according to NSSO’s (National Sample Survey Office) 2014 data, only 9% of caloric intake comes from fruits in India. Myths surrounding fruits can also amplify the issue of non-consumption of fruits. Let us look at some of the myths surrounding fruits.

    Myths Surrounding Consumption Of Fruits During Pregnancy

    There are a lot of myths surrounding fruits. Let us look at some of the myths.

    Myth 1: Women Suffering From Gestational Diabetes Should Avoid Consuming Fruits

    Some women experience increased blood glucose levels during pregnancy. This is termed Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Such women can consume fruits with a meal high in protein or complex carbs. The combined effect of protein or complex carbs with fruits can help lower glucose levels.

    Myth 2: Consumption Of Certain Fruits Can Promote Miscarriage

    There is a common belief among certain individuals that consumption of fruits like papaya, pineapple or green banana might promote miscarriage. There is no scientific evidence of this belief. In fact, pregnant women should be consuming a well-balanced diet consisting of seasonal and colourful fruits and vegetables.

    Myth 3: Consumption Of Dark Coloured Fruits Can Lead To Dark Complexion Of Baby

    According to the American Journal of Public Health consumption of fruits and vegetables can contribute to glowing skin though there has been no scientific evidence linking the colour of skin to the consumption of fruits and vegetables. The skin colour of a baby is determined by genetics not food consumption.

    Myth 4: Consumption Of Pineapple Can Induce Labour

    The myth surrounding Pineapple is that Bromelain in Pineapple can stimulate the cervix and induce labor. There is no scientifically backed evidence of this theory. In fact, our stomach is acidic in nature which can lead to the inactivation of bromelain.

    Myth 5: Consumption Of Twin Bananas Can Make The Mother Give Birth To Twins

    Monozygotic twins are formed when a fertilized egg splits into two separate embryos having almost the same genetic information. When two eggs are fertilized by two sperms there is a development of fraternal twins who are genetically different from each other. There is no scientific evidence linking the consumption of bananas with twins!

    Benefits Of Eating Fruits

    Fruits have various benefits. Some of the benefits related to fruits are that it is beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and also aids in weight management.

    1. Aids In Weight Loss

    The fibre content of fruits can promote satiety. This makes an individual consume lower calories especially if consumed before a meal.

    2. Beneficial For Diabetics

    There is a myth circulating around fruits about how diabetics should avoid consuming fruits. This is untrue. Fibre present in fruits can help lower glucose levels. Fruits can also be paired with foods high in complex carbs or protein which can further lead to a slower release of glucose levels.

    3. Essential Source Of Vitamins & Minerals

    Fruits are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, zinc and phosphorus.

    4. Rich In Antioxidants

    Fruits are a rich source of phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals as well as reduce inflammation.

    5. Promotes Digestion & Heart Health

    Pectin present in fruits like apples, guavas and oranges can boost the digestion process and promote better health of the gut. Fruits also reduce blood pressure and thus prevents the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

    Nutritional Recipes

    Fruits are power-packed with essential nutrients and phytochemicals. Now that you know the benefits of fruits, let us look at some delicious fruit recipes!

    1. Fruit And Methi Sprouts Salad

    This tasty and healthy salad can increase your immunity and make up for a delicious one time meal.

    Cooking time: 10-15 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 45 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 7.5 gms

    Protein: 1.5 gms

    Fat: 0.5 gms

    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup methi sprouts
    • ½ cup banana cubes
    • ¼ cup apple cubes
    • ¼ cup pomegranate cubes
    • ¼ cup papaya cubes
    • Salt to taste (optional)

    Method:

    1. In a bowl combine all the ingredients.
    2. Place the dish in the refrigerator for a cooling effect. Serve chilled.

    2. Chocolate Fruit Tarts

    This delicious recipe can be a delight for chocolate lovers as well as your kids! It is easy to prepare as well.

    Cooking time: 10-15 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 275 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 20 gms

    Protein: 6 gms

    Fat: 16 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of milk
    • ½ cup whipped cream (beaten)
    • ¼ cup custard powder
    • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
    • ½ cup melted chocolate
    •  ¼ cup grated apples
    • Sugar as required

    Method:

    1. In a bowl, mix milk (1 cup) and custard powder. Keep it aside.
    2. Heat the remaining milk and sugar in a pan. Bring the milk to a boil.
    3. Cook the milk and custard mixture in another pan for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Keep it aside.
    4. Onto the custard and milk mixture, add the cream and vanilla essence. Mix well and keep it aside.
    5. Meanwhile, place melted chocolate inside the tarts and chill it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
    6. Remove from the refrigerator after 20 minutes and add the custard, milk, cream and vanilla mixture on the top of the chocolate tarts. Add the apples on top of the tarts as well. Serve chilled.

    3. Phirni

    This is a tasty and healthy dessert that can help soothe your stomach after a heavy meal.

    Cooking time:  10-15 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 245 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 25 gms

    Protein: 4.5 gms

    Fat: 5 gms

    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup poha
    • 1 ½ cup milk
    • 1 tbsp cornflour (makai ka atta
    • ½ cup chikoo
    • ½ cup apples
    • Sugar to taste

    Method:

    1. Microwave poha for 3-4 minutes.
    2. Remove from the microwave and blenderize poha in a mixer till it achieves the consistency of a powder.
    3. Add cornflour to milk. Heat the milk cornflour mixture and keep it aside.
    4. In a bowl, combine poha powder, sugar and milk-cornflour mixture. Heat the mixture in a microwave for 5 minutes.
    5. Refrigerate for an hour. Divide the phirni and fruits into portions as required.
    6. Place the fruits on top of the phirni. Enjoy!

    4. Fruity Veggie Bhel

    This tasty bhel can satiate your cravings and also promote better digestion.

    Cooking time:  10-15 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 85 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 15 gms

    Protein: 2 gms

    Fat: 0.5 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ cup puffed rice (murmura)
    • 1 tsp jeera
    • 1 tsp hing
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp chilli powder
    • ½  cup pomegranate pieces
    • ¼ cup raw mangoes pieces
    • 1 medium tomato (chopped finely)
    • ½ cup sprouts
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • Salt to taste
    • Oil as required

    Method: 

    1. In a pan, heat oil and add jeera. Let it crackle.
    2. After jeera crackles, add puffed rice, chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder, hing and cook well for 5 minutes on a low flame. Keep it aside for cooling.
    3. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients including pomegranate, raw mangoes, chopped tomatoes and sprouts. Sprinkle lemon juice. Mix well. Enjoy!

    5. Fruity Nutty Milkshake

    This tasty milkshake can be beneficial for pregnant women as it is calorically dense and rich in protein as well.

    Cooking time:  10-15 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 250 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 25 gms

    Protein: 8 gms

    Fat: 14 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of milk
    • ½  cup apple
    • ½ cup chikoo 
    • 1 tbsp walnuts
    • 1 tbsp almonds
    • 1 tbsp cashews
    • Sugar as required

    Method:

    1. In a mixer, blenderize apple, chikoo, walnuts, almonds and cashews.
    2. Pour milk into the glasses and add the blenderized ingredients. Mix well.
    3. Serve chilled with ice.

    Key Takeaways

    1. Opt for whole fruits instead of fruit juices as fruits are a rich source of soluble fibre.
    2. Include seasonal and colourful fruits in your diet.
    3. Avoid canned or preserved fruits with added sugars or syrups.
    4. Diabetics can consume fruits with a low or moderate Glycemic Index (GI). Fruits with a low glycemic index can raise blood sugar levels slowly or gradually. Fruits with low and medium GI include apples, berries, grapes, strawberry, papaya and pineapple.
    5. Peels of fruits can also be used effectively. Orange peels can be used to prepare marmalades. Apple peels can also be added to smoothies.

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