Watermelon is deemed as a tasty and nutritious fruit with many beneficial properties. But, can expectant women consume it safely? How can they consume it in a way that is beneficial for both the mother and the baby? This is a common concern that many women are not aware of. For more information on this topic, let’s explore together on mombabyblog.com.
Can pregnant women eat watermelon?
Nutrition specialists have confirmed that pregnant women can safely consume watermelon throughout their entire pregnancy, including the first trimester. This is because watermelon is a fruit that is rich in various essential nutrients, making it beneficial for both the health of the mother and the developing fetus.
Benefits of watermelon during pregnancy
With its rich nutritional profile, including high levels of vitamins and minerals, consuming watermelon not only provides numerous health benefits for the mother, but it also supports the healthy growth and development of the baby.
Boost the immune system, reduce the possibility of preeclampsia
Watermelon is abundant in both vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene. When consumed, it helps boost the immune system and reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia for pregnant women.
Reduce morning sickness
Studies reveal that up to 80% of pregnant women experience morning sickness during the first trimester. Consuming watermelon can aid in alleviating this issue as it contains vitamin B6.
Good for the formation of fetal skeleton
During pregnancy, a mother’s calcium requirements are increased, ranging from 800 to 1,500 mg of calcium per day depending on the stage. Sufficient calcium intake not only helps the mother prevent osteoporosis, but also provides the necessary amount of calcium for the fetus to develop its bones, teeth, skull, and more. Fortunately, watermelon is a rich source of calcium and potassium – two minerals that work together to support the formation of the fetal skeleton.
Helps reduce swelling during pregnancy
Consuming watermelon during pregnancy can also help reduce swelling that can occur due to excessive fluid buildup under the tissues. This is because watermelon is 91% water, which helps alleviate congestion in the veins and muscles.
Overcoming constipation for pregnant women
Thanks to its high water content and high fiber content, watermelon is also a helpful food for pregnant women who experience constipation during pregnancy. Consuming watermelon promotes increased bowel movements and smoother elimination processes for the body.
Limit cramps in pregnant women
Magnesium, which is present in watermelon, has been scientifically shown to alleviate and reduce cramps in pregnant women through modern studies.
Improve skin during pregnancy
Pregnant women should consume watermelon as this fruit contains numerous antioxidants that are beneficial for skin health, including lycopene, glutathione, and vitamin C, among others. These antioxidants help protect the skin by neutralizing the effects of free radicals on cells, promoting a bright and healthy complexion.
Reduce the possibility of urinary tract infections for the mother
Watermelon is abundant in water and has diuretic properties, making it beneficial for pregnant women as it helps the body flush out harmful bacteria from the urinary tract, reducing the risk of urinary tract infections in the mother.
Replenish water for pregnant women
Pregnancy-induced nausea, particularly during the first trimester, can lead to water loss in the body and cause fatigue, sluggishness, and even premature birth or miscarriage. Eating watermelon during this time can help replenish the necessary water levels in the mother’s body, ensuring the safety and well-being of both the mother and the child.
Eating watermelon during pregnancy helps to provide the necessary water as well as other essential nutrients for the body. This leads to stabilization the level of acid in the stomach, soothing the digestive system, and reducing the frequency of heartburn and indigestion experienced by the mother.
How to eat watermelon good for pregnant women
Whether or not you can eat watermelon safely depends on the method of consumption. We will provide instructions on how to properly eat watermelon to maintain good health.
Should you eat more or less watermelon?
Health experts advise pregnant women not to consume more than 400g of watermelon per day, which is equivalent to 3-4 small pieces. Overconsumption of watermelon can lead to health issues such as increased risk of gestational diabetes and nocturia.
The right time to eat watermelon
Mothers can eat watermelon at various times of the day, but it’s best to have it 1-2 hours after a main meal. It is important to avoid consuming watermelon after 8 PM as it is high in water content and may lead to frequent nighttime urination.
What should pregnant women eat watermelon need to pay attention to?
In addition to eating the right amount and at the right time, pregnant women must also pay attention to the following when consuming watermelon:
– Storage time: Cut watermelon should be stored at -10 degrees Celsius and consumed within 24 hours. If left at room temperature, it should not be kept for more than 4 hours.
– Avoid consuming watermelon that has been left overnight: Prolonged exposure to air after cutting can result in bacterial growth and consumption can be harmful to health.
– Avoid eating chilled watermelon: Chilled watermelon can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and dehydration in pregnant women.
– Use a clean knife: It is recommended to clean the knife before cutting the watermelon to prevent infection.
How to choose delicious and safe watermelon
Whether or not eating watermelon is healthy depends on the safety and quality of the fruit. To avoid purchasing chemically ripened watermelon, mothers should consider the following when selecting watermelon:
– Shape: Choose watermelon with a symmetrical shape and equal ends without any distortions or unevenness.
– Stem: Opt for watermelon with small, curled, and wilted stems.
– Sound: A loud sound when patting a watermelon indicates it will be delicious, while a low sound could indicate waterlogging or immaturity.
– Skin: Choose mature watermelon with dark green, hard skin, distinct veins, and a dark yellow crust in contact with the soil.
Cases of pregnant women should not eat melons
Although watermelon has numerous benefits, not all pregnant women can consume it during pregnancy. If you experience any of the following issues, it is advisable to avoid watermelon in your diet.
Is it okay to eat watermelon with gestational diabetes?
Watermelon has a relatively high sugar content (Gl = 72), so consuming it can worsen the condition. Thus, for gestational diabetes patients, it is recommended to consume only small amounts or avoid watermelon entirely for safety.
Pregnant woman has a cold
According to traditional medicine, watermelon is considered a cooling food, which can increase the risk of catching a cold. Thus, pregnant women with a cold should avoid consuming watermelon as it can slow down the body’s detoxification process and prolong the recovery time of the illness.
Pregnant women with digestive disorders
Watermelon is considered a cooling food, which can cause digestive problems when consumed by pregnant women who are experiencing digestive disorders. This can lead to flatulence, bloating, indigestion, and even harm to the intestines and stomach.
Pregnant women with kidney problems
Watermelon is high in water content, which can put a strain on the excretory system and weaken kidney function if consumed by a pregnant woman.
Pregnant women are suffering from mouth ulcers
If a pregnant woman has mouth ulcers and eats excessive amounts of watermelon, it can lead to increased salivation, resulting in dehydration in the oral cavity and prolonging the duration of the illness.
Pregnant women with signs of threatened miscarriage
Watermelon has cooling properties, so when consumed, it can cause a cooling sensation in the stomach. This is considered unfavorable for pregnant women and could potentially lead to a miscarriage. Based on the information and analysis, it can be concluded that pregnant women can consume watermelon, but it is important to learn how to eat it correctly and follow the guidelines provided to maintain a healthy pregnancy.