Priya, a 32-year-old who was 21 weeks pregnant was overjoyed at the sign of delicious mangoes. She was about to reach for the freshly cut, juicy fruit when her mother-in-law came and stopped her from eating it. She said, “No, you can’t eat them. It is not good to eat mangoes during pregnancy.” Surprised at the incident, I asked her why are pregnant woman advised not to eat mangoes but she had no answer. While she meant well, it made me curious to know why are women advised to think otherwise. So, it was natural for me to ask a certified specialist to answer whether or not mangoes are bad for pregnant women.
The joyous journey of pregnancy doesn’t seem so joyous when you are asked to alter so many of your choices. Of course, you have to pay extra attention to what you eat when there is a little one growing inside of you. But do you have to give up the juicy, scrumptious mango as well? Health Shots asked Dr Seema Sharma, Associate Director of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chandigarh, whether or not you should eat mangoes during pregnancy.
Is it safe to eat mangoes during pregnancy?
Regardless of how many times you have been bombarded with the advice that you should not eat mangoes for pregnancy, you should know that you don’t have to avoid mangoes completely. Why? Because they are a powerhouse of nutrients. Dr Sharma says eating mangoes can be beneficial for pregnant women as they are rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium and folic acid. All of these are micronutrients and vitamins are essential for a pregnant woman. Mangoes are also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. They are also a good source of energy and antioxidants, explains the expert.
Are there any side effects of eating mangoes during pregnancy?
High in sugar, eating mangoes might not be the best option for pregnant women with gestational diabetes. Secondly, one needs to be careful while buying mangoes from the market as they may contain chemicals that make the mangoes ripen faster. It is important to avoid the consumption of artificially ripened mangoes with chemicals like calcium carbide (calcium carbide is prohibited by food and safety standards and regulations, 2011). If pregnant women consume fruits, especially mangoes ripened with calcium cork carbide, it can be harmful to you and the baby. These fruits contain traces and phosphorus, explains Dr Sharma.
Common side effects of consuming such fruits include gastric issues, sleepiness, mouth ulcers, and numbness in hands and feet. Avoid mangoes that look right from the outside but the inside is hard or raw. It is important to wash the fruits thoroughly and wash your hands while consuming these mangoes and do not eat the skin. You must peel the mango before eating, she recommends.
However, the key is to practice moderation. Dr Sharma recommends eating one mango a day and avoiding overeating, which can lead to excess weight gain. It can also worsen gestational diabetes if you already have it. Since mango is a nutrient-packed fruit, pregnant women can enjoy mangoes but always in moderation.