Mehak Jindal, 20 weeks pregnant, was overjoyed when mangoes were finally in season. One fine Sunday, she was about to dig into a bowl of cut fresh, ripe and juicy mango, when her mother-in-law jumped in and stopped her.
“I was taken aback and quite disappointed because I love mangoes! But my mother-in-law explained that mangoes generate heat in the body and are not recommended during pregnancy,” said Mehak.
“I know she meant well, but I wasn’t entirely convinced with the explanation, which is why I decided to ask my gynecologist about it on my next visit.”
Is it safe to eat mangoes during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to eat mangoes during pregnancy. There are many benefits of eating mango during pregnancy. It contains multiple vitamins and minerals such as:
Vitamin C which is essential for building immunity, repairing tissues and developing your baby’s teeth and bones.
Vitamin A, which promotes the functional development of the fetus and also helps prevent night blindness in pregnant women.
Vitamin B6, which reduces nausea and is helpful in managing morning sickness.
Folate or folic acid which reduces the chances of severe abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord (neural tube defects) in the fetus.
Fiber which helps with constipation in pregnancy.
“If you have gestational diabetes, your dietician may restrict your consumption of mangoes depending on how well your sugars are controlled,” informs Dr. Anita Sabherwal Anand, Consultant Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital.
Thrilled to know that she could savour her favourite fruit, Mehak wanted to know whether there were any drawbacks of consuming mango during pregnancy, particularly in the 3rd trimester.
Is eating too much mango bad during pregnancy?
Eating more than one mango a day during pregnancy could result in rapid weight gain because mangoes are high in calories.
Mehak hesitated at first but eventually decided to clarify her mother-in-law’s main concern.
Can mangoes cause miscarriage?
There is no scientific evidence that mangoes cause miscarriages.
“That said, we warn mothers against eating mangoes when they are not in season because these may be artificially ripened with calcium carbide, which can harm both mother and baby.”
Though the use of calcium carbide for ripening of fruits is prohibited as per regulation 2.3.5 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011, expecting women should exercise caution when purchasing fruits and try to switch to organic fruits and vegetables if possible.
Which fruit should be avoided during pregnancy?
Generally all fruits can be eaten during pregnancy, except unripe papaya and pineapple. These two fruits contain enzymes that may be linked to preterm labour and miscarriages.
Upon being advised to avoid unripe and raw fruits, Mehak clarified whether unripe mango was allowed during pregnancy.
The doctor assured her that unripe mango (कच्चा आम / कैरी ) could be eaten and that the sour and tangy flavour may actually help with nausea in pregnancy.
Mehak was asked to refrain from consuming mango pickles as they increase acidity and blood pressure because of its high salt content.
Fruits are an essential component of your pregnancy diet. Best fruits during pregnancy include apples, oranges, pears, peaches, watermelons and bananas.
You can eat mango in a variety of ways in pregnancy, either in the form of a milkshake or smoothie, mixed with curd/yoghurt and in Lassi without any added sugar or as just as it is.
“Always wash mangoes thoroughly and peel off the skin properly before eating. “
“When buying mangoes, watch out for black or grey patches or a powdery coating and a garlic-like smell, which may indicate the use of calcium carbide.”
“Fruits ripened with chemicals cause symptoms like lightheadedness or an upset stomach after consumption. If you experience any of these, you should switch your fruit seller. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor in case any symptoms persist. “
Pleased with the knowledge that she could relish mango even during pregnancy, Mehak followed the doctor’s advice and consumed mangoes in moderation.