Fruits

Do persimmon fruits have any benefits for pregnant women?

Pregnant women are always on alert to stay fit and healthy, not just for themselves, but for the benefit of their unborn child. Healthy eating involving intake of fruits and vegetables is of great importance to women in this condition. But everyone has a favorite fruit. And if persimmon happens to be yours, then you might want to know how it is of benefit to both you and your unborn child.

The advantages of eating fruits during pregnancy should not be underestimated. In fact, a research conducted recently (2016), found infants of women who consumed more fruits during pregnancy to have improved cognitive ability over infants of women with a low-fruit consumption (1).

But before revealing some of the benefits of persimmon for you and your baby, I conducted a research to find out how safe its consumption is for pregnant women. According to MomJunction, persimmon intake during pregnancy is safe (2). However, it should be consumed in adequate amounts. Even though it’s safe, you should advisably consult your doctor prior to including the fruit in your regular diet during pregnancy.

Persimmon benefits for pregnancy

 

As an expectant mom, eating only nutrient-rich foods should be at the top of your to-do list. And if you are thinking of adding persimmon to your diet, then its actually a wise idea.

Below are 6 persimmon benefits for pregnant women
  • Boosts immunity
  • Fights hypertension
  • Improves fetus growth
  • Prevents neural tube disorder
  • Fights anemia
  • Prevents cancer

 

  • Boosts immunity

If there’s one thing every pregnant woman needs badly, then it’s immunity against disease-causing organisms. Persimmon can help strengthen your body’s immune system. A well-defended mother no doubt also has her child “covered”.

Persimmons are very rich in vitamin C. The American persimmon variety provides up to 80% of the daily recommended intake for this vitamin from the consumption of only 100 grams of this fruit. Vitamin C can stimulate the production of white blood cells or leucocytes, which are involved in protecting the body against infectious diseases and foreign invaders.

  • Fights hypertension

Hypertension is a great risk during pregnancy, as it can increase the chances of late pregnancy loss or miscarriage. Thankfully, persimmons have great blood pressure lowering properties. They are rich in potassium, which can act as a vasodilator and reduce our body’s blood pressure. A lower blood pressure relieves the stress on our vascular tissues, and prevents the risk of developing various heart diseases. 

  • Improves fetus growth

A developing fetus needs various nutrients in order to grow and fully progress into a baby. Calcium is contained in persimmons in reasonable amounts. It is essential for developing strong teeth and bones in babies. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet as a pregnant woman, your growing baby might decide to get its supply from your bones; a situation that can come back to haunt you later on.

Phosphorus, also found in persimmon, is important in building strong bones for your baby. It is also involved in tissue and cell repair. As the mother, you stand to gain improved kidney function and muscle contraction from phosphorus intake.

  • Prevents Neural tube defects

While the amount of folic acid in persimmon is not that much, its accumulation over time through regular consumption can make a difference. Folic acid has been found to help prevent neural tube disorders such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Babies affected by anencephaly are born with an underdeveloped brain and an incomplete skull. They are usually born without life or only survive a few hours or days after birth.

And what’s even more unfortunate it that there is still no cure for this disorder. Once it happens, it’s game over. However, scientists have found a way to prevent it. Folic acid or folates found in numerous foods can help prevent the occurrence of this deadly disorder. Foods that are rich in folates include common bean, endive, beets, peas, and oats.

It is important to note that neural tube defects usually happen in first month of pregnancy, sometimes even before knowing you are pregnant. This is the reason why it is highly recommended for expectant mothers to have enough folates in their body. And one way to do that, is by adding some persimmon to your diet, or preferably, adding some of the foods mentioned above to your diet.

  • Prevents anemia

This is very important, especially for pregnant women. Persimmons, especially American persimmons, are rich in iron, the mineral that is involved in the production of red blood cells. They can help boost blood count, and prevent some of the symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue and dizziness.

During pregnancy, its somehow normal to have a mild anemia. This is because your body produces more blood to support the growth of the fetus you are carrying. So, if you are not getting enough iron and certain other nutrients that are necessary for blood production, your body might not be able to meet up with the demand for blood. This is where anemia sets in.

As a pregnant woman, eating persimmons can help extinguish your fear for anemia or lack of enough blood.

  • Prevents cancer

While maternal cancer rarely harms a baby, it is very dangerous to a pregnant woman. According to a research, cancer can be transferred from mother to fetus, but only in extreme cases (3). Whatever the case may be, cancer must be prevented at all cost. And persimmon may help with that.

Persimmons are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and other phenolic compounds. These antioxidants prevent our bodies from cancer by fighting and preventing the formation of free radicals, whose activities can destroy healthy cells and initiate the development of cancerous growths.

A research published in the Journal of medicinal plants found extracts from the calyx of persimmon to have anti-cancer activity in human cells (4).

About the author

Abbati

Abbati studied Biological sciences at Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!

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