dates are considered one of the fruits of high nutritional value, as they contain the most important nutrients such as fiber, minerals, and vitamins that help the fetus grow safely and healthily inside the mother's womb. It also contains natural sugar, which provides the necessary energy for the body of the pregnant woman, especially in the last months of pregnancy.
The nutritional elements in dates and their benefits:
- Iron: It contains a high percentage of iron, which protects the pregnant woman from anemia, and strengthens the immunity of the mother and her fetus.
- Folic acid: Due to the high percentage of folic acid in dates, it helps prevent any birth defects in the fetus, especially those related to the nervous system, such as the brain and spinal cord.
- Potassium: it works to protect the pregnant woman from edema or the so-called fluid retention, as a regular intake of dates helps to maintain the balance of salts in the body, drain excess fluid and prevent retention. It also works to regulate blood pressure, maintain kidney health, and prevent muscle spasms During pregnancy.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K helps in stopping blood clotting and maintains healthy bones. It also ensures healthy fetal and skeletal bone growth.
- Dietary fiber: Dates are a rich source of fiber, which helps the movement of the digestive system, facilitate digestion, and prevent constipation during pregnancy, as it reduces the risk of preeclampsia.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is the main compound that works on building teeth and forming bones for the fetus, and calms the nervous system, and prevents its tension, it also helps in relieving muscle spasms and relaxation during childbirth, as a lack of magnesium may lead to abnormalities in the liver and kidneys.
Scientific researches about the benefits of dates for pregnant woman:
- A scientific study has been published in 2018 in the American Journal showing that dates help in reducing the period of pregnancy, and also help in speeding up the first stage of childbirth or labor.
- A study was conducted in 2011 on 69 pregnant women who consumed six dates before four weeks of the due date of birth, and it was observed that they help in shortening the duration of the first stage of childbirth.
- A study was conducted in 2019 indicating that eating 7 pieces of Ajwa dates contributes to reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia or the so-called preeclampsia. Besides, it works to reduce the mean arterial pressure or the rate of blood pressure.
When can the pregnant woman eat dates?
It is possible to eat dates during the pregnancy period while being careful of the amount consumed:
- The first trimester of pregnancy:
It can only be eaten in small quantities, and if the pregnant woman has some problems with blood sugar levels it should be avoided.
- The second trimester of pregnancy:
The chance of developing gestational diabetes increases during this period, so it is advised to avoid eating it, and you should consult your doctor when planning to include it in the diet.
- The third trimester of pregnancy:
It is advised to eat six dates per day starting from the thirty-sixth week of pregnancy, as it helps and facilitates natural childbirth, and shortens the time required for the birth of the fetus.
The disadvantages of eating dates for pregnant woman:
- Excessive eating of dates increases the blood sugar level, which exposes the pregnant woman to preeclampsia.
- Dates contain a large amount of sugar. Therefore, excessive intake leads to an increase in the weight of the pregnant woman and the inability to regain her weight after birth.
- It leads to tooth decay, in case of not cleaning the mouth properly.
- Avoid eating too many dates in the first months of pregnancy because it may lead to fetus abortion.