We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for our health. Many of us try to add them to our diets every day. Both fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that are essential to our bodies. These nutrients stave off diseases and keep our bodily functions working properly. Since fruits and vegetables are so good for us in everyday life, one can’t help but assume their benefits are equally important for pregnant women. A recent study was conducted to determine whether or not fruits and vegetables had any positive impact on the babies born to pregnant women who consumed them in large amounts.
The results of the study did show that women who consumed higher volumes of vegetables while they were pregnant were more likely to have babies of a healthy weight. Babies born to mothers who did not intake as many vegetables through the course of their gestation tended to be of a lower birth weight than those born to mothers with a high intake. Surprisingly, fruit seemed to have no bearing on the results. The amount of fruit eaten during the pregnancy did not change the birth weight of the baby significantly. Babies born to mothers with high fruit intake and babies born to mothers with low fruit intake were all generally the same size and equally healthy.
However, just because fruit doesn’t affect the birth weight of your baby during pregnancy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat it. Of course, choosing fruit over any type of processed or fatty food is a great choice. It has a lot of nutritional value for you and your baby and will also keep you energized throughout the day. Try choosing fruits of varying colors when planning your meals. Dark green, orange, purple, deep yellow and red should all be part of the pallet. Vegetables should make up an equal amount of your diet as well, and you should reach for leafy greens as much as you can.
When you’re pregnant, your baby’s health is your number one concern. After reading this, you might want to replace all your fruits with vegetables just to make sure you have a baby with a healthy birth weight. However, don’t forget that your own health is just as important during your pregnancy, and eating healthy foods should be equally important, even if it doesn’t have any major, direct effects on your baby’s growth and development.
Source: Rosa Ramon et al: Vegetable but Not Fruit Intake during Pregnancy Is Associated with Newborn Anthropometric Measures. The Journal of Nutrition Volume 139 Issue 3 pp. 561-567 March 2009