Is it Safe to Eat Papaya During Pregnancy

(August 9, 2012)

When you get pregnant, it is important for you to watch what you eat. This is because all the foods and beverages you consume find their way to your baby. Most experts will advise you to consume a high amount of fresh fruits and vegetables during pregnancy, because these foods are quite rich in vitamins and minerals. However, several women are afraid to eat papaya during pregnancy, probably due to all the controversy surrounding the fruit.

How safe is papaya during pregnancy?

Eating papaya during pregnancy is quite safe, but only if the papaya is ripe and as long as you do not have gestational diabetes.

Well-ripened papayas are full of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. You can also reduce the problems of constipation and heartburn by adding a serving of this fruit to your daily diet. Therefore, eating a moderate amount of papaya could be highly beneficial during your pregnancy. A medium papaya consists of 119 calories, with 29.8 g of total carbs and 5.5 g of dietary fiber. However, there is also a high amount of sugar in papaya. One medium papaya contains around 17.9 g of sugar. This fruit should be avoided, in case you are suffering from gestational diabetes.

Many women eliminate papaya from their diets during pregnancy, probably as a safety measure as they are not sure about how ripe a papaya should be, for safe consumption. Moreover, they are not sure how much papaya is alright to eat in pregnancy. However, there are no studies to indicate that the moderate consumption of papaya during pregnancy can cause any problems.

There are some women who prepare a papaya tonic, by mixing a small amount of milk and honey with a portion of ripe papaya. This mixture or tonic is said to be highly nutritious for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

However, never consume unripe papaya during pregnancy, as it contains a substance known as latex. Studies indicate that the concentrated form of latex found in papaya could trigger off uterine contractions, which in turn may lead to complications in the pregnancy. The latex in unripe papaya acts like oxytocin and prostaglandin, which causes the body to go into labor. Therefore at times the excess consumption of raw papaya during pregnancy may also lead to a miscarriage. In fact, women who are trying to have a baby are generally advised to avoid eating raw papaya too.

If you are not sure about how much papaya you can eat during pregnancy, it is best to check with your doctor.

Submitted by N on August 9, 2012 at 07:21

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