It’s funny. We’re more than happy to medicate ourselves with chemicals. Medical ‘miracles’ or simply vitamins distilled from perfectly natural products… when we could simply get the right fruits or vegetables(if we knew what they were!). Raw mango is among them but can pregnant women eat raw mango? Should they?
Oh yes, they should.
In this article we are going to discuss the many benefits as well as the potential risks of raw mango and how you can enjoy them for yourself!
Eating raw mango during pregnancy
It is perfectly safe to eat raw mango during pregnancy with some small exceptions which we will discuss later. So, why should you eat mango? Here are just a couple of examples:
- Folic acid – You need it as it is important in fetal development. Mangos have it in abundance.
- Increased blood cell count – Just a mango or two daily can increase the blood cell count for you and your developing child.
Okay, that sounds good. Is there more?
Definitely. Eating mango while pregnant is a good idea for a number of reasons. Here is a more extensive list of benefits that you might not know:
- Morning sickness – That’s right. The vitamin B6 in mangos along with that sweet and sour taste can chase away that morning sickness in a pinch. Keep a little mango in the fridge and give it a try, you’ll thank us later!
- Fighting constipation– Is constipation plaguing you since your pregnancy has advanced? Mango is a natural source of dietary fiber. Be careful not to overdo it, however, or you might end up a bit uncomfortably gassy.
- Potassium– The high content of potassium can help to ward off heart disease and to keep your fluids balanced.
- Vitamin A– Useful for the development of your little one’s nervous system, eyes, and more, Vitamin A is good for both of you and mango has it!
- Against preeclampsia– Chock full of magnesium, can help to prevent hypertension and keep the seizures that can come from preclampsia at bay.
Wow! That’s an impressive list!
We agree, it seems quite a lot of benefits for such a common fruit. There are more benefits of eating raw mango during pregnancy, though. For instance, did you know that the natural sugars of the mango can help to keep cravings for processed sugar at bay in a healthy, delicious way? The large amounts of vitamin C in mango also acts as a powerful antioxidant, combating free radicals which can occur from such things as tobacco use (which we definitely do not recommend, we are just informing you of this property.).
Is there a special way to eat it?
You can eat it any way that you like. One popular method in Asia is eating green (unripe) mango sliced in wedges, dipped in salt or vinegar. You can also just eat it ripe and sliced, the benefits will still be the same for you. Mango smoothies are a popular favorite!
How much mango should I eat?
The best practice is to simply consume 1 mango a day. That gets you all that you need and helps to circumvent any potential risk.
I knew it! What are the risks of mango?
Relax, risk is minimal. Like anything good or bad for you, moderation is key. The risk factors involved with mangos are as follows:
- The last trimester – Excess consumption of mangos is not recommended during the last trimester of your pregnancy. The large amount of sugars present in the fruit can lead to gestational diabetes, so keep any consumption of mangos limited during this time. Eating raw mango during the first or second trimester you should still keep it moderated. A mango a day will do.
” You will want to only consume naturally ripened mangos.”
- Artificially ripened mangos– You will want to only consume naturally ripened mangos. The reason is that artificially ripened mangos may contain trace amounts of calcium carbide. As it is difficult sometimes to ascertain if the mango was artificially ripened, a good practice is to always wash it well and peel the fruit to help reduce your chance of exposure to this toxin. Even better, purchase green, unripe mangos and let them ripen naturally in your home
How do I know if I’ve been exposed to calcium carbide?
Unnaturally ripened mangos can produce the following side-effects. If you are seeing these, check with your physician and if you wish to continue mango consumption with their approval we strongly recommend ripening them at home. Symptoms of calcium carbide ingestion include:
- A tingling feeling that can occur in the hands or the feet
- Seizures (in extreme cases of exposure)
Yikes! From a fruit?
Unfortunately if it has been artificially ripened, there is indeed a small risk of this. Again, we recommend home ripening if you are not sure and the ‘wash and peel’ method. That said, people all over the world have consumed mango with no ill-effect.
The bottom line
Mango has some amazing properties, as we have discussed, and it is all-natural. With that in mind, you should consider adding it to your diet. It may be possible as well to ask at your local market for the source of their mangos so that you may determine in this manner if they have been artificially ripened. With the large amounts of benefits involved in consuming small quantities of this fruit, it is certainly worth a little homework. If you are worried, we recommend that you consult your physician as well to get their professional opinion. Simply ask, ‘Can I eat raw mango during my pregnancy?’. If you do start adding mango to your diet, avoid overconsumption and stick to the ‘a mango a day’ rule. In moderation it is a wonder-fruit and can be a huge boon for you and your developing little one. Best of all, it’s a natural option, and natural is always best!