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Watermelon Role in a Balanced Pregnancy Diet: Benefits and Considerations

Written byNikhil Ambatkar

Last updated on : 21 Mar, 2024

Read time : 12 min

Watermelon, with its vibrant colours and refreshing taste, presents itself a delightful fruit with numerous benefits for pregnant women. Loaded with essential nutrients and hydrating qualities, including watermelon in your diet is a wise choice during pregnancy. This juicy fruit satisfies cravings and provides a range of health benefits that support the well-being of the mother and the growing baby.

As an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, watermelon offers a nutritional boost for expectant mothers. It is rich in vitamin C, which promotes the immune system and supports the baby’s bones and teeth development.

Furthermore, watermelon’s high water content helps combat dehydration, a common concern during pregnancy. Staying hydrated is essential for optimal organ function, nutrient transportation, and preventing common pregnancy discomforts like constipation and urinary tract infections.

This blog will explore the benefits of watermelon in pregnancy, exploring its nutritional profile and highlighting the advantages it offers for expecting mothers. We will also address potential concerns or considerations regarding watermelon consumption during pregnancy.

Nutritional value of Watermelon

Let’s look at the nutritional composition of watermelon.

NutrientAmount per 100g
Energy30 Kcal
Carbohydrates7.6 g
Fibre0.4 g
Protein0.6 g
Fat0.2 g
Vitamin C8.1 mg
Vitamin A569 International Units (IU)
Potassium112 mg
Magnesium10 mg
Calcium7 mg

The Benefits of Watermelon in Pregnancy Diet

During pregnancy, incorporating watermelon into your diet can offer various benefits to support your well-being and your baby’s development. Here are some of the benefits of watermelon during pregnancy:

Say goodbye to heartburn

Watermelon’s ample water content and natural alkaline qualities have the potential to mitigate heartburn and offer relief from gastrointestinal distress.

Also read: How to Pick the Best Acidity Medicine

Anti-swelling benefits for pregnancy 

Watermelon offers several benefits when included in a pregnancy diet. Its high water content and natural sweetness provide essential nutrients for the mother and baby. Watermelon’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce swelling and joint discomfort during pregnancy. 

Morning sickness relief

The refreshing and hydrating properties of watermelon can relieve nausea and morning sickness symptoms. Hence, including watermelon is good for pregnancy.

Also read: Severe Vomiting During Pregnancy

Preventing pregnancy dehydration

Watermelon, renowned for its high water content, is crucial in maintaining optimal hydration levels during pregnancy.

Muscle cramp relief

Watermelon is abundant in electrolytes such as potassium, which play a vital role in preventing the occurrence of muscle cramps while supporting the optimal functioning of muscles for overall well-being.

A natural solution for pregnancy skin

Watermelon’s high levels of vitamins A and C work wonders for your skin, nourishing and fortifying its elasticity. By incorporating this juicy fruit into your diet, you can effectively shield yourself from the typical skin problems that often arise during pregnancy.

Also read: Home Remedies for Pregnancy Acne

Act as an immunity booster for expecting moms

Watermelon’s rich vitamin C boosts the immune system, helping protect you and your baby from infections and illnesses.

Natural cure for constipation

Watermelon’s fibre content is a natural remedy for constipation, a common issue among pregnant women. The vitamins and minerals in watermelon, including vitamin C and potassium, contribute to overall health during pregnancy. 

Also read: Exercises or Yoga for Constipation

Soothing effect on pregnancy heat rashes

The topical application of watermelon juice has proven to be an effective remedy in alleviating and providing a cooling sensation to heat rashes on the skin, which can arise due to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy.

Preventing urinary tract infections

Watermelon’s significant water content and inherent diuretic attributes eliminate bacteria, diminishing the likelihood of contracting urinary tract infections.

Healthy vision during pregnancy

Watermelon is a natural and good source of vitamin A, which is crucial in promoting optimal vision for you and your baby.

Foetal bone formation

Watermelon has a rich collection of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, crucial for fortifying the skeletal structure of your blossoming little one.

Innovative Ways to Include Watermelon in Your Pregnancy Meal Plan

Here are some innovative ways to incorporate watermelon into your meals:

  • Watermelon salad: Create a refreshing salad by combining diced watermelon with cucumber, mint leaves, and a sprinkle of lime juice. This salad is a perfect side dish or a light meal option.
  • Watermelon smoothie: Blend chunks of watermelon with Greek yoghurt, a splash of coconut water, and a handful of spinach for a nutritious and hydrating smoothie. You can add other fruits, like berries or a squeeze of lemon, for extra flavour.
  • Watermelon salsa/chat: Dice watermelon, tomatoes, red onions, jalapeños, and cilantro to create a delicious and vibrant salsa. Enjoy it with whole-grain chips or a topping for grilled fish or chicken.
  • Watermelon popsicles: Blend the watermelon pieces until they become smooth, then carefully transfer the delightful juice into popsicle moulds. Proceed to freeze this delicious juice, resulting in a nourishing and refreshing delicacy for your enjoyment.
  • Watermelon and quinoa salad: Mix cooked quinoa with diced watermelon, cheese, fresh herbs, and a light dressing for a satisfying and protein-rich salad.

Stay Healthy and Hydrated: 6 Reasons Why Watermelon Should Be on Your Pregnancy Menu

6-reasons-why-watermelon-in-your-pregnancy-diet

Here are six reasons why you should consider including watermelon in pregnancy:

1. Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial during pregnancy; watermelon can help you achieve that. Incorporating watermelon in pregnancy first trimester can provide hydration for you and your baby’s development.

2. Nutrient-rich: Watermelon is packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients support you and your baby’s overall health and development.

3. Fibre source: Pregnancy can sometimes lead to constipation, but watermelon’s fibre content can aid in maintaining regular and good bowel movements and preventing digestive issues.

4. Natural source of antioxidants: Watermelon is rich in antioxidants like lycopene, which protect your body’s cells from damage and boost a healthy immune system.

5. Heart health: Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, promoting good blood flow and maintaining a healthy heart.

6. Gestational edema prevention: Swelling in the hands, feet, and ankles is common during pregnancy. Watermelon’s diuretic properties can help reduce fluid retention and alleviate gestational edema.

Also read: Diet for Gestational Diabetes

Possible Safety Concerns with watermelon

Watermelon is generally safe to consume during pregnancy. Still, there are a few safety concerns to remember:

  • Allergies: Some individuals may have allergies to watermelon. If you experience any adverse reactions after consuming watermelons, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, discontinue it and seek medical attention.
  • Pesticide residue: Watermelon can contain pesticide residue if not organically grown like other fruits and vegetables. Opt for organic watermelon or thoroughly wash and peel the fruit before consumption to minimise pesticide exposure.
  • Gestational diabetes:  If you are with gestational diabetes, you must monitor your carbohydrate intake, including the natural sugars in watermelon. Work with a doctor or a registered dietitian to determine the appropriate portion size and incorporate watermelon into your meal plan without causing blood sugar spikes.
  • Foodborne illnesses: As with any fresh produce, there is a risk of contamination with bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. To reduce this risk, choose ripe, undamaged watermelon, wash it thoroughly before cutting, and store it properly in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

Watermelon is a fantastic addition to a pregnant woman’s diet due to its vibrant colours, refreshing taste, and numerous health benefits. Eating watermelon during pregnancy can provide essential nutrients for the mother and the developing baby. With its abundance of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, watermelon provides a nutritional boost supporting well-being.

Its high water content also helps combat dehydration, a common concern during pregnancy, while satisfying cravings and preventing discomforts like constipation and urinary tract infections. Including watermelon in pregnancy diet is a wise choice that promotes overall health and adds a touch of deliciousness to the journey of motherhood.

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Frequently asked questions

Are watermelons good for babies?

Watermelon can be introduced to babies when they start consuming solid foods, typically around 6 months of age. It is a hydrating and nutritious fruit, rich in vitamins and minerals. However, it’s essential to introduce watermelon gradually and watch for any symptoms of allergies or digestive issues.

When is the best time to eat watermelon during pregnancy?

Watermelon can be consumed at any time during pregnancy. It makes a refreshing snack and can be included in meals or smoothies. Enjoy it as part of a balanced diet to benefit from its nutrients and hydration properties.

Does watermelon have cooling or warming properties?

Watermelon is often associated with cooling properties due to its high water content and hydrating nature. It can be refreshing during hot weather or to alleviate thirst. However, its effect on body temperature may vary among individuals.

Which fruit is beneficial for baby brain development during pregnancy?

Various fruits support baby brain development during pregnancy due to their rich nutrient content. Some examples include berries, avocados, oranges, and bananas. These fruits provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for healthy brain development.

Can I eat watermelon every day during pregnancy?

Eating watermelon daily during pregnancy is generally safe if you consume it in moderation and as part of a varied diet. Maintaining a balanced intake of nutrients from different food sources is essential for overall health.

How many watermelons should a pregnant woman consume?

The number of watermelons a pregnant woman should consume varies based on individual factors and dietary needs. It is recommended to incorporate a variety of fruits into the diet, including watermelon, and consult with a doctor for personalised advice.

Which fruits are rich in folic acid?

Fruits rich in folic acid include oranges, strawberries, papaya, and bananas. These fruits contribute to the daily intake of this essential nutrient, which is vital for foetal development.

Which fruits are safe to eat during pregnancy?

Most fruits, including watermelon, apples, grapes, pears, and citrus, are safe to eat during pregnancy. However, washing them thoroughly and choosing ripe, fresh fruits is crucial to minimise the risk of foodborne illnesses.

What are some pregnancy superfoods?

Some pregnancy superfoods include leafy greens (spinach, kale), avocados, berries, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains, yoghurt, and lean protein sources. Also, including watermelon seeds during pregnancy can provide a source of essential nutrients and fibre that contribute to a well-rounded diet. These foods are packed with nutrients beneficial for the mother and the developing baby.

Which foods naturally contain folic acid?

Foods naturally packed with folic acid include leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, fortified cereals, and whole grains. These foods are excellent sources of this vital nutrient for pregnancy.

What foods are high in calcium for pregnancy?

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt are commonly known for their high calcium content. Other sources of calcium include tofu, fortified plant-based milk, sardines, salmon, almonds, and leafy green vegetables like broccoli and kale.

What is the best multivitamin for pregnancy in India?

The best multivitamin for pregnancy in India can vary depending on individual needs. It is advisable to consult with a doctor or a prenatal specialist who can recommend a suitable prenatal multivitamin based on your specific requirements.

Which fruit has the highest amount of folic acid?

Oranges are known for their relatively high content of folic acid among fruits. Consuming oranges or drinking squeezed orange juice can contribute to meeting the recommended intake of folic acid during pregnancy.

Disclaimer 

The content provided within this article has been thoroughly verified for accuracy. However, we advise consulting a doctor before utilising any medication or dietary supplements mentioned herein.

References

  • Naz A, Butt MS, Sultan MT, Qayyum MM, Niaz RS. Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims. EXCLI journal. 2014;13:650. [Cited on 2023 June 28]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/ 
  • Timms K, Holder B, Day A, Mclaughlin J, Forbes KA, Westwood M. Watermelon‐Derived Extracellular Vesicles Influence Human Ex Vivo Placental Cell Behavior by Altering Intestinal Secretions. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2022 Oct;66(19):2200013. [Cited on 2023 June 28]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35938208/ 
  • Tan PC, Ramasandran G, Sethi N, Razali N, Hamdan M, Kamarudin M. Watermelon and dietary advice compared to dietary advice alone following hospitalisation for hyperemesis gravidarum: a randomised controlled trial. BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2023 Dec;23(1):1-9. [Cited on 2023 June 28]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10276427/ 
  • Manivannan A, Lee ES, Han K, Lee HE, Kim DS. Versatile nutraceutical potentials of watermelon—A modest fruit loaded with pharmaceutically valuable phytochemicals. Molecules. 2020 Nov 11;25(22):5258. [Cited on 2023 June 28]. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/886960
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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.

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