Kiwi, also called Chinese gooseberry because it originated in China, is packed with vitamins and minerals.

You’re pregnant — and you’re absolutely right to be super vigilant about what you eat. Way to go! You have a developing baby to look after.

Kiwi contains vitamins C, A, E, K, folate, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, and choline. To boot, kiwi fruit is low in sugars (compared to many other fruits) and fats, and contains a nice amount of dietary fiber.

Eat kiwi when it’s firm (not rock-hard) to the touch and you may also satisfy that sweet tooth that’s likely become more demanding since you got pregnant.

Rest easy: It’s safe for you to eat kiwi in pregnancy. In fact, it’s good for you!

The only exception would be if you have a kiwi allergy. This may be more likely if you’re allergic to latex. So be on the lookout for allergy symptoms — most commonly, skin rashes or swelling around the mouth — but if you’ve had no issues with kiwi in the past, it’s safe to continue enjoying it.

Let’s look at the benefits kiwi offers you in each trimester.

First trimester

Folate. With the average kiwi containing about 17 micrograms (mcg) of folate, this fruit is a super-source you want to add to your diet.

Although researchers aren’t sure exactly how it works, folate (or its synthetic form, folic acid) is important in preventing neural tube defects (NTSs) in your baby. NTDs occur early, 4 to 6 weeks after your last period, so it’s important to take a supplement starting a month before you try to get pregnant.

The U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention recommends a daily folic acid supplement of 400 mcg, but adding a kiwi or two is certainly helpful, too.

Vitamin C. You’re looking at a whopping 64 milligrams (mg) of this helpful vitamin in one kiwi. Vitamin C is good for mom, as it helps with the absorption of iron.

Absorbing iron is important to prevent anemia during and after pregnancy. Ensuring that your iron levels are high is good for baby too. Iron helps the formation of neurotransmitters, which are important for good brain function.

Calcium. This isn’t just about bones and teeth. Your baby needs sufficient calcium to ensure the development of their muscles and heart too. An average kiwi contains 23.5 mg, so slice them into your salads — especially if you’re lactose intolerant and looking for non-dairy sources of calcium.

Second trimester

Dietary fiber. With 2.07 grams (g) of fiber in every kiwi, this fruit can help you maintain the smooth bowel movements that you’ve almost forgotten about. You’re not alone here: Pregnancy can cause a range of bowel issues, from constipation to diarrhea. That’s because the higher levels of hormones are slowing down digestion and relaxing your bowel muscles.

Vitamin A and zinc. Beginning in your second trimester, your needs for vitamin A, zinc, calcium, iron, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids increase. Eat a kiwi and you’ve covered some of these needs. The average kiwi contains 2.76 mcg of vitamin A and 0.097 mg of zinc.

Third trimester

Sugar content. This trimester is where you may start hearing about gestational diabetes. Kiwis are considered lower on the glycemic index than many other fruits, and 100 g of kiwi contains only about 1 teaspoon of glucose. That means the fruit won’t make your blood sugar levels spike. But it might just be sweet enough to stop that craving for something sweet.

Vitamin K. The average fruit contains 27.8 mcg of vitamin K. This vitamin promotes healing and helps your blood clot. As you approach your delivery date, you’ll want to make sure your body has sufficient levels of this vitamin.

Rarely, some people can develop an allergy to kiwi either after eating it or because they already have an allergy to pollen or latex. Stop eating kiwi if you:

  • feel an itching in your mouth and throat
  • develop hives or other inflammation
  • experience stomach pain or vomit

Going back to China, where the kiwi fruit originated: Its original name in Chinese is mihoutao and refers to the fact that monkeys love kiwis. Guess there’s more to “Monkey see, monkey do”! Add this fruit to your diet and enjoy the benefits during pregnancy and beyond.