When you’re pregnant, you’ll hear lots of thoughts and opinions from well-meaning friends, family members, and even strangers. Some of the information you’re given is helpful. Other bits may be ill informed.
For example, you may have heard the old wives’ tale that if you eat a whole pineapple, you’ll go into labor. Before you shun this tasty, nutritious fruit for the next nine months, here are the facts.
Can you eat pineapple while pregnant?
Pineapple is a safe, healthy choice during pregnancy. Someone might have told you to avoid this fruit because it may cause early miscarriage, or bring on labor. But this is an old wives’ tale.
There’s no scientific evidence to support that pineapple is dangerous during pregnancy. The rumors about pineapple are purely anecdotal.
Does pineapple help induce labor?
Pineapple contains bromelain. Bromelain tablets aren’t recommended for use during pregnancy. They can break down proteins in the body and lead to abnormal bleeding.
But the amount of bromelain in a single serving of pineapple is not likely to impact your pregnancy. In fact, to get this same effect from eating just the fruit alone, you’d need to eat between seven and 10 fresh pineapples at one time. That’s a lot of virgin piña coladas!
The bottom line: Normal intake of this fruit is unlikely to adversely affect your pregnancy.
Can pineapple be part of a healthy pregnancy diet?
The ideal pregnancy diet is made up of foods from across the pyramid. Along with drinking plenty of water, you should try to get a hearty mix of healthy, nutrient-dense eats to feel your best.
The following food groups help give your baby loads of vitamins and minerals that they need to grow and develop:
- fruits and vegetables
- protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans)
Exactly how much you eat has more to do with your age, height, weight, and other dietary factors. When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, a 25-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds and is 5 feet, 4 inches tall should consume around 5 cups per day in the first trimester.
In the second and third trimesters, that suggested amount jumps to 5 1/2 cups. A woman who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall may need to get closer to 6 cups per day.
What should you eat? Head to your local grocery store’s produce department. Depending on the season, there are so many different types of fruits and veggies to try.
Smart choices might include:
- green beans
- sweet potatoes
- winter squash
If you’re in a rush, frozen, canned, or dried fruits and vegetables are also good alternatives to junk foods.
Ways to add pineapple to your diet
Eat up! One cup of pineapple contains over 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. It’s also a solid source of:
- vitamin B-6
These nutrients are all important to your baby’s development and your overall health.
If you want to include pineapple in your pregnancy diet but don’t know quite where to start, you can add it in a number of different ways:
- toss fresh chunks into your morning yogurt
- blend frozen pineapple into a smoothie
- put fresh pineapple on your grill for a healthy summer dessert
- place big hunks of it on kabobs with meat and veggies
- chop pineapple into salsa
- make pineapple popsicles
- incorporate it into your stir-fry or make a Hawaiian pizza
Risks of eating pineapple during pregnancy
Eating pineapple may not be dangerous or help you meet your baby any sooner, but eating large amounts can have uncomfortable effects. Beware if you have a sensitive stomach. The acids in the pineapple may give you heartburn or reflux. It’s best to consume this delicious fruit in moderation to avoid these side effects.
If you don’t normally eat pineapple and experience any sort of allergic symptoms after snacking, call your doctor.
Allergy signs include:
- itching or swelling at your mouth
- skin reactions
- congestion or runny nose
These reactions usually happen within minutes of eating pineapple. You are more likely to be allergic to this fruit if you’re also allergic to pollen or latex.
Eating pineapple during pregnancy isn’t likely to cause miscarriage or send you into labor any sooner. You can safely enjoy normal serving amounts of fresh pineapple, canned pineapple, or pineapple juice. If you’re still worried about adding this fruit to your diet, speak with your doctor about your concerns and ask for more information on pregnancy-safe foods.