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 tale that if you eat a whole pineapple, you’ll go into labor. Before you shun this tasty, nutritious fruit for the next 9 months, here are the facts.
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. However, this is just a myth.
There’s no scientific evidence to support that pineapple is dangerous during pregnancy. The rumors about pineapple are purely anecdotal.
Pineapple contains bromelain, a type of enzyme.
Bromelain tablets aren’t recommended for use during pregnancy. They can break down proteins in the body and lead to abnormal bleeding.
Although bromelain is found in the core of the pineapple, very little is actually in the flesh of the pineapple which is what we eat. The amount of bromelain in a single serving of pineapple isn’t likely to impact your pregnancy.
The bottom line: Normal intake of this fruit is unlikely to adversely affect your pregnancy.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the ideal pregnancy diet is made up of foods from the following five groups:
Foods from these groups help give your baby loads of the vitamins and minerals that they need to grow and develop. To feel your best, you should try to get a hearty mix of healthy, nutrient-dense eats. Drink plenty of water too.
Exactly how much you eat has to do with your age, height, weight, and activity level.
For example, consider a moderately active 30-year-old who is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.
The USDA’s MyPlate plan would recommend that she get around 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day in her first trimester. In the second and third trimesters, the recommended amount jumps to 5 cups.
An expectant 30-year-old who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall may need to get as many as 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on her activity level.
One cup of pineapple can contain
It’s also a solid source of:
- vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
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 quite know where to start, you can add it in a number of different ways.
Eat more pineapple!
- 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 kebabs with meat and veggies.
- Chop pineapple into salsa.
- Make pineapple ice pops.
- Incorporate it into a stir-fry or make a Hawaiian pizza.
What else 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:
If you’re in a rush, frozen, canned, or dried fruits and vegetables are also good alternatives to junk foods.
Consuming 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. To avoid these side effects, it’s best to consume this delicious fruit in moderation.
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
If you’re allergic, these reactions will usually happen within minutes of eating pineapple. You’re 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 servings 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.