With all of the conflicting advice about what to eat during pregnancy, mothers-to-be can sometimes become confused about what foods are acceptable. Fortunately for pregnant fruit lovers, peaches are a great food for pregnancy. They are high in nutrients, and you easily add them to your daily meal plan. There are some concerns, however, especially when it comes to pesticides on your fruit.
Peaches are a great addition to your pregnancy diet because they are high in lots of nutrients you and your baby need. Peaches contain plenty of vitamins A and C, niacin and potassium. Vitamin C is particularly important for pregnant women because it increases the bioavailability of any iron you consume, helping prevent anemia. The fiber in peaches can help prevent constipation, a common problem among pregnant women. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you should eat 4 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day all throughout pregnancy.
Women get cravings during pregnancy for all sorts of strange foods. A desire for peaches might be one of the most healthy cravings, especially compared to craving pizza, chocolate, pickles or ice cream every day. No one knows exactly why cravings occur, though they probably have something to do with all of the intense hormonal changes you are going through. Sometimes, cravings indicate a lack of a particular nutrient in your pregnancy diet. According to BabyCenter, women who crave peaches might actually need more beta carotene, the precursor molecule for vitamin A.
One consideration when eating peaches while pregnant is the potentially high levels of pesticides on these tasty fruits. According to a 2009 article in the "Chicago Tribune," U.S. Department of Agriculture tests in 2008 found residue of more than 50 pesticides on domestic and imported peaches. Peaches are listed as one of the 12 most likely to be contaminated fruits with regard to pesticides, the article also revealed. Purchasing organic peaches can help you reduce your pesticide exposure during pregnancy.
How to Include Peaches
You can, of course, enjoy peaches as a wholesome snack all on their own. However, if you want to get creative with a bag of peaches you picked up at the farmer's market, you might want to slice them up and eat them over hot or cold cereal in the morning or include them as part of a dessert. Because you and your developing baby need a wide variety of nutrients, it's preferable to get a variety of foods, including a variety of fruits, throughout the day. However, there is no reason why you cannot have multiple servings of peaches each day, as long as you are including other foods in the diet as well.
To avoid an increased risk for birth defects, you should avoid consuming foods that may have come in contact with pesticides. This is particularly important during your first trimester, says the American Pregnancy Association. Eating organic offers a safe option.
- BabyCenter: Food Cravings and What They Mean
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:Nutrition During Pregnancy
- "Chicago Tribune"; Health: Pesticides in Your Peaches; Monica Eng; August 2009
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Peaches, Raw
- American Pregnancy Association: Pesticides and Pregnancy