A healthy diet during pregnancy benefits you and your child by providing the needed nutrition for growth and development, while also supporting a healthy weight gain. Fruit provides your body with many of the needed vitamins and minerals, and dragon fruit, or pitaya, is a beneficial choice. The sweet fruit is usually red or white with small black seeds, and is a source of vitamin C, carbohydrates, fiber and fat -- all of which are important during pregnancy.
Vitamin C Benefits
During your pregnancy, adequate vitamin C from your diet is important to support the gum, teeth and bone development of your baby. According to the Dietary Reference Intake, your diet should include at least 70 milligrams of vitamin C per day. A-100 gram, or approximately 3.6 ounce dragon fruit, contains 4 to 25 milligrams of vitamin C. Mix it with berries or citrus fruits for a high vitamin C snack.
Good Carbohydrate Source
As a natural carbohydrate source, a 100-gram serving of dragon fruit has roughly 9 to 14 grams of carbohydrate. Recommendations for carbohydrates during pregnancy are a minimum of 135 grams per day. Carbohydrates provide the main source of energy as your baby grows. Eating a serving of dragon fruit with your meal, in addition to a whole-grain starch, helps you create a balance of nutrient-dense carbohydrates.
Healthy Source of Fat
Not only is fat a source of energy during pregnancy for you and your baby, it is also needed as your baby's brain forms. In a serving of dragon fruit, there is approximately 0.1 to 0.6 grams of fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat. Eating this type of fat -- instead of saturated fat or trans-fatty acids -- supports healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
Dietary fiber helps with satiety and to regulate bowel function. During pregnancy, constipation can be an issue, so making sure you are eating enough fiber can alleviate this problem. In a serving of dragon fruit, there is roughly 0.3 to 0.9 grams of fiber. At least 28 grams of fiber per day is recommended by the Dietary Reference Intakes while you are pregnant. Add dragon fruit to a fruit salsa mix for a quick fiber-containing snack.
- Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy and Baby's First Year; Robert V. Johnson, MD
- Natural Food Benefits.com: Dragon Fruit
- Medical Health Guide: Blending Natural and Modern Medicine: Dragon Fruit Health Benefits
- Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI’s): Estimated Average Requirements