Can I Eat Papaya During Pregnancy?
What is the Number 1 Question that gets asked to us in our PregnancyDost Way Prenatal & ChildBirth Class at Ahmedabad?
Yes, You Guessed it right, it is “Can I eat papaya during Pregnancy?” This is by far Most asked question in our discussions with many expecting moms on Facebook & Twitter as well.
So, we really feel that we owe you this detailed explanation on the subject as it seems there are lots of beliefs & dis beliefs on the subject particularly in Asian Cultures.
Let’s find out whether is it safe to eat papaya during pregnancy or Not.
Dhara is very fond of all the tropical fruits including orange, peach, plums and papaya. When she got pregnant she was eating papaya almost every other day and suddenly some one told her “to not consume papaya in any form as it will cause miscarriage” . She believed it as pregnancy is such a precious period of our lives. We want all the perfect things for our baby and people tend to start believing each & every advise they get without even considering the Qualifications & background of the people giving these advices. We all have such personalities around us who give the advice without explaining any evidence based scientific data or research. We call these kind of advisors “Chashme Wali Chachi”. So, Dhara stopped eating Papaya on the advice of “Chashme wali Chachi” .
But the question remains why is there so much controversy with Papaya? Let’s check in to the scientific reason why Papaya and many such fruits are safe and even more nutritional when you are pregnant. Let’s weigh the benefits of Papaya vs the risks associated with it.
Benefits of Papaya during Pregnancy
PregnancyDost conducted Interview with multiple leading OBGyn Doctors in Ahmedabad, India regarding this matter so that our recommendations to You in this report is the most latest & backed by Scientific & Medical research on the subject.
- Any fruit which is naturally grown, fully ripe and without preservatives is safe to eat during pregnancy and of course fully ripe papaya is one of them. According to Dr. Akshaybhai Shah & his team of Doctors (at Me & Mummy Maternity Hospital, Paldi, Ahmedabad), Fully ripe papaya during pregnancy is safe to eat. One has to be careful not to eat papaya seeds or the whitish layer inside the papaya. Now mostly the way Papya is cut & consumed in all cultures, people anyways remove seeds & inner whitish layer before eating Papaya. So if that is the way you consume fully Ripe Papaya, it is 100% safe.
- We will get to what the deal is with removing that inner white layer & seeds from ripe papaya in a bit but before that, let’s look at What All You are Missing Out On if You Decide Not to eat Papaya like Dhara, by believing in Chashme Wali Chachi’s advice.
What are You missing out on?
- Papaya helps overcome morning sickness.
- Who likes morning sickness? Why not to try this natural remedy when you eat breakfast? Using papaya for breakfast is a good way to reduce the effects of morning sickness.
- A ripe papaya has reduced latex concentration that doesn’t cause harm in pregnancy.
- If you avoid seeds and white layer of papaya during pregnancy, there is almost no side effects.
- Papaya improves cardiovascular health and provides protection from colon cancer.
- Health of heart is very important while pregnant and eating papaya during pregnancy is surely a good start.
- Ripe papayas also contain beta-carotene, vitamins A, B, C and potassium that are essential to the body.Vitamin A and C helps boost the body’s immunity while vitamin B is essential for fetal development.
- Most of us surely know the benefit of vitamins during pregnancy. How to include those important vitamins as per the daily value is a challenge for most of us. Let’s go one step at a time. Start including loads of veggies and fruits into the daily pregnancy diet including fruits like papaya.
- Papayas are also rich in vitamin E. That is very Good for eyesight, hair and other body parts development of your baby inside.
- Latest research has proven that it is not very safe to take external vitamin E supplement during pregnancy as excessive amount of vitamin E can cause heart defects in unborn baby. Natural source of any vitamins is better for that matter.
- The American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including vitamin E, by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than from supplements until more is known about the risks and benefits of taking supplements.
- Papaya is also a good source of folic acid.
- Folic acid plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps your baby’s neural tube development into her brain and spinal cord.
- Papaya contains very good amount of fiber which works as a natural form of laxative and prevents constipation; a very common pregnancy symptom.
- Food containing Fiber is a good companion during pregnancy. Papaya is one such fruit which is good source of fiber. Fiber keeps everything moving through the large intestine, and fights against all-too-common constipation. Also, fiber-rich foods are usually nutrient-dense, meaning they fill you up without adding tons of calories.
- Papaya controls and prevents gastric troubles and heartburn.
- It is again a good natural remedy for heartburn, gastric problems and keeping up your sugar levels normal.
- According to Dr. Ramanbhai Patel (at Sunflower Hospital, Ahmedabad) ripe Papaya is low in sugar content and good source of nutrients for pregnant woman with Gestational diabetes.
- It also relieves bloating and acidity disorders, which are common during pregnancy.
- It is easy to include papaya in daily routine. There is no such fix time where you should be eating papaya or any other fruit for that matter. Breakfast is of course the best being the very first meal of the day.
- Papaya during pregnancy will help you fulfill your vitamins daily requirements.
Risk Associated with eating papaya during Pregnancy
There have been many research projects into the effects of foods on pregnant women and papaya is no exception. According to British Journal of Nutrition, Papaya is a source of vitamin A and b-carotene, which are needed for feto-maternal well-being.
- The word of caution is also published here is. ‘the unripe or semi-ripe papaya which contains high concentration of the latex that produces marked uterine contractions may have an adverse effect during pregnancy and should be avoided.
- It is possible that those patients who are prone to spontaneous abortion – preterm labor due to increased myometrial excitability may be more vulnerable to the lesser amount of papaya latex.
- The Latex can also cause marked edema and hemorrhage can result in severe complications in pregnancy and normally an early delivery.
- Other than this, raw papaya also should be avoided due to The papain in the latex of unripe or even a semi-ripe papaya can activate prostaglandin and oxytocin hormones, which trigger uterine contractions and induce premature labor.
- Excessive bowel movements due to laxative element of papaya can also cause miscarriage. To avoid this, anything in moderation is advisable.
In a nut shell, fully ripe papaya in moderate quantity is completely safe to eat during pregnancy and above all, it has a beneficial nutritional values for mother & baby in the womb.
Word of caution is to avoid eating raw or even semi ripe papaya. Also always avoid papaya seeds and the white skin layer inside the papaya. So don’t worry & Forget about that old myth around papaya and start enjoying this amazingly healthy fruit without a guilt feel!
So what happened to Dhara? She is now a mother of a healthy baby girl of 6 months. After attending PregnancyDost Pregnancy classes in Ahmedabad, She enjoyed all the safe fruits during Pregnancy and of course Papaya was one of them! Enjoy healthy eating.
Share your thoughts on fruits & other food that you feel should be avoided during pregnancy. Our team of experts will guide you with the latest research and evidence on what you can eat and what you should avoid while pregnant. Be a Dost and spread the knowledge!