Becoming pregnant can be a joyful, yet overwhelming time. There is so much to learn and do, it can sometimes feel daunting.
From things to buy to things to do, what to eat and what not to eat, it can be too much to figure out at times.
As a pregnant woman, it is especially important to ensure you take care of yourself and eat healthy, nutritious meals.
But what is safe to eat? Unreliable information, food myths, and food taboos can complicate things further.
Jackfruit is a food item whose safety has been questioned over the years. When you’re pregnant, you may wonder, is it safe to eat jackfruit during pregnancy?
Jackfruit is safe to eat, with some precautions. Here, I will discuss jackfruit’s benefits, potential risks for pregnant women, and some of the food myths and taboos associated with the fruit.
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Is Jackfruit Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe if you can digest it properly. There is no problem found with eating jackfruit during the pregnancy period as long as it is consumed in a moderate amount, but consuming too much can be harmful.
Eating jackfruit is beneficial to mom and her growing baby, as it is a high source of carbohydrates, protein, various vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and other minerals.
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Research has shown jackfruit has been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antifungal, and anti-diabetic properties.
Its low-glycemic index and high protein content help regulate blood sugar, which is important in preventing gestational diabetes while pregnant.
Additionally, many pregnant women experience constipation and stomach issues. Jackfruit’s high fiber content can help alleviate some of that discomfort.
Jackfruit is a great source of potassium, which along with the fiber and antioxidants it contains, can help lower blood pressure, potentially reducing heart health issues during pregnancy.
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During pregnancy, women’s immune system becomes weaker, making it difficult to fight off illnesses and infections. The antioxidants present in jackfruit, such as Vitamins A and C, can contribute to boosting their immune system when pregnant.
As with any fruit and vegetable, it is important to thoroughly wash your hands before and after preparation, as well as jackfruit before consuming it.
Always consult your physician if you have any pre-existing conditions or allergies before consuming new foods while pregnant.
When to Avoid Jackfruit
Although typically safe to consume, there are some instances when you want to avoid this versatile fruit.
Do not consume uncooked seeds as they contain trypsin inhibitors. These chemicals can delay or block protein digestion.
Heat breaks down and inactivates trypsin inhibitors; therefore, only consume jackfruit seeds when cooked. They can be boiled, baked, or roasted to enjoy as snacks or in desserts.
If at Risk of Bleeding
If you take any anticoagulation or blood-thinning medicine, you should refrain from eating jackfruit seeds altogether.
The seeds may contain anti-blood clotting qualities, which may increase the risk of bleeding.
Therefore, if you take blood thinners, pain relieving medication (ibuprofen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, or anti-platelet medications, you should avoid eating jackfruit seeds.
If Allergic to Birch Pollen
Although there has been a case of jackfruit causing a reaction against it, it may be a good idea to steer clear of this fruit if you suspect you may be allergic to birch pollen.
If Allergic to Latex
There has been a known case of anaphylactic reaction against jackfruit.
The flesh of the jackfruit has a gummy, sap-like substance that when cut for preparation, some of the substance may remain on the fruit, posing a risk to those allergic to latex.
Therefore, until more information is gathered, it may be wise to steer clear of this fruit if you have a latex allergy.
Jackfruit has been surrounded by food myths and taboos that have been passed on for generations, particularly in rural villages.
Jackfruit Can Cause Miscarriage Myth
One such food myth is that consuming jackfruit early during pregnancy will lead to miscarriage. This is not the case. There is no scientific evidence to support this myth.
This food taboo seems to have originated in India and is still common in rural villages where it continues to be passed on.
Eating jackfruit does not cause miscarriage when enjoyed at any point during pregnancy.
The ‘Hot’ Food Myth
This food myth is not about the manner in which the fruit is cooked, but the supposed effect consuming jackfruit may have on the body.
It is said that the ‘heat-producing’ qualities of the fruit can lead a pregnant woman’s body to overheat, thus harming the unborn baby.
This food myth is also prevalent in India and continues to be passed on in certain communities.
Figuring out what to eat and what not to eat while pregnant can be overwhelming as many foods are unsafe to consume.
In addition to the plethora of information, there are also food myths and taboos to sift through. Jackfruit safety has come into question over the years, especially in some countries and cultures.
Although jackfruit is considered safe to eat at any time during pregnancy, it is important to keep in mind certain risk factors to ensure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.