From whole grapes to grape jelly and grape juice, many of us enjoy making grapes a part of our diet. But what about when you’re expecting a baby? Can pregnant women eat grapes?
Well, we’re all pretty familiar with the medical advice to cut out the fermented grape juice during pregnancy (yep, we’re looking at you, wine).
But with grapes in other forms, it’s a little more complicated.
Some health benefits; some things to be aware of.
So let’s jump in and explore the relationship between grapes and pregnancy.
Can you eat grapes while pregnant?
Eating plenty of fruit and veggies is highly recommended during pregnancy.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises making half your plate fruit and veggies at mealtimes.
This food group is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals—important for supporting your body during pregnancy.
And they’re also a good source of fiber, which helps keep constipation at bay.
But where do grapes fit into this picture? Like other fruits, are grapes good for pregnancy?
Are grapes good for a pregnant woman?
Yep, eating grapes while pregnant (along with a wide variety of other fruit) will help you get the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. In particular, grapes are a source of:
- Vitamin C. Good for your immune system, vitamin C helps you absorb iron and aids the development of your baby’s bones and teeth.
- Vitamin K, which helps blood to clot.
- Potassium and other essential minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
- Fiber. This and the fact that grapes have a high water content means they can help prevent constipation.
- Beta carotene. This is a chemical your body changes into vitamin A. It’s good for your eye health and for protecting mucus membranes in your body, which act as barriers to infection.
Are there any risks from eating grapes while pregnant?
You might have heard talk about something called resveratrol in grapes and its possible impact on pregnancy.
Resveratrol is a compound found in the skin of red grapes. And taking supplements containing the compound is thought to have various potential health benefits, from helping you lose weight to fighting cancer, though research is ongoing.
But, in one 2014 study on primates, the researchers found that resveratrol supplements caused fetal abnormalities. This led them to recommend that pregnant women should avoid taking the supplements.
Still, just eating grapes on their own is unlikely to cause a problem. The researchers noted that the negative effects “were clearly associated with a high level of resveratrol in the supplement.”.
One supplement pill has about 250 to 500 milligrams of resveratrol, while a cup of grapes has less than one milligram.
If you’re at all worried, you could always stick to green grapes during pregnancy.
But it’s not likely that an occasional serving of red grapes will be harmful.
How to safely enjoy grapes while pregnant
Here are our top tips for enjoying grapes safely and healthily during your pregnancy:
1. Eat fresh grapes where possible
For the maximum health benefits, try eating whole (or halved) fresh grapes as a snack or as part of a salad.
They’re great for a slow-burning energy boost.
Raisins (dried grapes) are fine, too, but it’s best to stick to small portions—they have a higher sugar content than fresh grapes.
And you might want to limit the amount of grape jelly, grape spreads, and sweetened grape juice in your diet, as these tend to have quite a bit of added sugar.
2. Wash grapes before eating
Washing grapes thoroughly with plain water will help remove any harmful bacteria or parasites that could make you unwell.
It’ll also wash off any pesticide residue.
Unfortunately, grapes are one of the fruits most likely to be contaminated with pesticides—they frequently feature on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list.
You might want to go organic if you can.
It’s also a good idea to cut off any bruised or damaged areas of fruit, as these are places that harmful bacteria like to hang out.
3. Stick to pasteurized grape juice
Pasteurized fruit juice (made from grapes or other fruit) has been treated to kill any harmful bacteria, so it’s safe for you to drink during pregnancy.
Check the label on the juice bottle or carton, as there should be a warning if it’s not pasteurized.
Freshly squeezed juice from a juice bar or farmer’s market is, sadly, something you probably want to avoid while you’re pregnant.
Okay, we’ll let you get back to that fruit salad…
More on pregnancy foods:
Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?
Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Shrimp?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Salmon?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Hot Dogs?
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Can Pregnant Women Eat Bacon?
Can You Drink Wine While Pregnant?
Is Orange Juice Good for Pregnancy?
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Is Oatmeal Good for Pregnancy?