If the idea of eating dates during pregnancy sounds like a good one, we’ve got great news for you. Read on for the details.
Date night’s about to get a whole new meaning.
Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vital vitamins and minerals, this sweet treat is a welcome addition to your pregnancy diet.
And there’s more to this story than simply being the tale of a healthy snack.
Eating dates during pregnancy can also have some surprising results regarding labor.
We’ll take you through the details of this fabulous fruit and let you in on how you can make it a pregnancy staple.
Let’s dive in.
In this article: 📝
- Can you eat dates during pregnancy?
- Benefits of eating dates during pregnancy
- Eating dates for labor: FAQs
Can you eat dates during pregnancy?
The date is a delicious delight from a tree called the date palm (or the Phoenix dactylifera, if you prefer).
They’re a hit in North Africa and the Middle East, with Egypt as the largest producer in the world.).
And they’ve been around for millennia, with estimates that they were cultivated as early as 4,000 BC.
So miraculous is this fruit that research points to it having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-diabetic qualities—all of which can help manage various health conditions.
This study also offers some evidence that a diet rich in dates could help improve memory and learning.
And while more research is needed to confirm these findings, all roads seem to lead to this fruit being a worthwhile addition to your diet.
Benefits of eating dates during pregnancy
Dates have all sorts of benefits at any point in your life and can be particularly helpful when pregnant.
High in fiber
If pregnancy has slowed down your digestive system, that’s totally normal.
Increased progesterone levels are responsible for relaxing the muscles in your digestive system, which can lead to food taking the slow train out of you.
Iron supplements can make this worse for some people.
Along with drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough fiber is important—with the recommended intake being 28 grams daily.
Enter the dried date.
One half-cup of dates provides you with 6 grams of fiber—about 22% of what you need daily.
(Just be careful here because too much fiber too quickly can result in some digestive issues.)
Rich in vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin-wise, a few important ones make the list, including vitamins B, C, and A.
Dates are also a source of iron and calcium, which are very important during pregnancy.
Other minerals include potassium, magnesium, and manganese—all of which help keep you and your growing baby healthy.
A nutritious sweet treat
If you’re looking for an alternative to candy, dates can help curb those cravings while providing essential nutrients.
The only downside is that they are naturally high in sugar, so if you need to curb your carb intake for medical reasons like gestational diabetes, it’s good to factor that in.
And if you’ve heard that there’s a connection between eating dates and labor, there appears to be something to it.
We’ll take you through the details.
Eating dates for labor: FAQs
Does eating dates induce labor?
Okay, so here’s the deal—while more research is needed in this area, there does appear to be a significant connection here.
Here’s what we know so far:
This study showed that eating dates in late pregnancy may be connected with a lower need for labor induction and augmentation.
It also showed that eating dates may shorten the first stage of labor (the part when you feel persistent contractions).
This one saw similar results regarding the duration of labor, but did not note any significant differences with other outcomes, such as cervical dilation or how regular contractions were.
And this one showed that date consumption reduced the need for labor augmentation but showed no significant difference in the spontaneous onset of labor.
Put that all together, and it looks like this trusty fruit may help you while you’re in labor, but it’s unlikely that it will help bring it on.
(It’s important to note that these studies were small and sometimes contradictory.
More research is definitely needed in this area for it to be a sure thing.)
Why do dates induce labor?
From what we know, eating dates probably won’t induce labor, but there is evidence that it might help you along the way.
So why is this the case?
Well, we’re not entirely sure at this point, but it may be that dates produce an effect similar to oxytocin—the hormone that helps with uterine contractions and moves labor along smoothly.
When should you start eating dates in pregnancy?
The research we looked at suggests that eating dates in the last four weeks of pregnancy may have an impact on labor and delivery.
But you don’t have to wait until then.
With all the benefits of this awesome fruit, you can make it part of your diet from Day 1.
All the best, mama.
🌴 More on pregnancy foods:
Can Pregnant Women Eat Honey?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Grapes?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Pineapple?
Is Orange Juice Good for Pregnancy?
Can You Eat Pomegranate During Pregnancy?
Can You Eat Cherries While Pregnant?