7 Benefits of Eating Avocado During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, finding quick and easy ways to boost your nutrition is always a good idea.

Fortunately — since we know you have a million other things on your mind — avocados provide a convenient (and delicious!) source of nutrients and can be added to both sweet and savory meals and snacks.

These tasty fruits offer a variety of nutrients, including:

  1. fiber
  2. healthy fats
  3. vitamins
  4. minerals
  5. beneficial plant compounds

Avocados can benefit health in a number of ways, making them a great choice for pregnancy. Here’s how eating avocado may help keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy.

1. Avocados Are Packed With Fiber

Fiber is crucial for optimal health during pregnancy. In fact, it’s essential for promoting healthy bowel movements. And adding fiber-rich foods like avocados to your diet during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

Unfortunately, many pregnant people don’t get enough fiber in their diets. But here’s the good news: Just half an avocado (100 grams) provides just under 7 grams of fiber, or about 25 percent of the 28-gram minimum daily recommendation for fiber during pregnancy.

2. They’re A Nutritious Fat Source

Fat — even the saturated variety! — is extremely important during pregnancy. Adding sources of fat to meals and snacks can help increase satisfaction, as fats make foods taste delicious. (But you knew that already, didn’t you?)

Avocados are loaded with healthy fats — namely monounsaturated fats. The fats found in avocados may help improve heart health, regulate blood sugar levels, and help keep you full in between meals.

What’s more, higher intake of monounsaturated fat-rich foods like avocados during pregnancy may help improve sleep quality and therefore ease pregnancy insomnia.

3. Avocados Can Help You Reach Your Nutrient Needs

In addition to protein and overall calories, your needs for certain vitamins and minerals increase during pregnancy. For example, pregnant people need more folate, magnesium, and vitamin C than people who aren’t pregnant.

Avocados are a concentrated source of many nutrients needed in high amounts during pregnancy including vitamin C, folate, and magnesium. Folate demands increase significantly during pregnancy due to this nutrient’s critical role in fetal development.

Enjoying half an avocado (100 grams) will deliver about 14 percent of your daily folate needs during pregnancy.

4. They May Help You Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure Levels

Avocados are a rich source of magnesium and potassium, nutrients that are especially important for healthy blood pressure regulation.

During pregnancy, eating plenty of potassium-rich foods like avocados can help reduce the risk of developing gestational hypertension.

For example, a 2013 study in 263 pregnant women demonstrated that those who consumed 250 to 300 more milligrams (mg) of potassium per day had a significantly reduced risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Fortunately, avocados are a concentrated source of potassium. Just one half of an avocado (100 grams) contains 485 mg.

Avocados are also packed with magnesium, a mineral that’s important for blood pressure regulation as well.

5. They’re Rich In Powerful Antioxidants

Antioxidants are beneficial compounds that help protect against cellular damage and may help promote health in many ways.

Avocados are especially rich in the carotenoid lutein. Lutein has powerful antioxidant properties and is important for your baby’s eye development and brain function.

Because lutein is a fat-soluble compound, it’s absorbed more efficiently from avocados than from other lutein-containing fruits or vegetables with low fat content. In addition to lutein, avocados contain a variety of other antioxidants, including:

  1. zeaxathantin
  2. beta carotene
  3. vitamin C

Carotenoid antioxidants — including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxathantin — are found in breast milk. Their levels directly depend on the mother’s intake. Eating more avocados during breastfeeding can help increase the carotenoid content of your breast milk, which is important for your baby’s growth and development.

6. They’re A Filling Food

When you’re pregnant, properly fueling your body is essential for feeling your best. When you’re hungry — or, ahem, hangry — preparing a meal or snack that includes avocado is a smart way to keep yourself satisfied and prevent overeating. (We see you, relentless pregnancy hunger.)

Avocados are rich in fiber and healthy fats, nutrients which have been shown to promote feelings of fullness.

Choosing filling, nutrient-dense foods like avocados during pregnancy can help you stay energized throughout the day and can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is essential for your health and the health of your baby.

7. They May Help You Maintain Healthy Lipid And Blood Sugar Levels

Keeping your blood sugar and blood fats at optimal levels can help you have a healthy and safe pregnancy. Eating avocados may help reduce certain heart disease risk factors and regulate blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of pregnancy complications.

Avocados are low in carbs and rich in fiber and healthy fats, making them a great choice for pregnant people with high blood sugar or diabetes.

Eating avocados may help lower post-meal blood sugar levels in people with high blood sugar levels. Plus, avocados may help boost heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which may help reduce heart disease risk and promote overall health during pregnancy.

Ideas For How To Add Avocados Into Your Diet

Avocados have a mild flavor and creamy texture, which makes them a perfect fit for both sweet and savory recipes.

Here are some tasty ways to add avocado to your diet during pregnancy:

  1. Add sliced avocado to your egg and veggie omelet.
  2. Top a baked sweet potato with sliced avocado, beans, veggies, salsa, and grilled chicken for a filling meal.
  3. Whip up a delicious chocolate peanut butter pudding made with avocado by following this recipe.
  4. Add sliced avocados to your salad for a boost of healthy fat.
  5. Toss avocado chunks into a smoothie for a creamy texture.
  6. Dip sliced veggies into a chunky guacamole for a filling snack.
  7. Top sliced sweet potato or sprouted-grain bread with mashed avocado, red pepper, salt, and pepper.
  8. Make a healthy avocado and cilantro dressing for salads and more using this recipe.
  9. Sprinkle a half of an avocado with sea salt and pepper and dive in with a spoon!
  10. Use mashed avocado in chicken, tuna, and egg salads to increase the nutrient density of the dish.
  11. Make avocado fries in your oven or air fryer using this recipe.
  12. Prepare a decadent chocolate avocado ice cream using this super easy, dairy-free recipe.
  13. Top soups and chili with sliced avocado for a filling and eye-catching garnish.

Avocados are great additions to most everyone’s diet, especially pregnant people. However, moms-to-be who are allergic to avocado should avoid using this fruit to prevent potentially dangerous reactions.

The Bottom Line

Avocados make an excellent choice for pregnant people. Not only are they extremely nutritious, but these tasty fruits are filling and versatile. Plus, adding avocados to your diet may offer health benefits for both you and your baby.


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Important Notice: This article was originally published at www.healthline.com by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD where all credits are due.


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