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Food & Nutrition

Consuming Litchis During Pregnancy! Is it Safe or Not?

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  • September 9, 2021
  • MKB Team

Are Litchi's good during Pregnancy?

We all love Litchis or Lychees whether we are young or old and this fruit is much loved because of the soft fleshy structure and its juicy flavour. The Litchi is a native fruit of Southeast Asia and is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals including vitamin B and C.

 

Is it safe to eat litchi during pregnancy?

The only reason why some pregnant women are advised against the consumption of Litchis during pregnancy is because of the composition of the fruit. Litchis are composed mainly of water and sugar, and are unsafe for certain pregnant women especially those that may have gestational diabetes. But even for these moms, consumption of Litchis is restricted and not altogether banned. This is because Litchi possesses a high glycemic index or high calories. So, having Litchis in moderation, just like everything else, is not harmful during pregnancy. It is suggested that women with diabetes avoid Litchi during pregnancy while others may consume them, albeit in a limited way. But do consult your medical expert before you do so to be on the safe side.

 N.B: Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure on a scale of 0-100 that ranks how much and how quickly a food item is likely to increase your blood sugar levels within two hours of consumption. Foods with a medium to high GI should generally be avoided.

 

Although Litchis are high in calories, they are also rich in fibre that decreases their overall glycemic index.

If you consume Litchis during pregnancy, please ensure that you don’t go overboard and do keep your blood sugar levels in check, especially if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.-

 

What are the Benefits of Litchi?

Litchi has a generous amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex and phytonutrient flavonoids that are beneficial during pregnancy . It is also a rich source of a nutrient that is needed for the production of blood. Litchi provides manganese, magnesium, copper, iron and folate that are required for the formation of Red Blood Cells.

 

How much Litchi Consumption is advised?

Ripe Litchis that are seasonal can be consumed in moderation by pregnant women as they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium and fibre. But what exactly is the moderation level? Make sure you do not eat more than 8 litchis a day but this figure can change depending on the total calories that you need per semester. Avoid eating Litchi and other fruits after meals when you are pregnant as it increases the carbohydrate levels in your body which, raises the glucose levels.

Should Litchi be given to Newborns?

You should never offer whole Litchi to a baby. This is because smaller fruits will be a choking hazard, and also because the inner seed of a Litchi is poisonous. To reduce the risk of choking, remove the seed and slice the Litchi into quarters.

However, litchi can be given to your baby as soon as s/he is ready for solids, which is normally at about 6 months. You can mince it and mix it with other foods like yogurt. If you want to feed the baby Litchi in pieces or slices, it is advisable to wait until your baby can chew well, which is normally when baby is around 9 months old. That’s because Litchi is a firm fruit and requires chewing.

 

Here’s an age appropriate guide for Litchi consumption:

 

6 to 9 months old: Finely chop the fruit after discarding the shell and seed, and fold the chopped fruit into warm cereals or yogurt.

 

9 to 18 months old: Quarter Litchi or cut into bite size pieces. Serve with foods containing healthy fats and protein, like coconut, creamed cashews, or full-fat yogurt, to balance the meal as Litchis are already high on sugar.

 

18 to 24 months old: Quarter Litchis and if your toddler has advanced eating habits, offer halved or whole pitted Litchis.

 

Litchis shouldn’t be consumed on an empty stomach as it could lead to hypoglycaemic encephalopathy which could turn fatal.

 

Was this article fruitful and helpful for you? Feel free to share your pregnancy experiences with us. We would love to hear from you mommies! Also send us your queries/questions and we’ll be happy to address them on our Q&A session, where you ask and we answer!

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Is it safe to eat litchi?

Lychees are safe and good to eat. You must only remember to NOT eat unripened ones that are small and green-coloured. Also, do not eat lychees on an empty stomach.

Why should we not eat litchi?

Avoid if diabetic. Research suggests that lychee fruit contains a toxin that can cause low blood sugar level, especially when eaten on an empty stomach.

Can we drink water after eating litchi?

Avoid or refrain from having water after eating fruits because it hinders the absorption and digestion process in the stomach leading to acidity. This is why some people experience uneasiness after consuming fruit. It is recommended that you have water at least an hour after you eat fruits.

Is it safe to drink litchi juice during pregnancy?

If you must drink litchi juice, make sure the juice is freshly squeezed because canned juices are likely to have preservatives and a higher quantity of sugar.

What happens if you eat too much lychee?

You may gain weight rapidly because litchis/lychees are high in calories. It is best eaten in moderation to gain maximum benefit from the fruit.

 

Disclaimer: Always consult your physician/paediatrician before beginning any program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate program for you and your child.


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