Is Papaya Safe to eat during Pregnancy
To ensure that all you moms have a safe pregnancy, a healthy diet is something that tops the list. A healthy diet requires that you take good care of the things you should or shouldn’t eat during this crucial period when you are pregnant. The question most pregnant moms ask is if eating Papaya during pregnancy is safe.
It is important to keep in mind here that while you can eat ripe Papaya which is seasonal throughout your trimesters, you should avoid semi-ripe or unripe papaya completely. This is because consumption of the same could lead to health complications and harm the baby. Semi-ripe or unripe papaya has latex in them and this is nothing but the milky fluid that comes out of the papaya. This may cause uterus contractions by secreting a group of compounds with varying hormone-like effects. These are called prostaglandin and can cause a negative impact. Consult your doctor if intake of the same is safe in your pregnancy, as it can vary per individual.
Why is Ripe Papaya Safe?
Ripe Papayas are the ones that are distinguishable by a fully yellow skin. They are completely safe for consumption thanks to the many nutrients that they come with which are important for a healthy pregnancy such as Folate, Fibre, Vitamin A, and Magnesium.
Unripe Papaya on the other hand, can be recognised by its green skin. But even if someone consumes unripe papaya by mistake, there is no need to be worried as a large amount needs to be consumed for it to do any kind of serious damage during pregnancy, But it is always better to be safe.
Is papaya juice safe to drink during pregnancy?
Yes, papaya juice is perfectly safe for pregnant moms. However, if you’re juicing the yellow-skinned, ripe papaya, it is completely safe. Try and avoid unripe papaya even in a juice or a smoothie because of the same reasons mentioned above.
Benefits of Papaya
Papayas have numerous benefits for pregnant mommies. They have high levels of antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. If you are following a diet that is rich in antioxidants it may reduce the risk of heart disease. These antioxidants prevent the oxidation of cholesterol because when this happens blockages are formed that cause heart disease.
Latex, an ingredient in papaya, works like prostaglandin and oxytocin, which helps in controlling respiratory disorders. As ripe papayas are rich in Vitamin A, B, C, potassium, and Beta-Carotene, these have high antioxidant content that boost immunity and prevents many infections, including ulcers and skin problems. Ripe papaya also has fibres that enable digestion. Constipation is a common problem faced by many pregnant moms that papayas can naturally counter. Consumption of papayas also helps overcome morning sickness. The Folic acid present in papayas is much needed during pregnancy for the neurological development of the baby. Promotion of heart health and prevention of diseases like colon cancer is brought about by papayas. Eating the right amount of ripe papayas also helps increase breast milk production post pregnancy.
Which months are relevant for consumption of papaya?
You can consume ripe papaya throughout the trimesters as it is latex free. But remember that the first trimester of pregnancy is very sensitive and you should totally avoid unripe or semi-ripe papaya particularly during this period as well as throughout your pregnancy if possible. This is because eating unripe papaya can lead to a premature pain in the uterus which is not desirable.
How much papaya can you have during pregnancy?
One bowl of ripe papaya is more than sufficient for pregnant moms. It is important to note that whatever foods you eat during pregnancy you should only eat as much as you can digest. Indigestion may result in problems like vomiting.
Should papaya be given to new-borns?
It’s certainly a great idea to introduce ripe papaya to your baby’s diet but the best time for this would be once your baby reaches 7 to 8 months of age. Once you have introduced your baby to other food like sweet potatoes, squash, bananas and avocados, only then introduce papaya to baby diet.
Was this article fruitful for you? Share your views and suggestions and your pregnancy experiences with us. We would love to hear from you mommies! Also send us your pregnancy related questions to us and we’ll be more than happy to address them in our Q&A session, where you ask and we answer!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who should not eat papaya?
Papaya leaves have a component called papain, which can be toxic for your baby if you are pregnant. It can even lead to birth defects. Not much is known about the side effects of papaya during breastfeeding, thus, it's best to avoid having papaya during and after pregnancy for some time.
What is the best time to eat papaya?
Summer is right here, so what better time than now to enjoy some summer fruits. While the list of summer fruits is long, one fruit that you must include in your diet, and consume it on an empty stomach, is papaya.
When can I give papaya to my baby?
You can introduce your baby to ripe papaya as soon as your baby is ready to consume solids. This varies from baby to baby and is normally around 6 months to 8 months of age.
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.