Papaya In Pregnancy: Good Or Bad?

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Published on: 18-Mar-2023

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Harsimran Kaur

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Papaya In Pregnancy: Good Or Bad?

Papaya In Pregnancy: Good Or Bad?

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"Do not eat papaya if you are pregnant, as it can cause a miscarriage." It is a common saying in most households, but is it true? Should you control your craving for this nutritious fruit during pregnancy?

You should avoid eating papaya during pregnancy is what we have been hearing for a long time. Our mothers and grandmothers have always given us this advice. But is it really true? 

Papaya is an "angel in fruits" native to Central and South America. It is an essential part of numerous weight loss diet plans. Eating it during pregnancy is actually safe, but ensure its ripeness because unripe or semi-ripe papaya might cause miscarriage. It is advisable during pregnancy due to its numerous health benefits if you eat it with care. 

Also, do you know that if your periods are not on time, you can always take a papaya drink to trigger them? And when it comes to pregnancy, one cannot take any chances because pregnancy is what every mother delights in and anticipates meeting her children. 

Nevertheless, it is necessary for a parent-to-be to take care of the expectant mother's diet and health because it directly affects the developing foetus. Hence, "what to eat" and "what not to eat" is the most crucial question during the nine months of pregnancy, and this is what we will discuss in this blog. 

Table Of Contents

1.Is Papaya Safe During Pregnancy?

2.Health Benefits Of Papaya During Pregnancy

3.Why Should You Avoid Latex In Papaya?

4.Safe Alternatives Of Fruits For Pregnancy

5.Dietitian’s Recommendations

6.The Final Say

7.FAQs

Is Papaya Safe During Pregnancy?

The answer is "YES"! Eating ripe papaya is beneficial in pregnancy. But eating unripe and semi-ripe papaya is not a safe option. It is because papain and latex are components of unripe papaya. The presence of latex in papaya is papain, which your body may perceive as prostaglandins, which usually results in miscarriage. Papain is harmful to the foetus because it damages the membrane surrounding it.

Papaya is also considered one of the "hot fruits," avoided during pregnancy, as it may cause excessive body heat. And this clarifies the widely held belief that eating papaya during pregnancy is poisonous and might cause miscarriage and premature labour. 

Though there is no evidence that eating papaya may raise core body temperature enough to damage the unborn kid in this way, you should avoid it during this period.

People draw parallels between the two events, claiming that if a pregnant woman drinks papaya, it will cause bleeding, leading to the placenta's removal from the uterus. However, no scientific investigation supports this claim, suggesting that it is an old wives' tale or a superstition.

All of this aside, we must remember that papaya is a very nutritious fruit, beneficial to health. Many women adore papayas and want them when pregnant. So, if you are pregnant and wish to eat papaya, you can do so without worrying about miscarriage. Contrary to common opinion, eating papaya offers certain pregnancy benefits. So, you may add it to your pregnancy diet.

Health Benefits Of Papaya In Pregnancy

There are various papaya health advantages for pregnant women who want to eat it during this period. And here are some most popular health benefits of papaya during pregnancy:

1.Papayas are high in nutrients and minerals that help boost immunity and avoid infections in both mother and child.

2.They can be a part of your diet as it generally helps women with morning sickness and nausea.

3.Papaya may also stimulate milk production. If a mother does not produce enough milk and desires to nurse her baby, she can take one serving of papaya daily.

4.Pregnancy causes constipation and heartburn in most cases, whereas papaya benefits the mother. It also comforts them by improving their digestion.

5.As papaya is abundant in potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B, and C, it will help the foetus' overall neurological development and growth.

6.If the woman catches a viral sickness during her pregnancy, eating papayas can also help her platelets return to normal.

So, without thinking about the old myths, you can add fully ripe papaya to your pregnancy diet to enjoy these benefits.

Why Should You Avoid Latex In Papaya During Pregnancy?

Though women are allowed to have ripe papaya during pregnancy, they should avoid the unripe ones due to the presence of latex found in it for the following reasons: 

1.The latex in unripe papaya may cause severe uterine contractions, resulting in premature labour.

2.It includes papain, which your body may confuse with prostaglandins, usually used to induce labour. It may also weaken the foetus's essential membranes.

3.Latex is also a common allergy that can cause a life-threatening response.

Therefore, pregnant ladies should focus more on fully ripe papayas for benefits and avoid unripe ones to avoid mishappening.

Safe Alternatives for Pregnancy

As we now know that ripe papaya is generally safe during pregnancy, some women still want to be extra careful and avoid it entirely, which is perfectly acceptable! So, here is a safe alternative for them to get comparable nutritional content, flavour, and texture to satisfy a pang of hunger:

1. Melons

Melons are a great, refreshing replacement for papaya since they have a similar texture and "tongue feel." Cantaloupe, for instance, is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fibre. A cup of this fruit contains around 250 mg of potassium and 1 g of fibre. It can also be a part of your power detox plan after pregnancy. So, you can add it to your pre and post-pregnancy diet.

2. Oranges

Consider oranges if you want a high amount of vitamin C in your body that you don't receive from papaya. One orange contains around 82 mg of vitamin C, a source of the daily requirement for you and your baby. In addition, vitamin C is essential for the growth of a baby's teeth and bones, hence a vital fruit for you.

3. Apple

Apples are a better sweet treat than candies or cookies, which are high in sugar. It is an alternative to a piece of papaya for dessert after a meal or when sugar cravings occur. It delivers both crisp sweetness and healthful fibre, which makes it essential in your fruit basket.

Dietitian’s Recommendations

Many women avoid papayas during pregnancy. While some avoid them during the first trimester, others take them freely throughout the pregnancy. As there is no correct or incorrect way to approach your pregnancy, you must do what is best for you and the kid. Also, it is crucial to follow your intuition sometimes during pregnancy because it usually yields the finest outcomes.

The Final Say

As papaya is high in vitamin C, essential for your baby's development throughout pregnancy, you can continue consuming it without a doubt. Just be sure you buy ripe papaya to keep your kid safe. Though fewer studies support this notion, latex in unripe papaya may cause early contractions. 

If you are in doubt, stick to completely ripe papaya or other fruits, and discuss your diet with your healthcare professional at all stages of pregnancy to have a healthy pregnancy. 

FAQs

1. Can papaya cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?

Avoid unripe papaya during early pregnancy due to the presence of latex because it may lead to uterine contractions and cause premature labour. But you can take fully ripe papaya if you want.

2. Is papaya safe while trying to conceive?

Yes, ripe papaya is safe to eat while you try to conceive. It is a healthy fruit and can be a part of your diet.

3. Is papaya successful in increasing fertility?

No, it does not help with fertility. In fact, it can reduce sperm count and its movement to cause lower fertility in men. 

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