Dates During Pregnancy
No,no, not the kind you go on, the kind you eat!
You have probably seen them in the grocery store, usually near the bananas, and never bought them because you had no idea what they are. Or you have bought them, and like me, think they are magical!
I love dates! Dates are a huge staple in our home. They go in our smoothies, I make lots of food with them, they area great snack on their own or with pecans. They are sweet and have a slight caramel flavor. My daughter calls them "natures candy" I love dates, oh wait I already said that!
So why are dates good for pregnancy?
Aside from being delicious, they are full of nutrition.
- Don't let the sugar freak you out! Sugar from whole plant-based foods is partnered with fiber. Your body has to break down the fiber to get to the sugar. Thus preventing the blood sugar spike.
- Fiber is essential for good digestion. Having adequate fiber in your diet helps prevent constipation. Nothing is worse than being pregnant or newly postpartum and not being able to go to the bathroom. Dates help.
- Potassium is one of the best electrolytes you can find. It helps balance your salt and water and can even help with blood pressure. Is your blood pressure starting to climb? Try knocking back a few dates.
- Magnesium supports muscular health. If you are starting to have cramps in your legs at night, adding magnesium rich foods like dates will help the blood flow to your muscles and you may wake up with less charlie horses.
"I heard dates can induce labor, or improve labor, what's up with that?"
Like most natural labor induction methods, they won't work unless your body and your baby are truly ready. I am however, not entirely convinced that dates trigger labor, but instead help with when the time comes, In this study where they had women eat dates every day in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy they did see some amazing results which deserve further research on a larger scale.
Women who ate dates had:
- Higher cervical dilation when admitted
- A higher portion of intact membranes
- Spontaneous labor occurred in 96% vs 79% in those who did not eat dates
- A significant reduction in labor augmentation
My question is, was it the dates that helped with labor, or just the added nutrition they offered? Either way we should eat them!
Some great ways to eat dates
- Use them as a sweeter in you oatmeal.
- Toss them in a smoothie!
- Blend them with some coconut water for a great after work out drink.
- Pit them and add a pecan to them for a tastey treat.
- Try my Pecan Pie Recipe that uses mostly dates
Did you eat dates with your pregnancy? How did it go?