Litchi a.k.a. Lychee is a delicious, wonderful fruit that is mostly available during the summer. This fruit is great when you need to stay cool, and its versatility allows you to put it in fruit salads, ice creams, and also in smoothies. However, things change during pregnancy, and you are probably skeptical about eating litchis during this time. But, if it is summer, then it is likely you are already craving for a bite or two of the delicious fruit. But, you have probably heard a lot of old wives’ tales already that are making you wary of eating litchis while you are pregnant. In this article, we will try to put your mind at rest and collate all the information about eating litchis during pregnancy.
Experts are divided in opinion regarding this fruit. While the litchi offers some obvious health benefits, it cannot be denied that there are quite a few potentially dangerous side effects as well. So what is the way out? Should you stop consuming this fruit altogether? The good news is, there is no need to be that drastic. The health benefits of litchis ensure that you should put some amounts of the fruit in your daily diet, but like everything else, you should exercise moderation. A daily serving of a couple litchis, or their equivalent, should be enough. Even though it is sometimes hard to stop when you start eating them, do not go overboard with the litchis.
The dangers associated with litchi are mostly concerned with its high sugar content. Litchis contain a lot of fructose, which, although much safer than the regular sugar that we take with most of our foods, can be extremely dangerous when taken in very high amounts. The high sugar content in litchis can lead to gestational diabetes. Although a rare occurrence, gestational diabetes is a very dangerous illness that affects women only during pregnancy. It comes with all the symptoms of diabetes and they all disappear as soon as the baby has been delivered. However, the mother experiences discomforts, and it can be fatal for the baby, leading to stillbirths.
Possible heat production
Yet another side effect of eating too many litchis is that it produces quite a lot of heat, and that can be dangerous in a pregnancy. While the mother will only feel some discomfort, it can lead to hemorrhages and premature births, leading to miscarriages. However, it should be noted that till now this is only a theory, and there is no conclusive proof linking litchi-induced heat with miscarriages. Your best option would be to speak to your doctor.
But do not let all those side effects scare you away, because litchis provide innumerable benefits that are good irrespective of when you are eating them. First of all, litchis are a veritable storehouse of necessary nutrients. Litchis contain ample amounts of vitamins and mineral that are essential for the health of the expecting mother and for the healthy development of the growing baby. One of the most important components in litchis is the folic acid, which is absolutely essential to ensure healthy development of the fetus. Folate or folic acid aids in proper development of the spine and the neural system of the baby, effectively preventing the formation of any developmental defects in the spine, such as spina bifida, or developmental anomalies in the baby’s neural tube. It also contains ample amounts of vitamin C, which will help in improving the blood circulation of the mother and aid in the development of the circulatory system of the baby.
Aids in metabolism
Litchis contain a lot of fiber and water, which makes them essential components in the pregnancy diet. Every pregnant woman will recount her experiences of dealing with the difficulty with bowel movements and constipation, and the high amount of fiber and water in litchis will help you deal with these issues. Both the fiber and the water will aid in keeping the metabolism of the woman running smoothly, which admittedly takes a hit when a woman becomes pregnant.
Also read: Can I eat grapes during pregnancy?
As mentioned earlier in the passage, all pregnancies are different, which means that that there is no one size fits all rule applicable to anyone. It is important that you speak to your doctor right at the onset of our pregnancy, and make a list of do’s and don’ts regarding diet and everything else. Make a list of your favorite foods, and ask the doctor whether you will be able to include them in your pregnancy diet, and if yes, how much. Ideally, you should not be restricted from eating some litchis, but the ultimate decision will depend on your constitution.