Avocados are an asset during pregnancy
Traditional Chinese medicine has long touted the benefits of the avocado during pregnancy and Chinese medicine practitioners consider it an extremely nourishing food for the developing foetus and the womb. Now, as the popularity of avocado consumption in the Western world continues to climb, our own experts are examining just what makes this prickly looking fruit so fabulous for mother and baby.
Pregnant women require plenty of folate – at least 600 micrograms daily, especially during the early stages, as folate reduces the chance of birth defects and miscarriage, as well as neural tube abnormalities. As one avocado may contain as much as 160 mcg, eating the fruit is an excellent (and tasty) way to bump up levels of this essential nutrient – and there’s another benefit too, as avocados also contain plenty of potassium which many pregnant women often don’t get enough of.
As well as folate and potassium, researchers have found that the healthy fats, fibre and antioxidants in avocados can contribute to foetal development, as well as boost maternal health and improve the quality of breast milk. Studies show that there are certain essential nutrients that are critical to the health of the developing child – and as avocados are naturally high in so many of these, they are the ideal snack for pregnant women, which is why many doctors now recommend them to expecting mothers.