Papaya during pregnancy

A million-dollar question banging the mind of every expecting mother like you is whether or not she should eat papaya during pregnancy?

A very valid concern as there are plenty of stories going around to tell you not to eat it. Well! as per the scientific evidences a fully ripened papaya is absolutely safe to be consumed during pregnancy (US FDA).

Unripe or Semi ripe papayas are rich in a chemical compound called as Latex. This chemical leads to early uterine contraction and which is why it is recommended to not to eat it during pregnancy.

It’s perfectly safe to eat papaya as long as it is fully ripe. Here’s why

Ripe papaya will supply you and your foetus with high source of nutrition containing plenty of vitamins, with vitamin C and vitamin E as prominent nutrients. It will also supply you with a good amount of dietary fibres and anti-oxidants and will make you feel full instantly.

  • Ripe papaya is loaded with nutrients. As long as you eat it in moderation, it won’t do you any harm.
  • Ripe papayas are rich in beta-carotene potassium and vitamins A, B and C, which play a vital role during pregnancy. Vitamin A and C help boost immunity and vitamin B is essential for development of foetus.
  • Papaya is a natural remedy to curb heartburn and constipation problems which are common during pregnancy. It is also an effective treatment to keep morning sickness and stomach cramps at bay.
  • The proteolytic enzyme papain, in Papayas assist in the digestion of proteins, such as meat, dairy products and nuts. It also prevents bloating and the feeling of fullness.
  • Being rich in sugar, papaya can be great energy boosters and help in overcoming fatigue during pregnancy
  • Ripe papaya is a rich source of vitamin A and thus can help in increasing the hemoglobin levels. This in turn helps in oxygen absorption and decreases the risk of anemia and respiratory problems.
  • Papaya can be effective in dealing with inflammatory bowel syndrome during pregnancy.
  • A papaya smoothie mixed with some honey has high nutritional value and is beneficial for pregnant women and lactating mums. Papaya, with its galactagogue properties help in increased milk production.
  • Papaya has a several medicinal properties too. It has anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antidiabetic, antihypertensive properties.
When Is Papaya A Threat During Pregnancy?

Eating raw papaya is a strict no-no during pregnancy.

  • Unripe or even semi-ripe papaya contains latex which induce uterine contractions and labour that can lead to miscarriage. This latex mimics prostaglandin and oxytocin which are generally used to induce labor.
  • The pepsin and papain in unripe papaya is believed to hinder foetus development. The papain can affect vital membranes of the foetus and endanger it.
  • Oedema in unripe papaya can cause placental bleeding which could be life-threatening for both the mother and growing foetus.
  • It is better to avoid eating papaya during the early stages of pregnancy unless it is fully ripe. Women who have had a previous history of abortion and miscarriage are advised to keep away from eating papaya. The two enzymes – papain and chymopapain – in papaya can cause abortion and affect physiological growth of the foetus.
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