8 Fruits Not to Eat During Pregnancy

by Ella

Pregnancy is a transformative journey that involves a multitude of changes, including dietary adjustments. Proper nutrition during pregnancy is essential for the health and development of both the mother and the growing fetus. While fruits are generally considered a vital part of a healthy diet, not all fruits are created equal when it comes to pregnancy. This comprehensive article explores which fruits are not recommended during pregnancy and why, providing expectant mothers with valuable information to make informed dietary choices.

What is a healthy diet during pregnancy?

Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is crucial for the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. A well-balanced and nutritious diet provides essential nutrients needed for fetal growth, maternal health, and the successful progression of pregnancy. Here are key components of a healthy diet during pregnancy:


Folate-Rich Foods: Folate is crucial for preventing neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Include foods such as leafy greens (spinach, kale), citrus fruits, legumes (beans, lentils), and fortified cereals in your diet.


Calcium Sources: Calcium is vital for the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Incorporate dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as fortified plant-based milk alternatives like almond or soy milk.


See Also: Top 15 Calcium-Rich Foods & Benefits


Iron-Rich Foods: Iron is essential for preventing anemia and supporting the increased blood volume during pregnancy. Good sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and fortified cereals.

See Also: Top 20 Iron-Rich Foods List

Protein: Protein is necessary for the growth and development of the baby’s organs and tissues. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu, legumes, and nuts in your diet.

See Also: 10 Protein-Rich Foods That Surpass an Egg

Whole Grains: Whole grains like whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and oats provide essential fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. They also help with digestion and blood sugar control.

Fruits and Vegetables: These are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aim to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you get a wide range of nutrients. Be sure to wash them thoroughly to remove any potential contaminants.

Healthy Fats: Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for fetal brain and eye development. Incorporate sources like salmon, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your diet. Avocado is also a good source of healthy fats.

See Also: 7 Anti-Inflammatory Fats You Should Eat, According to a Dietitian

Dairy or Dairy Alternatives: These provide not only calcium but also vitamin D, which helps in calcium absorption. Make sure to choose fortified dairy alternatives if you are lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet.

Fiber-Rich Foods: Fiber helps alleviate constipation, a common issue during pregnancy. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are excellent sources of dietary fiber.

See Also: Top 10 High-Fiber Foods

Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is essential during pregnancy to support the increased blood volume and amniotic fluid. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider herbal teas or diluted fruit juices.

Limit Sugars and Processed Foods: Minimize your intake of sugary snacks, desserts, and heavily processed foods. These can lead to excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes.

Caffeine and Alcohol: Limit caffeine intake, as excessive caffeine consumption during pregnancy has been linked to adverse outcomes. Avoid alcohol entirely during pregnancy, as it can harm the developing baby.

Supplements: In addition to a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins are often recommended to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients. Consult your healthcare provider for guidance on choosing the right prenatal supplement.

Small, Frequent Meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help alleviate nausea and prevent overeating, which can lead to discomfort.

Food Safety: Be vigilant about food safety to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Avoid raw or undercooked seafood, eggs, and meats. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and practice good hygiene in the kitchen.

Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy

1. Papaya

Why to Avoid: Unripe or semi-ripe papaya contains a substance called latex, which can trigger uterine contractions. In worst cases, this can lead to a miscarriage or preterm labor.

When to Consume with Caution: Fully ripe papaya is generally considered safe in moderation. However, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before including it in your diet during pregnancy.

See Also: All About Papaya: Nutrition, Health Benefits & How to Use It

2. Pineapple

Why to Avoid: Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which may soften the cervix and lead to uterine contractions. While eating moderate amounts of fresh pineapple is unlikely to cause harm, it’s best to avoid large quantities or bromelain supplements.

See Also: Pineapple: Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, selecting & Storage

3. Mango

Why to Avoid: Mangoes, especially if consumed excessively, can cause heartburn or indigestion due to their natural acidity. Additionally, some women may be allergic to mangoes, which can lead to adverse reactions during pregnancy.

When to Consume with Caution: If you enjoy mangoes, it’s perfectly fine to include them in your diet, but do so in moderation to avoid potential digestive discomfort.

4. High-Sugar Fruits in Excess

Why to avoid: Fruits high in sugar can contribute to excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes if consumed in large quantities. It is essential to maintain balanced sugar intake during pregnancy.

5. Watermelon

Why to Avoid: While watermelon is generally safe during pregnancy, it is essential to choose a ripe one. An unripe watermelon may contain high levels of cucurbitacin, a compound that can cause nausea, digestive discomfort, and even lead to contractions.

When to Consume with Caution: Ensure that the watermelon you consume is fully ripe, sweet, and free from any off-putting odors.

6. Canned Fruits

Why to Avoid: Canned fruits, especially those packed in heavy syrup, are often high in added sugars. Excessive sugar consumption during pregnancy can contribute to gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain, and other health issues.

When to Consume with Caution: If you prefer canned fruits, opt for those packed in natural juices or water and always check the label for added sugars. Limit your consumption of these to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

7. Fruits with Pesticide Residues

Why to Avoid: Fruits with high pesticide residues may pose a risk to both the mother and the developing fetus. Pesticides have been associated with developmental issues and can potentially harm the baby’s nervous system.

When to Consume with Caution: Whenever possible, choose organic fruits to reduce exposure to pesticides. If organic options are unavailable, thoroughly wash and peel conventionally grown fruits to minimize pesticide residues.

8. Frozen or Raw Berries (if not properly handled)

Why to avoid: Raw or frozen berries can sometimes be contaminated with harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. To reduce the risk, always wash berries thoroughly and consider cooking them before consumption.

The Risk of Foodborne Illnesses During Pregnancy

One of the primary concerns during pregnancy is the risk of foodborne illnesses. Pregnant women are more susceptible to these infections due to changes in their immune system. Fruits, like any other food, can become contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as Listeria, Salmonella, or E. coli, which can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby.

To minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses, pregnant women should:

Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating or cooking them.

Avoid raw or undercooked eggs, which can be present in some fruit-based desserts like mousses.

Refrigerate cut fruits promptly and consume them within a day or two to prevent bacterial growth.

Fruit to Include in Pregnancy Diet

Incorporating a variety of fruits into your pregnancy diet can provide essential nutrients and contribute to a well-balanced and nutritious eating plan. Here are some fruits that are highly recommended for pregnant women:

Oranges: Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which helps with the absorption of iron and supports the immune system. They are also a good source of folate and fiber.

Bananas: Bananas are packed with potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps during pregnancy. They also provide energy and are easy to digest.

Avocado: Avocado is a healthy source of monounsaturated fats, which are important for fetal brain development. It also contains folate, potassium, and vitamin K.

Apples: Apples are high in fiber and vitamin C. They can help with digestion and provide a steady release of energy due to their complex carbohydrates.

Mangoes: Ripe mangoes are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. They provide a sweet and refreshing treat while delivering essential nutrients.

Pears: Pears are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. They can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation, which is common during pregnancy.

Kiwi: Kiwi is packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber. It also contains folate, which is important for fetal development.

Pomegranates: Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and vitamin K. They can help improve blood circulation and support heart health during pregnancy.

Grapefruit: Grapefruit is another fruit high in vitamin C and fiber. It can also aid in digestion and provide a refreshing citrus flavor.

Cherries: Cherries are not only delicious but also rich in antioxidants. They may help reduce inflammation and provide relief from pregnancy-related swelling.

Watermelon: Watermelon is hydrating and low in calories. It’s a great choice for staying well-hydrated during pregnancy and can help alleviate dehydration-related symptoms.

Guava: Guava is a powerhouse of vitamin C, fiber, and folate. It can support the immune system and promote healthy fetal development.

Plums: Plums are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin K, and antioxidants. They can help regulate digestion and maintain healthy blood clotting.

Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. It provides hydration and helps with tissue growth in both the mother and baby.

See Also: What to Eat & Not to Eat During Pregnancy: A Mom’s Guide


Incorporating fruits into your pregnancy diet can provide essential nutrients and contribute to a healthy and vibrant pregnancy. However, it’s crucial to be aware of which fruits to consume in moderation or avoid due to potential risks.

By following the guidelines outlined in this article, expectant mothers can make informed dietary choices to support their own well-being and the healthy development of their growing baby. Remember that maintaining open communication with healthcare providers and seeking professional guidance when needed is essential for a safe and healthy pregnancy journey.



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