Can I Eat Grapes While Pregnant?

Pregnant woman eating grapes

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You’re pregnant and a craving for grapes hits you hard. That sweet taste and the satisfaction of biting into the taut skin of a fresh grape just can’t leave your mind. Then suddenly you remember, wasn’t there that thing about not eating grapes while pregnant?

You may have heard that grapes are unsafe during pregnancy, but actually, grapes are generally fine to eat when you are expecting. While they do contain an antioxidant called resveratrol that may harm fetal development, the amount in grapes is too small to pose any danger to you or your baby.

In fact, resveratrol has many benefits for your baby when you consume it by eating grapes. "If eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, grapes are generally tolerated well during pregnancy," notes Len Kliman, MD, an OB/GYN with over 35 years experience. Here's what you need to know about eating grapes during your pregnancy.

Eating Grapes During Pregnancy

Grapes are generally fine to eat during pregnancy. They are a good source of fiber and water and they contain vitamins and antioxidants. "You can safely include grapes in your diet during pregnancy by adding them to salads, mixing them into yogurts or porridge, and mixing them into a smoothie," suggests Dr. Kliman.

Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider about your circumstances if you have any questions about eating grapes while pregnant.

Is It Safe for Baby?

Grapes are safe for your baby, but avoid taking resveratrol supplements. Resveratrol is an antioxidant found naturally in grapes, which is actually good for your baby in small amounts. In concentrated amounts such as in supplements, it can affect your baby's liver development.

Benefits of Eating Grapes During Pregnancy

Grapes have many benefits for you and your baby, in addition to satisfying your cravings.

Antioxidants

Grapes contain many types of antioxidants, which benefit both you and your baby. Antioxidants boost immunity and promote healing. They may reduce your risk for pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. They may also make it less likely for you to miscarry.

Good Source of Fiber

Fiber is important when you are expecting, to lower your risks of developing pregnancy-related diabetes and preeclampsia. It also helps you avoid constipation, a common pregnancy complaint. Grapes contain plenty of fiber and are a good choice towards your total fiber daily intake.

You may be more likely to experience constipation while pregnant, especially if you are taking iron supplements. "Because they are high in fiber, grapes help to soften stools and loosen bowel motions," notes Dr. Kliman.

Hydrating

You will need to increase your fluid intake during pregnancy, so you can make enough amniotic fluid to support your baby's development. You also need to stay hydrated to aid in your digestion, preventing constipation. Grapes are 80-90% water, so eating them will definitely help you get the fluid you need.

Vitamins and Nutrients

Grapes contain many of the vitamins and nutrients that promote a healthy pregnancy.

It is important to consume enough vitamin C for your own health and to support your baby's development. Just 10 grapes have about 1.5 milligrams of vitamin C.

Grapes also contain vitamin A, a crucial nutrient for your baby's body formation and eye development. Not getting enough vitamin A during pregnancy has been associated with a higher likelihood of childhood death due to infection. Vitamin A deficiency can also cause night-blindness in the pregnant person.

Additionally, red grapes contain iron, which plays a vital role in fetal brain development.

Safety Precautions

Grapes are generally safe and healthy during pregnancy, but there are a few safety precautions to be aware of. Keep the following in mind if you are expecting.

Eat Grapes But Avoid Supplements

The antioxidants found naturally in grapes have many benefits for both you and your baby. That being said, it is important to remember that some substances are toxic in larger or more concentrated amounts. This is true about the antioxidant resveratrol.

Resveratrol, which is found in grapes, blueberries, and dark chocolate, has particularly strong healing powers for an antioxidant. However, animal studies indicated high amounts of resveratrol may cause pancreatic damage to the fetus.

While animal studies do not always translate exactly to humans, it's still best to err on the side of caution. Eat your grapes, but avoid supplements advertising similar benefits.

Sugar Content

Like all fruits, grapes contain natural sugar. They are on the higher end with 15 grams of sugar per cup. Some natural sugar is necessary for a healthy diet, but eat grapes and other fruit in moderation to make sure you are getting a balanced amount. "Generally, eating a normal amount of any type of food is the safest bet," notes Gina Waggott, a certified nutritionist specializing in pregnancy topics and the founder of Pregnancy Food Checker.

If you are at risk for gestational diabetes, you may need to keep a closer eye on your sugar intake. Speak with your healthcare provider to see if you need to abstain from eating grapes or limit the amount of grapes you eat.

Wash Grapes Before Eating

It is important to wash all fruit before eating it to remove any dirt or debris that made its way onto the fruit's surface during its journey from the orchard to your plate. Washing also helps remove pesticides. Grapes have been found to hold comparatively high levels of pesticides on their skins. "Washing them will remove most of the [pesticide] residue," says Waggot.

If you are concerned about pesticides, choose grapes labeled as certified organic. You should still wash organic grapes before eating them.

A Word From Verywell

Grapes are safe and healthy to eat while pregnant, as they are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and water.

You can eat grapes, but avoid taking resveratrol supplements. The amount of resveratrol found naturally in grapes is beneficial for you and your baby, but concentrated amounts found in supplements can be dangerous.

And remember to always wash your grapes before eating them. Reach out to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about eating grapes while pregnant.

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