Can I Eat Pineapple While Pregnant?

Little girl feeding pineapple to pregnant mom

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Pineapple is full of fiber and important vitamins, so it seems like an ideal food to eat during pregnancy. You may have heard that pineapple can stimulate contractions and lead to pregnancy loss. If you are expecting, you may wonder whether it is safe for you to eat pineapple.

"Pineapple is a nutritious, healthy, and safe food to intake during pregnancy," says Shaista Waheed, MD, a Pakistan-based professor and gynecologist with 33 years of experience in the field. "Pineapple causing a miscarriage is a myth [and there is] no scientific evidence to support this."

While it is true that pineapple contains an enzyme that increases the miscarriage risk in pregnant people, this enzyme exists in very small amounts in the part of the pineapple we eat. It's fine to eat pineapple during pregnancy.

Eating Pineapple During Pregnancy

Pineapple is safe to eat in moderation during pregnancy, and it has many benefits, such as being rich in vitamins C and B6 and being a good source of fiber. Fruit is an important part of the ideal pregnancy diet, says Dr. Waheed. "[Fruit] helps your baby with vitamins and minerals that are needed for growth and development."

You may have heard that pineapple can cause miscarriage, but there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. "This is a common myth, likely related to the fact that pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme," explains Brianne Thompson, MS, RD, CD, a registered dietitian specializing in prenatal nutrition.

Bromelain has been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage, but the amount present in pineapple is so low, you don't have to worry about it. "In fact, most of the bromelain found in pineapple is in the core, which we don’t eat anyway," Thompson points out. While you should not have pineapple for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, eating pineapple in moderation is considered safe.

You would not want to take bromelain tablets during pregnancy, as they may cause excessive bleeding, but pineapple is fine, Dr. Waheed explains. "Even though pineapple contains bromelain, its amount in single-serving won’t affect your pregnancy."

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

Is It Safe for Baby?

A moderate amount of pineapple is safe for a developing baby. The vitamins in pineapple support fetal health and development.

Benefits of Pineapple During Pregnancy

Pineapple has many helpful properties that support a healthy pregnancy.

Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Although large quantities of bromelain can stimulate miscarriage, the small amount of this digestive enzyme found in pineapples actually has benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.

This is helpful to your overall health but it can be especially beneficial during pregnancy. Inflammation while you are expecting increases your baby's risk of mental illness or brain development problems. Additionally, inflammation can add to pregnancy's discomforts so countering it will help you feel your best.

Contains Fiber

Pineapple is also a good source of fiber. "This helps fight constipation, a common pregnancy complaint," Thompson points out.

Keeps You Hydrated

It is important to avoid dehydration during pregnancy and pineapple is 87% water. Its sweet taste may make it easier to consume rather than guzzling down extra glasses of plain water (though it is still important to drink plenty of fluids!).

Good Source of Vitamin B6

Pineapple offers plenty of vitamin B6. This essential vitamin is important for brain development, Thompson notes. Additionally, people who are pregnant tend to have a vitamin B6 deficiency, so it is important to increase your intake through vitamin supplements and foods containing it.

Vitamin B6 can also help with nausea associated with morning sickness.

Good Source of Vitamin C

Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, which helps maintain a strong immune system. "One cup of pineapple contains the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for pregnant women," says Dr. Waheed.

Safety Precautions

Pineapple is generally safe but there are a few precautions to be aware of during pregnancy.

Allergies to Pineapple

It is possible to be allergic to pineapple, and although it's not as common in adulthood, you can develop food allergies at any time. If you experience a burning or sore tongue, itchy or swollen lips, tongue, or throat, or any other unexpected symptoms after eating pineapple, contact a doctor right away.

If you experience any symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as wheezing, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, or low blood pressure, call an emergency number and discuss whether you should eat pineapple or avoid it in the future with a healthcare provider.

Gestational Diabetes

Pineapple does contain naturally-occurring sugars. As long as you consume this fruit fresh and in moderation, the sugar content should not be a problem. However, if you eat a lot of fruit or other sugar, or if your pineapple is canned or juiced, you could increase your risk of gestational diabetes. This is especially true if you are already at an increased risk of gestational diabetes.

Heartburn

Pineapple may cause heartburn since it is acidic. Heartburn is one of the most common pregnancy complaints and its incidence increases as pregnancy progresses.

"[Eating pineapple] in large amounts can give you acid reflux or heartburn, so avoid overeating it," advises Dr. Waheed. "If you love pineapple but find it's causing heartburn, try eating it with something else, like toast, cereal, or brown rice," Thompson suggests.

If heartburn is a problem for you, Thompson recommends staying in an upright position after meals, trying small, frequent meals instead of the traditional three larger meals per day, and drinking fluids between meals rather than with them.

Interestingly, pineapple can sometimes help relieve heartburn. This is because bromelain also has anti-inflammatory properties.

A Word From Verywell

Pineapple is considered safe and beneficial during pregnancy. While you may have heard rumors that eating pineapple causes miscarriage, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Pineapple contains a digestive enzyme called bromelain, which has been shown to cause miscarriage, but the amount of bromelain in pineapple is too small to make a difference, and most of it is concentrated in the stem, which we don't eat.

If you have any questions about eating pineapple during pregnancy or concerns about miscarriage risk, reach out to a healthcare provider for further guidance.

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