It’s not just the gently curving shape that makes an avocado feel appropriate for pregnant women, avocados are packed with perfect nutrients for your pregnancy diet. They are also a great addition to your diet when you are trying to conceive and perfect for breastfeeding mums too!
Need some additional avocado facts to encourage you to add even more of our favourite fruit to your pregnancy menu? Here goes …..
- Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat – which can help protect against heart disease and lower blood pressure. The oils found in an avocado include oleic acid and linoleic acid, recommended to help prevent high cholesterol.
- Avocados contain high levels of folate and potassium, both of which are essential for your pregnancy diet. They also have more soluble fibre than other fruits.
- According to a study published in the US journal Nutrients, ‘avocados precisely fit the description of a federally recommended food for a pregnant or lactating population,’ stating that they ‘offer a range of beneficial nutrients that can make a substantial contribution to a nutrient-rich diet, when offered as a staple food for the periconceptional period, as well as during pregnancy and lactation’ * Which loosely translates as avocados are good when you’re trying to conceive, beneficial during pregnancy and good when you’re breastfeeding as well!
- Avocados do have quite a high calorie content….but just half an avocado counts as one of your five a day and you can weigh up the health benefits during pregnancy versus the number of calories
- Avocado oil has a similar composition to olive oil. Use it for cooking or replace olive oil with avocado oil in a salad dressing.
- Putting your avocados in the fruit bowl next to your bananas can help encourage them to ripen.
- Add your avocado to salads, serve it sliced on toast or mash it into a guacamole.
- Did you know you can cook avocados too? Try placing your two avocado halves on a baking tray, crack open two eggs and filling the handy little hollows where the stone was with the egg yolks. Top up with as much white as you can fit into the space. Pop them into the oven (2200C) and bake until the egg has set (about 15 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, chives or a dash or tobacco sauce. An easy lunch option for pregnant women!
- The two main varieties available in the UK are the thicker skinned Hass avocado and the Fuerte avocado which has a smooth, brighter green skin. The Fuerte contains less oil, which makes it slightly less creamy and can take longer to ‘ripen at home’ (and sometimes never actually makes it to full ripeness) so unless your smooth-skinned avocado is perfect at the point of purchase the rough-skinned Hass avocado is often the more reliable choice.
- Avocados make a great weaning food too! Those healthy fats can boost your babies brain development and you can introduce avocados to your babies diet from around four months old.