Pregnancy is a time when we women crave weird tastes and foods. No matter if you have had soursop before or not, when I tell you that it tastes like strawberry and pineapple combined together, that sweet-sour combination, you will surely want to taste it. And let me add here, that soursop fruit, along with its leaves is quite beneficial during pregnancy, thanks to the medicinal properties they possess. Let’s know more about soursop during pregnancy.
What is soursop?
Native to the Southeast countries and commonly known as guyabano, soursop is the fruit of the guyabano tree. It is covered with spines, protecting it thin, green skin and white tangy-sweet pulp. While guyabano trees have long been cultivated for the fruits, some research has it that guyabano leaves may also be beneficial for many conditions when brewed in hot water and consumed as a tea.
In India, soursop is known as ‘hanumanfal’ or ‘laxmanfal’.
The tree thrives well in tropical climates, and the fruits are rich in many minerals and vitamins. Some of the important minerals associated with niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, iron and vitamins C, B1, and B2. Soursop leaves have been in the leaves for anti-cancer benefits.
Benefits of Soursop during pregnancy
When it comes to pregnancy, you cannot be sure if something even as nutritious as a soursop will be beneficial or not. It is obvious to exercise caution and gather information on food items that actually have the direct impact on you and the growing fetus.
Here, we discuss how eating soursop during pregnancy can help you. Let us list out the most common 8 benefits of eating soursop during pregnancy.
1. Boosts the immune system
Your immunity assumes a lot of importance when pregnant – since your well-being directly affects the baby’s growth and development. Also, it is not considered safe to have medicines when pregnant, for the fear of passing on the drug to the growing fetus. Hence your best bet to stay healthy during pregnancy is to have a strong immunity.
Soursop contains ample amounts of vitamin C, and helps in boosting your immunity. Also, guyabano fruits contain antioxidants that prevent damage due to oxidative stress caused by free radicals, keeping you away from infections and diseases. For a healthier you, soursop can be a good friend during pregnancy.
2. Soursop helps strengthen fetal bones
Fetal bone development starts taking shape soon after your conceive, and what you eat has considerable effects on the skeletal development. Whatever you eat, gets passed to the via the uterus.
Soursop fruit contains many essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, vitamin C , phosphorous, iron, calcium, zinc, and others. These vitamins and minerals are vital for the development of baby’s bones and teeth. Having the guyabano fruit regularly ensures that you get enough of them everyday and the baby’s bones get strengthened.
3. Keep constipation at bay
Constipation is one problem that many pregnant women struggle with, especially as the pregnancy progresses. The increased production of the pregnancy hormones, especially progesterone, slows down the movement of food through the digestive tract. Add to that the iron supplements being taken during pregnancy, and the situation gets worse.
Soursop has fiber in it, in soluble form, which binds the stool together and promotes regular bowel movements. Vitamin C in soursop stimulates the digestive tract and prevents gastrointestinal issues. Soursop also has certain anti-inflammatory properties that soothe any inflammation in the intestines and kidneys, making digestion a smoother process.
4. Prevents nausea during early pregnancy
Early pregnancy is marked by episodes of nausea and vomiting for many of us moms. It is quite difficult when you don’t even know what will trigger those nauseous vibes and you will be throwing up any second. Plus, it is difficult to have any food, especially the items that are known as healthy for pregnancy.
The tangy-sweet taste of soursop, when made into a juice, should help you feel more in control and ease the nausea caused by the hormonal imbalance. The taste too may appeal your palate and it would be nutritious too.
5. Keeps your mood elevated
Soursop contains compounds that facilitate the release of serotonin receptors that transmit the feelings of well-being and happiness. This enables you to feel uplifted and happy despite the many discomforts of pregnancy you may be battling with. Additionally, the happy hormones benefit the baby, since mothers who are stressed during pregnancy are likely to have complications.
Just have half a bowl of soursop fruit whenever anxiety creeps up, and relax your body and brain from thinking too much. Soursop also has calming effects that make you feel light and elevates your mood.
6. Promotes good sleep
During pregnancy, good sleep is a rare phenomenon. After the baby comes, sleep is a luxury. No, I don’t intend to scare you! But with all that is happening inside the body as it makes way for a little human to develop, sleep can take a backseat. Motherhood is huge, and if you can’t stop thinking about it, you cannot sleep.
Soursop has calming and sedative effects on the mind and body. A little fruit before bedtime or tea made from the guyabano leaves can make you feel relaxed and fight the depression and anxiety. You will be able to sleep better. However, make sure you bring this up to your doctor before making a habit of eating/drinking soursop fruit of tea.
7. Helps with back pain
If you are struggling with back pain, or inflammation of any kind, soursop is your go-to fruit. Due to the excessive pressure on the uterus, and the hormone relaxin that enables your muscles to stretch more, pressure builds on the lower back and pelvis, giving you frequent cramps in the back. Having soursop can help deal with this condition.
8. Combats leg cramps
Leg cramps are quite a common occurrence during pregnancy. They can cause a lot of discomfort in moving around and so need to be treated quickly.
Simply boil the leaves and apply the coarse paste on the legs and you will get considerable relief from leg cramps. Soursop has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can heal cramps and provide quick relief.
9. Soursop for healthy skin
Pregnancy glow is not for everyone, it wasn’t the case for me! I battled dull, dry skin for a good part of my pregnancy. If you are having skin issues during pregnancy, then reach out for soursop. The antioxidants will protect your skin from any damage caused by free radicals and the vitamin C will lend a beautiful glow.
10. Keeps you energetic and active
Staying active during pregnancy may seem like a hard task, especially as the pregnancy progresses, but is actually vital for the proper development and growth of the fetus. While it may seem perfect to laze around on the excuse, by having soursop you can beat these feelings away.
It is rich in Vitamin B complex that keeps you energetic and high on mood. Moreover, having soursop makes you sleep well and when well-rested, you feel like you can perform your daily activities with much vigour and enthusiasm. Add to that a bit of exercise regime and you are on your way to having a healthy pregnancy.
Soursop rather has an impressive nutritional profile, and contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting properties. Yet, when pregnant, always exercise moderation in consumption of food items, and do consult your doctor if you are trying something for the first time.