June 21, 2024

Watermelons are tropicaliAn area marked by warm climates fruits that are high in nutrition. If your doctor has recommended that you consume watermelon during pregnancy, it is for good reason. Watermelon is a low-calorie fruit, known to cure the common pregnancy symptoms of morning sickness, muscle cramps, and heartburns while keeping the stomach cool.

Watermelon can be consumed in fruit form or as a refreshing drink. This summer fruit is rich in minerals, vitamins, and water and may help regulate blood pressure. However, excessive consumption may result in undesirable effects.

Dive into this post to know more about watermelons, how beneficial they can be for maternal health, and some possible side effects.

Nutritional Value Of Watermelon

Watermelon consumption is a common recommendation for a pregnant woman as it contains vital nutrients that support the proper development of the baby’s vision, brain, and immune system. According to the USDA, one cup or 152g of diced raw watermelon can provide the following essential nutrients (1).

Water 139g
Energy 45.6kcal
Dietary fiber 0.608g
Carbohydrates 11.5g
Potassium 170mg
Sodium 1.52mg
Calcium 10.6mg
Iron 0.365mg
Magnesium 15.2mg
Phosphorus 16.7mg
Retinol Or Vitamin A 865IU
Folate Or Vitamin B9 4.56µg
Ascorbic Acid Or Vitamin C 12.3mg

Health Benefits Of Eating Watermelon During Pregnancy

Most doctors will tell you it is good to have watermelons while you are pregnant, as it is full of nutrients and antioxidant-rich phytonutrients (2). Here are some amazing health benefits of watermelon during pregnancy (2) (3):

1. Relieves Heartburn

Pregnant women commonly suffer from digestive issues like heartburn and acidity.  Watermelon eases these problems by soothing the food pipe and stomach. It provides instant relief from heartburn.

2. Reduces Swelling:

Mild swelling in the hands and feet or edemaiSwelling that results from excessive fluid retention in the body is common during pregnancy. The high water content present in watermelon reduces the blockages in the blood vessels and muscles, thus treating edema.

An anonymous mom shares how watermelon juice helped her manage swollen feet during pregnancy. She says, “So when one day in my third trimester when I noticed my ankle had disappeared, I started all the things I heard about to treat it. I started drinking more water, and that made me pee more than I already did. I slept on my left side, kept my feet raised often, and cut out salty food, but it didn’t do much. Then, I read about how watermelon will help… I love to drink watermelon juice, so the next day, I bought a watermelon, blended it into juice, and started slurping on it. And miraculously, by night time, I can already see my ankle bone again; yes, it worked that fast (i).”

3. Alleviates Morning Sickness:

Drinking a glass of fresh watermelon juice early in the morning is a superb idea during pregnancy. Watermelon provides a soothing and refreshing experience all through the day. The energizing and nutritional properties of watermelon also help alleviate morning sickness.

4. Treats Dehydration:

Dehydration leads to premature contractions and causes premature birth. Pregnant women should drink lots of water to prevent dehydration. Watermelon contains around 90% water and eating it is a great way to improve your hydration levels (4).

5. Relieves Muscle Cramps:

A pregnant woman’s body goes through many changes. Pregnancy weight gain and fluctuating hormones can lead to pain in the muscles and bones. Including watermelon in any form helps the body to cope with and ease muscle cramps.

6. Prevents Pigmentation:

Pigmentation is a common skin problem during pregnancy. It takes away the joy of pregnancy. Watermelon plays a key role in preventing the condition. Watermelon promotes easy digestion and keeps bowel movements smooth. This may improve your skin’s texture and help maintain your glow.

7. Diuretic And Detoxifying Effects:

Watermelon has diureticiDrugs that increase the production and flow of urine properties. It helps flush out harmful toxins from the body. It stimulates kidney function, helps the liver process ammonia, and increases the flow of urine without straining the kidneys (5).

8. Boosts Energy Levels:

Watermelon is rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium and vitamins like A, B1 and B6 (3). According to Lisa Richards, nutritionist and the founder of Candida Diet, “Watermelon provides vitamin B6, which helps make red blood cells. The red blood cells will nearly double in amounts in pregnant women, making this an important vitamin to consume during pregnancy.”
These nutrients are natural energy boosters, thus offering great energy for the body. They are also useful for the development of your baby’s eyesight, immune, and nervous systems.

9. Reduces Blood Pressure:

Watermelon contains high lycopeneiRed-colored pigment found in fruits and vegetables levels that may help reduce blood pressure in women with hypertension or prehypertension. However, more research is required to avail conclusive evidence.

protip_iconprotip_icon Quick fact
Watermelon promotes heart health and eye health. In addition, they contain phytochemicals that protect human cells contributing to various benefits (12).

Side Effects Of Eating Watermelon In Pregnancy

Watermelon may cause some side effects if consumed in excess These side effects are as follows:

1. Gestational Diabetes:

Excess consumption of watermelon, especially in juice form, can increase the blood glucose levels, thus increasing the risk for developing gestational diabetesiA condition causing elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy . However, moderate consumption in fruit form does not cause major changes in glucose levels (6).

2. Gastric Issues:

Avoid eating watermelons or other melons that have been kept in the open for a long time as they can lead to nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal issues. Always choose to have fresh-cut fruit or juice (7).

As with any food you eat when you are pregnant, it is important to check with your doctor first. If your doctor says it is safe for you to have watermelon when you are pregnant, go ahead and try these delicious watermelon recipes.

Easy Recipes That Include Watermelon

Here are some refreshing and easy recipes that all include watermelon:

1. Three Melon Smoothie:

Three melon smoothies during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups seedless and cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup cubed honeydew watermelon
  • 1 cup cubed cantaloupe melon

How To:

  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender.
  1. Blend it to a smooth consistency.

2. Avocado Watermelon And Spinach Salad:

Spinach Salad and avocado watermelon during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2 large peeled, pitted, and diced avocados
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar salad dressing – you may check with your doctor first else ask for a pregnancy-safe alternative

How To:

  1. Mix all the fruits and spinach leaves in a bowl and toss them together.
  2. Add the dressing just before serving the salad.

3. Watermelon And Tomato Salsa:

Tomato salsa and watermelon during pregnancy during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 1 ½ cups chopped red onions
  • 1 chopped and seeded tomato
  • 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper
  • ¼th cup fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper as per taste

How To:

  1. Mix the red onion, watermelon, cantaloupe, jalapeno pepper, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice in a big bowl.
  1. Add the salt and pepper.
  1. Store in the fridge for at least four hours to let it cool before eating.
protip_iconprotip_icon Quick tip
Watermelon pizza, cucumber, and watermelon salad, or stacked watermelon sandwiches are nutritious and delicious alternatives for pregnancy cravings (2).

4. Spicy Watermelon:

Spicy watermelon during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • ¼th tsp ground coriander
  • ¼th tsp salt or as per taste
  • 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon

How To:

  1. Mix the cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Put the watermelon in the serving bowls. Sprinkle with the spicy mix. Squeeze the lime juice just before eating. You can first chill it in the refrigerator if you wish to.

5. Watermelon Sherbet:

Sherbet of watermelon during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 4 cups diced and seedless watermelon
  • Some unflavored gelatin – you may check with your doctor if you can use it during pregnancy
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream

How To:

  1. Mix the watermelon, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a big bowl. Stir them together to coat the watermelons properly. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  1. Once the time is up, take it out of the fridge and blend in a blender. Make sure you make a smooth paste out of it. Now pour it back into the bowl.
  1. Put the cold water in a saucepan. Add the gelatin to the cold water and let it stand aside for about a minute. Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook it for about two minutes. Keep stirring it. Now add the gelatin mix to the watermelon mixture that you earlier blended. Add the heavy cream and beat it all together to get a smooth consistency. Make sure the mix is fluffy.
  1. Put the mix in an ice cream maker and freeze it for as long as required as per the instructions on the gelatin. You can also check to see when it reaches a soft to serve consistency. Once the consistency is perfect, take it out and place the ice cream into a lidded plastic container and let it set in the freezer overnight.

6. Watermelon And Strawberry Lemonade:

Lemonade of strawberry and watermelon during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 8 cups of cubed and seeded watermelon
  • ½ cup of fresh lemon juice

How To:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and blend them in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Let the mix chill in the fridge before consuming. 

7. Cucumber And Watermelon Salad:

Salad of cucumber and watermelon during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 6 cups of cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 4 cups of cubed cucumbers
  • 1 tsp salt or as per taste
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar – make sure you check with your doctor whether you can have it while you are pregnant

How To:

  1. In a large bowl, place the watermelon and the cucumber cubes.
  1. Now add the salt and the sugar. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar lightly and toss the mix so that everything is properly coated.
  1. Let it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let it chill properly. Take it out once the time is up and toss it once more before serving.

Tips For Including Watermelon

  • You can easily make delicious watermelon sorbet by blending watermelon pieces, ice and keeping in the freezer for some time.
  • It can be combined with savory foods for a great taste. For example, watermelon pieces with cheddar cheese for a perfect appetizer.
  • You can also consume the white rind as it is used as a vegetable in some places. It can be pickled or stir-fried.

1. Can I eat watermelon seeds during pregnancy?

Yes. You can eat dried watermelon seeds during pregnancy in chopped and powder form. One ounce (28.35g) of watermelon seeds can offer you sufficient energy and nutrients, such as fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and good fats (8). These nutrients can contribute to your daily nutritional needs and enhance your diet’s nutritional value.

2. How much watermelon can I eat during pregnancy?

Pregnant women need to consume two to four servings of fruits daily (9). So, you can consume one serving, i.e., one cup or around a one-inch-thick wedge of watermelon.

3. Can watermelon cause miscarriage?

No, watermelon doesn’t cause miscarriage. But overconsumption might increase blood sugar levels, putting you at a greater risk of miscarriage. Therefore, pregnant women with gestational diabetes should consume this fruit in limited quantities.

4. Will eating watermelon during pregnancy give me a cold?

Raw fruits and vegetables might contain germs that make you sick. Therefore, washing them thoroughly and removing any bruised or damaged parts is essential (10). Also, ensure the fruit is at room temperature before you eat it.

5. How much watermelon is too much in pregnancy?

Taking two to four servings of fruits a day during pregnancy is recommended (9). However, it would be best if you avoided excess consumption of watermelon as it may lead to gestational diabetes (6) (11).

Watermelon during pregnancy can provide many crucial vitamins and minerals. These nutrients and fiber and water content may help ease pregnancy discomforts such as morning sickness, dehydration, and edema. You may eat raw watermelons, drink juice, add them to salads, or cook them with other vegetables. Chopped or powdered dry watermelon seeds may also benefit in pregnancy. Avoid excessive watermelon juice consumption as it may increase the risk of gestational diabetes. Check with your doctor if you face gastric issues after eating watermelons.

Infographic: Nutritive Advantages Of Watermelon During Pregnancy

Watermelon is a water-rich tropical fruit that contains several nutrients. So do you relish watermelons and want to know about their safety during pregnancy? The following infographic highlights various benefits of including watermelon in your pregnancy diet. Check out!

benefits of consuming watermelon in pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Watermelon is packed with nutrients that offer numerous health benefits during pregnancy, including relieving heartburn, reducing swelling, alleviating morning sickness, treating dehydration, and easing muscle cramps.
  • Additionally, watermelon is rich in minerals, vitamins, and water content, which can enhance energy levels and potentially lower blood pressure.
  • However, overeating watermelon during pregnancy may increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes and gastric issues.
  • It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before consuming watermelon during pregnancy to ensure that it is safe for you and your baby.
Watermelon During Pregnancy_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Pregnant women can enjoy the benefits of eating watermelon, but there are also risks to consider. Let’s explore them together in this informative video.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Elizabeth Roberts
Dr. Elizabeth Roberts, a registered dietitian based in Somerset, UK, with 22 years of experience. She was raised mostly abroad and lived her early life in Norway, Greece and Germany. It was experiencing different eating cultures and behaviors that sparked her interest in food and nutrition. She graduated with an Honours Degree in Dietetics from Harokopio University, Athens, Greece, before…read full bio


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