As our general knowledge develops over time, the awareness of ensuring a healthy pregnancy has become particularly important for expectant mothers.

In this article during Women’s Month, we look at the benefits the citrus and melon products grown by Habata Agri in Addo can provide for women during their pregnancies.

Oranges, which are in season, are rich in valuable qualities that assist with a healthy pregnancy.

The juice of an orange is high in vitamin C and folate, which are both important to have in your system during your baby’s development.

Both you and your baby require vitamin C daily as it helps the body make collagen, a structural protein found in muscles, bones, tendons and skin. It is the substance that holds the body together.

Vitamin C is also essential for healthy skin, tissue repair, healing sores, as well as bone growth and repair.

It assists fighting infections in the body and acts as an antioxidant, which protects cells from damage

Furthermore, it plays a valuable role with the absorption of iron, especially from vegetarian sources, which assist in moving oxygen throughout the body.

Folate is the naturally-occurring form of vitamin B9 and is important in the production of red blood cells. It helps your baby’s neural tube develop into his or her brain and spinal cord.

Studies have shown that birth defects occur within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy. This is why it is imperative to have enough folate in your system when your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing.

A particular danger during pregnancy is high blood pressure. Oranges are a good source of potassium, which can help to lower this.

Some sources have expressed concern that a baby can get jaundice – a yellowish discolouration of the skin and whites of the eyes – from oranges. This is, however, not true.
Jaundice is caused by an excess of bilirubin, the yellow pigment that is produced when primitive red blood cells are destroyed in the blood.

Typically, infant jaundice appears by the second or third day after your baby is born and lasts for about seven to 10 days.

Expectant mothers might wonder just how many oranges they are allowed to eat. Most doctors agree that to two to three (regular size) oranges per day are acceptable.

Another fruit high in beneficial qualities for pregnant moms are watermelons, which will soon be in season.

Watermelons, which comprise 92 percent water, alleviate heartburn and reduce swelling, while the minerals they contain can help prevent third-trimester muscle cramps.

Its high-water content and fruit sugars can also ease morning sickness and dehydration.

This summer fruit is high in the antioxidant lycopene, which boosts the body’s immunity against infections, protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease, and naturally increases the skin’s sun protection factor.

Like everything you eat when you are pregnant, make sure you consume it in moderation and have your doctor’s approval first.

The melon and citrus products grown by Habata Agri provide an array of health benefits for both expectant mothers and growing babies. Picture: Supplied

Issued by: Full Stop Communications