Fruit is a delicious (and nutritious) part of the pregnancy diet. Fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy pregnancy. Choosing fresh and frozen fruits is ideal. But what dried fruits? Is this a good option for pregnancy?
Consuming dried fruits can be a convenient and on-the-go way to incorporate fruit into your pregnancy diet. Dried fruits are nutrient-dense, dehydrated, and shrunken fruits that have had their water content removed.
Dried fruits are often incorporated into trail mixes for a delicious salty snack. Pregnant women can get vitamins and minerals from eating dried fruits. However, dried fruit is also a more concentrated source of carbohydrates and sugar. Choose dried fruits free from added sugar and incorporate them in moderation.
Below you’ll find a round-up of the “best” dried fruits to consider adding to your pregnancy diet when you want to enjoy this option! This is by no means an all-inclusive list. There are plenty of nutritious dried-fruit options available.
If you want to learn more about the best foods to consume before and during pregnancy, sign up for The Prenatal Nutrition Library and download the app (available in all app stores)! You can also click HERE to grab your FREE one-week meal plan for pregnancy so you know your baby is getting the nutrients they need without thinking about it!
9 Best Dried Fruits For Pregnancy
Like many dried fruits, dried apricots are an option when craving something sweet. A serving of dried apricots boosts non-heme iron to count towards your daily iron needs. They’re great in homemade granola bars or a DIY jam recipe!
Dried apricots are also a source of essential vitamins and minerals like folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
This dried fruit may also help regulate your digestive system and prevent constipation. (Read this post to learn more about fiber-rich foods for pregnancy.)
As with all dried fruits, dried apricots should be consumed in moderation. One serving of dried fruit is about 1/4 cup. Additionally, many store-bought dried fruits, including dried apricots, sneak in added sugars or sweeteners. Choose unsweetened dried fruit whenever possible.
There are numerous benefits to including prunes in your pregnancy diet. Prunes are great for combatting constipation and keeping your digestive system running smoothly. They’re rich in fiber, which is essential for digestive health.
Prunes also provide non-iron, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Plus, they provide a good amount of potassium, a nutrient that may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of preeclampsia.
A 1/4 cup serving of prunes contains 15% of women’s daily recommended fiber intake. Upping the fiber too quickly can cause stomach issues. Implement prunes slowly into your diet to avoid digestive upset or diarrhea.
Dried dates are another safe and popular dried fruit option for pregnancy. These are often eaten as a way to satisfy a sweet tooth. You can even use them to sweeten smoothies and baked goods like brownies. Speaking of smoothies, check out my sunrise smoothie recipe for pregnancy!
Dates are high in fiber and antioxidants. They are also a good magnesium, potassium, copper, and vitamin B6 source. Vitamin B6 may help to reduce nausea during pregnancy.
Bear in mind that because dried dates are a good source of fiber, it’s essential to drink plenty of water too. Just like other types of dried fruit, choose unsweetened options whenever possible.
Dried dates are widely believed to help make labor easier. Some research suggests eating dates may help shorten the time in labor. Rest assured, eating dates throughout pregnancy is okay and will not “send you into labor.” Instead, eating dates may help soften the cervix to assist your body in preparing for labor.
While seafood is among the best sources of omega-3s, dried figs provide a boost of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are essential for your growing baby’s development. Consuming enough omega-3 during pregnancy may help to prevent pre-term labor, premature delivery, and other pregnancy complications. Omega-3s are crucial for brain development during pregnancy, but you have to consume DHA, not just ALA (the type found in figs).
Figs have more minerals than most other common dried fruit choices. They’re a good source of calcium, plant-based iron, potassium, and zinc. Figs are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, which, as mentioned above, has been shown to help relieve morning sickness.
Fun fact: scientists believe figs have existed for over 80 million years.
Raisins are another popular fruit snack for pregnant women that can offer some health benefits. These dried fruits provide a few grams of fiber to support a healthy digestive system. They also offer a bit of non-heme iron and calcium.
Try raisins in the classic ants-on-a-log snack with nut butter and celery. One or two tablespoons over a salad or incorporated into a homemade trail mix recipe are other terrific options for eating raisins during pregnancy.
Dried cranberries are also a safe choice for pregnant people. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support a healthy immune system. Dried cranberries may also help prevent UTIs for those at increased risk.
Choose unsweetened dried cranberries when purchasing them from the grocery store. Apple slices, pecans, dried cranberries, and spinach make for a delicious summer salad for pregnancy.
Another option is dried apples. These are more “uncommon” than the other types of dried fruit listed. Like fresh apples, dried apples are a good source of vitamins and minerals that can help support a healthy pregnancy. Dried apples contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium, copper, and antioxidants.
You can find dried apple slices, sometimes called apple chips, at most grocery stores or make your own. A quick Google search for “apple chips” will provide dozens of easy recipes.
Dried mango is yet another safe dried fruit choice for pregnant women. Mangos provide some non-heme iron as well as a significant boost of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, folate, and potassium, as well as dietary fiber and antioxidants. They’re also a good source of carbohydrates for energy.
Mangos are naturally a lovely fruit. While it’s true they contain more sugar than other fruit options, that doesn’t mean they can’t be incorporated. Any pregnant person, especially those with gestational diabetes, should pair carbohydrates like dried mango with protein and fat to promote better blood sugar management. So, eat your dried mango along some hard boiled eggs, or with cashews.
You probably didn’t immediately think of coconut when considering different dried fruits, but it’s worth mentioning whether fresh or dried, coconut is a fantastic source of healthy fats, which are especially important during pregnancy.
For postpartum, coconut is also a natural source of lauric acid. Lauric acid may help support milk production and lactation. It also provides small amounts of calcium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Dried coconut is available in chips, pieces, and shreds that can be easily added to just about anything for a boost of flavor, texture, and nutrition.
When consumed in moderation, dried fruit can be a delicious and nutritious addition to meals and snacks during pregnancy.
Dried fruits provide vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They also add flavor to meals and snacks like trail mix and oatmeal. Consume dried fruits in moderation and choose varieties free from added sugars and sweeteners for the most significant benefit.
Learn more about nutritious foods to include in your pregnancy diet and more information on how to support your pregnancy with proper nutrition on the blog. And if you’re tired of the unreliable (and often questionable) answers from Google, join The Prenatal Nutrition Library so you know what you eat is safe. You will gain access to nutrient-packed meal plans and the most up-to-date, evidence-based information on nutrition before and during your pregnancy.