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Oranges for healthy eating in pregnancy

Heavily pregnant woman holding a plate of orangesWhen you’re bringing a new life into the world, it’s important to make sure you have a healthy, balanced diet for you and your growing baby.

We all know that oranges are a great source of vitamin C, but did you know that they are packed full of other nutrients that can help keep you and your little one happy and healthy?

Peel them, slice them, or grind the peel – there are plenty of ways to incorporate oranges into your diet. Here are just a few of the great health benefits you can reap from eating oranges during and after pregnancy.

Vitamin C

Oranges are best known for their vitamin C, and for good reason: vitamin C helps to support the immune system of mothers-to-be, and also helps in the release of iron and zinc from foods, which are vital minerals that help strengthen the immune system.

But vitamin C isn’t just good for immunity: growing evidence suggests that consumption of vitamin C may also help keep your baby healthy.

Research shows that higher intakes of vitamin C during pregnancy can reduce the risk of infant allergic disease and wheeze, and keep your baby’s brain healthy.

With 64mg of vitamin C, one orange contains nearly one and a half times your recommended dietary intake; however, don’t eat 10 oranges one day and none the next! Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so it isn’t permanently stored in your body. This means that in order to reap the full health benefits of oranges, pregnant women should be eating oranges frequently.

Did you know?

Don’t throw away your orange peel! The peel of an orange contains almost double the amount of vitamin C than its flesh, and is a potent source of antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory activity. To give your body an extra health boost, grate a teaspoon of orange rind and add to salads, yogurt, or porridge. Share your orange recipes with other mums on our forum.


It has been well-established that folate is a beneficial vitamin for mothers-to-be. Folate is used for the formation of blood cells and new tissue, and supports conception and development of a healthy placenta. Researchers have also found that women with higher folate intakes had increases in their foetus’ birth weight.

Pregnant women need 5 to 10 times more folate than non-pregnant women.

Oranges are a great natural source of folate for mothers-to-be – one orange contains 9 per cent of your recommended dietary intake.

Water and hydration

It’s important to keep your body happy and hydrated during pregnancy, and oranges can contribute to your daily fluid intake. Not only are oranges rich in water with 88% water content – they are also suppliers of potassium and low in sodium, which helps with water balance and hydration.

Tip: Bored of slicing oranges into eights? Why not try this instead? Peel two oranges, slice them, and place into a popsicle mould. Pour water into the mould, and freeze overnight for a tasty treat.

And after your baby is born…

…don’t stop eating oranges! As a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants, oranges can help keep your skin healthy and protect your skin from the signs of ageing.

Oranges are great if you’re watching your figure post-baby, or as a healthy snack. Oranges have zero fat and a low glycemic index, and are naturally high in water and low in calories. Plus, oranges contain a lower amount of sugars than other fruits but are high in fibre, which means they will keep you fuller for longer.

– this article was written with information from Citrus Australia

Image credit: yuran-78/123RF Stock Photo

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