Side effects and Health benefits of Agbalumo during pregnancy.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING AGBALUMO (CHERRY, UDARA, AFRICAN STAR APPLE) IN PREGNANCY
The African star apple, locally called Cherry, *(Agbalumo)* is in full bloom. You can see the fruits on sales along the highways and roadsides all over the country, especially in the Southern part of Nigeria. African Cherry, botanically called Chrysophyllum albidum, belongs to the family of Sapotaceae.
It is popularly called Udara in Igbo, Agbalumo in Yoruba, and Otien in Edo(Benin). While many find the taste unpleasant, some find the sticky nature of the inner pulp of the fruit unappealing. The health benefits of agbalumo during pregnancy are what makes it difficult to ignore. Compared with other fruits, agbalumo is among the healthiest and safest fruits available for pregnant women.
Health benefits of Agbalumo during pregnancy
Agbalumo is a good source of calcium providing about 10% of the amount needed by the body. Calcium is very essential to the development of bones and teeth of the unborn baby during pregnancy, and it may also lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Agbalumo (udara) is highly recommended for pregnant women because it reduces salivation and vomiting (relieves morning sickness) seen in pregnancy and is one of the best natural sources of Vitamin A, C and folic acid. In fact, the Vitamin C found in the pulp of cherry is said to be higher than the ascorbic content of orange and guava. The vitamin C in Agbalumo is very essential for the development and growth of your unborn baby. The folic acid in agbalumo helps prevent congenital malformations like spinal bifida in babies.
Agbalumo also provides calories which makes the fruit a good snack for pregnant women. The fruit possesses antioxidant properties which give the body a better chance of fighting and avoiding heart disease and cancer. The fruit contains fibre which aids digestion, and it is also ideal for weight watchers. Pregnant women who consumr agbalumo don’t gain too much weight during pregnancy.
While most people seem to be interested only in the cherry fruit, all other parts of the plant are in fact very useful. The leaves contain hypoglycemic (lowering blood sugar) properties and anti-platelet activities. This means that agbalumo can help prevent and treat gestational diabetes in pregnancy.
The stem can be used as a chewing stick as it contains anti-bacterial properties and is a natural remedy for a toothache, constipation and indigestion. Remember to swallow your spit when using the stem as a chewing stick.
Agbalumo is used for the treatment and prevention of the nausea and vomiting in pregnant women called morning sickness.
Agbalumo has all round benefits in pregnancy.
Side effects of agbalumo in pregnancy
Apart from the fact that sour agbalumo can trigger ulcer pains (because of its acidic nature) in pregnant women with stomach ulcer, agbalumo is totally safe in pregnancy. The fear that agbalumo can cause miscarriage (pregnancy loss) by triggering violent uterine contractions is not true. Also, agbalumo does not cause birth defects in pregnancy and neither does it cause premature delivery or low birth weight. Agbalumo is safe in pregnancy, IT HAS NO NEGATIVE EFFECT ON THE PREGNANT WOMB.
Can African star apple cause miscarriage? No. African star apple is safe in all trimesters or PREGNANCY including early (first), second and third trimesters.
I appeal to all pregnant women to capitalize on the health benefits of agbalumo and eat more of the fruit…
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