Fruits to Avoid during Pregnancy: A Safe Eating Guide

Pregnant women following a good diet is very important for the health of the mother and the baby's growth. Many fruits are good sources of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber that are essential during pregnancy.

While not all fruits would be equally helpful while pregnant, some come with risks such as high pesticide residues or allergens which can be harmful for the baby. Knowing what fruits should and shouldn't be eaten is necessary if you want a safe diet when pregnant!

In this guide we are going to explore why fruit is necessary during pregnancy and what fruit can be recommended for the purpose of ensuring not only maternal but also foetal health. We want pregnant women to understand what they need to eat during this important stage, so as to be in a position to make informed decisions regarding their diet.

General Guidelines on Fruit Consumption During Pregnancy

Fruits can offers a lot of nutrition, Here are some general guidance on why you should eat fruits during pregnancy;

Nutritional properties

Fruits provide a variety of nutrients that are necessary for the well-being of expecting mothers and children. It contains vitamins such as vitamin C, that supports immune function and helps with iron absorption, and folic acid, which is essential for foetal development and helps prevent neural Tube defects.

Fiber Content

Fruits are the best source of fiber, which helps reduce common pregnancy conditions such as constipation. Fiber even supports digestive health and helps keep blood sugar levels stable.


Fruits with high water content, helps with hydration during pregnancy. Good hydration is important to support the mother's circulation, transport nutrients to the baby, and maintain amniotic fluid levels.

While fruits provide nutritional benefits, one should be aware of concerns about eating fruit during pregnancy:


Conventionally grown fruits contain pesticide that pose a potential risk to the health of the mother and fetus. Choose organic or locally sourced fruit that helps to reduce your exposure to pesticides.


Some fruits trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It's essential to be aware of any known allergies and avoid fruits that may cause negative reactions during pregnancy.

Fruits to Avoid During pregnancy

Some fruits you should avoid due to potential risks to mother and foetal health. Here are list of fruits to avoid while pregnant, along with the reasons and possible safer alternatives:


Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that can cause uterine contractions. Potentially leading to miscarriage or early labor. Go for fruits like mango, which offer similar tropical flavors without the risk of uterine stimulation.


Pineapple contains bromelain; an enzyme that also has uterine-stimulating properties, potentially increasing the risk of miscarriage or preterm labour. Good alternatives are oranges or strawberries, which have similar sweetness and vitamin C benefits without the risk of uterine contractions.

Grapes (in quantity)

Grapes in excessive amounts contain resveratrol, which has been associated with possible toxicity and negative effects on foetal development. Choose fruits like apples or pears, which have similar properties without the concerns resveratrol.

High Vitamin A Fruits

Extreme use of vitamin A during pregnancy, in the form of supplements or high doses from some fruits, may increase the chances of birth defects. Go for fruits lower in vitamin A content, such as berries or kiwi, to meet your nutritional needs.

Citrus Fruits (in excess)

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, while using them in quantity during pregnancy may lead to acid reflux or heartburn due to their acidic nature.

High-Fiber Fruits (in excess)

Fruits high in fibre, such as apples and pears, can promote digestive health but may also cause bloating or gas discomfort when consumed in excessive amounts. It's important to monitor fibre intake and take in small amounts to reduce digestive discomfort.

Stone Fruits with High Sugar Content

Few stone fruits like ripe peaches and nectarines have a high sugar content, which can spike blood sugar levels if taken in large quantities. It's advisable to enjoy these fruits in small amounts and eat them with protein fruits or healthy fats to help stabilise blood sugar levels.

Understanding Food Safety with Fruits

Fruit safety is important during pregnancy to reduce the risk of foodborne diseases and harmful substances. Here's a discussion on organic vs. non-organic fruits and best practices for washing and preparing fruits to avoid health risks:

Organic vs. Non-Organic Fruits

Organic Fruits

  • Organic fruits are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

  • Choosing organic fruits reduces use of pesticide residues, which is a concern during pregnancy.

  • Organic farming give importance to soil health and biodiversity, resulting in nutritional content and better environmental sustainability.

Non-Organic Fruits:
  • Non-organic fruits are more affordable and available than organic fruits.

  • Conventionally grown fruits contain pesticide residues, which increase potential risks when consumed in high amounts or while pregnant.

  • Washing it properly and peeling non-organic fruits reduces pesticide exposure, while some residues may still remain.

Washing and Preparing Fruits to Avoid Health Risks

Washing Fruits
  • Wash all fruits thoroughly under cold, running water before consumption.
  • Use a brush to scrub firm-skinned fruits such as apples or cucumbers, to remove any dirt or pesticide residues.
  • Rinse softer fruits like berries or grapes gently to avoid bruising.
Peeling Fruits
  • Peel fruits with thick or waxed skins, like apples or peaches, to reduce pesticide exposure.
  • Keep in mind that some nutrients and fibre may be lost when peeling fruits, so it's better to eat a variety of fruits with and without peels.
Avoid Cross-Contamination
  • Use different cutting boards and forks for cutting raw fruits and other foods to prevent cross-contamination with harmful bacteria.
  • Wash hands with soap and water before and after taking fruits to lower the risk of foodborne illness.
Storage Tips
  • Store fruits in clean, dry containers or bags in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and reduce the growth of mold or bacteria.
  • Use perishable fruits within a few days to minimise the risk of spoilage.

Myths About Fruits and Pregnancy

Let's check on the common myths about fruits and pregnancy to get more accurate information and ensure the well-being of expectant mothers and their babies.

Myth 1: Eating fruits with seeds will harm the baby.

Debunking: Consuming fruits with seeds, like strawberries or kiwi, is normally safe during pregnancy. The seeds are small and it does no harm to the baby. These fruits are rich in essential nutrients like vitamin C and fibre, that's beneficial for both maternal and foetal health.

Expert Opinion/Study: According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), there is no evidence to suggest that eating fruits with seeds is harmful during pregnancy. They recommend a varied diet that includes a variety of fruits for optimal nutrition.

Myth 2: Avoiding all fruits with high sugar content is necessary to prevent gestational diabetes.

Debunking: It's important to monitor sugar intake while pregnant, specifically for women at risk of gestational diabetes, avoiding all fruits with high sugar is unnecessary. Many fruits, such as bananas and grapes, contain natural sugars with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Moderation is key.

Expert Opinion/Study: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends including fruits as part of a healthy diet for pregnant women, even those with gestational diabetes. They advise monitoring portion sizes and pairing fruits with protein or healthy fats to help stabilise blood sugar levels.

Myth 3: Pregnant women should avoid acidic fruits to prevent heartburn or acid reflux.

Debunking: Some acidic fruits like citrus fruits may aggravate heartburn or acid reflux symptoms in some individuals, they can still be included in small amounts in a pregnancy diet. Listen to your body and avoid foods that activate discomfort.

Expert Opinion/Study: According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), avoiding acidic foods altogether is not necessary for managing heartburn or acid reflux during pregnancy. They recommend eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding lying down immediately after eating, and identifying and avoiding trigger foods that worsen symptoms.

FAQ Section

What are the reasons to avoid certain fruits during pregnancy?

Some fruits may have substances or compounds that can potentially harm the developing fetus. For example, papaya and pineapple contain enzymes that may provoke uterine contractions, posing a risk of miscarriage or preterm labor. Additionally, some fruits like grapes may expose the fetus to high levels of resveratrol, which could have negative effects on fetal development.

Are there any safe alternatives to these fruits?

Yes, there are safe alternatives to the fruits to avoid during pregnancy. For example, instead of papaya, consider mangoes or bananas. Instead of pineapple, opt for oranges or strawberries. It's essential to choose fruits that offer similar nutritional benefits without the potential risks associated with the fruits to avoid.

How does the nutritional requirement change per trimester?

Nutritional requirements during pregnancy vary throughout each trimester to support the changing needs of both the mother and the developing baby. Generally, the demand for certain nutrients such as folic acid, iron, and calcium increases as pregnancy progresses. Healthcare providers can provide personalized guidance on nutritional requirements based on individual health status and stage of pregnancy.

Are there comprehensive diet plans for pregnant women?

While there are general dietary recommendations for pregnant women, such as consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan for pregnancy. It's essential to focus on nutrient-dense foods, stay hydrated, and avoid harmful substances like alcohol and certain types of fish. Healthcare providers or registered dietitians can offer personalized dietary advice and meal plans.

What are other foods to avoid or consider during pregnancy?

In addition to certain fruits, pregnant women should also consider avoiding high-mercury fish, unpasteurized dairy products, deli meats, raw or undercooked meats and eggs, and excessive caffeine intake. It's crucial to priorities food safety and choose foods that are rich in essential nutrients while minimizing exposure to potential contaminants or harmful substances.

Are there myths about pregnancy nutrition worth debunking?

Yes, there are several myths about pregnancy nutrition that are worth debunking to provide accurate information to expectant mothers. Some common myths include avoiding all fruits with seeds, avoiding all high-sugar fruits, and avoiding all acidic fruits to prevent heartburn. By debunking these myths and providing evidence-based information, pregnant women can make informed dietary choices to support a healthy pregnancy.