Peaches come in many forms: fresh, canned, dried, or in fruit teas. You can consume all these types of peaches when you’re pregnant, but there are certain things you need to be aware of in each category.
Peaches are good to eat during pregnancy, as they have many nutritional benefits. As with many foods, though, there are some precautions to take, as excessive consumption of fruit during pregnancy can raise some concerns.
There are some unique benefits of peaches for pregnant women, and we’ll look at these below.
The Benefits of Peaches During Pregnancy
Peaches are a great choice of fruit when pregnant.
One large fresh peach – which is around 3 inches in diameter – contains approximately 87 calories, and is high in beneficial nutrients for pregnant women, with next to no fat content (Source: Nutritionix).
Peaches are an excellent source of potassium, offering 12% of the daily value. All of the tissues in the body need potassium, and it helps us maintain a normal blood pressure, which can be an issue for pregnant women with hypertension.
While pregnant, you need between 2,500 to 2,900 mg of potassium per day (Source: HSPH).
Eating foods with potassium during pregnancy can also help reduce any complications that might arise from ingesting too much sodium and its influence on blood pressure (Source: JCDR).
Peaches are also rich in dietary fiber, with 14% of the daily value per large peach.
Eating fiber-rich foods is especially important while pregnant, as dietary fiber consumption can help reduce the risks of preeclampsia, constipation (a common pregnancy complaint), and diabetes.
Fiber also helps promote heart health and can lower serum cholesterol levels. Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes often require less insulin per day when they have a higher intake of fiber (Source: FSN).
You’ll also get 25% of your daily value of vitamin C in a peach.
Vitamin C is important throughout pregnancy, as some studies show that this vitamin reduces the risk of premature births as well as gestational diabetes and intrauterine growth retardation (when the fetus weighs less than average which could be fatal if not diagnosed).
The intake of vitamin C also helps the body metabolize iron which is an important mineral for pregnancy health and the growth of the fetus (Source: IJPM).
It is particularly important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin C during the third trimester of pregnancy, as this is the time when the physiological changes in pregnancy can lead to the lowest levels of this vitamin which could lead to pregnancy complications (Source: IJPM).
15% of your daily value of vitamin A is also found in each peach, as well as traces of calcium and iron.
Vitamin A is vital for preserving the health of your baby’s eyes, the development of other organs as well as building a healthy skeleton, and maintenance of your baby’s immune system (Source: MDPI).
For more on Vitamin A during pregnancy, check our Vitamin A guide for pregnancy.
Peach Safety When Pregnant
When eating fresh peaches, be sure to wash them beforehand.
Washing will help to remove bacteria such as E. coli, most of which is in the soil or on the surface of your fresh fruit and vegetables (Source: NHS).
For more on this, check our our guide to prepping produce for pregnancy.
During pregnancy, it’s also a good idea to avoid pre-cut or pre-prepared fruit, as this may carry a higher risk of bacterial contamination. Read more about fruit during pregnancy here.
The only caveat to eating peaches while pregnant is to not overdo it. One study shows that eating too much sugary fruit in the second trimester of pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of gestational diabetes (Source: SR).
Why am I Craving Peaches During Pregnancy?
Some women crave peaches while pregnant – about 10% of pregnant women, according to some surveys!
A craving for peaches doesn’t mean that you are necessarily deficient in the nutrients that they provide, since the foods that women crave are often culture-specific (Source: FIP).
Many times the foods that you crave can be foods with strong flavors, such as citrus.
There’s no established scientific reason for peach cravings, so if you’re hankering after a peach, you can safely indulge.
Can I Drink Peach Tea in Pregnancy?
Peach tea comes in several types. Peach tea that is part of a true herbal tea is fine to drink while pregnant as herbal teas don’t contain caffeine.
So long as it doesn’t contain any other ingredients in the blend that aren’t safe, most peach teas are fine.
However, some brands of peach tea (especially iced peach tea) are essentially black tea with peach flavor.
Black tea contains caffeine, and caffeine crosses the placental barrier and reaches your baby. Because babies cannot metabolize caffeine the way that adults can, it’s recommended you only have 200mg caffeine or less, per day, during pregnancy (Source: APO).
Here are some popular brands of peach tea that are safe to consume in moderation while pregnant.
Some of them contain very small traces of herbs that are not recommended on their own (like chamomile), so check with your healthcare provider before consuming:
- Bigelow Perfect Peach Herbal Tea (in moderation as this blend contains traces of hibiscus which is a uterine stimulant)
- Bigelow Benefits Calm Stomach Ginger Peach Herbal Tea – which might be a good idea if you’re suffering from pregnancy nausea
- Celestial Seasonings Country Peach Passion and Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time Peach (in moderation as these blends contain traces of hawthorn which also is a uterine stimulant)
- Teavana Peach Tranquility – though note this contains small amounts of chamomile
- We Spill The Tea Peach (in moderation, as this blend contains traces of blackberry leaf which is a known uterine stimulant)
The amounts of herbs used in these blends should not be any cause for concern, so long as it’s consumed in moderation.
Are Canned Peaches OK When Pregnant?
Canned fruit – and that includes peaches – is usually fine to eat when you’re pregnant. However, canned fruit often contains added sugar or syrup, which is not ideal while pregnant.
Check the label, and buy canned peaches without added sugar if possible.
Canned foods also carry a risk of exposing you to a chemical called bisphenol A which is used to coat the inside of food cans to prevent corrosion.
This chemical can have negative impacts upon your health due to possible disruptions caused to the endocrine system (the hormone system) (Source: PLoSOne).
There is limited information on the effect of BPA linings in pregnancy, so it’s a personal choice as to whether you want to avoid these canned foods completely, or just have them in moderation.
If you want to eat peaches that have been canned in someone’s home kitchen, you may be at risk of botulism (Source: CDC).
Any food that has been home-canned must have been prepared according to the safe home canning guidelines provided by the USDA (Source: NCHFP).
If you’re canning your own fruit and are experienced, then it’s probably fine to have home-canned peaches. However, if you aren’t sure how they were prepared – and how sterile the equipment was – then perhaps skip these until baby is born!
Can Pregnant Women Eat Dried Peaches?
Dried peaches are a healthy choice during pregnancy, though know that they are high in sugar, as are other dried fruits.
You will find dried peaches either on their own, or as an ingredient in ready-made trail mixes, fruit and nut bars, cereals, and salad toppings.
Sulfur dioxide is commonly used as a means to preserve dried fruit and is considered to be safe. However, some people are sensitive to sulfur dioxide and can experience symptoms of asthma when exposed to it (Source: BJDC).
As with any food, check the labels of dried fruit before purchasing, and eat in moderation. You can read about the best dried fruits for pregnancy here.
Is Drinking Peach Juice or Smoothies Safe When Pregnant?
Peach juice and peach smoothies are safe to drink during pregnancy, but remember to check the label for added sugars if you are purchasing your drinks ready-made.
In addition, make sure your juices and smoothies have been pasteurized so that you are not risking bacterial contamination (Source: FDA).
Fruit juices and smoothies are healthy drinks, although do be aware that they do not contain the fiber that fresh fruits and vegetables do.
You can incorporate peaches into your own smoothies by chopping up the fresh peaches and blending them with your favorite milk.
Add in a ripe banana, and you’ve got a quick and healthy snack!
If you fancy a quick peach sorbet, blend in frozen peach slices with frozen banana pieces with a small drizzle of milk… and enjoy immediately!
If you have a glut of peaches and you want to freeze some for making frozen smoothies and desserts, remove the pits and chop the fruits.
Put them in a freezer bag and flatten the bag so that the pieces lie flat and not on top of each other (this prevents them from sticking together like iron once they are frozen).
Lay the bag out flat on a shelf or in a drawer of your freezer, and use peach pieces when needed by popping them directly into your blender.
In conclusion, peaches are a healthy addition to a pregnancy diet, with their important vitamins and added dietary fiber.
Peaches are also deliciously sweet, and are easy to incorporate into smoothies and desserts.