Have you heard that eating dates can actually help shorten labor? Eating as few as 6 dates a day during pregnancy has actually been shown to have a positive affect on the outcome of labor and delivery in 2 clinical studies (here and here). Date fruit is delicious eaten all by itself, but can also be added to many recipes. Learn how to incorporate this versatile fruit into your healthy pregnancy routine with these 15 date recipes for pregnancy. As an added bonus, all of these recipes are gluten free!
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Eating Dates During Pregnancy
There are a few reasons you want to eat dates during pregnancy (besides that they taste freakin amazing!):
- Dates are a powerhouse of nutrients and listed many times as a pregnancy superfood. They are high in dietary fiber (bye bye to pregnancy constipation), iron, and potassium. Dates contain b-vitamins, vitamins A and K, as well as, 23 types of amino acids – just to name a few of the many health benefits of eating dates.
- Eating date fruit during pregnancy can shorten the onset of labor (meaning the time it takes to dilate from 0 to 10 cm) (study here)
- Date fruit has been shown to increase cervical ripening when consumed during the last weeks of pregnancy. (study here)
- Increases the chances that you will go into spontaneous labor vs having to be induced (study here)
- Reduces the need for labor augmentation (meaning synthetic hormones like pitocin) (study here)
With all the evidence that eating dates can help you have an easier labor, how do you go about incorporating dates into your diet? Start by purchasing dates like these Organic Medjool Dates. Aim to eat 4 to 6 whole dates a day. Date fruit can be eaten throughout pregnancy, but is especially helpful during the third trimester to nourish the body in preparation for labor.
15 Date Recipes for Pregnancy
Dates make a great addition to breakfast, smoothies and snacks, but can also be added to savory dishes. Dates can be chopped, blended or eaten whole. When making some of the snacks, it helps to soak the date fruit for about 30 minutes before blending for super smooth results. Check out these delicious 15 date fruit recipes for pregnancy to help make labor easier.
Smoothies with Dates
Smoothies are perhaps one of the easiest ways to pack a ton of pregnancy superfoods into one serving. Want more info on the best superfoods for pregnancy? Make sure to download my Superfood Cheatsheet below.
- Third Trimester Pregnancy Smoothie from Mallory Maddox – a lovely combination including greens, strawberries, chia seeds and dates
- My Favorite Pregnancy Smoothie from Eat Live Run – featuring banana, dates and peanut butter
- Prenatal Power Smoothie from Fit Pregnancy and Baby – delight your taste buds with dates, cardamon, and saffron
- Blueberry Date Smoothie from Life in Pleasantville – loaded with pregnancy superfoods including blueberries, dates, flax and chia seeds
- Cinnamon Toast Dessert Smoothie from Natural Fit Foodie – tastes just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal!
Snacks with Date Fruit
Try these pregnancy superfood snacks! No bake energy bites and bars are delicious and easy pregnancy, breastfeeding and toddler friendly snacks. Seriously, once you realize how easy it is to make these, you will be making your own combinations in no time. Make some of these ahead of time to have on hand when hunger strikes!
- No Bake Coconut Energy Bites from Sweet Phi
- Coconut Cream Larabars from My Whole Food Life (my favorite!)
- Fruity Chewy Granola Bars from Caroline’s Cooking
- Pumpkin Pecan Date Bars from My Whole food Life
- Healthy Granola Recipe with Hemp Hearts and Coconut Oil from 5 Minutes for Mom
Guilt-free Deserts with Date Fruit
So many yummy, decadent yet healthy treats can be made from dates. And the great part is they are quick to make and a guilt free way to indulge your sweet tooth.
- Banana Chia Pudding with Date Caramel from Caroline’s Cooking
- Snickers Ice Cream Bars and Bites (vegan, raw) from Feeding Your Beauty
- Raw Mint Mousse Bars from Nutrition Stripped
Date Fruit Recipes for Dinner
And did you know dates make an awesome addition to savory dishes? Check out these dinner recipes featuring dates!
- Date Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas from The Vegetarian Gourmet
- Paleo Moroccan Chicken Stew from a Saucy Kitchen
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Wondering what to eat for a healthy pregnancy? Check out the Ultimate List of Food for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding for more recipe inspiration for healthy eating.
Want to learn how to nourish your body during pregnancy? Read the 4-Part series here!
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Did eating dates help shorten your labor? What’s your favorite date fruit recipe? Tell us in the Comments below!
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