Have you heard that dates might actually be the best way to have a shorter, easier labor? This study was conducted on over 69 women who consumed 6 dates per day during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy and 45 women consumed none. Know what they found? The women who ate the dates were more likely to go into spontaneous labor and had shorter first stage than the women who did not. They also had a reduced need for induction and augmentation of labor and need for pitocin. YAY!
As if you needed any other reason to go to the store right now and pick up a box of dates, here are a few other benefits of dates during pregnancy (and after.)
Relieves constipation: Dates are high in fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which can help pregnancy-induced constipation to give you some possibly much needed digestive relief.
Helps lower the risk of gestational diabetes: Since fiber helps produce less of a blood sugar response, dates can help keep your blood sugar regulated and reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes (and even diabetes later in life.)
Improves heart health: Lowering cholesterol, reducing risk of stroke, and lowering blood pressure are just a few ways fiber in dates works to keep your ticker healthy which is important when growing and raising a baby.
Boosts brain health: B-Vitamins are great for the brain! Yours AND your baby's.
Lowers blood pressure and risk of pre-eclampsia: The fiber content and other qualities of dates help regulate blood pressure, which reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and related complications.
Promote healthy eyes, skin, and hair: B Vitamins are important, especially Vitamin B6 which is found in dates. Not only does it help with hair, skin, and eye health, but it also is important for mood, energy, and metabolism of nutrients.
SO, if you still needed convincing after the whole "it makes labor shorter" thing, there you have it! Try pitted dates topped with Coconut Butter, or if you need something a little chocolatier, these chocolate covered date nut bars look amazing.