During pregnancy, there are plenty of foods that women must limit or remove from their diets. Fortunately for women who love berries, blueberries are not just safe, but they are also full of nutrients required in the pregnancy diet. However, pregnant women may want to choose organic blueberries to avoid pesticides. Pregnant women should always wash blueberries thoroughly before eating them.
Blueberries provide vitamins and minerals that help keep both mother and baby healthy during pregnancy. The exact amount of fruit you need depends on your age, weight, height, and how far along you are in the pregnancy, so you should consult a doctor or nutritionist about your pregnancy diet.
The Mayo Clinic provides general guidelines that indicate that a woman who is 5’4″ and weighs 110 pounds before pregnancy needs 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day during the first trimester and about 5.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day in the third trimester. A woman who is 5’9″ and weighs 162 pounds before becoming pregnant needs 5 cups a day at the beginning of the pregnancy and 6 cups a day by the third trimester. These amounts should include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and blueberries can make up part of this total every day or just occasionally.
According to Medline Plus, blueberries are safe during pregnancy when consumed in quantities usually eaten as food. Pregnant women should avoid consuming excessive amounts of blueberries because the consumption of large amounts has not been studied during pregnancy.
There is a connection between berries and pregnancy. A strong desire for eating some particular kind of food during pregnancy is a rather common thing. It does not necessarily mean that you have some health problems with your body or the body of your future child. Such berries “obsession” can indicate, that your organism just needs some vitamins that are contained in the fruits: vitamin C (the most common), vitamin E, PP, E, B, or some necessary microelements.
Adding blueberries to your pregnancy diet can boost your intake of vital nutrients. One cup of blueberries contains 114 milligrams of potassium, which is essential for blood pressure control. High blood pressure during pregnancy can contribute to the pregnancy complication preeclampsia. Blueberries also contain small amounts of vitamin C, folate, calcium, and other nutrients. The fiber in blueberries may help reduce your chances of developing hemorrhoids or becoming constipated, which are both common in pregnancy.
Risks and Contra-Indications
Though berries are full with necessary vitamins, microelements and other healthy substances, they may bear some possible risks for pregnant women. They are:
The citric acid contained in some berries (cranberry, currants, gooseberries) may damage the bone minerals and make pregnant women more prone to tooth ache. That is why it is very important to gargle a mouth with water after eating these berries.
The anthocyanin and quercetin (natural pigments), can cause allergic reactions in some pregnant women. Over-eating berries may cause diarrhea during pregnancy due to its fiber content.
Limit berries part in your daily diet or do not eat berries at all in case of:
- peptic ulcer;
- superacid gastritis;
- chronical diseases of kidneys and liver;
- allergic reactions on citrus: skin redness, rash, pruritus.
In order to be sure that eating berries during pregnancy is safe enough for future mom and baby it is mandatory to consult the doctor first!