Should Pregnant Women Eat Blueberries?

A pregnant woman picking blueberries in a market

Blueberries are very healthy and are rich in nutrients. They are considered to be a superfood rich in vitamin c, potassium, and folate (a naturally occurring form of folic acid). During preconception and early pregnancy, women are advised to take folate as it plays an important role in the baby’s neural tube development. It also helps in preventing and treating urinary tract infection during pregnancy.

Is it Safe to eat Blueberries during Pregnancy?

It is absolutely safe to eat Blueberries during pregnancy. However, consuming the fruit in excess quantity is not advisable.

A pregnant woman sitting with a bowl of almonds and fruits

Why are Blueberries Good for Pregnancy?

Blueberries are not just tasty but are rich in nutrients that are required during pregnancy. Mentioned below are a few benefits of consuming blueberries.

  1. Blueberries are rich in Potassium which helps in preventing and controlling Hypertension during pregnancy.
  2. They also contain Vitamin C which helps in strengthening immunity and therefore prevents infection during pregnancy.
  3. Being a good source of soluble and insoluble fibre, blueberries help in digestion and prevent haemorrhoids and constipation during pregnancy.
  4. They help pregnant women to keep weight gain in check.
  5. The fruit is abundant in anti-oxidants which help in reducing stress during pregnancy.
  6. Eating Blueberries during pregnancy helps prevent pre-eclampsia.

Health Benefits of Eating Blueberries for the Baby

  1. Blueberries contain folate which is important to prevent birth defects such as Spina Bifida.
  2. They are rich in calcium and polyphenol that helps in the development of bones in the foetus.
  3. They prevent premature delivery caused due to health problems during pregnancy like hypertension.
  4. The vitamin C present in the fruit helps the body to absorb Iron which reduces the risk of low birth weight in newborns.

Delicious Recipes using Blueberries

1. Blueberry Pancake

Blueberry pancake

Ingredients

  • Half a cup of organic rolled oats
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or melted butter

For The Topping

  • ½ a cup of Blueberries (if they are not in season, you can use organic frozen Blueberries)
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup (optional)

Preparation

  • Pre-heat a pan.
  • Add Oats, salt, honey and baking powder and blend. Then add egg, vanilla, lemon zest, milk, melted butter or extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and again blend for 30 seconds.
  • Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the batter to the griddle and cook until golden brown.
  • For the topping, microwave the Blueberries for a minute and add the maple syrup to the Blueberries and stir.
  • Lastly, pour the maple syrup with the Blueberries on top of the pancake.

2. Blueberry Almond Smoothies

Blueberry smoothie

Ingredients

  • ¾ th cup unsweetened Soy Milk
  • ¾ th cup Blueberries (Frozen if they are out of season)
  • 4-5 nos. Almond (soaked and peeled)
  • 1 tsp. honey

How To Prepare

Blend all the ingredients and a calcium-rich snack is ready.

Side Effects of Eating Blueberries during Pregnancy

  • Consuming too many Blueberries can lead to a drop in blood sugar which can prove to be fatal to the mother as well as the foetus.
  • They can trigger allergy or rash.
  • Since Blueberries are rich in Vitamin K, too many can cause bleeding.
  • Consuming too much of the fruit can cause bloating, stomach ache and diarrhoea.

Things to Remember

Blueberries have always been used in pregnancy. For centuries aboriginal people have been brewing Blueberry root to make tea to relax pregnant women. Nothing has changed. Now instead of the tea, women drink Blueberry juice in pregnancy for the numerous benefits it offers. However, a few things must be kept in mind while consuming the fruit.

  • Buy and eat organic Blueberries because they are pesticide free.
  • Always wash them before consuming.
  • Do not eat too many Blueberries as they could have side-effects.
  • Before you include the fruit in your diet, do consult the doctor.

Although blueberries are a rich source of nutrients required by pregnant women, they can have their share of side effects too. Therefore, consulting the doctor and eating the recommended amount is advisable.

Also Read:

Eating Banana during Pregnancy
Consuming Pineapple while Pregnant
Eating Avocado in Pregnancy