Eating Blueberries During Pregnancy: Health Benefits & Side Effects

Eating Blueberries During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Blueberries are super 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 a vital role in the baby’s neural tube development. It also helps in preventing and treating urinary tract infections during pregnancy.

In this article, we will take a look at the advantages of eating blueberries in pregnancy, some delicious recipes you can make and also if there and any side effects of consuming the berries. Let’s read!

Is It Safe to Eat Blueberries During Pregnancy?

It is absolutely safe to eat blueberries during pregnancy 3rd trimester, 2nd trimester and 1st trimester. However, consuming the fruit in excess quantity is not advisable.

Is It Safe to Eat Blueberries During Pregnancy?

Nutrition in Blueberries

Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of 148 g of fresh blueberries.

Nutrients Amount
Dietary fibre 3.6 grams 
Sugar 15 grams
Calcium 8.9 mg
Iron 0.4 mg
Potassium 114 mg
Vitamin B6 0.077 mg
Vitamin C 14.4 mg
Vitamin K 28.6 mg

Why Are Blueberries Good for Pregnant Women?

Blueberries are good for pregnancy. They are not just tasty but are rich in nutrients that are required during pregnancy. Here are a few benefits of consuming blueberries in 2nd trimester.

  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 antioxidants, which help in reducing stress during pregnancy.
  6. Eating blueberries during pregnancy helps prevent pre-eclampsia.
  7. The fruit is high in fibre, which helps improve gut health.
  8. The high levels of vitamin C in blueberries protect against damage due to UV rays and pollution.
  9. Blueberries contain many minerals and vitamins, including calcium and vitamin K, which are vital to bone health.

Health Benefits of Eating Blueberries for the Baby

  1. Blueberries contain folate, which is essential to prevent congenital disabilities 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.
  5. The calcium in blueberries also forms the skeleton of the foetus and preserves healthy teeth, hair and nails of the mother.
  6. Blueberries are an excellent natural source of folic acid, which is vital to prevent neural tube defects, which are life-threatening birth defects related to the brain, spine or spinal cord of the baby.
  7. The berries are low in fat and calories and supply key vitamins and minerals that encourage the normal growth of the baby.

Side Effects of Eating Blueberries During Pregnancy

Here are the side effects of consuming blueberries while pregnant.

  • They can trigger an allergy or rash.
  • Since blueberries are rich in vitamin K, eating too many berries can cause bleeding.
  • Consuming too much of the fruit can cause bloating, stomach ache, and diarrhoea.
  • Consuming excess fruit might lower blood pressure as well as might drop blood sugar levels below average.

How Many Blueberries Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

A single serving of fresh blueberries, just 1/2 cup, gives 10 per cent of the daily recommended value.

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

  1. Pre-heat a pan.
  2. Add the oats, salt, honey and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Then add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, milk, melted butter or extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and blend it to make the pancake batter.
  3. Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the batter to the griddle and cook until golden brown.
  5. For the topping, microwave the frozen blueberries for a minute and add the maple syrup to the blueberries and stir.
  6. Lastly, pour the maple syrup with the blueberries on top of the pancakes, and serve.

2. Blueberry Almond Smoothies

Blueberry Almond Smoothies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ¾ cup blueberries (use frozen if they are out of season)
  • 4-5 almonds (soaked and peeled)
  • 1 tsp. honey

How to Prepare

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

3. Blueberry Salad

Ingredients

  • ½ a cup of strawberries
  • ½ a cup of blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar

How to Prepare

  1. In a bowl, mix some strawberries and blueberries together.
  2. Add some sugar and lemon juice to it and toss the berries again.
  3. Keep the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add banana slices and serve.

4. Blueberry and Walnut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 125 gms self-raising flour
  • 50 gms melted butter
  • 50 gms soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 ml milk
  • 125 gms fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • 50 gms finely chopped walnuts

How to Prepare

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cases.
  2. Mix the flour and sugar.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the melted butter, egg, vanilla and milk.
  4. Pour it into the flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Fold in the blueberries and walnuts and spoon the mixture into the muffin cases.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until firm to the touch and light brown in colour.

Ways to Include Dried Blueberries in Your Pregnancy Diet

Here are some ways you can include dry blueberry during pregnancy in your diet.

1. Dried Blueberries With Yoghurt

Mix some blueberries with yoghurt and enjoy the naturally sweetened yoghurt.

2. Blueberry Smoothie

This smoothie makes for an excellent and nutritious breakfast option, as you add in some fresh fruits along with dried blueberries and milk.

3. Dried Blueberry Trail Mix

Experiencing hunger pangs during pregnancy, try a blueberry trail mix that will keep you full. The trail mix will contain the goodness of nuts, seeds and dry fruits.

4. Granola and Oatmeal Topping

Granola and oatmeal are packed with fibre, protein and keep you full for longer. But a great way to boost this breakfast and make it sweeter is by adding some dried blueberries on the top.

Things to Remember

Blueberries have always been consumed during pregnancy. For centuries, aboriginal people have been brewing blueberry root to make tea to help relax pregnant women. Nothing has changed. Now instead of the tea, women drink blueberry juice or eat them during 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, make sure you consult the doctor.

FAQs

1. Is It Safe to Drink Blueberry Tea When Pregnant?

Most herbal and fruit teas are to be safe in pregnancy if you only drink one or two cups a day, but avoid having tea made using blueberries in first trimester.

2. Is Blueberry Good for Fertility?

Yes, blueberries are rich in natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help in boosting fertility levels.

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.

References/Resources:

1. 3 POWER FOODS THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU EAT DURING PREGNANCY; sustainablefoodcenter.org; https://sustainablefoodcenter.org/latest/cooking/3-power-foods-that-will-change-the-way-you-eat-during-pregnancy

2. Blueberry; medlineplus.gov; https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1013.html

3. The Health Benefits of Blueberries; health.clevelandclinic.org; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-blueberries/

4. FOODS TO EAT AND TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY; narayanahealth.org; https://www.narayanahealth.org/blog/foods-to-eat-and-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

5. A Mom-to-be’s Guide to Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy; sitarambhartia.org; https://www.sitarambhartia.org/blog/maternity/fruits-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

Also Read:

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

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