Can Pregnant Women Eat Blueberries?
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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 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.
Why Are Blueberries Good for Pregnant Women?
Blueberries are not just tasty but are rich in nutrients that are required during pregnancy. Here are a few benefits of consuming blueberries during pregnancy.
- Blueberries are rich in potassium, which helps in preventing and controlling hypertension during pregnancy.
- They also contain vitamin C, which helps in strengthening immunity, and therefore, prevents infection during pregnancy.
- Being a good source of soluble and insoluble fibre, blueberries help in digestion and prevent haemorrhoids and constipation during pregnancy.
- They help pregnant women to keep weight gain in check.
- The fruit is abundant in antioxidants, which help in reducing stress during pregnancy.
- Eating blueberries during pregnancy helps prevent pre-eclampsia.
Health Benefits of Eating Blueberries for the Baby
- Blueberries contain folate, which is essential to prevent congenital disabilities such as spina bifida.
- They are rich in calcium and polyphenol that helps in the development of bones in the foetus.
- They prevent premature delivery caused due to health problems during pregnancy, like hypertension.
- 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
- 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)
- Pre-heat a pan.
- 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.
- Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes.
- Pour the batter to the griddle and cook until golden brown.
- For the topping, microwave the frozen 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 pancakes, and serve.
2. Blueberry Almond Smoothies
- 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.
Side Effects of Eating Blueberries During Pregnancy
- 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.
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.
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.
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