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Cherries are an excellent source of Vitamin C but are they safe to consume while pregnant? What are their benefits and side effects might often be on your mind when you are pregnant. Read on and know all about the fruit, few recipes that you can whip up with it and get answers to few of the frequently asked questions.
Is It Safe to Eat Cherries during Pregnancy?
No doubt, cherries are safe to consume while pregnant. They are loaded with Vitamin C and other nutrients that boost immunity in pregnant women. However, carefully discard the pit which can be hazardous if it enters the throat.
Benefits of Eating Cherries during Pregnancy
Cherries are a rich source of nutrients and pack a healthy punch. Listed below are some of the benefits of eating cherries during pregnancy first trimester and beyond.
- It is a great fruit to be eaten while pregnant because it helps in improving the blood flow to the placenta which carries food from the mother to the baby.
- Since they are loaded with healthy minerals, vitamins, enzymes, folic acid etc.
- , cherries keep health ailments at bay while pregnant.
- The sweet and sour taste of cherries helps in combating common nausea during pregnancy.
- Cherries contain fibre which helps in preventing constipation and makes bowel movement easy.
- Cherries when eaten dried help cure diarrhoea.
- Cherries being a rich source of iron improve blood-related problems like anaemia during pregnancy.
- The melatonin present in cherries relaxes the nerves. This prevents anxiety in pregnant women and helps in getting good sleep.
- The anthocyanins in cherries are very beneficial in protecting neural cells and stimulating good brain health of the foetus. It also helps in curing migraines which are caused due to the fluctuations in estrogen level.
- Most pregnant women suffer from oedema which can be prevented by including cherries in the daily diet.
- The anti-oxidant and vitamin C present in cherries prevents inflammation which is common during pregnancy.
- Cherries are juicy and have high water content. Therefore, they prevent dehydration, and the potassium boosts energy thereby avoiding fatigue in pregnant women.
- The potassium in cherries helps in controlling blood pressure levels which can prove to be fatal to the foetus as well as the mother.
Delicious Cherry Recipes for You
Cherries can be paired and relished with various other foods. Here are a few cherry recipes that you can enjoy during pregnancy:
1. Cherry Lassi
- Yoghurt – 2 cups
- Milk – 2 cups
- Cherries – 4 cups fresh cherries (deseeded)
- Sugar – according to taste
- Salt – a pinch
- Blend all the ingredients.
- Pour it in glasses and add some chopped cherries on the top.
2. Cherry Halwa
- Cherries – 2-3 cups (deseeded)
- Cornstarch – 2 tsp
- Water – 3 tsp
- Ghee – ½ cup
- Walnuts, cashew nuts & raisins – ½ cup each (chopped)
- Sugar – according to taste
- Cardamom powder – a pinch
- Add 1- 2 tbsp of ghee in a frying pan. Then add the chopped nuts and raisins and saute them till they roast well.
- Remove the fried nuts and add the cherries. Cook them until they become soft.
- Then add the sugar and stir it occasionally. Crush the cherries with the ladle in the process. Continue until the cherries are fully cooked.
- Mix the cornstarch with some water and add to the pan. Continue stirring it. Once it thickens, check its consistency. If you can draw thoroughly line on the ladle with your finger, it is the right consistency.
- Reduce the flame and put a tbsp of ghee. Keep stirring till it gets mixed well with the cherry paste. Then add another tbsp of ghee.
- Continue with the process until the paste stops absorbing the ghee and can be seen above the mixture.
- Then switch off the stove, add the cardamom powder and the fried chopped dry fruits in it.
- Serve it hot or cold.
3. Cherry Chuski
- Fresh cherries (chopped) – ½ cup
- Castor sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Edible colour (red) – ½ tsp
- Ice cream sticks
- Add water and castor sugar in a saucepan and keep the flame low. Stir it continuously until the sugar dissolves.
- Turn off the flame and let it cool.
- Cook the pitted cherries in a pressure cooker till they are soft.
- Then puree the cooked cherries.
- Add the sugar syrup to the puree.
- Use a fine sieve to strain the puree and add some edible red colour.
- Pour the sorbet into the ice cream moulds, add the ice lolly sticks and place it in the freezer.
4. Cherry Lemonade
- Fresh cherries – 1 cup
- Lemon – ½ (2 tbsp juice)
- Cold water
- Sugar – according to taste
- Lemon wedges and mint leaves (for garnishing)
- Wash the cherries and pit them.
- Blend sugar, lemon juice and the cherries together.
- Strain the liquid and add water to it.
- Pour it into glasses and garnish it with lemon wedges and mint leaves. You can also crush the mint leaves roughly before adding it to the drink.
Side Effects of Having Cherries While Pregnant
Cherries are abundant in many nutrients and vitamins. However, there are a few problems pregnant women face after consuming cherries.
- Although cherries are said to be anti-inflammatory, they may trigger an allergic reaction in some women during pregnancy like oral allergy syndrome.
- Consuming too many cherries can be harmful, even if you are not allergic to cherries. It may result in anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis in rare cases, which can prove to be fatal.
- Eating too many cherries may cause bloating, gas and stomach ache. Therefore, it is advised to consume cherries in moderation.
- The sweeter varieties of cherries have a higher concentration of natural sugar. Therefore, too much of the fruit is likely to raise the blood sugar level. So it is advisable for women with gestational diabetes to avoid it.
- Eating too many of the dried, sweetened cherries or the maraschino cherry can cause excess weight gain in pregnant women. Therefore, watch your portion and avoid eating too many of them or don’t eat them at all.
Precautions to take while Consuming Cherries
Here are some of the precautions that you need to take before eating cherries.
- Remember to wash the cherries well before taking it. If not washed well, it may cause infections which could pose a problem for the mother as well as the foetus.
- Always eat pitted cherries because the pit contains hydrocyanic, a poisonous chemical.
- Remember to consult your doctor before including cherries in the diet during pregnancy.
- Dried cherries are coated with sulphites to preserve them. Therefore, if you are allergic to sulphite, avoid them. In case you have a dried cherry craving, keep it dipped in warm water for half an hour so that the sulphites are washed off before eating them.
Want to know more about cherry fruit in pregnancy? Here is a list of frequently asked questions that may help.
1. Can I Consume Maraschino Cherries when Pregnant?
Maraschino cherries are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium which are essential nutrients for the growth and development of the foetus. However, consuming too many of them could result in the rise of blood sugar.
2. Is it Safe to Eat Dried Cherries during Pregnancy?
Dried cherries are laced with sulphites to preserve them. Therefore, it may trigger inflammation in pregnant women who are allergic to sulphites.
It is a known fact that eating cherries during pregnancy is beneficial for the mother as well as the unborn baby. However, remember to eat them in moderation since too many of them may do more harm than good.
Also Read: Consuming Kiwi Fruit in Pregnancy