Pregnancy is a very important period in the life of a woman and her baby. Health and immune system of a future child start to build during these 9 months, thus, mother’s need in vitamins and minerals is growing day by day.
It is better to satisfy a body with essential elements not just with the help of ready-made vitamins, but also by eating berries.
First of all, berries are antioxidants due to substances anthocyanin and quercetin (natural pigments), and also vitamin C. Berries are very rich in water, being useful for those, who drinks not enough.
To speak about wild berries, it is possible to note the following healthy elements:
- blackberry is rich in vitamin B, folic acid, fiber, antioxidants;
- blueberry contains anthocyanosides (antioxidants), fiber, vitamin A and E, manganese;
- cranberry is rich in vitamin C and E;
- elderberry contains antiviral substances;
- raspberry is rich in vitamin C, manganese, cuprum, potassium, niacin, folic acid, riboflavin and fiber;
- strawberry contains phenols, ellagic acid, vitamin K, C, B5, B6, fiber, iodine, manganese, potassium, folic acid, riboflavin.
Such popular berry as watermelon is rich in water, vitamin A, E, C, B1, B2, B6, B9 and PP. Also, watermelon contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, ferrum and sodium.
Garden berries, such as cherry, sea-buckthorn, currants, juneberry and ashberry contains such healthy elements, as vitamin B, B1, B6, C, folic acid, manganese, cuprum, potassium, niacin and antioxidants anthocyanin (red berries) and quercetin (yellow berries).
Different berries produce various effect on a pregnant: blackberry, raspberry and strawberry are able to supply with the necessary amount of folic acid; red and sour berries (currants, cranberry, rosehip) can protect against viral illnesses due to vitamin C; blueberry can help with constipation; cherry can eliminate nausea; cranberry fights against edema.
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 need some vitamins that are contained in the fruits: vitamin C (the most common), vitamin E, PP, E, B, or some necessary microelements.
Are berries good for pregnancy? Definitely yes and there are some healthiest effects, produced by berries:
- protecting against cancer due to high concentration of antioxidants (vitamin C, anthocyanin and quercetin);
- antiviral effect (due to vitamin C);
- supply of water (contain 80-95% of water).
The safest and healthy berries for expectant mothers and their future children are black and blueberry. They contain the most necessary element for correct fetal development – folic acid. Also, they are rich in vitamin C that will protect a mother-to-be against viral diseases that are very dangerous during pregnancy.
All red berries (cherry, strawberry, cranberry, currants) are not recommended in big amounts due to natural red pigments (anthocyanin) that could play a role of allergens, especially after 23th – 25th week.
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!
Amount of Daily Consumed Berries
To get the full benefit from any type of berry, it should be eaten fresh or consumed in form of juice or smoothie (no more than 10-15 minutes after it is made). Fresh berries are preferably to eat after your main meal (in 1-2 hours) because of their capability to irritate stomach walls and promote the amount of gastric juice. Berries are recommended to eat during the daytime (from 12 to 18 p.m.) – in the morning our stomach seems to be too “sensitive” to digest this sort of food.
There is a number of berries that can be consumed fresh. There is a rule, that, if a berry can be eaten fresh, it should be eaten fresh:
- black currants;
- wild strawberries.
It is always possible to mix these berries with a little bit sugar if they are too sour. Also, you can make smoothie mixing these berries with fruit juice, milk, yoghurt or ice-cream, adding some sweet fruits (bananas) or cereals.
Such sour berries, as cranberries and red currants should always be mixed with sugar or as a part of smoothie. You can also make stewed berries (do not boil them, otherwise berries will lose all healthy elements!). Rosehip berries are very rich in vitamin C and are recommended to be consumed in the form of tea. Another alternative – using berries as a filling for pies. But one should remember, that after heat treating berries will lose part of healthy elements.
It will be nice for a pregnant woman to eat 1-2 glasses (500 ml) of berries daily, at that mixing different berries in one glass (for example, sour and sweet). Do not eat too much red berries!
Eating berries in season provides health benefits – pregnant who eat more berries as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases and are able to bear a healthy child. Remember, that all berries provide indispensable nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.