Are Goji Berries Safe During Pregnancy? To Eat or Not to Eat?
Goji berries have recently become very popular among women because of their rich vitamin composition and effectiveness for weight loss.
Many people consider goji berries as super fruit and believe they can help to stay always cheerful and energetic, cope with numerous diseases and prolong youth.
They seem to be really health-giving for the expecting mothers therefore. But doctors are not so positive about eating goji berries during pregnancy since no serious research has been conducted to find out their influence on the body of expectant mothers.
Familiarity with goji berries: Tibetan super fruit for health and longevity Goji berries come from China. In the language of botany the plant is referred to as lycium barbarum, which is a 3.5 m tall thorny perennial solanaceous shrub with purple flowers and small coral-red berries. The shrubs bear fruit 13 times per year from May to September.
For many centuries the goji berries are used in the traditional Asian medicine as a fortifying agent. People in China eat fresh and dried goji berries, drink goji juice and add the berries to tea. The healing power of these fruits, grown in the ecologically clean regions of Tibet, is considered one of the reasons for the longevity of Tibetan monks.
Eastern medicine recommends using goji berries for the following diseases:
- impaired vision,
- back and joints pain,
- cough and other diseases of the nasopharynx,
- problems with the lymph nodes,
- gastric ulcer,
- kidney stones and gallstones and so on.
Goji berries are used for body cleansing and weight loss as they help remove cholesterol, control appetite, burn fat, stimulate motor-secret bowel function and promote the excretion of toxic substances.
Goji berries for pregnant women: the supporter`s arguments
Actually the medical community has divided into two camps. Some doctors advise pregnant women to eat a few goji berries every day to get all the necessary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Goji berries are believed to help cope with morning sickness and malaise. The other group of doctors says that these fruits are likely to increase the risk of miscarriage, because they contain abortifacient compounds. Both beliefs are still unsubstantiated, so to eat or not to eat goji berries during pregnancy depends on your own choice.
If you are a fan of goji berries, you are likely to continue eating them during pregnancy. What benefits can you get?
- Your body undergoes dramatic changes in the digestive and endocrine systems during pregnancy. Thus you need a large amount of minerals and vitamins to support the prenatal development of the kid – and goji berries are a perfect source of different elements!
- Eating this exotic product helps reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood, remove toxins and other harmful substances, which are especially bad for expectant mothers.
- Pregnant women often experience a sharp decrease in hemoglobin, but eating goji berries will help to improve it.
- Goji berries are a natural laxative. They will help get rid of constipation, which often occurs during pregnancy.
- Tea with goji berries helps to cope with the negative reactions of your body to pregnancy such as nausea and dizziness.
Possible harm of eating goji berries
Is goji berry safe during pregnancy? What are the negative effects of using goji berries while carrying a child?
The high level of selenium in goji berries causes the greatest vigilance, as in large amounts this valuable element can cause birth defects of the fetus. This is the most powerful argument in favor of rejecting the fruit during pregnancy. Although in small amounts they will not inflict harm to the child.
A safe level of receipt of selenium is 50-200 mg/day, but this amount is strictly individual. Excess of selenium may develop a pronounced toxic effect. Pregnant women should be especially careful with selenium, since the negative effect of its application for the child’s future may exceed the negative effect of free radicals: an excess of selenium can cause the formation of defects of the fetus, often not compatible with the life of the child.
Another element, which can cause harm, is betaine. It is an organic nitrogenous substance, often used as a food additive due to its positive effect for liver functions. But during pregnancy betaine is likely to cause uterine contractions, which can lead to miscarriage.
Still there are no special studies on the influence of goji berries on pregnancy. You should understand that all the elements that the berries contain are dangerous in large amounts.
Some Chinese doctors believe that the benefits of eating goji are actually so great that women shouldn’t reject eating them during pregnancy. They claim that pregnant women who ate goji never complained of deterioration of health. However, we should remember that for the Chinese women goji is a traditional fruit, while for the Americans it remains rare and exotic.
Contraindications for eating goji berries
In which cases should pregnant women reject eating goji berries?
Medicines for diabetes and hypertension help to thin the blood, and the goji berries amplify this effect. Therefore, bleeding which is very undesirable for the body while carrying a child, becomes possible.
In some doctor’s opinion, due to the ability of Goji fruit to increase the effects of drugs eating goji berries can lead to excessive lowering of blood sugar or pressure. This reinforced effect can lead to severe dizziness and even fainting.
In any case, you should talk with your doctor to minimize all risks.
Ways of eating goji berries
If you decide to use the benefits of using goji berries during pregnancy, you can eat a few berries every day with tea or adding them to porridges or fruit salads.
To avoid risks for your child don’t eat more than 10 berries a day!
How to choose goji berries?
When looking for the berries at the shop notice their color. It should be coral-red of the berries were dried in the shade. The berries should also stay rather soft.
As you can see, goji berries can serve you both bad and good service during pregnancy, so think before you include them in your diet.
In case of correct reception of goji berries can help the pregnant woman normal hemoglobin, decrease dizziness and nausea. The body’s resistance to colds increases and you feel better in general.
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