Health Benefits of Red Raspberry’s Berries and Leaves During Pregnancy
We can hardly imagine summer’s bountiful harvest without perfect dark pink and red berries. Raspberries are the favorite for both children and adults because of their wonderful smell and fresh sweet taste.
They are often used in dessert dishes or simply eaten with pleasure without preparation. And who could say that such innocuously looking small berries can be highly rich in numerous valuable microelements and found widely used as for health problems so as during pregnancy.
- Benefits of raspberry
- Positive effects on pregnancy
- Can raspberry be contraindicated?
- How to use raspberry during the pregnancy?
Benefits of raspberry
Raspberry is well-known as a bush plant that is a source of delicious bright berries. Red or pink berries are shaped of many tiny juicy spheres, that`s the reason why scientists refer raspberry to so-called “aggregate fruit”.
First notes about raspberry cultivation date back about 2000 years in Europe, so one can deduct that this plant is one of the earliest berry crops. Nowadays raspberry is widespread in many parts of the world, being the third most popular berry in U.S. after strawberries and blueberries. We can find over 200 of its species, besides red raspberry black, purple and yellow sorts are successfully grown.
One should remember that raspberries are not only sweet doughnut filling or a topping on a fruit cake but effective and acceptable natural medical remedy.
Due to its high degree of nutritional value and numerous therapeutic properties this herb has been used as medicine for centuries.
So, what are the health benefits of eating red raspberry during pregnancy? Red raspberry fruit and leaf contain unique plant compounds that offer some health protective benefits. For example, high level of antioxidant phytonutrients neutralizes free radicals and decelerates aging process, anti-inflammatory action of raspberry is often used in medical practice. It is proved that raspberry includes elements which even possess anti-cancer benefits.
To other valuable contents different vitamins, quercetin, manganese and dietary fiber are related. Regular consumption of these tasty berries has a positive effect on blood sugar levels and provides some obesity-related benefits by increasing metabolism.
Positive effects on pregnancy
Undoubtedly, raspberry plays a very particular role for woman`s health. Women of all ages eat berries and drink red raspberry leaf tea for heart problems, painful periods, vitamin deficiency, and other remedial purposes.
Also there is a theory about red raspberry consumption during pregnancy for easing labor and delivery. Take into consideration that most recipes offer use exactly leaves of plant. This herb aids to mother immune system, promote better circulation, strengthen uterine muscles and tone the pelvic floor in preparation for childbirth. Three midwives from Westmead Hospital in Sydney did their own researches on the use of raspberry leaf and its effect on labor.
An unexpected result in this experiment was that the women who took this herbal remedy were less likely to require a caesarean section operation, an artificial rupture of membranes, forceps or vacuum birth than the women who didn`t use raspberry leaf. So, the findings were really significant and proved useful qualities of researched natural medicine.
Expecting a baby, woman pays a lot of attention to the proper nutrition, because the food she eats is the main source of vitamins and other important elements for her growing baby.
During pregnancy a mother needs a lot of calcium and protein for her baby’s skeleton.
Extra folic acid is needed too to prevent neural tube birth defects and also woman should consume products containing more iron for helping erythrocytes in carrying oxygen to her baby. And there raspberry seems to be very beneficial as we can see from the list of its actions:
- taking away the symptoms of morning sickness;
- soothing and preventing bleeding gums;
- assisting with the process of childbirth;
- relaxing the uterine muscles while its contrasting;
- calming uterine cramping;
- promoting a plentiful supply of breastmilk;
- providing vitamins C, B1, B3, E, iron, magnesium, manganese and calcium.
These are not all the benefits of red raspberry, but we believe that the above-listed are very essential for pregnant women a greater extent. Adding juicy berries to your diet can ease period of expecting a baby and make labor less painful for mothers.
Can raspberry be contraindicated?
In spite of numerous advantages of taking raspberry preparations pregnant women should be careful about including berries and leaf tea into their diet, because red raspberry has both positive and side effects.
There are opinions that eating berries can lead to nausea, diarrhea and allergic reactions reflected in watery eyes, swollen lips, sneezing and rash on the skin. Some specialists are concern that red raspberry can act as the hormone estrogen and this fact might harm the late pregnancy. And one should be aware of high level of tannins which is in raspberry leaves. Large amount of tannin can be constipating and many pregnant women are already suffering from this health trouble.
Common contraindications for using during pregnancy are not found, possible limits depend on individual peculiarities of one`s state of health.
If you decide to take leaf tea or make raspberries an important part of everyday diet, firstly consult a health care doctor regarding the type of preparation and the dosage.
How to use raspberry during the pregnancy?
Ways of taking raspberry leaf are the following:
- tablets (300 or 400 mg pill with each meal 3 times a day) – from 32 weeks;
- leaf tea(one teaspoon of leaves for one cup, adding honey or sugar is allowed) – 2-3 cups per day after 28 weeks;
- teabags(1 cup per day during first trimester, 2 cups during second one, in third trimester woman can drink up to 4-5 portions per day);
- tincture (alcohol extract of the herb raspberry leaf) should be taken into account that even low alcohol level can be unsafe for pregnant woman.
If you want to vary your diet bringing in beneficial natural food and enjoy such delicious and mouth-watering fruit as raspberry these tips for preparing raspberries can be useful.
- For sweet light morning treat mix fresh berries with sour cream.
- Make sort of yogurt mixed with raspberries, honey, chopped mint and use prepared mass as topping for puffs or sweet sandwiches.
- Raspberry coulis is good as with poultry so as with cream desserts.
- Raspberry jam is rich in taste and widely used as anti-fever remedy.
- Choose the best berries!
When buying berries it is better to prefer organic raspberries of local cultivation because it is really higher in antioxidant capacity and vitamins. Don`t forget that raspberries are rather delicate and need gently accurate washing. You should use light pressure of sink sprayer and wash small berries rightly before having meal or recipe preparation.If do not follow these recommendations fruit will turn into something water-soaked and lose its appetizing look. Very soft and mushy berries are already not worth eating.
In conclusion we`d like to stress that before regular eating of even such highly rich in vitamins and beneficial fruit as raspberry you should visit your doctor and ask his advice. Pregnancy is the most important period in woman`s life, when any decision can has significantly effect on the mother`s and baby`s health.