During pregnancy, you should consume plenty of berries. Goji berries are becoming increasingly popular among ladies. As Goji berries contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, a number of women consider Goji berries to be superfruits during pregnancy. Despite their deliciousness and high nutritional value, Goji berries also pose a number of serious side effects. This article sheds light on the doubts many pregnant women have regarding how safe is Goji berries during pregnancy? Can Goji berries cause miscarriage?
What Are Goji Berries?
Chinese wolfberries are also known as Goji berries. The berries are bright orange-red and have a tart, sweet, sour taste. Most of the time, these berries are bought as powders or in dried forms. Dry Goji berries are typically cooked before consumption. Usually, they are added to Chinese soups as well as herbal teas.
They are also frequently added to juices and supplements. It was considered one of the 120 top-grade herbs that had tremendous health benefits and were safe for humans. The various parts of the Goji tree, such as the roots, leaves, bark, berries, and other parts, are beneficial to health in a variety of ways1.
Nutritional Benefits Of Goji Berries
The Goji berries are extremely nutrient-dense. In fact, they have 18 amino acids in them. A high number of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, are found in it. It contains vitamins, such as vitamins C, E, A, B1, B2, and B6, as well as essential fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3. It also contains 21 trace minerals, such as calcium, iron, zinc, copper, germanium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, and many more. Aside from many other benefits, Goji berries have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-fungal properties.
According to a source, 28 grams of Goji berries contain,
- Energy – 98 Kcal
- Water – 2 gm
- Protein – 4 gm
- Carbs – 21.6 gm
- Sugar – 13 mg
- Calcium – 53 mg
- Fiber – 3.6 gm
- Sodium – 83 mg
- Vitamin C – 13.6 mg
Related Reading: 21 Pregnancy Superfoods To Include In Your Pregnancy Diet
Are Goji Berries Safe To Eat During Pregnancy?
Small amounts of the berries will not be dangerous, as they will not contain enough amounts of active ingredients. Consuming a couple of berries each week will not have any fatal consequences. In addition, moderate consumption of the berries may provide relief from common pregnancy issues like constipation and morning sickness. Nonetheless, eating too many of these berries may have side effects on both mother and child.
Doctors aren’t so optimistic about the safety of Goji berries during pregnancy. No critical study has been conducted to ascertain their effects on pregnant women’s bodies.
Health Benefits Of Eating Goji Berries During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women need a lot of minerals and vitamins to support the development of the child. Goji berries are a wonderful source of these nutrients. Goji berries especially contain antioxidants and nutrients that offer several health benefits for the pregnant woman and her unborn child.
Here are some common Goji berry benefits in pregnancy.
1. Helps to alleviate morning sickness
Morning sickness is one of the most dreaded symptoms of pregnancy. Having Goji berries in this time can give you some relief from the worst of the effects. Thus, Goji berries are very effective in treating malaise and reducing morning sickness during pregnancy.
2. Rich in phytochemicals
Because of the phytochemical content in plants, Goji berries are often called a superfood. Phytochemicals are substances that are created by plants. The ones in Goji berries are beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, polysaccharides, etc.
Beta-carotene is the pigment responsible for the reddish-orange color of Goji berries. It is essential for the development of cells, eyes, bones, and more. There is a very high amount of beta-carotene in Goji berries compared to most other edible plants. During pregnancy, it helps develop the eyes and nervous system of the fetus2.
3. Enhance heart health
Goji berries may help lowering blood cholesterol levels during pregnancy. These berries have been shown to improve HDL cholesterol levels when consumed3. HDL also appears to be associated with a decrease in cardiovascular disease risk. This fruit can assist in removing toxins as well as other harmful substances from your body that may otherwise be harmful to your health during pregnancy.
Related Reading: Strawberries During Pregnancy- When, How, Benefits And Risks?
4. Boosts immunity
Goji berries are known to boost the production of white blood cells in the body4. These berries are known for their immune-boosting properties due to their strong antioxidant content. The carotenoid zeaxanthin is found in abundance in Goji berries5. It plays an important role in maintaining immunity during pregnancy. Consuming Goji berries during pregnancy can help keep infections at bay by fighting harmful free radicals and inflammation.
As with other berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, Goji berries have a lot of vitamins A and C in them. Vitamins A and C play a vital role in strengthening immunity and preventing a wide range of illnesses, including the common cold, flu, and even cancer.
5. Boosts hemoglobin
Goji berries contain a hefty amount of iron, (Goji berries have more iron than soya beans and spinach), which is known to boost the hemoglobin levels in the body. The right hemoglobin count during pregnancy helps prevent the risk of anemia. You can boost your hemoglobin count by eating iron-rich Goji berries during pregnancy. This way you can prevent iron deficiency and fatigue and dizziness associated with it.
6. Stabilizes blood sugar
It is believed that Goji berries are beneficial for the regulation of blood sugar levels and the digestion of food. They contain a compound called beta-sitosterol, which prevents the levels of glucose and cholesterol in the body from rising too high. They are therefore particularly beneficial for pregnant women experiencing gestational diabetes. A second active compound in Goji berries is lyceum barbarum polysaccharide, which effectively lowers blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that Goji berries reduce blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and secretion through the pancreas.
Related Reading: Everything About Artificial Sweeteners During Pregnancy
7. Cures constipation
In addition to keeping bowel movements regular, fiber also helps prevent constipation. Goji Berries are a good source of fiber. Fiber intake also contributes to gut health and prevents hemorrhoids. Goji berries have laxative properties. You will not experience constipation difficulties while pregnant if you consume these berries.
8. Promotes sound sleep
Sleep deprivation during pregnancy is a common concern for all pregnant women. Traditional Chinese medicine uses Goji berries to induce sound sleep and alleviate depression and anxiety issues. Therefore, pregnant women can take advantage of the Goji berries during pregnancy to reduce stress levels and induce sleep6.
9. Boosts energy levels
Goji berries are one of the readily available energy foods. It has been shown that Goji berry juice can increase energy levels. There are many nutrients in these berries that help to deliver oxygen to your cells, such as vitamin C and iron. Having higher levels of oxygen in your blood allows you to feel more energetic all day. Further, Goji berries contain antioxidants that may help fight fatigue during pregnancy.
10. Contains all essential amino acids
For the healthy progression of pregnancy, your body requires essential amino acids. The body cannot produce these amino acids on its own, so they must be obtained from food. Sadly, many pregnant women do not get enough of the essential amino acids in their diets. Goji berries contain 18 amino acids, which include all eight essential amino acids, making them a very good source of protein7.
Note**Goji berries provide an extensive range of health benefits. Everyone can take advantage of them. However, when it comes to pregnancy, more safe foods are preferable to attain these benefits. It is not recommended to consume Goji berries regularly to gain these benefits.
Risks And Precautions When Eating Goji Berries During Pregnancy
Despite the many health benefits of consuming Goji berries during pregnancy, eating too many of them can put your pregnancy at risk. Here is a list of some potential side effects you may experience when consuming too many Goji berries during pregnancy.
- Betaine, a compound in Goji berries that are derived from organic nitrogen, can cause uterine contractions, which can lead to miscarriage
- The high levels of selenium in Goji berries can cause birth defects in babies when taken in excess
- The vitamin A content of Goji berries makes them unique. Pregnant women have to monitor their intake of vitamin A during pregnancy, as too much can be harmful
- Excessive consumption of Goji Berries can cause hypertension and alter blood pressure levels
- Furthermore, for pregnant women who are suffering from high blood pressure or are taking anticoagulants, you should avoid this fruit
- There is atropine in Goji berries. Thus, if consumed in excess, Goji berries may cause severe side effects, such as dizziness, eye discomfort, and blurred vision
- Medications that treat diabetes, blood thinning and high blood pressure can interact with Goji berries. For those taking blood pressure medications, it can cause hypotension. So, never have it if you are under these medications
- As a result of its anticoagulant property, Goji berries may cause excessive bleeding when taken with medications such as warfarin
- For pregnant women who are diabetic, eating Goji berries excessively can reduce blood sugar levels drastically, resulting in fainting spells and dizziness
- It is important to consult a medical professional if you have any unusual symptoms, including bleeding or spotting, or anything else out of the ordinary after eating Goji berries
- Allergy sufferers may need to avoid Goji berries since they can aggravate allergic symptoms
- Abstain from eating Goji berry during pregnancy first trimester. Goji berries contain a nitrogenous compound called betaine, which can cause contractions of the uterus that can lead to miscarriages
Related Reading: 12 Early Pregnancy Tips To Avoid Miscarriage
Goji berries have numerous health benefits. Due to their high antioxidant levels and nutritional content, Goji berries are considered nature’s most potent superfood. Healthy pregnant women don’t typically have any adverse reactions from consuming dried or fresh Goji berries occasionally in moderation.
During pregnancy, it is not safe to take Goji berries in high doses, such as in a supplement or extract.
Because all the ingredients that may affect the healthy progression of pregnancy are concentrated in the supplement, it can definitely cause harm.
The flavor of Goji tea is delightful. Some people even recommended red Goji berry tea to soothe a dry cough, to ease low back pain and dizziness during pregnancy.
In spite of this, the effects of Goji berry tea during pregnancy are unknown, and there is a risk of exceeding the limit of intake.