Strawberries during pregnancy can be a rather tremendously fruitful addition to your diet, offering numerous benefits to both your and your baby’s health. Beautiful, juicy strawberries are deemed as famously delicious, and rightly so. If prepared carefully and consumed in appropriate amounts, it is sure to be extremely beneficial for you. Plus it offers
Can I Have Strawberries During Pregnancy?
Generally speaking, it is indeed perfectly alright for you to consume strawberries during the course of your pregnancy. In fact, it is not uncommon for a lot of women to be craving strawberries during pregnancy.
It is worth noting, however, that there are people who might be allergic to it. And consuming strawberries in excess is certain to have an adverse effect. As such, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor or dietician before incorporating them into your diet, and inform them immediately, should you notice allergic reactions or symptoms.
The Nutritional Profile Of Strawberries
The main components of strawberries are water (91%), and carbohydrates (7.7%). Neither fat (0.22%) nor protein (0.64%) is found in them in significant quantities. However, in addition to vitamins, fiber, and polyphenols, these berries also contain high levels of antioxidants. Strawberry is a low-calorie, sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free fruit. They are a good source of manganese and potassium and are among the top 20 fruits for antioxidant capacity. The amount of vitamin C in just one serving – about eight strawberries – is higher than in an orange. Around 26% of strawberries’ carbs come from fiber. 100 grams of strawberries provides 2 grams of fiber — both soluble and insoluble1.
Related Reading: 15 Fruits Not To Eat During Pregnancy
6 Benefits Of Having Strawberries During Pregnancy
Boasting a rather generous nutritional profile, strawberries can offer a plethora of benefits to both your and your baby’s health. In addition to providing a lot of much-needed nutrition, it can also be prepared to be quite delicious, making it all the more deserving of a place in your pregnancy diet. Some of the benefits of strawberries during pregnancy:
1. Strawberries help boost immunity
You probably already know by now, that as a result of pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to experience certain downfalls with regards to their immune system. This is because, as the nutritional demands of the baby increases, your body finds it difficult to keep up. As a result of this fall in immunity, you could be left vulnerable to a number of minor and major ailments.
Being a rather rich source of vitamin c and antioxidants, strawberries are one of those fruits that can help to enhance your immune system2. This will help protect you from or at least greatly mitigate the risks of falling victim to these ailments, making them downright essential.
2. Helps improve heart health
During pregnancy, women are likely to experience rather unhealthy fluctuations in their diet, in both extremes. As a result of rather a turbulent diet, women can see somewhat alarming spikes in their blood sugar, cholesterol, and so on. This, if left unchecked, can cause rather serious complications, particularly to important organs like the heart.
Strawberries are known to contain certain substances that are capable of reducing cholesterol. It also helps reduce plaque in your arteries. This quite tremendously reduces the odds of falling victim to any heart-related ailment3.
Related Reading: 7 Ways To Manage Loss Of Appetite During Early Pregnancy
3. Strawberries help improve eyesight
This may not have much to do within the context of pregnancy, but it certainly is important enough to be worth a mention. Eyesight is an all too often overlooked aspect of one’s health, and it is an aspect that benefits rather greatly from eating strawberries.
Strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants as well as vitamin c. Hence these berries can greatly help reduce the swelling and dryness of your eyes. It also helps protect you against vision defects and macular degeneration. As such, they can be tremendously useful in improving your eyesight4.
4. Helps maintain digestive health
Digestive health too is often overlooked by a lot of people despite the fact that it is extremely important to one’s physical well-being. Left unchecked, a bad digestive system can have rather drastic consequences on your body, which can reflect horribly on your baby as well. As such, it is of utmost importance that you take care of your digestive system.
Strawberries are a rich source of fiber, which can quite exceptionally help streamline the digestive process and improve your bowel movements. Thus, strawberries can be an easy remedy for constipation during pregnancy. As such, they can be really helpful in accomplishing just that, making them yet again, an essential addition to your pregnancy diet.
5. Helps protect against inflammation
Again, you probably already know that inflammation is also a rather common occurrence in women during the course of their pregnancy. Left untreated, inflammation can lead to a number of complications such as body aches, swelling, and so on. This can be a real pain to deal with alongside all the other aspects of your pregnancy.
As mentioned earlier, strawberries are rich in vitamin c and antioxidants which greatly help combat inflammation. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties5. This will spare you a great deal of discomfort and pain, making them yet again, an essential addition to your diet during pregnancy.
6. Strawberries are low in calories
As mentioned earlier, women can see a rather turbulent change in their diets as a result of pregnancy. It is not uncommon for expecting women to be finding themselves eating more food than usual. They do this because they want to meet the energy requirements of pregnancy. As a result of this, it is not unusual for pregnant women to be subject to potential complications of being overweight during pregnancy.
If the necessary steps are not taken, this unhealthy weight gain can go to a rather extreme degree, and cause a lot of unwanted complications to your pregnancy.
Strawberries can be a wonderful solution to this. It contains ellagic acid. By restoring the normal function of weight reducing hormones, which are often blocked by chronic inflammation, ellagic acid will greatly assist in weight control6. Further they are significantly low in calories. At the same time, strawberries meet most of the necessary energy and nutritional requirements during pregnancy.
Related Reading: 21 Pregnancy Superfoods To Include In Your Pregnancy Diet
How To Have Strawberries During Pregnancy?
While there is no one definite method on how to eat strawberries during pregnancy, it is worth noting that there are countless ways by which you can prepare them. Different methods and recipes can give different benefits, and so they are worth experimenting with. So long as the strawberries are fresh, and they have been prepared properly, with care, it really shouldn’t matter.
Some of the most common ways of consuming strawberries are:
- Simply have them raw
- Have them as part of a healthy fruit salad bowl
- A healthy strawberry smoothie or shake
- A healthy strawberry preserve
- Fresh or dried strawberries in cereals
- Freshly prepared strawberry jams and jellies
- Strawberry yogurt
You can easily find countless more ideas and recipes online to help you with just this.
As for the best time to eat strawberries during pregnancy, there isn’t exactly a defined “ideal time” to be doing so. You can always reap the benefits of eating strawberries, even outside of pregnancy. It would be really beneficial for you to consume strawberries during pregnancy’s third trimester as well as the first. That being said, you can adjust the dosage as necessary. It would be wise to consult your doctor in this regard as well.
How Many Strawberries Should I Eat A Day?
There is no definite answer for this, as it varies for each individual. As such, it is better to consult your doctor or dietician in order to get a more informed, personalized idea of what the ideal quantity might be for you. That being said, it is generally agreed that an individual may consume up to eight strawberries per day.
Risks And Precautions Of Eating Strawberry During Pregnancy
As is the case with any other food, consuming strawberries is not without its risks. This is especially true in the case of pregnancy, particularly if they are consumed in excess. Some of the risks of consuming strawberries during pregnancy are:
- Some people are known to have allergies to strawberries. If overlooked, or if you are unaware of an allergy that you may have, you could risk the consequences of an allergic reaction
- Eating raw strawberries, particularly if they are not properly cleaned, could potentially expose you to a number of bacteria and parasites, such as E.coli, that could potentially harm you as well as your baby
- As with anything else, consuming too many strawberries a day can have an adverse effect on your body, and can possibly lead to complications
Of course, that being said, there are certainly a number of precautions that you can take in order to mitigate, if not entirely avoid these risks, and gain the most out of consuming strawberries without worry. Some of these precautions are:
- It would be wise to get yourself tested for allergies beforehand as a necessary precaution
- Make sure you get strawberries from a trusted source, and that they are fresh.
- Healthily prepare the strawberries, after cleaning them properly first
- Keep an eye out for symptoms and potential allergic reactions, and inform your doctor immediately if you come across anything
- Consume strawberries in appropriate amounts – consult your doctor to determine the ideal quantities that best suit your needs
All things said and done, the numerous health benefits offered by strawberries as well as their delicious nature, combined with the countless, diverse ways of preparing them make them a truly exceptional addition to your diet during pregnancy. Just be sure to take the necessary precautions and consult your doctor as needed.