Strawberries and Pregnancy: Are They Good for You?
Find out how you can consume strawberries while pregnant without being exposed to any risk. Maybe you asked yourself a lot of times if after you consuming strawberries, if they`ll have a negative effect on you or your fetus. You shouldn`t worry too much because strawberries don`t cause congenital malformations and aren`t harmful for pregnant women. Actually, the consumption of strawberries during pregnancy is a good method of preventing some birth defects.
Originating from Europe and cultivated even since the late 15th century at the Royal Court of France, strawberries were known for their therapeutic properties even since then. Fragrant and colorful, strawberries have benefic properties for health and it`s recommended not only for pregnant women but for all people who want to do a diet with fresh strawberries for at least a few days, especially during summer.
Table of Contents
- 1 Strawberries and Pregnancy
- 2 Strawberries – Nutritive Values
- 3 Benefits of Eating Strawberries
Strawberries and Pregnancy
As already mentioned, strawberries contain folic acid, which is essential in preventing neural tube defects (embryonic segment of which it will form the nervous system of the fetus), which leads to birth defects. Strawberries contain vitamin C, which helps in the proper development of the fetus, and most of the vitamins from the B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6).
These fruit is excellent in preventing certain medical conditions that may affect pregnant women, such as: stretch marks, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, hypertension or urinary infections.
The confusion regarding the introduction of strawberries in a pregnancy diet and birth defects that may appear is caused by the fact that those that are commercialized have pesticides. According to recent studies, strawberries are included in the list of fruits and vegetables that contain pesticide residues. Thus, the exposure to pesticides can increase the risk of birth defects.
All strawberries that are cultivated to be commercialized have a high level of pesticide residues, except when they are cultivated organically. The US Environment Protection Agency suggests that to reduce the exposure to pesticides, the fruits need to be well washed or peeled before consumed.
So, strawberries while pregnant aren`t contraindicated if you are careful where you buy them and you prepare them properly before you consume them.
Strawberries – Nutritive Values
Strawberries are known to be in the top of the richest fruits in antioxidants. Their indisputable nutritional value is responsible for numerous beneficial effects for general health.
Let`s imagine that we eat a bowl of 100g of strawberries. Besides the delicious taste, this small quantity offers 98% from the necessary daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C. Indeed, strawberries are among the richest fruits in vitamin C, containing 60mg of vitamin C in 100g of fruit (among 5-6 strawberries).
Also, these fruits contain strong antioxidants that fight against free radicals: beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, ellagic acid, anthocyanins.
Strawberries also have a high content of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron, but they also contain more rare minerals which the organism needs, such as zinc, fluorine, copper, manganese and phosphorus.
Besides vitamin C, strawberries are a rich source of vitamin B, especially folic acid and vitamin B6.
These fruits also contain vitamins A and E, which with an antioxidant effect, as well as vitamin K.
Benefits of Eating Strawberries
Strawberries have an antibiotic, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, tonic and nutrient effect. It also reduces cholesterol.
Strawberries – Weight Loss Diets
Although weight loss diet aren`t recommended during pregnancy, you might still be interested in this for medical reasons. Strawberries are fruits with low calorie content, 32kcal/100g, which makes them ideal for treatments against obesity. Additionally, they contain a high content of fibers which produce satiety and clean the digestive tube from toxins. They are ideal when you crave for something between meals.
Strawberries: Vitamin C
Around 10 strawberries provide 140% from the RDI of vitamin C, which is extremely beneficial for diseases like infections, allergies, cancer or inflammations. Smokers or people who follow a diet low on fruits and vegetables show deficiency of vitamin C.
Strawberries & Immunity
Strawberries help in strengthening the immune system through their substances with an antioxidant role: vitamins C, A, E, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and polyphenols. Also, zinc and manganese are co-factors of some enzymes from the organism, which have a role of removing the free radicals. The “antioxidant” shield of strawberries help in maintaining the organism`s health on the long term and protecting against aging and cancer.
Strawberries Fight against Diabetes & Cancer
Strawberries contain sugar and don`t produce blood sugar imbalances. Fibers help in maintaining the health of the digestive tube, and vitamin C and antioxidants protect blood vessels and the retina, which are frequently affected by diabetes.
Through the strengthening of immunity, indirectly, as well as through the direct antitumor effects of vitamin C and of antioxidants from the composition of strawberries, these fruits prevent cancer. Ellagic acid is another compound from their structure that is in research due to its strong antitumor effect.
Strawberries Improve Eyesight
Research has shown that certain antioxidants from their structure help in maintaining the health of the eyes, preventing cataracts. Vitamin C is very important in this regard as it offers protection against notice effects of UV radiation on the function of the eyes. Also, vitamin C protects the retinal cells and cornea.
Strawberries: Inflammations & Blood Pressure
The consumption of strawberries has an anti-inflammatory effect (reduces the reactive protein C) due to its antioxidants, which is beneficial especially when rheumatic diseases (arthritis) are involved.
These fruits are also ideal for those who want to prevent cardiovascular diseases. The increased content of potassium helps in regulating blood pressure. Strawberries reduce inflammation, which is a risk factor for coronary artery diseases.
Also, it was noticed that a regular consumption of strawberries decreases the risk of infarct because it reduces the level of LDL cholesterol which gets stored on the blood vessels, obstructing them.