When you’re pregnant, you’ll often be told that you should eat more nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruit and veggies.
Raspberries are a popular choice, so I’ve broken down many of the common questions you might have about eating raspberries when you’re pregnant, and what to look out for.
Are Raspberries Safe In Pregnancy? Raspberries are safe to eat when you’re pregnant and can make a good, healthy addition to your pregnancy diet. Fresh raspberries must be thoroughly washed before eating them.
Note that this article covers fresh raspberries, the fruit/berry, and NOT the leaves or tea. There’s a pregnancy guide to red raspberry leaf tea here.
Making Raspberries Safe to Eat During Pregnancy
Raspberries are safe during pregnancy if they are thoroughly washed first.
Since they’re usually grown in bushes near the ground, they are susceptible to contamination from their environment, like a lot of other fresh produce.
Due to their shape, raspberries tend to retain more pathogens like Toxoplasma gondii on their surface than some other berries (source: Journal of Parasitology).
The good news is that washing raspberries is an easy way to make them safe to eat in pregnancy.
How To Wash Raspberries During Pregnancy
I wrote a separate guide on how to wash fruit during pregnancy, so you can check that out here.
Even if they are organic raspberries or pre-washed, it’s always a good idea to wash your fresh raspberries when you get them home, as sometimes they’re handled in the shop or supermarket when they’re on the shelf.
If you’ve grown your own raspberries or you’re getting them from a farm shop, wash them before eating them too.
Can I Eat Moldy Raspberries if I’m Pregnant?
Raspberries are very perishable and don’t tend to last very long once they’re picked. For this reason, you might find yourself with mold on them faster than you’d expect.
It’s not a good idea to eat moldy fruit during pregnancy (or at any other time!). Sometimes, mold can be cut off food, but that’s only the case if it’s hard and non-porous.
Since raspberries are a soft fruit, the mold is likely to be deeper than you can see, so moldy raspberries should be discarded rather than eaten (source: USDA).
If you find soft fruit is going moldy faster than it should, check the temperature of your fridge (there’s a guide here) and assess whether you’re storing food properly (some hints on food hygiene during pregnancy are here).
Are Frozen Raspberries Safe When Pregnant?
Since raspberries are perishable AND seasonal, you might choose to buy them frozen rather than fresh.
Frozen raspberries are safe in pregnancy, and are pretty useful if you’re making smoothies or sauces.
Tip: You might also be interested in this article on ten drinks you can enjoy besides water, when you’re pregnant – and that includes some ideas using fruit like raspberries.
Commercially-packaged raspberries will have been washed first, but freezing them also kills potential bacteria like Toxoplasma gondii (source: Pathogens & Global Health). This is why frozen raspberries can be a good choice during pregnancy.
Are Cooked Raspberries Safe?
Cooked raspberries are safe for pregnant women to eat. Examples include:
- Raspberry jam or preserve
- Raspberry jelly
- Raspberry sauce (used in desserts)
- Raspberries in cooked cakes and pies
Cooking raspberries kills potential bacteria during the manufacturing process, due to the heat typically reached when making these products.
It’s worth mentioning that many raspberry products contain a lot of added sugar, so if you have the choice, opt for fresh or frozen whole raspberries, or choose a lower-sugar option in sauces, jams and jellies.
Are Raspberries Good For Pregnant Women? What Are The Benefits?
When properly washed and eaten fresh or frozen, raspberries can be a great way of increasing your nutrient intake during pregnancy.
The benefits of raspberry during pregnancy include:
- Fiber, if you eat them whole (because of their little pips). 100g of raspberries gives you 6.5g of dietary fiber.
- They’re an excellent source of vitamins C, K and E, plus they contain a modest amount of folate (around 21mcg per 100g).
- They’re low in calories, with 1 cup of raspberries providing about 64 calories.
- Raspberries are an excellent source of manganese, and contain modest amounts of copper, selenium and magnesium, too.
Can I Eat Raspberries in Every Trimester?
Raspberries are a safe fruit to eat (when fully washed, or frozen or cooked) in every trimester and in early pregnancy.
Contrary to one or two myths floating around the internet, raspberries have nothing in them that can cause a miscarriage when they’re eaten in normal food amounts and have been thoroughly washed.
This confusion often stems from mixing up fresh raspberries with raspberry leaf tea, which is a separate thing altogether. You can find my guide to red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy here.
Is Raspberry Juice Good During Pregnancy?
Since raspberries are a healthy option, I’m often asked if drinking raspberry juice offers the same benefits when you’re pregnant.
Pregnant women should only drink pasteurized fruit juice, due to the risk of bacterial contamination (source: FDA).
Unpasteurized juice usually states this on the label if it’s commercially produced, but if it’s sold by the glass (like at farmer’s markets or juice bars), it may be unpasteurized – check if you’re not sure.
Whole raspberries are better than just drinking raspberry juice when you’re pregnant, as juicing removes the pips/seeds, which make up most of the fiber in a raspberry.
In 2013 the European Journal of Nutrition found that the fiber in whole fruit may play an important role in getting nutrients from fruit, rather than just juice alone (source: PubMed).
Juicing also means that you tend to get a larger sugar hit, which may be an issue if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
If juice is the only way you can stomach raspberries or other fruit, or if you prefer it, that’s fine – but if you have the option, choose whole raspberry fruit rather than juice.
Are Raspberry Ketones Safe During Pregnancy?
Although this article deals with raspberries as a food, the raspberry ketones safety question is a common one in pregnancy, so I’ve included it here.
Raspberry ketones that you buy in medicines, tablets or supplements are synthetic, and usually not made from raspberries at all (source: Journal of Organic Chemistry). Therefore many of the common health benefits you get from fresh raspberries won’t be present in the supplement.
Additionally, there are currently no conclusive studies that have been conducted into the effects of raspberry ketones on humans. The exception is a small study in Iraq, that suggested that ketones may improve fasting blood sugar glucose levels, but was not conclusive (source: Semantic Scholar).
Raspberry ketones should be avoided in pregnancy as their effects on pregnant women and their babies are currently unknown.
That doesn’t mean to say that they are doing harm (or doing any good), but as there have been no conclusive studies, it’s better to avoid them (source: WebMD).
Of course, ketones appear naturally in some foods, including raspberries. This is safe when eaten in regular food amounts, rather than high medicinal or supplemental doses.
Can Raspberries Help With Nausea?
Some women report that fruit-flavored candy, lollipops or flavored ice helps with nausea. Although this isn’t conclusive, there are many anecdotal reports that this relieves morning sickness for some women.
Amazon sells Raspberry Preggie Pop Drops, among others, which have good reviews on helping with nausea during pregnancy, if you wanted to try them out.
Pink Stork also makes raspberry and ginger morning sickness sweets, and they seem to have a good reputation, too.
If you’re eating more fruit and veggies during pregnancy, you may also like: