Blueberries are one of the most popular berries on the market today. They’re packed with antioxidants and nutrients that can help boost your health during pregnancy. But how do they compare to other berries?
Blueberries are not only safe during pregnancy, but also have a wide variety of benefits for both you and your baby. The only thing you may need to look out for is the sugar content in dried blueberries.
In this article, I’m going to share everything you need to know about this superfood, including its benefits, risks, and how to get the most out of blueberries with some healthy ways of incorporating them into your pregnancy diet too.
Are Blueberries Good During Pregnancy? What Are the Benefits?
Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that help fight inflammation and support overall health (Source: Proquest).
Blueberries are also rich in folate, which is important for fetal development. Folate is also important for preventing neural tube defects such as spina bifida
Blueberries also contain a lot of fiber, which is great for keeping things moving along smoothly. One cup of blueberries contains 3 grams of fiber, which amounts to about 10% of the daily recommended value, and is a great way to stay regular (Source: Nutrition Data).
Like most fruits, blueberries are low in calories and fat.
Are There Any Risks from Eating Blueberries When Pregnant?
While there aren’t any known adverse effects from eating blueberries while pregnant, you should always make sure they’re thoroughly washed first, to remove any bacteria or pesticides from their surface. For more on washing produce during pregnancy, see our guide.
Wash fresh blueberries in a colander under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels. If you buy them at the store, look for firm fruit without any soft spots. Store unopened packages tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks – depending on how fresh they were to begin with.
Once opened, refrigerate leftovers within 1 week. Look out for any moldy ones and throw them out – or it will spread to the other berries.
You can also safely eat frozen blueberries. Frozen berries add an extra punch of flavor to smoothies, desserts, salads, and baked goods. They keep longer than fresh fruits, so you don’t have to worry about them spoiling, either. There are some healthy suggestions for using them later in this article.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Dried Blueberries?
You can use them in place of raisins when baking cookies, cakes, brownies, pies, etc., because they provide similar texture and sweetness.
Remember that dried blueberries are higher in sugar than fresh ones, so if you want to use dried blueberries instead of fresh, be mindful of the amount of sugar in each serving. You may find that you need less than you think because they tend to pack quite a bit of sweetness.
For more on dried vs fresh fruit (and which fruits are best for pregnancy), read our article here.
Can I Drink Blueberry Juice While Pregnant?
You can safely enjoy blueberry juice if you choose pasteurized or filtered varieties over unpasteurized juices. Unpasteurized juices may contain bacteria, because they’re not heat-treated beforehand.
Juices labeled as ‘freshly squeezed’ or from juice bars, farmers’ markets and the like tend not to be pasteurized. Always check the label, and avoid unpasteurized blueberry juice during pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant, it’s best to stick to commercially-made fruit juices, which are usually pasteurized. If you’re unsure whether a particular juice is pasteurized, ask at the store or check the label – the FDA stipulate that all unpasteurized juices sold in stores have to say so on the label.
It’s also worth checking for any added sugar, and just how much of your juice is blueberry, since many brands produce blends instead of pure juice.
Is Blueberry Tea Safe For Pregnant Women?
Yes, tea made from blueberries is perfectly fine during pregnancy, if it’s made solely from blueberries and other safe ingredients. The same rules apply as with other teas; you should be mindful of caffeine-containing drinks, such as blueberry flavored black tea.
Always check other herbs that are blended with blueberry in the tea, as it’s often the case that “blueberry tea” has a mix of ingredients.
For example, a common herb in blueberry tea is hibiscus, but this isn’t safe in pregnancy. Always check the ingredients list for what’s in your herbal tea during pregnancy.
Healthy Pregnancy Diet Recipe Ideas Using Blueberries
Ever wondered how you can incorporate blueberries into your pregnancy diet? Here are some tips!
Blueberry breakfast muffins can be healthier made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour when pregnant. Whole grain flours like brown rice flour, oat bran, quinoa, buckwheat, etc., all work well.
Blueberry pancakes: A classic American pancake recipe can be made healthier by using wholewheat flour instead of white, and going easy on the syrup – the blueberries will lend a natural sweetness and still be delicious!
Try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, cardamom, ginger, cloves to give pancakes (or muffins) deep flavor without adding more sugar or sweetener.
Blueberry smoothies: Add blueberries to your morning smoothie for a nutrient-rich boost. If you’re ordering a smoothie out, make sure it’s made with pasteurized ingredients.
A good addition is Greek yogurt instead of ice cream – see our breakdown of the best yogurts for pregnancy here.
Blueberry oatmeal: Mix oats with blueberries and cinnamon for a delicious breakfast treat. Cinnamon also has benefits in pregnancy that you can check out here.
All in all, we hope our list has helped you find ways to include blueberries into your daily routine during pregnancy. So long as they’re washed, frozen, and stored properly, there should be no problem consuming them while expecting.