Can Pregnant Women Eat Gooseberries? Are They Good?

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Written by Shandra Williams

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Eating healthy fruits and vegetables during pregnancy helps ensure your baby gets the best possible start. But what about exotic fruits like gooseberries?

Gooseberries are safe and healthy for pregnant women.  They are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. Gooseberries also contain folate, which is essential during pregnancy. However, you should always wash gooseberries fully before eating them.

How about preserved gooseberry products like jams? Are cape gooseberries and common gooseberries the same thing? Keep reading to learn about these little berries and how they benefit pregnant women.

Is it Safe to Eat Gooseberries During Pregnancy?

It is safe to eat gooseberries during pregnancy. Just remember it is important to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. This is particularly important for gooseberries, as they grow near the ground and can easily be contaminated.

Pregnancy weakens your immune system, making you more susceptible to foodborne illnesses like listeriosis, which can be especially dangerous to pregnant women and their babies (source: FDA).

To prevent foodborne illnesses, be sure to wash gooseberries by rubbing them gently under clean running water. Some gooseberry varieties have little hairs that cling to dirt, so wash them thoroughly.

fresh cape gooseberries and gooseberry jam in a jar with spoon

Gooseberries are commonly eaten fresh, but can also be used to make jam. This is one of the most popular ways to eat gooseberries, especially in the U.S. and Europe.

Gooseberry jam is high in sugar, so make sure to eat it in moderation. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity, which increases the risk of gestational diabetes (source: Mayo Clinic).

Are Gooseberries Good for Pregnant Women? The Benefits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to get the most nutrients (source: CDC). Gooseberries are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C,  folate, and potassium (source: Healthline).

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is important for pregnant women because it helps the body absorb iron. Iron is important for pregnant women because it helps prevent anemia (source: Nutrients Journal). If you are pregnant, you’ll need 400mg of iron a day (source: Nutrition Reviews). A cup (approx. 150g)  of gooseberries has 41.6mg of vitamin C content (source: USDA).
  • Folate: Folate is important for pregnant women because it helps prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine (source: New York State Department of Health). The CDC recommends that all women of childbearing age take 400mcg of folate per day (source: CDC). A cup of gooseberries has 9 mg of folate (source: USDA).
  • Potassium: Potassium is important for pregnant women because it helps regulate blood pressure (source: Oxford Journals). The recommended daily intake for potassium is 4,000mg (source: Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism). A cup of gooseberries has 297mg of potassium (source: USDA).

Can I Eat Cape Gooseberries When Pregnant?

Cape gooseberries (also known as physalis or groundcherries) are also safe for pregnant women to eat. In fact, they’re actually the same thing as gooseberries. They’re called cape gooseberries because they’re often grown in the Cape region of South Africa.

Cape gooseberries are just as nutrient-dense as common gooseberries. They are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and other minerals and vitamins. Just as with common gooseberries, be sure to wash them before eating and limit your consumption due to their high sugar content.

pile of star gooseberries

Are Star Gooseberries Safe During Pregnancy?

Star gooseberries are also safe (and healthy!) for pregnant women to eat.

Star gooseberries are another type of cape gooseberry. They’re called star gooseberries because of their shape. Like other varieties, star gooseberries are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Be sure to wash them well and eat them in moderation.

Although they may not be as common as other fruits, gooseberries are a healthy and delicious snack to enjoy during your pregnancy. If you’re eating them in a sweet preparation, such as jelly or jam, stick to moderate amounts to avoid eating too much sugar when you’re pregnant. Gooseberries can often be sour when unsweetened, so always check the sugar content, too.