When you are a pregnant woman, you want to do everything in your power to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby. Eating the right foods is one of the key components of a healthy pregnancy. Luckily, nature has provided us with many nutrient-packed superfoods that offer the essential nutrition that pregnant women need. One of these amazing superfoods is cherries! Packed with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, eating cherries during pregnancy can provide numerous benefits for both mother and baby. In this blog post, we will explore the question, “Are cherries good for pregnancy?” We will discuss why cherries are so good for pregnant women and how incorporating them into your well-balanced diet can help keep you and your baby on the road to health.
Different Types of Cherries
First off, let’s look at the different types of fresh cherries available. There are two main varieties: sweet and tart. Sweet cherries generally have a bright red color and a mild flavor. Tart cherries usually have a more sour taste and deep purple hue. Both kinds of cherries are high in nutritional value, so you can enjoy whichever type you prefer!
Balaton cherries are a special variety of tart cherry. This type is especially rich in antioxidants, making them one of the most nutritious types of cherries available.
Remember that the fresh version contains a cherry pit that must be removed before eating. If you do not want to go through the hassle of pitting cherries, there are also dried and frozen versions available which are easier to prepare.
Maraschino cherries are also a popular choice. This variety has typically been processed and often contains artificial coloring, a high sugar content, and additives. For the most part, it is a good idea to stick with either sweet or tart cherries when looking for a nutritious pregnancy snack.
Cherry juice is also a great way to get the benefits of cherries during pregnancy. However, like maraschino cherries, cherry juice may contain added sugars or preservatives. Make sure to read the nutrition label before purchasing. Tart cherry juice can sometimes be a better option because it usually, but not always, contains less sugar.
Important Nutrients in Cherries
Cherries are packed with essential nutrients that are important for expectant mothers. Sweet cherries in particular contain high levels of vitamins A, B-6, C, and E. All of these vitamins help the body absorb essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. Sour cherries are also a great source of vitamin C and potassium, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties. These help reduce inflammation, which can help with joint pains. Folic acid is also present in cherries. Folic acid plays a vital role in helping to reduce the risk of birth defects as the baby develops during the first trimester. Additionally, sweet cherries contain fiber and manganese – important nutrients for a healthy digestive system.
Cherries also contain antioxidant properties, like quercetin and anthocyanins, that may help protect against illness during pregnancy. Anthocyanins are especially beneficial as they may help reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that can occur in the second or third trimester. Antioxidants help reduce the development of free radicals in the body which, if left unchecked, can lead to cell damage and other health issues.
Cherries are a low-calorie fruit. One cup of cherries that are tart contains only 90 calories. A one cup serving of sweet cherries contains 97 calories. They also contain no fat or cholesterol. If your food cravings are for something sweet, try a serving of cherries to help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Benefits of Eating Cherries During Pregnancy
There are numerous health benefits of cherries in your diet during pregnancy. Cherries are a delicious fruit and they have many key nutrients that can help prevent some health complications that may arise during pregnancy. Here are some of the most important ones:
• Increased energy levels: Not only do cherries contain essential vitamins and minerals, they are also a good source of natural sugar. The sugar can give you an energy boost when you need it the most.
• Improved immune system: Eating cherries during pregnancy can help strengthen your immunity levels and your body’s defense against sickness. This is due to the presence of antioxidants. Blood sugar levels are especially important during pregnancy, and cherries can help keep them in check.
• Reduced inflammation: The antioxidants in cherries can help reduce inflammation, a common symptom of pregnancy. This can help you feel more comfortable during your nine months of gestation.
• Improved digestion: Cherries are rich in fiber, which helps promote good digestive health and regularity in your bowel movements.
• Improved bone health: Vitamin K, present in both sweet and tart cherries, helps the bones to absorb calcium and other important minerals.
• Muscle pains and headaches: Potassium, which can be found in high amounts in tart cherries, helps to reduce muscle pains, leg cramps, and headaches.
• Blood pressure : Eating cherries during pregnancy may help to reduce the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) and help control blood pressure levels. This can be beneficial for both mother and growing baby.
• Healthy skin: Vitamin A in cherries helps to keep your skin healthy during pregnancy. It may even reduce the chances of developing stretch marks.
• High water content: Cherries are packed with water, which can be beneficial for keeping your body hydrated and preventing dehydration. This is especially important during the summer months when temperatures rise and dehydration becomes a risk factor.
• Neural cells : Folate, found in cherries, helps to promote the development of new neural cells during pregnancy. This is especially important for the proper development of baby’s brain and nervous system.
• Sleep-Wake cycle: Cherries contain melatonin which helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. This helps you to maintain a healthy sleep pattern during pregnancy. This is essential for both the mother’s health and the baby’s growth. Lack of sleep during pregnancy is common due to all the changes pregnant mothers are going through. Getting enough sleep is essential, so adding in cherries can be helpful.
• Morning sickness: Eating cherries can help reduce morning sickness and nausea, which are common symptoms during pregnancy. This is because cherries contain tartaric acid which helps to settle the stomach.
Making Cherries Part of Your Diet
The best way to incorporate more cherries into your diet is by eating them fresh or drinking unsweetened cherry juice. If you do not have access to fresh cherries, frozen ones may work as a substitute. You can also look for tart cherry juice concentrate or frozen tart cherries in the frozen section of your grocery store. Just make sure to check the label and avoid any products that contain too much sugar. The good news is that there are a variety of cherry products available, so you should be able to find some at your grocery store.
You should also consider adding fresh cherries to salads, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or other dishes to help add a bit of sweetness. You can also make your own cherry jam or other sweet treats with fresh cherries for an extra special snack. Try searching online for cherry recipes for unique ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Are There Any Potential Risks To Eating Cherries During Pregnancy?
While cherries can be a great part of a healthy pregnancy diet, there are some potential risks and side effects associated with eating too many. These include increased gas and bloating due to the high fiber content of cherries, increased risk of allergic reactions, and an increased risk of early labor if consumed in large amounts late in pregnancy. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before adding large amounts of cherries to your diet. Additionally, if you are on a low-sugar diet it is important to watch for added sugar in cherry products like fruit juices or jams.
Be sure to thoroughly wash all of your fruit before eating. Unwashed fruit may contain bacteria that can be harmful for you and your unborn child. Wash them by running them under cool water for at least 30 seconds or using a special kitchen fruit wash.
In conclusion, adding cherries to your diet during pregnancy is a good source of vitamins and minerals you need in a delicious form. Sweet and tart red cherries both offer many health benefits that can help support overall wellbeing throughout pregnancy. Eating fresh or frozen cherries, drinking a glass of cherry juice (unsweetened), or adding them to smoothies are all easy ways of incorporating this nutritious fruit into your daily meals. When it comes to cherry consumption while pregnant, however, moderation is key as too much could lead to potential risks like increased gas and bloating or even early labor if consumed late in pregnancy. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet for optimal safety.
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