Acai berries, whether fresh or frozen, are safe to eat during pregnancy. However, if you are allergic to berries, pollen or other fruits, it is best to check with your doctor to confirm they are safe for you.
Acai berries are little powerhouses are packed with nutrients that are good for both you and your baby. Acai berries can be found all over the world in different forms like fresh, frozen, powdered, and in supplements.
The amino acids in acai support fetal growth, while the minerals and vitamins, like folic acid, help with your baby's development and keep you healthy too. It's always a good idea to know what you're eating, so if you're curious about the details of acai and pregnancy, read on!
Health Benefits of Acai for Pregnant Women
Acai berries are used to make tasty treats like juices, smoothies, acai bowls, and fruit salads, or they can simply be eaten on their own to enjoy their health benefits (though the taste can be surprisingly bitter for some). But what about when you're expecting? Can you still enjoy Acai berries during pregnancy? Let's find out.
- Improve blood circulation: Acai berries have plant antioxidants called anthocyanins that get rid of harmful free radicals and keep your heart healthy. These antioxidants also help to control your cholesterol levels, reducing the chances of having a stroke, heart attack, or atherosclerosis. If you're pregnant, acai berries can be especially beneficial because they contain sterols that act as vasodilators, relaxing your blood vessels and bringing down your high blood pressure.
- Fight Free Radicals: Acai berries are packed with helpful elements like procyanidins and flavonoids that help your body get rid of nasty toxins. When you digest food, your body creates free radicals as a by-product. But when you expose yourself to too much sun or cigarette smoke, these free radicals go crazy and can harm your body and baby. Plus, they can up your chances of getting cancer and heart disease. Luckily, the antioxidants in acai berries can fight back and flush out those toxic wastes. In fact, acai berries have ten times more antioxidants than red grapes.
- Boost Digestion: Acai berry is great for your digestion! It helps get rid of all the yucky toxins in your stomach and keeps things moving smoothly. Plus, it's packed with dietary fiber, which helps your body absorb nutrients faster. If you're pregnant, acai berries can also help regulate your bowel movements and prevent constipation. And if you're dealing with diarrhea in your first trimester, eating acai berries or other fiber-rich foods can help bulk up your stool and get things back on track.
- Boost Immune System: Acai berries are well-known for its immune-boosting properties, thanks to its abundance of vitamin C and ellagic acid. This makes it a great choice for improving overall health and keeping your unborn baby protected from infections.
- Boost Energy: If you're looking to boost your energy during pregnancy, try adding some acai berries to your diet. They can give you a much-needed boost, helping you fight off fatigue and exhaustion. Plus, it's a great way to get some extra prenatal nutrition.
- Help Build Teeth and Bones: Acai berries are packed with a type of calcium that gets easily absorbed by the body. This means they can contribute to your baby’s growth and maintenance of strong bones and teeth
Risks of Consuming Acai Berries During Pregnancy
While there many benefits to eating acai berries during pregnancies, there are also a few risks you need to be aware of. As with most things, moderation is key.
- Allergies: If you're allergic to berries, pollen, or other fruits, it's important to talk to your doctor before adding acai berries to your pregnancy diet. This will help you avoid any problems with the development of your baby.
- Sugars, Calories and Additives: Another thing to watch out for is that while acai berries themselves are sugar free, acai bowls and smoothies are typically high in sugar, which can have some negative effects on your health. If you have gestational diabetes, you may consider avoiding commercially produced acai bowls and instead make your own bowls using unsweetened frozen acai puree or cubes.
- Powdered Acai: Powdered acai is basically when you take dried acai berries and grind them up real fine. The thing is, when they make this powder, all the water is taken out of the berries, so it's super concentrated. This is a great and cost effective option, and you don't need to use a lot to get acai benefits. However, because it is so concentrated, it's best to use this powder in moderation.
- Unpasteurized Acai Juice: Acai juice or acai puree is a popular addition for some extra flavor to your smoothies or other drinks, Just like any other fruit juice, it's important to go for pasteurized or “filtered” options. If you're pregnant, though, it's best to steer clear of unpasteurized acai. Unpasteurized juices have been linked to Chagas disease, which can be passed on to the baby during pregnancy and cause issues like low birth weight and premature birth.
- Acai Supplements: Not much is known about whether acai is safe to take as a supplement, especially if you're pregnant. There are various types of acai berry supplements sold nowadays. It's important to talk to your doctor before starting any supplement routine while you're pregnant.
Ultimately, it's a good idea to listen to your obstetrician's advice when it comes to eating Acai berry. They can take into account your symptoms, medical history, and allergies to give you the best recommendation since there isn't solid evidence on this topic. However, acai berries offer many health benefits that may be helpful during pregnancy.