Cranberries are a vibrant and nutritious little fruit. They are prevalent during fall and winter, but you can enjoy them all year round thanks to frozen options.
Cranberries have earned a reputation as a natural remedy to help reduce UTIs. However, the evidence is mixed, and cranberries may or may not help with UTI prevention. This fruit does offer many other benefits for pregnant women, though. They are a good source of copper, fiber, and vitamins C and E. But what about cranberry sauce?
Cranberry sauce is different from fresh cranberries and cranberry juice. So is it still safe to eat while pregnant? How will it affect the health of your unborn baby? In this post, I’ll answer all your questions about eating cranberry sauce during pregnancy.
Can You Eat Cranberry Sauce When Pregnant?
Yes, you absolutely can eat cranberry sauce during pregnancy. You can also eat cranberries and drink cranberry juice!
Traditionally, you make cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries. Fresh cranberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and other nutrients. In addition, a one-cup serving of cranberries contains about 3.6 grams of fiber. When consumed in moderation, cranberry sauce can be a healthy and delicious part of a pregnancy diet.
While cranberry sauce can be included in your pregnancy diet, moderation is key. First, it’s essential to be aware that most cranberry sauce is made with at least some added sugar. The same goes for dried cranberries and cranberry juice! When shopping for dried cranberries or cranberry juice, look for no added sugar!
Benefits Of Cranberry Sauce
The health benefits of cranberries include:
- Potential urinary tract infection prevention
- Immune support with vitamins C + E
- Heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Combat constipation with extra fiber
- High water content to help stay hydrated
- Provides a boost of potassium to help prevent pregnancy swelling
How To Eat Cranberries and Cranberry Sauce While Pregnant
Choose fresh cranberries over dried cranberries.
Whenever you have the option, always choose fresh or frozen cranberries over dried ones. A single cup serving of fresh cranberries contains half as much sugar as the same amount of dried cranberries. Many dried fruit options include added sugar, so they don’t taste bitter. Dried cranberries are great in moderation. Try them over a salad, yum!
Enjoy cranberry sauce in moderation.
Cranberry sauce is safe during pregnancy, but practicing moderation is important. In addition, it’s best to include a variety of foods in your pregnancy diet to get a wide variety of nutrients.
You may also need to limit the number of cranberries and cranberry products you consume if you are prone to kidney stones. This is because cranberries are high in oxalates. When oxalates are consumed in large amounts, they can be a risk factor for kidney stones for those prone to them. Cranberries don’t pose a significant risk of developing kidney stones in most people. However, it’s still something to be aware of if you have a history of this.
For most people, cranberries make an excellent addition both pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy. Cranberries provide many excellent nutrients for a mom and her baby during pregnancy.
Make homemade cranberry sauce.
One way to control what’s in your cranberry sauce is to make it yourself. Plus, when you decide which homemade cranberry sauce recipe to use, you get to pick the ingredients and make adjustments as desired.
Many cranberry sauce recipes call for sweeteners to balance out the natural tartness of cranberries. Fortunately, when you make the sauce yourself, you can determine how much and which sweetener to choose. Honey and maple syrup are popular natural sweetener options in cranberry sauce recipes.
No matter the time of year, it’s always a great time to enjoy cranberries during pregnancy.
Whether it’s a handful of fresh cranberries or a glass of cranberry juice, consuming cranberries is a delicious way to add nutrients to your diet. Watch out for added sugar, and make your cranberry sauce whenever possible.
Learn more about the best foods to eat during pregnancy to support you and your growing baby inside The Prenatal Nutrition Library. It’s the most comprehensive library of prenatal nutrition information and the first searchable app for food during pregnancy. Download it here!