Strawberries during pregnancy: are there benefits?
Strawberries are delicious and filled with vitamins. They are in season in the spring and summer, and when picked ripe, they offer a naturally sweet flavor that will surely give you a hard time putting your berry bowl away.
But, are there benefits to eating strawberries while pregnant? We have your answers right here.
Are strawberries safe during pregnancy?
Yes, strawberries are safe to eat during pregnancy!
There are major benefits to incorporating this fruit into your daily diet, which we’ll go over below, as well as some tips to make sure you’re buying the healthiest strawberries possible.
Are strawberries good for pregnancy?
Healthy food choices are critical while you’re pregnant and growing your baby.
Not only do you need vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep yourself healthy and meet the demands of your body, but your baby will benefit from all of the nutrition you choose to eat.
Strawberries are filled with water, which is essential to keep yourself hydrated. As a pregnant lady, you have increased hydration needs to accommodate your growing baby.
Water helps to form the placenta and carry nutrients to your baby, this “new organ” is a pivotal piece to a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Strawberries have a few carbohydrates in them, which is what you need to have energy, but strawberries also have fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate (1).
Fiber helps to keep your bowel movements normal and maintains your bowel health. Fiber can also help to keep you fuller for longer, which makes it easier to control your weight if that’s something you’re concerned with (2).
Strawberries also have folate, which is important in tissue and cell function. This vitamin is also essential for pregnant women to consume so your baby can grow and develop normally before entering the world (3).
In lesser amounts, as you’ll see below, strawberries also contain nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Strawberry nutrition breakdown
1 cup whole strawberries (144g)
Water: 131 g
Calories: 46 calories
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Fiber: 2.9 g
Calcium: 23 mg
Iron: 0.59 mg
Magnesium: 18.7 mg
Phosphorus: 34.6 mg
Potassium: 220 mg
Sodium: 1.4 mg
Vitamin C: 84.7 mg
Folate: 34.6 ug
All values provided by the USDA nutrient database.
Vitamin C during pregnancy
Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant, and strawberries are filled with it!
In addition, Vitamin C is important for immunity and helps the absorption of iron in the body. It has been linked to birth weight and length and may even contribute to appropriate growth all the way up to six months of age (4, 5).
Read more about vitamin C in our lemons during pregnancy blog post.
I’m craving strawberries during pregnancy, is this normal?
Cravings during pregnancy are, for the most part, very normal.
A lot of women crave fruit for a variety of reasons, one being the high water content. As discussed above, fluid needs during pregnancy are heightened and your body is looking to make those extra needs up in any way it can.
Second, like many other fruits, strawberries contain folate, Vitamin C, and other nutrients that your body needs more during pregnancy.
Usually, it is okay to go ahead and give your body what it is asking for unless you have a strong urge to eat non-food items. Read more on pica during pregnancy in our previous blog on this topic.
Tips for purchasing strawberries, should you go organic?
Strawberries taste best and have the most naturally occurring nutrients in them when they are in season, which is in the spring and summer.
Every year, strawberries are routinely placed on the “dirty dozen” list, which is a list of the foods that have the most pesticides on them (6). The list comes from an analysis of the United States government’s Pesticide Data Program report.
It can be really scary to think about chemicals and pesticides and toxic substances coming into your body and potentially harming you, or your baby.
While it’s very important to remember fruits and vegetables, organic or not, are extremely beneficial to consume during your pregnancy, a growing body of evidence suggests the repeated exposure to pesticides may affect pregnancy outcomes (7, 8, 9, 10, 11).
Strawberries have appeared top of the “dirty dozen” list year after year.
If your budget allows, focus on buying the “dirty dozen” list organic and saving money on the other produce. It’s wise to compare prices while at the store, you may be surprised that some organic options are the same price or even cheaper in some instances.
How to include strawberries in your diet
Strawberries, of course, taste quite delicious on their own, but there are so many ways you can enjoy them.
- In a yogurt bowl
- With whipped cream for a dessert
- Blended in a smoothie
- Dipped in chocolate
- On top of toast with ricotta cheese
- In chia seed pudding
- Slice on top of pancakes or waffles
- Top your oatmeal or have alongside eggs
Be sure to thoroughly wash your strawberries before using them just like all your other produce.
The bottom line
Strawberries are safe and healthy for you and baby while pregnant. They are packed with fantastic vitamins, and even contribute to your fluid needs for the day.
While you cannot control the pesticides that are on the strawberries, you can choose to focus on the health benefits and their delicious taste.
Choose organic strawberries if the thought of synthetic pesticides isn’t welcoming and if your budget allows.
By Alexa D’ Orazio, Dietetic Intern and Ryann Kipping, RDN, CLEC | Owner & Founder