How Safe Is Acai Berry During Pregnancy

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Consumption of acai berries has several health benefits. Some believe that these berries help treat sexual disorders and reduce weight. However, women might be apprehensive about eating acai berry during pregnancy.

Since these berries are nutrient-dense, one might be tempted to eat them. However, it would be wise to know their effects on pregnancy before consuming them. If you are a berry lover and want to explore more about if you can eat acai berries during pregnancy, read this post for details.

What Is Acai Berry?

The grape like fruit grows on acai palm trees, endemic to the rainforests of South America. The high nutrient value of acai berry makes it a veritable ‘superfood’. Some positives of consuming the berry include easing arthritis, regulating high cholesterol level, promoting weight loss and improving skin health (1).

Is Acai Berry Safe During Pregnancy?

Acai berry, being a nutrient-dense fruit, can be included in your pregnancy diet. The amino acids present in it promote fetal growth. The abundance of vital minerals and vitamins promote the proper development of your unborn baby. Moreover, the antioxidants in acai berry help your body fight free radicals and lower the risk of abortion or miscarriage. The fiber-rich food improves digestion and helps overcome pregnancy-induced constipation, and diarrhea. If you are allergic to the fruit or other berries, refrain from eating acai berries during pregnancy.

Health Benefits Of Acai Berry During Pregnancy:

In recent years, people in western countries have become more inclined towards consuming acai berries during pregnancy, as they contain healthy nutrients and minerals. The potential health benefits of the fruit are:

1. Improves Blood Circulation:

  • The presence of anthocyanins, a typical type of plant antioxidants, in acai berry eliminates the free radicals and protects you from heart diseases.
  • The antioxidants help control your blood cholesterol level, and thereby reduce the risk of a stroke, heart attack, or atherosclerosis.
  • During pregnancy, you are at higher risk of suffering from hypertension. The sterols of acai berries act as vasodilators and help relax your blood vessels, which further lowers your elevated blood pressure levels.

2. Helps Digestion:

  • The strong detoxifying effects of acai berry help cleanse your digestive system and excrete all the unwanted toxins that have been building up in your stomach.
  • Moreover, the high levels of dietary fiber promote digestion, and your body can quickly absorb the healthy nutrients from foods.
  • The dietary fiber regulates your bowel movement during pregnancy and reduces the chances of constipation and other digestive problems.
  • During the first trimester of gestation, most expectant moms suffer from diarrhea that lasts longer. But, by consuming acai berry or other fiber-rich foods, the stool becomes bulkier, and it helps you overcome the condition.

3. Improves Fertility:

  • Women who wish to conceive should consume acai berries regularly. The vital nutrients and minerals in the fruit improve fertility rate among women and promote natural conception.

4. Antioxidant Properties:

  • Acai berry contains healthy natural compounds like procyanidins and flavonoids, which help your body expel harmful toxins.
  • Your body produces free radicals as by-products of digestion. Exposing your body to excess sunlight or cigarette smoke can trigger violent chemical reactions and impose harmful effects for your baby.
  • The natural antioxidants present in acai berry neutralize the free radicals and eliminate the toxic wastes.

5. Boosts Immune System:

The high percentages of Vitamin C and ellagic acid in acai berry, make it an excellent immune booster, which in turn keeps your unborn baby safe from infections.

6. Energy Booster:

Consuming acai berry during pregnancy can boost your energy levels and stamina and help you combat fatigue, lethargy, and exhaustion.

Whenever you need an energy boost, you can consider eating a handful of acai berries (2).

Risks Of Consuming Acai Berry During Pregnancy:

While there are several positive aspects of consuming acai berry during pregnancy, there exist certain risks associated with the fruit:

1. Allergic Reaction:

  • If you are allergic to berries, pollen or other fruits, consult the gynecologist before including acai berry in your pregnancy diet.

2. High In Calories:

  • With a heap of health benefits, most women often tend to over-consume acai berries as juice or supplements.
  • But, as the berry contains a high percentage of sugars and calories, it can trigger many negative effects on your health.
  • If you suffer from gestational diabetes, avoid acai berry during pregnancy.

Overall it is best to take your doctor’s suggestion on consumption of acai berry, so that they can relate to your symptoms and other medical and allergic conditions and suggest you accordingly since there is no solid evidence on the same.

Ways To Drink Acai Berry Juice:

Concentrated acai juice has a rather overwhelming flavor. So, here are some different ways in which you can consume the juice:

  • Dilute acai juice with plain water, so that you can become habituated with the strong flavor.
  • You can mix acai juice with other fruit juices like orange, pomegranate, or blackberry juice.
  • You can mix acai berry juice with soy milk or almond milk.
  • To cover the potent flavor of acai, try mixing it with your regular coffee.

Recipe Using Acai Berries:

Here is a simple acai berry recipe that you can include in your pregnancy diet plan:

Acai Berry Smoothie:

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You Will Need:

  • ½ cup acai berry pulp
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 11 banana sliced
  • Sugar to taste (skip if you have gestational diabetes or other medical concerns since fruits already have enough sugar content in them.

How To:

  • Add banana slices, orange juice, acai pulp, and sugar (optional) in a blender.
  • Blend the contents until you obtain a smooth shake.
  • Serve the smoothie chilled.

Did you consume acai berry while pregnant? Did you experience any side-effects? Did the fruit help increase your nutritional intake during pregnancy? Tell us more about it here!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Acai berry lead to abortion?

Acai contains the phytochemical compound tannins (1), which may increase the risk of abortion/miscarriage if consumed in excess (2).

2. Can I have Acai berry tea every day when pregnant?

Although Acai berry is highly nutritious and offers many health benefits, a lack of clinical evidence is available regarding its safety. Hence, eat Acai berry or drink its tea in moderation, not daily (3).

Acai berries are known to improve the functioning of the immune system and are a rich source of antioxidants. They are also known to promote the healthy development of the fetus and provide the required nourishment. You could either consume acai berry juice or make them in the form of a smoothie to reap its benefits. But if you have an allergy to it, it is advised that you consult your doctor before adding it to your diet. Since acai berries are high in calories, it is advised that you consume them in moderate amounts.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Acai Berry: What is it
    Properties and Benefits for our Health.
  2. Lyndsay Ammon Avalos et al.; (2014); Volume and Type of Alcohol during Early Pregnancy and the Risk of Miscarriage.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183196/
  3. Acai.
    https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acai

 

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Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.

Shivani Sikri

(Public health and Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics)
Shivani Sikri is the chief nutritionist and co-founder of Nutri4Verve. After completing her Masters, Shivani Sikri did a postgraduate in nutrition and health education, a postgraduate diploma in public health and nutrition (PGDPHN), and a postgraduate diploma in nutrition and clinical dietetics. She has also completed her certification in Nutrigenomics from the US.   Shivani recommends a well-balanced, holistic lifestyle... more

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