Saturday, August 10, 2013

Taking Care of You and Baby - Are Acai Berries Safe For Pregnant Women?

When you're pregnant, one of the first things that may come to mind is how best to care for yourself and your precious little package.  Of course you want your baby to be healthy, and you want to be healthy to care for your baby.  What should you eat?  What should you avoid?  You may have heard that acai berries are great to take during pregnancy, but if you don't know enough about them, you may be reluctant.  So what do you need to know about these berries and pregnancy?

What are acai berries?

The fruit that comes from the palm, which is found in Central and South America.  It's a fast-growing plant, but produces only two crops of fruit a year.  The fruit is similar in size and appearance to grapes, but the color is usually darker, and there is less pulp.  Usually, you can find the berries in drinks like juice, smoothies, and even sodas.  They're also found in bars, as capsules, or in powdered mixers that you can add to drinks on your own.

What are the health benefits of acai berries?

They have a lot of nutritional benefits.  The fruit has fatty enzymes and oleic acid that help lower the levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) in the body.  The berries also have high amounts of calcium and vitamin E, as well as high concentrations of polyphenols.  All these things make acai berries a strong antioxidant for the body.  It's also used as an anti-inflammatory, an antibacterial, and a cardiovascular system supporter.

Are the berries safe during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is known to increase oxidative stress, which can lead to reduced calcification and placental efficiency.  Antioxidants are often recommended to pregnant women to combat this oxidative stress.  The antioxidants in the fruit can help in this area.

Another benefit is the circulation-supporting factor.  When pregnant, a woman's blood volume increases to make sure the baby gets all the nutrients it needs while it's growing.  With acai berries, circulation is improved even more, which can help make sure your baby is getting all it needs to be healthy.

Of course, before you decide whether or not to take acai  during pregnancy, it's important to consult your care provider.  Different women have different pregnancy experiences, and you may need specific diet restrictions to keep yourself and your baby healthy.

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