The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to make sure both you and your baby get the nutrition you need. Strawberries provide calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and other vital nutrition. Unfortunately, if you don't take care in how you prepare and eat strawberries, your weakened pregnancy immune system could be challenged by food-borne illnesses such as E. coli. A little proper care can help you prevent illnesses and reap the healthy rewards of strawberries and other fruits.
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Talk to your doctor about your family's history of food allergies. Strawberry allergies are commonly genetic. Even if you're not allergic, if your family has a history of serious strawberry allergies your doctor might advise you to avoid the fruit during pregnancy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Wash your strawberries thoroughly before eating them. Washing helps remove pesticide and fertilizer residue. Washing also helps reduce the risk of ingesting soil-bred bacteria and parasites, such as E. coli.
Make strawberries part of at least 4 to 5 cups of total fruits and vegetables daily. Don't rely on strawberries to meet all your daily fruit and vegetable requirements to make sure you get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
Choose whole, fresh strawberries instead of processed forms, such as jam or strawberry-flavored treats. Fresh strawberries retain more nutrition and fiber and typically contain less sugar and fewer calories than processed strawberries. Choose frozen strawberries if fresh aren't available.
Check the label of fresh strawberry juices to make sure the juice has been pasteurized. Unpasteurized fruit juices increase your risk of E. coli and other food-borne illnesses, according to FoodSafety.gov.
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Nutrition During Pregnancy
- Colorado State University Extension; Food Safety During Pregnancy; J. Dean, et al; December 2006
- FoodSafety.gov; Checklist of Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Food Allergy
- University of Illinois Extension: Strawberries and More
- BabyCenter; Fruits and Vegetables in Your Pregnancy Diet; December 2009