As an expecting mama, one of the first things I did was to find out what I could eat, what I could drink, and more importantly what I must avoid. Juicing and pregnancy was one topic I wanted to learn more about.
Getting the right prenatal nutrients was now a priority. I knew I had to get my daily intake from fruits and vegetables. So what was the best way I could do this? Juicing was something I started reading more about.
But I often found conflicting information which only lead to more endless searching.
What I found was that I needed to know what foods to avoid when pregnant. I wanted to know what fruits or vegetables I should avoid using in my juices or smoothies. This information was important to keep baby safe. And by knowing this I had peace of mind.
The one common answer I got was that I should be eating wholesome foods, fruits and vegetables that gave me the vitamins and minerals I required. And I needed to avoid packaged foods that were high in sugar, preservatives and additives.
One way to get my daily intake of prenatal nutrients was from juicing and smoothies.
The next dilemma I had was trying to figure out which of the hundreds of juice recipes were best for a pregnant woman. Not to mention, some sounded delicious while some were quite 'un-drinkable.'
From juice shops in the malls, cafes to pre-packaged juice.
Like many other pregnant women, experiencing an aversion to some foods was normal. What was once a food item I looked forward to eating on a regular basis was now intolerable.
And what a problem that exposed when I could no longer stomach some greens. But I knew I needed them to get the valuable nutrients both baby and I needed. Juicing and smoothies to the rescue!
What I eat has a huge impact on how I feel. And while I love chocolate and my sweet treats occasionally, they can make me feel a little sluggish. When I eat the healthy foods I feel energised. So juicing during pregnancy became a 'go-to' solution.
I read that cold pressed juice isn't safe for pregnant women due to its lack of pasteurisation. Not what I wanted to hear, but something that required more research.
The key is to know that where you buy your fruit and veges from are diligent in how they safely handle and stock their produce. And when you get these items home, it is important to wash them before using. If possible, organic vegetables are the best option.
And another important tip is to drink your juice immediately. Yes, you can drink it for up to 24 hours later if stored in the fridge. But I recommend you only make enough that you will drink immediately.
As with anything you consume, or do throughout your pregnancy, you should always let your doctor know. Every woman is different and there may be some ingredients you must avoid because you may be allergic to them or they are not safe for a pregnant woman.
While it is safe to drink freshly pressed juice throughout your pregnancy, there are some things to be mindful of. I chat about this in more detail below.
Have you heard of Toxoplasma? This is a parasite that can be found on unwashed fruits and vegetables and is harmful to a pregnant mama and her unborn baby.
Bacteria can get into sprout seeds through cracks in the shell before the sprouts are grown. Once this occurs, these bacteria are very difficult and almost impossible to wash out. This also includes growing and eating your own sprouts grown in the home. Many outbreaks have been linked to contaminated seed.
The answer to this is yes! It is preferable as you control the storage of the produce and can drink it immediately after making it.
When you make your own juice you can control how the fruits and vegetables are being stored, how they are being prepared for juicing and how long ago the juice was made.
You see, in many juice bars or restaurants, their goal is to minimise wastage and they will often use all the produce they can in various forms. So, as a result, some of these places that sell fresh pressed juice is not properly prepared or is unpasteurized.
So the big issue here with unpasteurized juices during pregnancy is that if the fruit and vegetables are not properly washed, then you may be exposed to bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. Which will make you sick and can cause some serious problems to the health of your growing baby.
I am sure you have heard about the risk of eating some salads from cafes or restaurants? The same applies here in that you don't know how long ago the salad was made, and how it has been stored for the past few hours or longer.
I recently wrote a post on this very important topic of how to boost your immune system when pregnant. In a time where our immune system needs to be strong, we are faced with the reality that pregnancy change sour body in many ways.
We are now more susceptible to illnesses, including food-borne illnesses. And what we know is that not only can these pathogens harm us, but many of these can harm our fetus.
Generally, the juices you buy from the supermarket are safe because they'e been heavily heated and processed. But many of these lack the goodness of freshly produced juices.
So, the main takeaway is that juicing during pregnancy is safe, but you must know where the produce came from. And it is best if you make your own juices. So let's move on to some juicing.
I have already mentioned some of these tips but let's make it clear what you need to do.
1. Choose Organic
Choose organically grown produce to reduce your exposure to pesticides. Try to limit your exposure to toxins and pesticides during pregnancy. The best way to do that is to opt for organic juices.
Wash your produce thoroughly in a specified fruit and vegetable wash, even if you purchase organic. Raw fruits and vegetables can become contaminated with harmful bacteria.
1. Don't use soap, detergents, or bleach solutions to wash produce.
2. Carefully rinse raw fruits and vegetables under running water before eating them.
3. Use a small vegetable brush to remove surface dirt.
4. Try to cut away damaged or bruised areas to prevent bacteria.
When juicing with a slow juicer, store your freshly pressed juice in a glass container that has a lid on it. Store your juice in the fridge. Consume it within 24 hours. When using a fast (centrifugal) juicer, it is best to drink your juice right away.
4. Cold Press juices when Pregnant
Are you buying and drinking cold-pressed juices? They are a great healthy option and are full of nutrients. But the big problem is that they are raw, or unpasteurized. And this is what makes them unsafe for pregnant women.
5. Unpasteurized is a Problem
The problem here is that without the pasteurization process, these foods can potentially carry bacteria which you know can put you at greater risk of food-borne illnesses such as listeria. And while listeria is quite rare, it can cause miscarriages, premature labor, and stillbirths. So the risk is not worth it. Make sure to choose a pasteurized option.
6. Read the nutrition label.
It is important you learn how to read nutrition labels so you can identify the nutrition content but also any ingredients you need to avoid.
7. Consume in moderation.
You should always aim to get your nutrients from eating healthy foods. Juices and smoothies are good, but only in moderation.
Because they contain sugar. And when you're pregnant, it's especially important not to consume sugar excessively, as a diet that's too high in sugar content can potentially lead to gestational diabetes. So like anything else, moderation is key.
8. Variety is the Key
Try an vary the flavors of your juices. You may always want to make the same juice with the same ingredients, but it's best to alternate and choose different combinations. This will ensure you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals.
9. Which juice is good for pregnancy?
The best juice is one that gives the nutrients you need. And using various ingredients will help you to get all the required nutrients, vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin C, calcium, folate, vitamin D, beta carotene, vitamin E and vitamin B6. I have listed the best options below.
All of these nutrients help with the baby's development and growth. Iron can prevent anemia and calcium helps bones and teeth grow strong.
Oranges keep you hydrated and healthy. Vitamin C can help prevent cell damage and assist with iron absorption. Folate can help prevent neural tube defects.
Mangoes are rich in vitamins A and C. One cup of chopped mango provides 100 percent of a person's recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C and more than a third of their RDA of vitamin A.
Getting plenty of fiber in a pregnancy diet can help ease constipation. Potassium can benefit heart health for both the woman and baby.
Research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may help to decrease the risk of injury to the placenta. Vitamin K is also essential for maintaining healthy bones.
Avocados contain healthful fats that provide energy and help to prevent neural tube defects. They also boost the cells responsible for building the skin and brain tissues of the developing baby.
Guava contains a varied combination of nutrients. Eating guava during pregnancy can help to relax muscles, aid digestion, and reduce constipation.
The high fiber content of bananas can help with pregnancy-related constipation. There is some evidence that vitamin B-6 can help relieve nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.
Berries contain lots of water, so they are an excellent source of hydration. Vitamin C helps with iron absorption and boosts the body's immune system.
One study found that eating apples while pregnant may reduce the likelihood of the baby developing asthma and allergies over time.
Fruits provide vitamins and nutrients that are essential during pregnancy. In addition to supporting the growing baby, an increased intake of vitamins and minerals can help you to stay fit and healthy. This includes playing an important role in boosting your immune system.
The advice for pregnant women is to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day and to vary these as much as possible. Fruit can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.
Some fruits must be strictly avoided during pregnancy, in any form, whether eaten whole or juiced.
Though highly debated, grapes contain a compound called resveratrol which can be toxic to pregnant women, and weaken their digestive system.
Papaya causes your body temperature to shoot up, resulting in complications during pregnancy, and even miscarriage.
Pineapples contain bromelain, which is an enzyme that attacks the cervical wall and causes contractions that can lead to a miscarriage.
ANSWER: Yes. You should drink orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D while pregnant because it has the same levels of these nutrients as milk. Plus, orange juice has hefty doses of vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
Ideally, make your own orange juice as some you buy in the supermarkets may contain added preservatives and also more sugar.
1. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin E.
2. Kale contains folate, vitamins K, A and C. Kale plays an important role in preventing birth defects like spina bifida.
3. Peppers provide vitamin C, E and several carotenoids. Red peppers contain the highest level of nutrients.
4. Fresh ginger root will make it slightly spicy while helping to control nausea. Ginger is a good source of vitamin C and iron.
5. Beetroot contains the powerful antioxidant betacyanin. It improves energy levels and acts as an inflammatory.
6. Tomatoes are high in vitamins and antioxidants that may boost energy levels and digestive functioning.
7. Spinach has high levels of iron and folate, vitamins A, C, E. It promotes bone health.
8. Cucumbers serve as a diuretic and prevent swelling.
9. Apples contain high levels vitamin C.
10. Oranges contain high levels of folate, vitamin C, A, calcium and thiamin.
1. Strawberry Juice During Pregnancy
This is one of the best fruit juices recommended to women who are pregnant. Strawberries are packed with antioxidants that help build immunity in the body.
How to Make:
2. Beetroot Juice during Pregnancy
This is a great juice to drink during pregnancy, as it is full of vitamin A.
How to Make:
3. Pomegranate Juice During Pregnancy
Pomegranate juice contains high amounts of fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. This helps prevent constipation, which is common during pregnancy.
How to Make:
4. Guava Juice During Pregnancy
A good source of Vitamin C, guava juice is a great add-on during pregnancy.It helps in keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control.
How to Make:
5. Carrot Juice During Pregnancy
Carrots are rich in calcium and help in the development of bones and teeth of the baby. It is a good source of Vitamin C, A, and beta-carotene, which act as an antioxidant and protect the mother from free radicals.
How to Make:
This refreshing juice is rich Vitamin C and folates. Oranges also release iron and zinc, which is important for strengthening the immune system.
How to Make:
Apples are full of nutrients and minerals. Apple juice is one of the best juices recommended during pregnancy by doctors. Apple juice can keep pregnancy weight gain at bay and also aid in the development of your baby's brain.
How to Make:
8. Cranberry juice During Pregnancy
Made up of 90% water, a regular intake will keep you hydrated. High levels of antioxidants help combat inflammation and protect the body from free radical damage.
How to make:
Excellent sources of dietary fiber that you need during pregnancy. Contain sorbitol and phenolic components that offer laxative properties. Helps manage constipation and restores bowel movements.
How to make:
Yes, celery juice is safe and healthy to consume while pregnant. But you need to listen to your body and if it is causing issues, stop. Please do not participate in an extreme celery juice program or diet. Now is not the time.
Celery is a rich source of beneficial enzymes, antioxidants and other nutrients including vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, along with potassium and folate.
How Safe Is Celery During Pregnancy?
Generally, it is safe to eat celery during pregnancy. But always let your doctor know what you are eating and drinking.
Because many believe that some parts of celery can cause uterus contractions and bleeding.
Also. in some cases celery may cause a severe allergic reaction. Some people allergic to celery can cause potentially fatal side effects. The consumption of a large amount of celery may contract the uterus and result in miscarriage.
So I want to keep it simple with giving you some healthy juice recipes. You can search online and get hundreds of recipes. But I found that the more complicated the recipe, and the more ingredients you require, the less likely you will lose motivation to keep making them.
1. Pregnancy Juice with Beet, Carrot and Apple
2. Folate Rich Juice for Pregnancy
3. Juice to Reduce Blood Pressure and Help with Constipation
4. Fresh Apple and Cucumber Juice
5. Overall Health
Yes, juicing is safe and can provide you with lots of prenatal nutrients. But please follow the tips provided and still aim to get all your vitamins and minerals from eating healthy foods.
Along with healthy eating remember to stay safe and workout at home when required.
I am confident PregActive will help you just like we have already helped thousands of mamas just like you. Try PregActive for free. No commitment. No credit card required!