3 Tips for Healthy Juicing During Pregnancy
One of the most universal concerns during pregnancy is “am I eating well enough?” Understandable; it’s a time when cravings often kick into overdrive.
Many women also experience nausea, bloating and diminished appetite during pregnancy: the problem, of course, is that you and the developing baby need an abundance of nutrients during this vital time. Daily prenatal vitamins help fill in the gaps and should be taken with consistency, but nothing takes the place of real, nourishing food.
Fruits and vegetables are two of the greatest nutrient sources, but they can be tough for an already sensitive stomach to digest. Raw and even cooked vegetables can be especially off-putting during the first trimester of pregnancy. The easiest way to pack a plethora of vitamins and nutrients into a single glass is through juicing. Plus, there’s nothing to break down – the nutrients are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream
Cold-pressed juice while pregnant can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, but it’s important to remember three things:
1. The juice must be pasteurized – or enjoyed immediately.
Juice can develop E.Coli or Listeria if it is separated from the fruit for too long. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected by Listeria, which can be passed on to the fetus through the placenta. The bacteria can lead to severe neurological illnesses, epilepsy and even stillbirth. Since the risk is very real, it’s best to skip juice bars or restaurant juice during pregnancy and either purchase pasteurized juice or make it yourself.
2. All juices are not created equal.
In addition to pasteurized versus raw juice, certain produce will pack a stronger nutritional punch. While pasteurized apple juice during pregnancy is fine, you’d be better off eating an apple and drinking your veggies. Think beetroot juice, which helps manage blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as a boost of potassium and energy. Carrot juice during pregnancy is another popular choice – it’s a great source of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant. And greens are always a good base for any juice – low in sugar, rich in phytonutrients, and easy to buy in bulk for juicing at home. Go organic whenever you can!
3. Be mindful of blood sugar.
Fruit juice is refreshing, but it is also high in sugar. When juicing, you miss out on the fiber from vegetables and especially fruit that helps prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. While it’s not a major concern for most women, those who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes must closely monitor these levels. Placental hormones can cause dips and spikes that may lead to a variety of health issues for the woman and child. Excess glucose in the system can trigger the baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin, which can, according to Mayo Clinic, lead to excessive birth weight and a more difficult delivery. Preterm birth, respiratory distress syndrome and hypoglycemia are more likely for these babies, and they also have a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you’ve been given the green light to enjoy fruits, orange juice works as a great natural protection from colds and flu and acts as an overall immunity booster. A rich source of vitamin C, it’s also a good way to meet your potassium needs if bananas don’t sound (or smell!) appealing. Is too much orange juice during pregnancy bad? No, so long as you haven’t been put on any restrictions because of gestational diabetes. If it’s something you find yourself craving, simply balance it with other nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables as well as protein. This will help keep your blood sugar levels consistent while still satisfying your vitamin C needs.
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