Drinking cold pressed juice while pregnant is a common question for many expectant mothers. Cold pressed juice has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its high concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants compared to traditional juices. While juices can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet, there are some important factors to consider when drinking them during pregnancy.
What is Cold Pressed Juice?
Cold pressed juice is made by pressing or “masticating” fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to extract their juices. This is typically done using a slow juicer or cold press machine which works by crushing produce at low temperatures. This minimal processing helps preserve the nutrients and enzymes naturally found in fresh produce.
The main difference between cold pressed juices and traditional juices is that traditional juices are made by blending produce with heat and high speed. The heat and oxygenation involved destroys some nutrients, especially beneficial enzymes and vitamins. Cold pressed juices retain more of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes naturally found in fruits and vegetables.
Some key benefits of cold pressed juice include:
- High vitamin and mineral content
- Natural enzymes are preserved
- More fiber due to minimal processing
- No heat or additives
- Greater nutrient absorption
Cold pressed juices made entirely from fruits and vegetables contain no added sugars. However, some juices may contain natural sugars from the produce used. The fiber content can vary depending on what produce is used.
Benefits of Drinking Juice During Pregnancy
Drinking freshly squeezed juices during pregnancy can provide several benefits for both mother and baby. Some of the top benefits include:
- Increased nutrient intake – Juices provide an easy way to increase your daily intake of important vitamins and minerals like folate, zinc, calcium and iron which are crucial for fetal development.
- Hydration – Juices can help with hydration, especially if you’re struggling with nausea and vomiting.
- Energy boost – The natural sugars found in fruit and vegetable juices can help boost energy levels.
- Improves absorption – Juices don’t require digestion so nutrients are rapidly absorbed by the body.
- Fiber source – Juices containing whole fruits and veggies provide fiber, which aids digestion.
- Detoxification – Juices can help flush toxins and support liver function.
Experts recommend pregnant women aim for 1-2 servings of fruit and 2-3 servings of vegetables daily from a mix of sources including juices. This provides a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for optimal health.
Potential Concerns with Juicing While Pregnant
While juices can provide great nutritional benefits, there are some potential downsides to consider as well:
- Blood sugar spikes – The natural sugars in juices are released rapidly into the bloodstream which can cause spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels if consumed excessively.
- Weight gain – Juices are often high in calories and sugar despite their nutritional benefits. Consuming too many calories can contribute to excess weight gain.
- Toxins in produce – Raw fruits and veggies may contain bacteria, pesticides residues and other contaminants. This is of greater concern for pregnant women and their developing babies.
- Foodborne illness – Unpasteurized juices and produce may contain pathogens that can cause food poisoning such as salmonella, E. coli and Listeria.
- Interaction with medications – Certain compounds in juices can interact with prescription medications. Speak with a doctor before regularly consuming any juices.
Food Safety Precautions for Juicing
Because foodborne illnesses like Salmonella, Listeria and E.Coli can be very dangerous during pregnancy, it’s important to take safety precautions when making and drinking fresh juices:
- Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before juicing.
- Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.
- Only use organic produce when possible to lower pesticide exposure.
- Use a clean juicer, scrubbing all parts before use.
- Only make enough juice to drink immediately, not storing leftovers.
- Drink juice right away or store in fridge up to 24 hours.
- Keep all ingredients chilled during the juicing process.
Pasteurized juices are the safest choice since the heat treatment kills any pathogens present. However, note that pasteurization can destroy some nutrients as well. If opting for raw, unpasteurized juices, pregnant women may want to avoid any high-risk produce prone to contamination like alfalfa sprouts.
Best Fruits and Vegetables for Juicing While Pregnant
Focusing on the most nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables is key when juicing during pregnancy. Some top options include:
- Apples – Rich in vitamin C, fiber.
- Oranges – High in vitamin C, folate.
- Grapefruit – Contains vitamin C, calcium, choline.
- Strawberries – Excellent source of vitamin C, manganese.
- Melon – Provides vitamin C, beta-carotene.
- Lemon/Limes – Great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Raspberries – High in folate, vitamin C, iron.
- Blueberries – Contains vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber.
- Cherries – Source of vitamin C, fiber, folate.
- Pears – Provides vitamin C, copper, fiber.
- Kiwi – High in folate, potassium, fiber, vitamin C.
- Carrots – Excellent source of vitamin A and fiber.
- Spinach – Rich in folate, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K.
- Tomatoes – Provides lycopene, vitamins A, C, potassium.
- Cucumber – High water content and vitamin K.
- Beets – Great source of folate, manganese, potassium.
- Sweet potato – Contains vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese.
- Broccoli – High in vitamins C, K, chromium, folate.
- Kale – Excellent source of vitamins A, C, K, iron.
- Celery – Contains folate, vitamin K, potassium, water.
- Cabbage – High in vitamins C, K and fiber.
Herbs like mint, parsley, basil and ginger are also beneficial to add more nutrients. Try combining vegetables like spinach, kale, celery or cucumber with sweeter fruits like apples, pineapple or oranges to make tastier juices.
Juicing Recipes for Pregnancy
Here are some nutritious and delicious juice recipes to try during pregnancy:
Citrus Carrot Blend
- 1 apple
- 3 carrots
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 orange, peeled
Tropical Green Juice
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/4 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
Morning Sunshine Juice
- 1 grapefruit, peeled
- 2 oranges, peeled
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1 inch turmeric
- 1 inch ginger
Berry Beet Blend
- 1 apple
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 small beets, greens removed
- 1 inch ginger
Try mixing up the combinations and experimenting with different fruits and veggies depending on your preferences. Adding fresh herbs can provide mineral and antioxidants as well.
Tips for Drinking Juice While Pregnant
Here are some tips to keep in mind when adding juices to your pregnancy diet:
- Consume juices in moderation, aiming for 12-16 ounces per day max.
- Have juices along with meals, not instead of them.
- Always wash produce thoroughly before juicing.
- Choose organic fruits and vegetables when possible.
- Alternate juices with smoothies, whole fruits and raw veggies.
- Drink only freshly made juices, not store-bought.
- If juicing leafy greens, rotate types to avoid over-consumption of certain vitamins.
- Pair juices containing just fruits with veggies or protein to balance sugar content.
- Enjoy juices made with lower sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables.
Moderation and variety are key when incorporating juices into a healthy pregnancy diet. Juices should never fully replace meals but can be a great supplement in addition to a balanced diet.
Potential Side Effects of Juicing
While juices can be very beneficial during pregnancy, some potential side effects include:
- GI Issues – Juices high in sugar or sorbitol may lead to gas, bloating or diarrhea when consumed in excess.
- Blood Sugar Spikes – High glycemic juices may rapidly raise blood glucose levels.
- Excess Weight Gain – Too much juice can contribute extra calories leading to excess weight gain.
- Dangerous Bacteria – Unpasteurized juices could expose pregnant women to harmful bacteria.
- Pesticides – Juicing non-organic produce may increase ingestion of pesticide residues.
- Medication Interactions – Juice compounds may interact with certain medications if taken at the same time.
To help avoid potential problems, consume cold pressed juices in moderation as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet. Always supervise children when preparing or drinking juices as well.
Should Pregnant Women Drink Store-Bought Juices?
Drinking unpasteurized or raw juice from juice bars and cafes may be riskier than making your own due to potential contamination issues. However, many brands of store-bought juices undergo pasteurization which helps control dangerous pathogens.
Here are some tips for choosing safer store-bought juices when pregnant:
- Select pasteurized juices only.
- Avoid unpasteurized, raw juices.
- Check labels and choose juices without added sugars.
- Look for cold-pressed, HPP or flash pasteurized juices.
- Avoid runny, unfiltered juices.
- Opt for low-sodium vegetable juices.
- Refrigerate after opening and drink within 2-3 days.
When buying pre-made juices, pasteurized varieties are safest for pregnant women. If opting for unpasteurized juice, consume immediately after juicing. Discard any leftovers after 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is juicing healthy during pregnancy?
Juicing can be a healthy way to get extra nutrition during pregnancy when fruits and vegetables are fresh and juicing is done properly. Juices provide concentrated doses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, caution must be taken with food safety and overconsumption of certain nutrients from juices.
What juices should be avoided when pregnant?
Pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized juices, green juices high in vitamin K like spinach or kale, excessive wheatgrass and alfalfa sprout juice, juices made only with sweet fruits, and juices made with unwashed produce.
Can I drink celery juice while pregnant?
Celery juice may be safe in moderation during pregnancy but should be limited to 4-8 ounces per day. Celery juice contains luteolin which may stimulate contractions. Raw celery juice also poses a minor risk for contamination.
Is beetroot juice good for pregnancy?
Yes, beetroot juice is often recommended in moderation during pregnancy. Beets contain nutrients like iron, folate, manganese, and vitamin C to support maternal health and fetal development. Focus on no more than 4-8 ounces of beet juice at a time.
Can I drink carrot juice every day while pregnant?
Carrot juice is very healthy during pregnancy but should be limited to about 8 ounces per day. While carotenoids in carrots convert to vitamin A, excess preformed vitamin A from supplements is not recommended during pregnancy. Therefore, eat whole carrots and drink carrot juice in moderation.
The Bottom Line
Drinking cold pressed vegetable and fruit juices can provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for pregnant women. However, it is vital to take safety precautions and be mindful of portions and frequency. When prepared properly and consumed as part of a balanced diet, fresh juices can be a nutritious addition to pregnancy nutrition.