Is homemade juice safe for pregnancy?

Eating healthy and getting proper nutrition is especially important during pregnancy. Many pregnant women turn to juicing as a way to pack in extra fruits and vegetables. Freshly squeezed juices can provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other beneficial nutrients for mom and baby.

However, there are some precautions to keep in mind with homemade juices while pregnant. Improper storage, handling and preparation of fresh produce can introduce dangerous bacteria and contaminants. Unpasteurized juice may also harbor harmful pathogens.

This article covers tips and guidelines for safely enjoying homemade juices during pregnancy. We’ll discuss how to choose produce, clean and sanitize, store juices, and identify any ingredients to avoid.

Benefits of Juicing While Pregnant

Drinking homemade juices can be a healthy habit in pregnancy when done properly. Benefits of juicing include:

  • Increased vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake – Fruits and veggies are packed with essential nutrients and phytochemicals that support maternal health and fetal development.
  • More hydration – Juices can help meet increased fluid needs during pregnancy, especially if experiencing nausea or vomiting.
  • Easier digestion – The mechanical process of juicing breaks down produce to make nutrients more bioavailable and easier to absorb.
  • Variety – Juicing allows packing in a wide variety of produce that may be harder to consume raw or in bulk.
  • Convenience – Juices are portable and easy to take on-the-go.

The key is being smart about preparation and safety. Taking the right precautions can allow pregnant women to take advantage of juicing’s perks.

Food Safety Tips for Juicing While Pregnant

Here are some top food safety guidelines for expectant moms making homemade juices:

Wash Produce Thoroughly

Thoroughly rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under cool running water before juicing. This removes surface dirt and debris where bacteria can hide. Use a produce brush to scrub firm produce like carrots, apples, potatoes, etc. Pay extra attention to porous fruits like citrus.

Sanitize Surfaces and Equipment

Be sure to wash cutting boards, knives, juicers and work surfaces with hot soapy water first. Sanitize the juicer assemble before each use. You can use a dilute bleach solution, vinegar, or other commercial produce wash.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Prevent cross-contamination by separating fruits and vegetables from raw meats, poultry, eggs, etc. Use different cutting boards and utensils. Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling any fresh produce.

Store Properly

Refrigerate fresh juices right away in airtight containers. Try to drink within 24-48 hours. The exception is pasteurized juices that can be stored up to a week. Freezing is another option if you want to make juices in batches.

Drink Pasteurized Juice When Possible

Look for labels like “fresh pasteurized” or “cold-pressed pasteurized.” The pasteurization process uses heat to destroy bacteria while preserving most nutrients. This makes store-bought pasteurized juices safer than unpasteurized varieties.

What Juices Should You Avoid When Pregnant?

Certain ingredients and types of juices are not considered pregnancy-safe. Here are some to be cautious of:

Unpasteurized Juices

Steer clear of unpasteurized, raw juices which may contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. This is especially important for cider and other fruit/veggie blends besides citrus.

Juices Made from Moldy/Rotten Produce

Never juice produce that is overripe, moldy, or rotten as it can contain toxins. Always wash fruits and veggies, and cut away any bruised or damaged sections before juicing.

Alcoholic Juice Blends

Avoid juices mixed with alcohol like wine, beer, and hard cider. These can harm your baby. Check labels for hidden alcohol in juice blend recipes or mocktails.

Green Papaya Juice

Green (unripe) papaya juice may contain latex and increase uterine contractions. Fully ripe papaya is considered safe.

Green Tea Juice

High levels of caffeine in green tea may be unsafe. Opt for decaffeinated varieties or limit intake to 2 cups green tea per day.

Wheatgrass Juice

Some natural health sites warn that wheatgrass juice may be contaminated with bacteria and mold. However, there’s limited evidence on its safety profile.

Aloe Vera Juice

Pregnant women are advised to avoid internal use of aloe vera. Oral use may stimulate uterine contractions. Topical aloe vera gel is considered safe.

Best and Worst Fruits/Vegetables for Pregnancy Juicing

Focus your homemade juices on the safest and most nutritious options for expecting moms. Here are some best choices:

Best Fruits Best Vegetables
Oranges Spinach
Grapefruit Carrots
Bananas Tomatoes
Apples Sweet potatoes
Grapes Broccoli
Melon Asparagus
Berries Cucumbers
Mango Beets
Pears Green beans
Prunes Celery

Fruits and veggies that may be unsafe or increase risks are:

Worst Fruits Worst Vegetables
Pineapple Sprouts
Papaya Wild mushrooms
Pomegranate Parsley
Guava Fennel
Figs Oregano
Kiwi Chives
Apricots Tarragon
Plums Chicory
Cherries Endive
Grapefruit Leeks

Recipe Ideas for Pregnancy Juices

Here are some nutritious and delicious homemade juice recipes that are safe to enjoy during pregnancy:

Morning Sunshine Juice

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 2 carrots, tops removed
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled

Green Mama Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled

Tropical Immunity Booster

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled
  • 1 cup pineapple, core removed
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled

Blender Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup milk

Carrot Apple Ginger Juice

  • 5 carrots, tops removed
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled

Detox Lemon Cucumber Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled


Drinking freshly squeezed juices can be a healthy habit for expecting moms looking to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. However, proper precautions need to be taken to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.

Always start with quality produce washed under running water. Scrub firm items and properly sanitize juicer parts and work surfaces. Only use pasteurized store-bought juices or drink homemade juices immediately. Avoid unpasteurized juices as well as juice recipes containing off-limit foods like uncooked sprouts or alcohol.

Stick to nutrient-dense juice ingredients that are considered safe in pregnancy. Follow proper storage methods like refrigeration and freezing. With these tips, juices can be enjoyed safely as part of a balanced prenatal diet.

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