Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it also comes with many changes for both mom and baby. One important consideration is nutrition, including which foods and beverages are safe to consume. When it comes to juice, there are some types that are better to avoid during pregnancy.
Juices to Avoid During Pregnancy
Here are some juices that may be best to limit or avoid completely while pregnant:
Unpasteurized or fresh squeezed juices may contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli that can cause foodborne illnesses. These illnesses can be especially dangerous during pregnancy, potentially causing serious complications for both mother and baby. To reduce risk, it’s recommended to only drink pasteurized juices during pregnancy.
Green Juices with Wheatgrass or Alfalfa
Green juices are often touted for their health benefits, but some containing wheatgrass, alfalfa sprouts or alfalfa tablets may be unsafe during pregnancy. These ingredients may be contaminated with bacteria that could potentially cause miscarriage or other pregnancy complications. If drinking green juice, it’s best to choose those without these risky ingredients.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is sometimes used as a natural remedy for constipation. However, aloe latex, a substance found in the skin of the aloe vera leaf, may stimulate uterine contractions. For this reason, it’s best to avoid consuming aloe vera juice while pregnant.
Kombucha is a fermented tea with health benefits, but it also contains trace amounts of alcohol due to the fermentation process. Alcohol in any amount is not considered safe during pregnancy and should be avoided. This means kombucha is off limits for expecting mothers.
Cold Pressed Juices
Cold pressed juices may seem healthy, but the high pressure processing can potentially cause contamination and growth of bacteria, viruses or parasites. To reduce foodborne illness risk during pregnancy, it’s better to stick to pasteurized juices whenever possible.
Juices Safer for Pregnancy
While some juices are better to limit or avoid, there are many delicious juice options that can be safely enjoyed during pregnancy. Here are some of the top juices that are typically considered safe:
Pasteurized Fruit Juices
Pasteurized juices made from fruits like oranges, apples, grapes and other produce are generally safe options during pregnancy. Choose 100% fruit juices and avoid added sugars or sweeteners. Look for brands labeled as pasteurized to reduce any bacteria risks.
Pasteurized vegetable juices can pack in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Options like tomato, carrot and green juices made from safe greens like spinach provide important pregnancy nutrition. As always, choose pasteurized varieties.
With its electrolytes and hydrating properties, coconut water can be a refreshing beverage for pregnancy. Look for brands that don’t have added sweeteners.
Making your own smoothies with milk/yogurt, frozen fruit, greens, nut butters or protein powder is a healthy way to get necessary nutrients for you and baby. Use pasteurized dairy products and washed veggies/fruits.
To help meet higher protein needs during pregnancy, protein powders from reputable brands can be used to make smoothies and shakes. Choose unflavored or vanilla varieties made from whey, soy, egg, rice or pea protein.
Tips for Safely Consuming Juice During Pregnancy
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when selecting and drinking juice during pregnancy:
- Always check the label and choose pasteurized juices whenever possible
- Avoid unpasteurized, fresh squeezed or cold pressed juice products
- Don’t drink aloe vera, wheatgrass, kombucha or other risky juices
- Make your own smoothies using washed, whole fruits/veggies and pasteurized dairy
- Drink juice immediately after preparing
- Store unused portions in the refrigerator for no more than 1-2 days
- Wash all produce thoroughly before juicing or blending
- Limit intake to no more than one 8 oz serving per day
- Speak to your doctor about any concerns or restrictions
The Healthiest Juice Options During Pregnancy
While avoiding potentially risky juices, there are many healthy and safe options to turn to. Here is a comparison of some of the top juices recommended during pregnancy:
|Orange Juice||Vitamin C, Folate||Boosts immunity, prevents neural tube defects|
|Pomegranate Juice||Vitamin K, Potassium, Antioxidants||Builds healthy bones, reduces muscle cramps|
|Carrot Juice||Vitamin A, Potassium, Biotin||Supports skin, eyesight and baby’s growth|
|Beet Juice||Iron, Vitamin C, Folate||Prevents anemia, boosts blood health|
|Tomato Juice||Vitamin C, Potassium, Lycopene||Strengthens immunity, heart health|
|Apple Juice||Antioxidants, Vitamin C||Anti-inflammatory, prevents cell damage|
When choosing the healthiest juices during pregnancy, go with options that will provide key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and important pregnancy nutrients for you and your developing baby.
Eating a balanced diet with essential vitamins and nutrients is important during pregnancy, and juice can be a tasty way to supplement your intake. However, it’s crucial to be aware of juice varieties that could potentially be unsafe during pregnancy due to bacteria risk or ingredients that may stimulate contractions. To stay healthy for you and your baby-to-be, stick to drinking only pasteurized juices, smoothies and protein shakes made from safe ingredients and washed produce. Avoid unpasteurized, aloe vera and green wheatgrass juices. With some caution and care when choosing your beverages, juice can be safely enjoyed as part of a healthy diet during your pregnancy journey.