Should you be juicing

The pros and cons of juicing during pregnancy and healthy recipes

Juicing is a simple way of extracting fruit and vegetables juices in order to get sufficient vitamins and minerals, and it is one of the backup plans when moms-to-be fear that they are not getting enough nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables, or when they are suffering from food aversion (first trimester). Juicing in pregnancy comes with its pros and cons though.

Pregnant women should consume more of whole and seasonal fruits rather than fruit juices. This is because fruit juices do not meet your requirements for dietary fibre and may result in unnecessary calories. A variety of whole fruits can supply you with all the essential vitamins and minerals too. Also, you should be aware of some standard safety measures while selecting packaged juices and making homemade juices. Try to not have more than one cup of 100% fresh juice per day.

Safety of juicing during pregnancy

During pregnancy, as the immune system becomes weaker, you should make sure that the juice is not infected with harmful bacteria. Bacterial infestation can happen if safety measures are not followed while preparing packaged or homemade juices. And these bacteria can pass on to the foetus via the placenta, creating complications. So, juices are safe during pregnancy only if they are hygienically prepared and packed.

How to juice and precautions to take while juicing

Before preparing a juice, these points need to be kept in mind to avoid contamination: -

  • Fruits, vegetables, as well as all the accessories to be used for juicing, like knife, chopping board, juicer or blender, glasses, and storage jug, need to be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Planning to have juice during the first trimester? Know that bacteria on the surface layer of fruits and vegetables can contaminate the inside portion when you cut the fruits or vegetables and juice them. So, the outer layer must be peeled or properly washed.
  • Raw bottled juices from grocery stores or juice bars are not usually pasteurized, and might contain listeria, a germ that can cause listeriosis. This is harmful to pregnant women and their babies and may cause miscarriages too. Another harmful infection which is less common, but may pose a threat to the development of your baby, is toxoplasmosis. This is an infection that is caused by a parasite that can be found on unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • In case of packaged juices, do read labels carefully. In case you have doubts about anything, ask the retailer.

Juicing pros and cons

There are multiple pros and cons of having juice during pregnancy and lactation, which are mentioned below:-

Pros Cons
1) Juices are vegan and gluten-free 1) They lack fibre
2) Juices contain antioxidants 2) Th Not all juices are equal, as some are light, while some are thick. Juice blends are a mixture of sugar and juices, and hence don’t offer much nutrition
3) Good for those following an organic diet 3) Juices are low in essential nutrients and calories at times
4) Juices are a part of DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which is good for blood pressure 4) They cannot be considered as wholesome foods

Juice recipes perfect for pregnancy

  • Banana pineapple juice

    Ingredients

    • 1 ripe, medium-sized banana, chopped
    • 1 medium, cut and peeled pineapple, chopped
    • 1 low-fat curd
    • Sugar to taste

    Instructions

    • Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
    • Pour into stylish glasses and garnish with sliced banana or pineapple.
    • Add ice cubes if you want before serving.
  • Lemonade and mint juice

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium-sized lemons
    • Fresh mint leaves
    • Ice cubes
    • Salt and sugar to taste

    Instructions

    • In a tall glass, pour lemon juice, crushed ice, and mint leaves.
    • Add water and mix in salt and sugar.
    • Add ice cubes before serving.
  • Mix fruit and vegetable juice

    Ingredients

    • 1 medium, chopped tomato, 1 peeled orange, 1 chopped apple and 1 chopped carrot

    Instructions

    • Add all cut and peeled fruits and vegetables to a blender and sprinkle salt or sugar.
    • Blend until smooth.
    • Pour into tall glasses and add ice cubes.

Conclusion

During pregnancy, women face several problems like food aversion, morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting, which can affect your normal lifestyle and wellbeing. During this time, if you are planning to opt for a juicing diet, consult a doctor first. Your diet should ideally include more of whole fruits and vegetables so that you get essential fibres and nutrients.