Can You Juice During Pregnancy?
Fresh pressed green juice is often touted as the most nourishing substance you can put in your body. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals from ingredients like organic kale, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon. Its vibrant green color is promised to nourish our cells and help our skin to glow from the inside out.
So, it seemed to make sense to me that this would be ideal to have during pregnancy. A power-packed glass of easily absorbed vitamins and minerals for me and my baby? Yes please! But as I began to look into the details, I realized it couldn’t raise my glass of green juice just yet.
Is juice safe for me and my baby?
I am fully aware, for hopefully obvious reasons, that a juice “cleanse” is completely inappropriate during pregnancy. It does not provide the proper nutrients that the mother or the baby needs and can have detrimental effects on the pregnancy. So that’s a hard no during pregnancy. But what about an occasional green juice that is part of an overall healthy, whole foods-based diet?
According to Grow by WebMD:1
“Fresh-squeezed juice in restaurants, juice bars, or farm stands may not be pasteurized to protect against harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. Some markets also sell raw, unpasteurized juice in the refrigerated case -- look for the required warning label, and steer clear. Pregnant women should opt for juice that is pasteurized. Juice in boxes and bottles on your supermarket shelf is also safe.”
ConceiveAbilities.com shared an even closer look at risk of unpasteurized risk juice:2
“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.”
Okay, so the store-bought fresh pressed juices pose a potential risk that simply isn’t worth taking. But since they mentioned the home juicer, how does that apply?
At-home juice options
If you are juicing in your kitchen with a home juicer, it will not be pasteurized. So, if you decide to juice at home be aware of this and perhaps take extra measure to carefully wash all your produce prior to juicing it as well as extra care cleaning your juice between uses. The juice should also be consumed immediately after making it.
Another downside to juices during pregnancy is that by nature, juicing removes the fiber from the produce that you’re juicing. Fiber is actually an important component to a healthy diet during pregnancy. It’s not uncommon to experience constipation during pregnancy, so fiber should be a welcomed addition to your diet to help you eliminate easier.
So, despite my excitement to start fueling my body that’s preparing to conceive and grow a baby for nine months, with fresh pressed green juices, there are too many potential risks for me to feel fully comfortable with it. It’s a decision each mommy-to-be needs to make for themselves when considering juicing, but certainly knowing the facts around it can help to make a more informed decision.
And of course, the answer to almost any common “Is it safe during pregnancy?” question often goes back to not introducing anything new during pregnancy. If something has been a healthy habit for you leading up to your pregnancy, that’s different than introducing something new once you have a confirmed pregnancy.
What’s your take have you/would you incorporate a homemade, fresh pressed juice during pregnancy? I would love to hear some first-hand experiences from my fellow endo sisters!
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