Q: Regular consumption of fruit juices makes us healthy. Are juices also advisable for pregnant women?
A: If fruit juice is not pasteurized during pregnancy, e.g. if you buy it freshly pressed, that means it has not been heated enough to kill the bacteria in the juice. This could lead to a food bourne illness that may be harmful to baby or mom.
Juices are the natural liquids in fruits and vegetables obtained by mechanically squeezing them or macerating them without use of heat and solvents. They are available in fresh squeezed versions, concentrate form or frozen form that requires the addition of water to them to return them to a liquid state.
Some juices may be consumed in moderation by pregnant women. Apple juice contains small amounts of iron that is required during pregnancy by the body. Orange juice should not be consumed in very large amounts even though it has the fiber that pregnant women need. This is because pregnant mothers are more prone to tooth decay and the strong acids in orange juice encourage tooth damage. Too much orange juice also leads to heart burn or gastrointestinal discomfort due to the high amounts of Vitamin C.
Prune juice is nutritious and can alleviate constipation which is common during pregnancy. However, it is best not to drink too much of it if you are close to the delivery date. Spinach juice may not taste so sweet and contains nitrates but it may be consumed in small amounts during pregnancy as it contains plenty of vitamins and iron. It also has plenty of folic acid that can protect your baby from neural tube defects and Spina Bifida.
Other fruit juices that can give you folic acid and vitamins like Vitamin C are mulberry juice, tangerine and lemon juice. Vegetable juices that are good for the pregnant mother and the infant are cucumber juice, Chinese cabbage juice, kermes radish juice, broccoli juice, lettuce juice and carrot juice.
Stick to fresh juices and avoid juices with harmful ingredients like essence, antiseptic, hard sugar and pigment. All juices should be consumed as a pasteurized product. If the juice is not pasteurized, e.g. if you buy it freshly pressed, that means it has not been heated enough to kill the bacteria in the juice. This could lead to a food bourne illness that may be harmful to baby or mom.