Drinking enough fluids during pregnancy can be challenging. Pregnant women should drink eight to 10 cups of fluids daily. Adding fruit juice to your diet can be a convenient and delicious way of reaching your fluid goal while also meeting your daily fruit group requirements of 2 cups set by the USDA.
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Choose 100 Percent Fruit Juice
When shopping for fruit juice in the grocery store, look at the labels for 100 percent fruit juice. This will provide you with the most health benefits. There are many juice products on the market that may look healthy, but are not. If the label says, "drink," "cocktail," "beverage," or "punch," they are likely not 100 percent fruit juice. These products tend to be high in added sugars and contain less nutritional value than 100 percent fruit juice.
Look for Pasteurized Juice
Pregnant women are at a high risk for foodborne illness. The FDA recommends that to prevent foodborne illness, pregnant women drink pasteurized juices. Pasteurization is a process that uses heat to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli. You can find pasteurized juice in the refrigerated or frozen sections of the grocery store, or in shelf-stable containers such as boxes, bottles, or cans.
Types of Fruit Juice
Orange juice is one of the more popular juices on the market. It is packed with nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin B-6. Look for varieties fortified with calcium to aid in the baby's bone health. Cranberry juice is a popular treatment for bladder and urinary tract infections. It is also packed with vitamin C and also contains antioxidants, which can improve your immune system. Prune juice is made from various plum fruits. It contains high amounts of fiber, which can help prevent constipation, a normal symptom of pregnancy.
While fruit juice can be a sweet and tasty treat, it is important to still include whole fruits as part of a well-balanced diet. While fruit juices contain fiber, they don't contain as much fiber as whole fruit because fiber is eliminated when the juice is squeezed out. Fiber is essential for healthy bowel movements and helps to keep you feeling full longer. Fruit juice is also generally high in calories, which can lead to excessive weight gain.
- USDA Choose MyPlate: How much fruit is needed daily?
- FDA: Food Safety for Moms-to-Be: Safe Eats-Fruits, Veggies & Juices
- Foodsafety.gov: Juice and Cider: Make Sure They're Safe
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
- The Journal of Perinatal Education: Nutrition Column An Update on Water Needs during Pregnancy and Beyond