More than half of the human body is fluid by weight, making water an essential element for life. Adequate fluid intake is especially important during pregnancy. You can obtain the fluid your body needs from a variety of sources, but it is wise to choose beverages that provide your body with nutrients necessary for the health of you and your growing baby. A moderate amount of the right kind of juice can contribute extra vitamins and minerals to your pregnancy diet.
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Go for 100-Percent Juice
No matter what flavor of juice you choose to enjoy, make sure it is 100-percent juice. Juice cocktails and flavored juice drinks contain a lot of added sugars that contribute unnecessary calories, with no nutritional value. Drinking these sugary beverages can contribute to unnecessary weight gain in pregnancy. Some of these juice drinks may look healthy, but check the label before purchasing a juice product so that you know exactly what you are getting.
Be Safe With Pasteurized Juice
Pregnant women should avoid juices that have not been pasteurized, states the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When fruits and vegetables are cut to be juiced, bacteria on the outside of the fruit can be transferred to the edible portion of the produce. Because your immune system is suppressed while pregnant, you are more susceptible to foodborne illness caused by the bacteria in food. Check the label before you purchase a bottle of juice to make sure it has been pasteurized. If you do not want to drink pasteurized juice, make your own juice at home from thoroughly washed produce. Drink it immediately.
Orange juice, prune juice or grapefruit juice may be some of your best options to enjoy while you are pregnant. Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C, potassium and folate, and some brands are even fortified with calcium. Prune juice provides iron, which is an important nutrient in pregnancy, and dietary fiber, which may help relieve constipation. Grapefruit juice is relatively low in calories compared to other fruit juices and contains potassium, vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants.
Don't Go Overboard
While juice can certainly be a healthy part of your pregnancy diet and may even help you get the nutrients your body needs, you don't want to overdo it. Most fruit juices contain more than 100 calories per 8 ounces, which can add up quickly. Whole fruit gives you vitamins and minerals, and has less sugar and more fiber than juice. If you have gestational diabetes, it is especially important to drink juice in moderation because of its carbohydrate content that can significantly affect blood sugar levels.
- BabyMed: Is it Safe to Have Fruit Juice During Pregnancy
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Food Safety for Moms-to-Be: Safe Eats-Fruits, Veggies and Juices
- American Pregnancy Association: Pregnancy Nutrition
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome
- Real Simple: The Healthiest Juices
- Journal of Perinatal Education: Nutrition Column An Update on Water Needs During Pregnancy and Beyond
- BabyCenter.com: Is it Safe to Drink Unpasteurized Juice During Pregnancy?
- USDA Nutrient Database: Prune Juice, Canned