Should more women be drinking healthy juices during pregnancy?
- Healthy, cold pressed juices just may be the answer to getting all the needed nutrients during pregnancy
- Healthy juices hold a number of benefits including improved digestion, strengthened immune system and increased energy
If you are experiencing cravings and morning sickness during pregnancy it will probably feel like the longest nine months of your life and it could make it more difficult to consume enough nutrients for you and your baby.
Healthy, cold pressed juices just may be the answer.
Mum of one Becky Crisp drank daily juices throughout her pregnancy. “I suffered nausea throughout my whole pregnancy,” she said. “It was difficult to eat some foods and big meals, so I opted for fresh, organic juices as I knew I could sip on a juice throughout the day and provide vitamins and nutrients to my body and baby without upsetting my nausea. It also kept me super hydrated, especially during times of morning sickness.”
Healthy juices are becoming a staple in many diets. The Harvard Medical School state that sales of juice extractors and blenders are leading the small appliance market meaning more people are making them at home.
Nutritional therapist Jenny Phillips says: “Juicing at home is the best approach, or using a supplier within the fresh juice market such as the Healthy Juice Company. I would exclude commercially produced juices which contain stabilisers and preservatives for a long shelf life, and also caution against juices which are only made with fruit because these contain huge amounts of sugar which will cause surges in blood sugar levels.”
During her pregnancy Becky drank a mixture of shop bought and homemade juices.
“I drank a range of different vegetable and fruit juices. My favourite was celery, kale, apple, lemon, ginger,” she said. “I would juice lots of fruit and vegetables which would last 3 days in the fridge and I also invested in some ready-made juices, always opting for organic and local ones. My favourite ones are from The Healthy Juice Company.”
Rosie Dickinson is the founder and director of The Healthy Juice Company and has done extensive research into the nutritional value of juices.
“Pregnant ladies need a varied diet containing the full scope of nutrients,” she says.
“It’s virtually impossible to achieve our RDA of nutrients from whole foods alone, even if eating really healthily and all organic. Our soils are exhausted and depleted of nutrients due to over farming and the use of synthetics, so I would recommend healthy juices during pregnancy, and in general, to supplement their diet and ensure they are getting their recommended dietary allowance of nutrients.
“I recommend freshly prepared vegetable juices with a little fruit, as a supplement to meals and not as a meal replacement at this critical time. The baby is undergoing the most phenomenal development and will benefit from the additional nutrients which can be provided from freshly prepared mostly vegetable juices.”
Although healthy juices are beneficial during pregnancy it is not recommended to juice cleanse because pregnant women should not restrict calories. Rosie recommends regular juice consumption alongside a healthy balanced diet which will benefit you in a number of ways. These benefits include improved digestion, increased energy (which is especially good as pregnant women are more prone to tiredness), naturally glowing skin, improved circulation, strengthened immune system and improved mental clarity.
Becky says: “I felt hydrated and nutritiously ‘full’ throughout my whole pregnancy. I had an extremely healthy pregnancy and positive birth and I believe the daily vegetable juices helped with this. I have continued my veggie juices postpartum and I believe they have helped me maintain energy levels and overall health and wellbeing.”
Cold pressed juices do not have the added sugar or artificial sweeteners that most bottled juices contain. They are also much healthier than pasteurized fruit and vegetable juices.
Nutritionist Reema Arora says: “Vegetable juices can be a good option so the blood sugar levels aren’t spiked and sometimes it is difficult to consume enough vegetables per day so juices are an excellent way of getting the needed nutrients.
“Some medical conditions mean that you cannot digest much fibre so juices would be a good way of ensuring you have enough. However whole fruits are often better because when a whole fruit is pressed or squeezed to make juice some of the nutrients are lost in the process, so I would definitely make sure you eat whole fruits alongside the juices.”
It might be a struggle to stick to the recommended dietary guidelines but the NHS pregnancy guide states that pregnant women should be thinking a lot about what they consume during these nine months, and a healthy lifestyle is vital.
Jenny says: “Freshly prepared juices particularly those that include vegetables alongside fruit, are palatable and provide additional nutrients. Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables are correlated with lower rates of chronic disease, and many people eat way too little of these fresh foods.
“Freshly prepared juices are nutrient rich and help to support the health of both mum and baby.”
Becky says: “My baby was healthy throughout the pregnancy and my birth was seamless. He is 10 months old now and enjoys a small veggie juice with me each morning. I strongly believe his love of juices has prevented any illness, including the common cold.”