As expecting moms, we’re often told what we can and cannot consume during pregnancy. Some of these nutritional guidelines are quite outdated and unclear while leaving us questioning the viability of information given. As I ebbed + flowed through the endless guidelines, I would often find myself thinking, if expecting moms can drink soda while pregnant, I should be able to drink fresh pressed vegetables right?
During my first trimester, I experienced some extreme food aversions. Extreme in the sense that some of the things I could no longer tolerate were food choices I had consumed on a daily basis before getting pregnant. One of these has continued to linger throughout my pregnancy, and even though my body lets me enjoy it from time to time, seared greens [of all varieties] has become one of the more significant aversions I’ve experienced.
When it comes to food, what I eat is a huge reflection of how I feel and what I can provide my body with through my daily meals. Losing the ability to eat seared greens once, and sometimes twice a day, was something I really struggled with.
I eat healthy for a reason [or several], and now it seems even more crucial that I pack my diet with the most nutrient-dense foods. After all, the food we consume are the building blocks to our health and now I was growing a human with the help of those same nutrients.
What do I do without my greens?
I found early on when the aversions to seared greens began that I could replace this food group with fresh pressed green juice and didn’t seem to avert from it at all. In fact, my body began to crave my daily green juice, and I honored it throughout my entire first trimester. Well into my second trimester, I continue to indulge in various green juices a week.
This particular consumption sparked concern with a handful of friends and colleagues as it’s commonly understood that pressed juice isn’t safe for expecting women due to its lack of pasteurization. In stating that I’ve consumed pressed juice throughout my pregnancy and in large quantities for that matter, it’s also important to include that I am extremely picky about where my juice comes from and only consume juice from two local sources in Boulder. Both sources juice only organic fruit and veggies, and I always make sure I drink the juice within 24 hours of it being juiced.
In wanting to shed a little light on the whole “pressed juice isn’t safe for expecting women” conversation, I sought out detailed information from our in-house master nutritionist, Sarah Jane Sandy.
Sarah was quick to support my decision in enjoying the juice but as usual, also very thorough in her explanation of her guidelines on juicing during pregnancy.
Sarah’s advice is simple:
“Fresh pressed juices can be safe during pregnancy, but there are a few things to be aware of! It’s recommended that pregnant women skip the fresh juice provided at juice bars, restaurants, and other places that sell fresh pressed juice because the juice is unpasteurized. The problem with unpasteurized juices during pregnancy is that if the fruit and vegetables are not properly washed, then it’s possible to get sick from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli.
Pregnancy changes your body, including your immune system, in many ways. You are more vulnerable to illnesses, including food-borne illnesses. Not only can these pathogens harm you, but many of these can harm your fetus. When it comes to your unborn child, it’s always better to play it safe. Store-bought juices are “safe,” but they do not contain the nutrients and enzymes your body needs because they’ve been heavily heated and processed. With proper handling, juicing during your pregnancy can be done safely from home.”
Here are some tips for juicing at home safely:
- Always choose organically grown produce to reduce your exposure to pesticides. Prioritize by referring to the “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen” lists when shopping at the store.
- Wash and scrub your produce thoroughly in a food-grade hydrogen peroxidase wash or specified fruit and vegetable wash, even if you purchase organic.
- If juicing with a slow (masticating) juicer, store your freshly pressed juice in a glass container with an airtight lid. Store it for no longer than 48 hours. When using a fast (centrifugal) juicer, it is best to drink your juice right away. You can store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator, but for no longer than 24 hours, sometimes less depending on the produce.
So when making nutrition decisions that differ from the standard “pregnancy guidelines” make sure you’re well educated and speak to a professional before you consume. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and shop around for the best quality ingredients. Always choosing companies that operate with a high sense of integrity is going to be the best at keeping you and baby healthy is undoubtedly number one.
As for enjoying a juice and working through a potential food aversion that can offer support to yours and baby’s bodies, I say Drink Up! Just make sure that you follow the guidelines that Sarah recommends above and always listen to your body.
To learn how you can work directly with Sarah, visit her website at www.sarahjanesandy.com