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An Expert’s Guide to Juice and Pregnancy

Juice has grown so ubiquitous in the nutritional universe it should be considered its own food group. But during pregnancy, juicing requires some extra thought. Few people know that better than Kwany Lui, co-founder of Bundle Organics, a brand of juices formulated and prepared specifically for pregnant women. Here, she gives us the lowdown on how to enjoy a rainbow of juice throughout a pregnancy.

Q: Why are juices a good choice for pregnant women?

A: Expecting moms need on average 64 fluid ounces of liquid a day. Water can get a little boring, which is why my co-founder and I wanted to create a healthy alternative to plain-old water for expecting women. Our juices are made with U.S.D.A. organic fruits and veggies and fortified with ob-gyn-recommended nutrients that complement prenatal vitamins. It was a surprise to me to learn that prenatal vitamins won’t necessarily meet 100 percent of your daily vitamin and mineral needs.

Q: What are some of those key nutrients that are found in juices like yours?

A: In addition to providing for your own health, you also need to take in large amounts of extra minerals and vitamins required to grow a healthy baby. This is especially true of calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, which is why we fortify our juices with these minerals and vitamins. They can be hard to get from your diet alone. For instance, prenatal vitamins don’t usually contain essential fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which help develop your baby’s brain, nerve and eye tissues. And calcium is necessary for your baby’s bones and teeth and is needed most in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, when bone formation occurs. A daily total of 1,200 milligrams of elemental calcium is recommended during pregnancy; however, a prenatal vitamin contains around 150 to 200 milligrams and an eight-ounce glass of skim milk provides only 30 milligrams.

Q: Juice cleanses: Is pregnancy the time for them?

A: Absolutely not. When you fast, your body uses the energy to cleanse toxins faster than normal and many would argue that that is not an ideal environment for your growing baby. Additionally, most juice cleanses are raw or fresh-pressed, which is not recommended for expecting women.

Q: What is it about those raw, unprocessed juices?

A:An ob-gyn will tell pregnant women to avoid unpasteurized juices. When fruits and vegetables are cut to be juiced, bacteria from the outside of the peel can be transferred to the edible portion of the produce. Expecting moms should always check the labels on their juices to ensure they have been pasteurized. If you juice at home, just make sure you clean your produce thoroughly—I use a fruit and vegetable wash like Fit—and drink it immediately.

Q: There is a lot of controversy swirling over the effects of processes like HPP (high-pressure processing) and pasteurization on fresh juices. Is the nutrient density in processed juices still high enough to warrant choosing them over whole foods?

A: It really depends on the type of pasteurization being used. We use a process called flash pasteurization, which helps preserves the nutrition, quality and taste without compromising safety. More traditional forms of heat pasteurization fill a juice bottle with juice and then heat everything up for a long period of time to make the product safe. The juice is already in the bottle at the point of pasteurization, so the whole process is heated for a longer period of time in order to clean the bottle and the juice. We pasteurize the juice before it is bottled, which enables a time-heat relationship that is better for nutrient preservation and taste. Then the juice is filled into bottles in a completely sterile environment. Sterilizing the bottle separately from the juice allows us to pasteurize it with less damage to quality.

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