Pregnancy is one of the most existing periods of life. Together with the excitement it is usually filled with lots of worries, stress and anxiety. There are various reasons for stress during pregnancy. The diet changes and the doubts about healthy nutrition can cause part of the nervousness during this amazing life period.
Pregnancy Diet Plan
Once you are pregnant, you get lists of restrictions of what you can and cannot eat. The main difficulty is that those restrictions and recommendations are often in conflict with each other. Everyone knows that you need to eat lots of fruits and vegetables to get enough vitamins, but apparently there are some vegetable that you really should avoid during pregnancy. Celery is only one example to those contradictions.
Building an organized healthy diet plan is also very difficult, as the tastes and desires of pregnant women are constantly changing. Supplements for pregnancy are something most pregnant women take at some part of their pregnancy. Fresh self-made juices can be a great addition to the daily vitamin intake as they can easily fulfill most of the vitamin requirements during pregnancy.
The Stages of Pregnancy
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. By dividing the pregnancy into trimesters we can categorize the changes and the requirements of the pregnant body and the ones of the embryo.
Constant nausea and vomiting are the most common and the most unpleasant conditions of the first pregnancy period. Lack of energy, fatigue and sleepiness are also very common during the first trimester.
Consuming enough folic acid during this time is very important to prevent birth defects. Pregnant women should consume at least 400 mcg of folic acid a day.
Vitamin A, C and E and calcium are also important at the first trimester. Although vitamin A is very important, consuming too much of it can lead to birth defects. It is best to get the Vitamin A from carotenoids.
The second trimester is considered to be the easiest trimester since it has the minimum amount of unpleasant conditions. Women may experience heartburn during this trimester.
It is a good time to start consuming iron rich foods and juices. Calcium consumption is important for bones development of the embryo.
During the second trimester some women develop gestational diabetes. If that is the case, the woman with this condition must limit her carbohydrates and sugar consumption. Drinking fruit juices is not recommended for pregnant women who develop diabetes due to high amounts of fructose.
It is very important to consume large amounts of crucial vitamins: Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Calcium. The baby needs calcium for his bones to grow. As the blood volume increases during this trimester many women experience iron deficiency. Not consuming enough iron can cause anemia. Vitamin D consumption reduces the risks of developing pregnancy related complications. Women may experience back pains, leg cramps, swelling, sleeping disorders, bladder infections and more.
Healthy Juice Recipes for Pregnant Women
Beetroot juice is one of the most nutritious juices. It has tons of health benefits and some of them were proven to be very helpful during pregnancy.
- Helps with Constipation
Pregnant women often experience constipation during their pregnancy. It is a common side effect to many iron supplements.
- Helps with Anemia and Iron Deficiency
The fetus requires lots of iron to develop. Many women have low hemoglobin and do not have enough iron stored in their system. Iron supplements are something most pregnant women are asked to take. Moderate amounts of beetroot juice can help in overcoming this deficiency.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be a cause to various dangers during pregnancy. It can decrease the blood flow to the placenta, cause premature delivery and more.
The right way to drink beetroot juice during pregnancy
Although beetroot juice has lots of health benefits it is important to not over drink it. For majority of people the recommended dosage is to drink fresh juice from 1/4 to 2 beetroots a day.
Pregnant women should be more careful and limit the daily dose to about 1/4 or 1/2 max beetroots a day. It is also recommended to mix beetroot juice with other vegetables. Carrots would be ideal in this case, as they are also great for pregnant women.
- Don't forget to add water to lessen the effect a little bit.
- It is also recommended to leave the fresh beetroot juice to rest for about 1 or 2 hours.
Carrot juice is rich in beta carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and more.
- Makes the skin more beautiful
Skin changes are part of the numerous changes the body goes through during pregnancy. Carrot juice is known to have a terrific effect on the skin. It evens the skin tones, hydrates the skin, reduces scarring signs and more.
- Reduces High Blood Pressure
- Good for Hair, Teeth and Nails
- Aids with Digestion
Some of the digestion problems during pregnancy are causes by hormones, others by various pregnancy supplements. The digestion problems can get worse during the later stages of pregnancy due to the pressure the growing uterus applying on the stomach.
The right way to drink carrot juice during pregnancy:
Pregnant women should not drink more than 1 glass of carrot juice a day.
Cucumbers are made mostly of water. They are great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese and more.
- Regulates blood pressure
Minerals and sodium contained in cucumbers help regulate blood pressure.
- Helps tighten the skin
Since the belly is constantly growing, skin tightening effect of the cucumber juice will be exactly what any pregnant woman needs.
- Serves as diuretic and helps prevent swelling
Very useful during the third trimester as swelling start to become a real problem during this pregnancy period.
- Helps with teeth and gum problems
Gum and teeth problems are very common during pregnancy. Cucumber juice helps to neutralize acids.
The right way to drink cucumber juice during pregnancy:
To get good cucumbers for your juice , select the ones that are firm and have a darker color.
Pumpkin juice is rich in Vitamin A , Vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium , potassium and more.
- Helps with constipation
- Helps with swellings due to its diuretic powers
- Helps with nausea during the first pregnancy trimester
- Helps in reducing blood sugar levels
- Helps pregnant women with insomnia
Orange juice is one of the most popular juices on the market. However it is important to prepare your own fresh juice from organic vegetables and not to settle for commercial products which contain unwanted chemicals.
- A great source of vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important vitamin to take during pregnancy. It protects our immune system .
Drinking orange juice together with iron rich foods or vitamins will help iron absorption.
- Good source of folic acid
Folic acid consumption is very important during the first stages of pregnancy. It can prevent various birth defects.
The right way to drink orange juice during pregnancy:
Large amounts of orange juice are not recommended since besides the positive effects it may also cause heartburn.
- Helps with sleeping disorders
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Strengthens the immune system
- Has a positive effect on the skin
The right way to drink orange juice during pregnancy:
Be careful when drinking fruit juice. Since fruits contain fructose, large amount of fruit juice may raise blood sugar levels. That may be an unwanted side effect, especially for women who develop diabetics during their pregnancy.
Half glass of apple juice mixed with water can be considered safe for most pregnant women.
Juicing Tips for Pregnant Women
It is important to notice that drinking undiluted fresh fruit and vegetable juices is not recommended during pregnancy. Undiluted fresh juices have a very powerful effect and might be too much to handle for some of the organs. However adding water to a fresh juice keeps lots of the benefits and makes it easier for the body to handle.
It is best to drink your fruit juices on an empty stomach ( at least 2 hours after a meal and 1 hour before a meal). Vegetable juices can be consumed anytime, but it is advised to drink those about 20 minutes before a meal.
It is important to prepare fresh juices from thoroughly washed organic fruits and vegetables. Organic fruits and vegetables are less likely to contain harmful toxins.
Pregnant women should not go on juice fasts or any other kind of fasts during their pregnancy.
4 Juice Recipes for Pregnancy
Pregnancy Juice with Beet, Carrot and Apple
- 1/2 Beetroot
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Apple
Fresh Cucumber and Apple Juice
- 1 Large Cucumber
- 1/2 Apple
Folate Rich Juice
- 3 Oranges
- 1/2 Apple
Juice to Reduce Blood Pressure
- 2 Carrots
- 1/4 Beetroot
Juicing Related Pregnancy Questions and Answers
- How to lower blood pressure during pregnancy?
High blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous and therefore pregnant women must make sure they do their best to reduce it. Not eating fried and oily food while participating in daily exercises is a good start. Drinking beet juice can also help lower blood pressure during pregnancy. Studies show that beet juice has an immediate effect on the blood pressure.
- What vitamins should I take while pregnant?
Most women take prenatal vitamin complex at some stage of their pregnancy. However with the right diet, many of the vitamins may be consumed naturally. As it was described in the start of the post different vitamins are required at different pregnancy stages. Folic acid is the most important at the first trimester and even before that. Iron is important at the second and third trimester. Calcium is important through all pregnancy stages. Vitamin A, C and D are also very important. Although vitamin A is a must, pregnant women should not consume more than 3,000 mcg of vitamin A.
- What to avoid during pregnancy?
Besides the common "Do not eat while pregnant" list which includes raw fish, raw meat, raw eggs, alcohol, coffee, unpasteurized milk products and so on, there are also some vegetables and herbs that are less recommended during pregnancy.
Celery is one of the most nutritious vegetables, however it might be best to avoid it during pregnancy. Although it is not absolutely clear, many believe that some parts of celery can cause uterus contractions and bleeding.
Many of the herbs are not recommended during pregnancy. High dosages of parsley can stimulate contractions and preterm labor. Rosemary in high does might cause miscarriages. High doses of basil may irritate the uterus.
There are lots of other herbs that might be harmful in large amounts. Most of them however are safe to use in culinary in moderate amounts. Juices which include large amount of herbs as some of the ingredients are not recommended.
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