Monday, February 11, 2013

Juicing and Pregnancy - A Marriage Made in Heaven?

Learning that you are pregnant is an exciting time. After the initial joy and exuberance, your thoughts quickly turn to both you and your baby's health. You have been accustomed to eating for one and, hopefully, have a healthy and fit lifestyle and are already making sound dietary choices. If not, the news of a brand-new life that is vitally linked to you and dependent upon you to help it survive and thrive will inspire you to do your very best nutritionally.

Juicing and pregnancy combine to help you consume the healthiest food for your baby. Your maternal instinct to care for your baby will prompt you to examine your diet. What type of food should you eat? Are you getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to support both you and the baby? Ideally, you want your baby's growth to proceed normally, without complication. You want every milestone and check-up along the way to delivery to be positive! Better nutrition and a healthy and fit lifestyle will help to ensure this.

Perhaps you are like many who eat on the run and grab quick meals. If so, juicing and pregnancy will seem like a marriage made in heaven! With a juicer and fresh fruits and vegetables, you can prepare delicious drinks that are chock-full of nature's goodness. While your developing child will benefit from better food choices, there is a big health benefit to you as well. Getting the right combinations of vitamins, nutrients and minerals will help fight off morning sickness and fatigue. The increased fiber from consuming healthy fruits and vegetables will reduce or eliminate constipation, and increased iron will battle anemia.

Cooking destroys many valuable nutrients contained in fruits and vegetables, while juicing maintains the health benefit. Also, most people find it hard to consume the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables. Often, we find ourselves in a type of "vegetable rut." With a juicer, you can greatly increase and vary the fruits and vegetables you consume. Here are some suggestions to start. First, to boost iron, anti-oxidants, folic acid and flavonoids, you will want to include spinach and asparagus. Asparagus actually contains an ingredient, glutathione, that your developing infant literally craves for cell production.

Another great addition to your juice is tomato, which provides both calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Carrots are another popular choice as they provides a wealth of nutrients, but use caution due to their sugar content. This caution applies also to fruit juices. You will want to concentrate more heavily on vegetables. You can increase the nutrient value in your healthy drink by adding in a little kale, broccoli or cauliflower. These all contribute calcium, an essential nutrient for the development of healthy bones for your baby.

While these green vegetables juices are healthy, you may not find them initially appealing. If so, just try drinking a smaller amount mixed into another juice, or even water, that you find palpable. For example, mix small amounts of green vegetable juice into orange juice or tomato juice in order to take all the nutrients these greens offer. As your taste buds adjust, dilute it less or not at all. Other fruits and veggies that have particular benefit in pregnancy are watermelon (which helps prevent preeclampsia), beets (especially rich in iron), alfalfa sprouts (bone growth and development), and pears (absorption of calcium).

Experiment with various combinations and let your creativity soar! Try melons, strawberries, citrus fruits, celery, mango, bean sprouts, and others. For those times you just don't feel like eating, or can't, juicing and pregnancy combine wonderfully to keep you on track to providing nutrition for your baby. Just make a healthy drink and sip it slowly to enjoy all the benefits it offers to both you and your developing infant. Start slowly. It may help to write down your health and nutrition goals and review them regularly. You will certainly want to review them with your physician, as with any diet modification in pregnancy.

Juicing and pregnancy, under your physician's supervision, will be both rewarding and satisfying. In fact, you will most likely make this a lifestyle change and continue juicing well after your delivery.

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