Is it okay to drink orange juice while pregnant?” This is one of the most common questions that we are regularly asked by our readers. Interestingly, the answer isn’t a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
While the fruit is known to be an extremely healthy addition to any person’s diet chart, it needs to be cautiously consumed by pregnant mothers.
However, before you panic and remove everything orange from your daily diet, it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of having a glass of orange juice every day, and the nutritional value that it brings during your pregnancy.
Are Oranges Safe For You To Consume During Pregnancy?
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Oranges make a great addition to your diet during pregnancy. From a nutritional angle, consuming the fruit as a whole is much better than drinking orange juice.
Store-bought tetra packs can be tempting as you don’t need to squeeze the juice yourself. However, these should be strictly avoided as they contain preservatives that could harm the baby.
Nutritional Value Of Oranges And Benefits Of Orange Juice
On average, a 100 gm serving of orange juice will contain about 45 calories, 0.2 percent fat, 10.4 percent of carbohydrates, and 0.7 gm of protein. Those are well within acceptable levels.
But that’s not it, organic and fresh orange juice also has some nourishing benefits for expecting mums.
Beneficial for the baby
Ripe and fresh oranges are ideal during pregnancy as they help in the development of your baby’s brain. They are loaded with minerals and vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin B6, and reduce the risk of congenital disabilities in babies.
Good for constipation
During pregnancy, constipation can be difficult to cope with, especially in the second and third trimester. Oranges, being rich in soluble and insoluble fibres and cellulose, help in regular bowel movement. They can also tackle problems such as bloating and uneasiness in your stomach.
Tackles kidney related problems
During pregnancy, kidney-related problems can increase due to the extra load on the urogenital system. Kidneys act as filters to remove the toxins from the body and are essential during pregnancy. Oranges can potentially cut down on kidney problems and aid in detoxification.
The Downside Of Drinking Too Much Orange Juice
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There is no denying that oranges are a powerhouse of nutrients and are beneficial for pregnant women. However, oranges do have their side effects. Let’s take a look at them:
Oranges are dense with citric acid. Taking in large amounts of citric acid can give you a sore throat and damage the enamel of your teeth.
They contain a lot of fibre. When consumed in excess, they can give you loose motions and stomach cramps.
This rich fruit can also cause gestational diabetes when consumed in excess as it contains glucose.
Studies prove that since oranges are rich in vitamin C and, if consumed in large amounts, they can potentially lead to preterm labour.
How Much Is Too Much?
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Moderation is key here. If you want the benefits without suffering the side effects, drink the juice in moderation. It is advisable to drink not more than two glasses of orange juice a day.
Now, if these facts have put you off and you wish to try an alternative, there are fruits you can consume that have similar nutritional value and won’t cause any health issues.
What Other Fruits Are Beneficial For You?
Banana: It is a good source of vitamin B6. Studies prove that it helps with the birth weight of the newborn.
Mango: It is rich in iron, therefore, good to counter anaemia. Plus, it is also a good source of fibre.
Kiwi fruit: It is an excellent source of potassium and helps to boost the immune system and contains more vitamin C than oranges.
There is no other feeling quite like carrying a child in your womb. You want what’s best for your baby, and what better way to do it than fill up on good food. So no matter what you eat, consult your doctor for a diet chart and consume everything, in moderation or as advised.