The Real Reason You Shouldn't Drink Fresh-Squeezed Juice When Pregnant

There seems to be a lot of things that are off-limits when you're expecting ⁠— like multiple types of delicious cheeses, deli meats, rare tender steak, sushi, and the list goes on. Avoiding these items and knowing what not to eat becomes really challenging when you're eating for two. To make matters even more confusing, there's some items you just wouldn't guess were harmful for you and your growing baby. For instance, you would think fresh juice that's packed with vitamins would be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, that's not always the case. 

Sadly, your go-to green drink that's full of nutrients, is likely unpasteurized. According to The Bump, pasteurization is a technique that entails heating items at a specific temperature so it kills harmful bacteria. Fruits and vegetables that haven't gone through the process can carry bacteria like salmonella. Unfortunately, when you're a mama-to-be, contracting this can sometimes impact your unborn child. WebMD reports that it puts your baby at a much higher risk for serious complications like meningitis. If that's not enough reason to avoid that fresh juice smoothie at the farmer's market, there's another serious problem to consider.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can carry a harmful parasite

The FDA warns that you can also get toxoplasma from fresh juice. That's because toxoplasma is a parasite that can be hiding on unwashed fruits and vegetables. And when the produce is cut, the parasite can find its way inside and into juices. This can be especially bad if it's ingested by an expectant mother, because the parasite has been shown to cause hearing loss, intellectual disability, and blindness in babies, according to the FDA. And if you think this doesn't impact a lot of people, you might be surprised. The American Journal of Epidemiology reports that 85 percent of pregnant women are in danger of becoming infected with toxoplasmosis.

But after all of this, if you still find yourself needing to get your juice fix, it is possible to enjoy it safely while you're pregnant. If you make your own fresh-squeezed juice, the FDA recommends washing all of the fruits and veggies you use under running water — especially cantaloupe and other melons that require cutting or peeling. It's also important to cut away damaged or bruised areas, where bacteria can thrive. Using a small vegetable brush is also wise, ensuring you've removed any surface dirt.