Cranberry Juice: Is It Beneficial and Safe For Pregnant Women?
As a pregnant mother, eating healthy and natural foods is one of the best things to do if you want to achieve a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. The last thing that you would want is to compromise the health of your baby and yourself. However, you must also determine whether what you eat and drink is safe for you – even if the food is organic.
So, is cranberry juice beneficial and safe for pregnant women?
Cranberries contain a lot of nutrients. Thus, in general, you’ll surely get a lot of health benefits, eating it, or drinking its extract. However, cranberries may be contraindicated to some.
To know whether cranberry juice is right for you, let’s talk first about the health benefits you can get from a cranberry juice.
Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Pregnant or not, cranberry extracts have been traditionally used in treating urinary tract infections (UTI). And Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is a common complication during pregnancy. Leaving it untreated may lead to kidney infection, which may cause early labor and low birth weight.
Drinking cranberry juice will help you prevent acquiring UTI during pregnancy. One study suggests that the ingestion of cranberry has a protective effect against UTI in pregnancy. Not only cranberries are nearly 90% water, but it’s also packed with vitamin C, which makes it an excellent snack to stay hydrated and fight against bacteria.
And with regards to its safety, a 2013 study revealed that drinking cranberry juice showed no signs of increased risk of stillbirth, early labor, or any malformations. However, maternal vaginal bleeding can occur and should be investigated further.
Improves Digestive Health
According to a 2018 research, cranberry juice can inhibit the colonization of H. pylori in the stomach. If the growth of this bacteria goes out of control, stomach ulcers may form.
Moreover, constipation is also common in pregnant women. Cranberries are primarily composed of carbs and fiber, which can definitely aid constipation in pregnancy.
Acts As An Antioxidant
Since pregnant women have an altered immune system, you are more likely to get an infection if you are not more cautious with what you eat and with your hygiene.
But, drinking cranberry juice might help you fight some bacterial infection. A 2011 study found that cranberries can inhibit the growth of seven bacterial microbes.
Improves Oral Health
Due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, pregnant women are prone to oral health problems. But, scientists also found that cranberries contain nutrients that can protect the teeth against harmful bacteria in the mouth. The natural compound found in cranberries called polyphenols prevents the harmful bacteria from sticking to the teeth and gums, which help reduce tooth decay and gum disease in expectant mothers.
However, it’s also vital to remember that cranberries also contain natural sugars, which can cause tooth problems when consumed frequently and in high amounts.
Unfortunately, It’s Not For Everyone
While cranberry juice is beneficial to pregnant women, unfortunately, it’s not for everyone. Researchers found that cranberries may interact with particular medication and intensify the effect of blood thinners, such as Warfarin.
And although the American Pregnancy Association recommends cranberry juice to prevent UTI in pregnancy, they strongly suggest to avoid it if you are taking blood-thinners, for it may lead to bleeding.
There’s no doubt that cranberries and cranberry juice are beneficial, especially to pregnant women. It can boost the immune system, which expectant moms really need. However, as mentioned above, it’s not for everyone. Some may experience vaginal bleeding, especially if you are taking blood-thinner medications.
If you really want to boost your immune system, then take probiotics instead. Science has already proven that probiotics – the friendly bacteria that fight the harmful bacteria in the body – can boost the immune system and are beneficial to pregnant women.
Consult your doctor about whether or not you should limit or avoid cranberry juice and ask what probiotics you should take to have a healthy pregnancy.
About The Author
As a nurse, Franchette Agatha Jardin wants to spread to the world the ways on how to achieve a healthy body through probiotics. If she recommends something-or anything!-it’s because she already tried it!