Cranberries are not only delectable but also a nutrient powerhouse. They are taken in the form of drinks, sauces, desserts, and not to forget as fresh juice.
Cranberry juice is used as a traditional remedy to prevent UTIs (urinary tract infections). UTIs are most common during pregnancy as the growing uterus and roller coaster hormones lead to a relaxed and full bladder, making UTI easier.
Before starting to drink Cranberry juice to ease the symptoms of UTI during pregnancy, it is important to know whether it is safe to be consumed during pregnancy.
Is Cranberry Juice Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes, drinking cranberry juice during pregnancy is completely safe, till it is consumed in moderation.
Cranberry is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols.
Research shows cranberry juice is safe for the mother and the little one.(1) It can be safely consumed during all the trimesters of pregnancy.
Cranberry juice prevents the bacteria from sticking to the sides of the bladder and urinary tract. This prevents their growth as they cannot find a suitable place to grow. Cranberry juice cannot treat or stop UTI, once you have contracted the infection, but can surely prevent it.
Once you get the UTI, it should be medically treated as it can lead to serious complications in pregnancy.
One study compared the effect of cranberry with placebo during pregnancy in 188 females. It was found, the participant who drank cranberry juice everyday has a 57 percent reduction in bacteria in their urine.(2)
Benefits of Cranberry Juice During Pregnancy
Cranberries are rich in vitamin C and fiber and can be beneficial.
These red berries are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols and have brain-boosting and heart-healthy properties.
Prevents Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection is a common complaint during pregnancy. Drinking cranberry juice can be helpful in preventing it.
Reduces Kidney Stones
The immune system of the body becomes slightly weak during pregnancy. Cranberries being rich in antioxidants can help fight infection. It also helps cut down the bad cholesterol from the body.(4)
Improves Oral Health
NDM (non-dialysable material), is a molecule present in cranberries that can be effective in preventing dental caries.
Prevents Stomach Ulcers
Cranberries can prevent bacteria (H.pylori) from sticking to the walls of the stomach. This bacterium can be responsible for causing stomach ulcers and this can be prevented by eating cranberries and drinking its juice.
Side Effects Of Cranberry Juice
Cranberry can be used to prevent UTI during pregnancy.
If you get UTI, it is important to get it treated by a doctor, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Any kind of bacterial infection in the bladder can increase the risk of kidney infection during pregnancy.
If not treated, females with bacteria in their urine develop kidney infection in later trimesters.(5)
Some cranberry juices have a large amount of sugar added to them. Limiting sugar intake during pregnancy is very important to prevent gestational diabetes.
Cranberry Supplements During Pregnancy
Cranberry supplements can have a similar effect as drinking cranberry juice during pregnancy.(6)
Although cranberry capsules just like other natural supplements are monitored by food and drug administration, but are not strictly regulated and arenot always safe and effective. Always consult a doctor if thinking of starting any new supplement.
Cranberry juice is safe to be consumed during pregnancy, both for the mother and the infant. It can keep a check on the bacteria and prevent urinary tract infection, kidney infection, and other related complications during pregnancy.
Also remember, cranberry juice can prevent UTI. If you already have the infection, you need medical treatment to correct it and to prevent it from complicating.
Go for regular pregnancy check-ups and inform your doctor about the UTI symptoms, if suffering from it.