Sugarcane Juice During Pregnancy: 9 Health Benefits, And Precautions To Take

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As an expectant mom, you are probably watchful of your eating habits and careful about what you choose to eat and drink daily. If you are thinking of drinking sugarcane juice during pregnancy but are unsure whether it is good for you, this post is for you.

Sugarcane juice is not only nutritious but also healthy and is a great drink to satiate any sweet cravings. Read on to learn about the benefits of drinking sugarcane juice during pregnancy and the precautions to take.

What Does Sugarcane Contain?

Sugarcane is a variety of tall perennial grasses native to the tropical areas of New Guinea and Southeast Asia, usually in places where warm temperature prevails (1). It is primarily used to produce sugar. However, its processing provides some valuable by-products such as molasses and bagasse too.

Sugarcane is rich in essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C. Also, it is a rich source of soluble fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that make sugarcane juice a nutritious drink, provided you are making it fresh and in hygienic conditions (2).

Is Sugarcane Safe During Pregnancy?

Consume freshly made sugarcane juice during pregnancy

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Yes, sugarcane juice is safe to consume during pregnancy. However, consult your doctor if you have gestational diabetes, as the risks are usually associated with your glucose tolerance levels (3).

If you are going for the packaged juice, do a quick quality check by reading the label for ingredients, nutritive content, preservatives, and shelf life. In any case, it is always better to consume freshly made sugarcane juice during pregnancy. You can also make it at home if you have a juicing machine.

How To Make Sugarcane Juice?

It is pretty easy to make fresh, flavorsome, and wholesome sugarcane juice in just three steps.

  1. Squeeze the stalks of sugarcane through a juicing machine
  2. Strain the juice in a glass
  3. Now comes the best part: add your favorite ingredients such as lemon juice, mint leaves, black salt, or ginger to enhance its taste.
Quick tip
Use sugarcane juice to make desserts, such as sorbet, ice cream, or kheer, to minimize the need for refined sugar.

This sweet and tasty glass of sugarcane juice would be perfect to meet your pregnancy cravings. Besides satisfying your sweet cravings, sugarcane also offers plenty of benefits in pregnancy.

Benefits Of Sugarcane Juice During Pregnancy

As an expectant mother, you can relish sugarcane juice for the following reasons.

  1. Strengthens immune system: Antioxidants in fresh sugarcane juice strengthen the immune system and help in fighting against infections, flu, and cold during pregnancy. It also maintains the bilirubin levels and protects the liver. A strong immune system is not only good for the mother but also safeguards the health of the baby inside the womb (4).
Fresh sugarcane juice strengthen the immune system

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  1.  Wards off morning sickness: Morning sickness is a common symptom experienced by pregnant women. However, drinking sugarcane juice with a bit of ginger will help reduce this concern (5).
  1. Boosts energy: If you are feeling weak and need a quick supply of energy, a glass of sugarcane juice could help. The sucrose content in sugarcane juice helps to heighten the energy levels, re-hydrates the body, quenches thirst and will also restock the lost levels of sugar (6) (7).
  1. Fights urinary tract infections: Urinary tract infections are common during the pregnancy phase. Sugarcane juice, being a natural antioxidant and a good source of minerals, helps you fight UTI. Its consumption is also helpful to treat other diseases such as kidney stones and jaundice (8).
  1. Promotes fetal health: Sugarcane juice is a rich source of protein, which is good for both the baby’s and mother’s health. Also, it contains folic acid or vitamin B9 which is known to reduce the risks related to congenital disabilities including spina bifida that can cause learning difficulties, bowel problems, and movement issues as well (9) (10).
  1. Keeps weight in check: Excessive weight gain is a common concern for pregnant women. The polyphenol compounds present in sugarcane juice help in boosting the metabolism and maintaining your weight (2).
Sugarcane juice during pregnancy helps in maintaining weight

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  1. Cures skin concerns: Acne can become worse during pregnancy due to the increased estrogen levels. Glycolic acid, commonly found in sugar cane, is known to treat acne effectively. So, drinking a glass of sugarcane juice will help you get rid of acne issues (11).
  1. Keeps dental issues at bay: Another common concern during pregnancy is bad breath and tooth decay. Drinking sugarcane juice regularly can prevent dental issues as it contains magnesium and calcium in good amounts (2).
  1. Helps to relieve constipation: A lot of pregnant women suffer from indigestion and constipation. Including sugarcane juice in your routine diet can help combat the issue. Also, you can get rid of stomach infections (12).

Although drinking sugarcane juice when you are pregnant can be beneficial for your health, it does not mean you can have it more than you should.

Precautions With Sugarcane Juice During Pregnancy

Ask your doctor before consuming sugarcane juice during pregnancy

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Sugarcane juice is good for pregnancy. However, it should be consumed in limited quantities. In case you have diabetes, it is better to seek advice from your doctor before consumption. Last but not least, make sure your glass of juice is prepared fresh and in hygienic conditions. Otherwise, you may have to deal with unpleasant consequences such as food poisoning.

Did you know?
Sugarcane and its juice are believed to cause excessive maternal weight gain and difficulty in deliveries. Thus, it is considered a taboo food during pregnancy in some cultures (14).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I drink stored sugarcane juice when pregnant?

Fresh sugarcane juice only stays suitable for a few hours and may spoil afterward. Hence, if you wish to drink sugarcane juice, opt for fresh juice and drink it as soon as possible. If you choose to drink store-bought sugarcane juice, check the ingredient list and avoid products containing artificial ingredients. It is advisable to check the ingredients with your medical advisor. Also, do not forget to check the expiry date of the drink.

2. What are the side effects of sugarcane juice during pregnancy?

The sugarcane juice’s sugar content could spike blood sugar levels, resulting in several complications such as ketoacidosis (13). Hence, it is recommended that pregnant women with gestational diabetes avoid it.

3. Does sugarcane juice cause miscarriage?

Mya Bellinger, a medical practitioner, specializing in internal medicine, immunology, and gynecology, says, “Sugar cane juice is safe to drink and does not cause miscarriage. However, a glass is fine as it is high in sugar and may not be good if consumed in excess amounts.”

Having sugarcane juice during pregnancy provides you with a rich source of essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Consuming freshly made sugarcane juice is preferred to opting for the packaged drink to avoid consuming extra sugar and preservatives from it. Sugarcane is also known to help relieve the signs of constipation, boost energy, prevent signs of UTI, and deal with morning sickness. However, if you have gestational diabetes or are prone to it due to genetics, get your doctor’s advice before including sugarcane in your diet.

References:

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  1. A Singh U R Lal et al.; Phytochemical profile of sugarcane and its potential health aspects; Pharmacognosy Review (2015)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441162/
  2. Raw Sugarcane Juice: The Next Big Health Trend?; Jew World Order.
    https://www.jewworldorder.org/raw-sugarcane-juice-the-next-big-health-trend/
  3. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus; American Diabetes Association Diabetes Care (2003)
    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/suppl_1/s103
  4. U S Kadam S B Ghosh et al.; Antioxidant activity in sugarcane juice and its protective role against radiation induced DNA damage; Food Chemistry (2007)
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234059251_Antioxidant_activity_in_sugarcane_juice_and_its_protective_role_against_radiation_induced_DNA_damage
  5. M Wang; More Than Acupuncture: Questions and Answers about Chinese Medicine; Page 232
    https://books.google.co.in/books?id=PBJZDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA232&lpg=PA232&dq=sugarcane+for+nausea&source=bl&ots=VYjm8mzvH_&sig=ACfU3U1B3Guyv3F15T0yvvXf2db0STAVYg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8qomMjpPgAhXKdCsKHTYwBCk4FBDoATABegQIBRAB#v=onepage&q=sugarcane%20for%20nausea&f=false
  6. M S Rahman; Chewing Sugarcane Production: An Approach to Combat Malnutrition and Poverty; Bangladesh Sugarcrop Research Institute
    https://fscluster.org/sites/default/files/documents/chewing_cane_prsentation_final_fsc_com.pdf
  7. Sucrose; NIH
    https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5988
  8. M F Abdallah R Krska et al.; Mycotoxin Contamination in Sugarcane Grass and Juice: First Report on Detection of Multiple Mycotoxins and Exposure Assessment for Aflatoxins B1 and G1 in Humans; Toxins (2016)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127139/
  9. Why do I need folic acid in pregnancy; NHS
    https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/why-do-i-need-folic-acid-in-pregnancy/
  10. Anna; ZHÈ JIĀNG – SUGARCANE JUICE; Moveable Feasts
    http://www.sh-streetfood.org/zhe-jiang-sugarcane-juice-柘浆(甘蔗汁)/
  11. B Stokes; Is Glycolic Acid Safe And Effective In The Treatment Of Mild to Moderate Acne?; Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (2013)
    https://digitalcommons.pcom.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1194&context=pa_systematic_reviews
  12. M Manohar; Ayurveda For All: Effective ayurvedic self cure for common and chronic ailments; Page 65
    https://books.google.co.in/books?id=k443DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA65&lpg=PA65&dq=sugarcane+relieves+constipation&source=bl&ots=7cB9SUGmmG&sig=ACfU3U0jC83NWaawV_hwJ-OkYWvCBhGwJQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjX4rvWkJXgAhXdh3AKHYCHDY44ChDoATADegQIBxAB#v=onepage&q=sugarcane%20relieves%20constipation&f=false
  13. Diabetes During Pregnancy;
    https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=diabetes-and-pregnancy-90-P02444#
  14. Dereje Tsegaye et al.; (2021); Food-related taboos and misconceptions during pregnancy among rural communities of Illu Aba Bor zone, Southwest Ethiopia. A community-based qualitative cross-sectional study.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8052673/
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Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different...
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Dr. Anita Gupta

(MS)
Dr Anita Gupta is currently working in University College of Medical Sciences (Medical School) & Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi. She has been practicing as a gynecologist & obstetrician for the past 31 years and as a lactation consultant for 18 years. Dr. Gupta is a fellow of Indian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and a master trainer and course...
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