Why am I craving orange juice during pregnancy? 5 possible reasons

While it is normal to crave certain fruits and juices during pregnancy, you might be wondering why you’re craving orange juice. 

Craving orange juice during pregnancy is usually a sign of a deficiency in glucose or Vitamin C, and it could also result from stress, sleep deprivation, and hormonal changes.

Below, I have explained five likely reasons you’re craving orange juice during pregnancy.

Most likely reasons for craving orange juice 

1. Vitamin C deficiency

Oranges are one of the most common citrus fruits, and they contain lots of C vitamins. If you’re deficient in vitamin C, your body may begin to crave orange juice since it’s one of the richest sources.

Drinking a glass of orange juice can go a long way to restoring your vitamin C levels. We recommend you opt for pure and natural orange juice for maximum benefits.

2. Low sugar

Orange juice contains lots of sugar, which is required to keep your energy level maximum. If you suddenly begin to crave orange juice, it may signify that you’re low on energy and your body needs to be revitalized.

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Additionally, orange juice contains many calories; one cup (240ml) of orange juice contains about 110 calories, providing more energy for your daily activities. 

While you enjoy orange juice, keep your sugar consumption in check.

3. Dehydration

Most often than not, juice cravings are caused by dehydration. If you’re low on fluid, your body may crave orange juice or other liquids to fulfill your daily fluid requirement.

Since oranges have a refreshing and satisfying taste, your body may crave them more to rehydrate your body and appetize your taste buds. That said, water is always a better alternative whenever you are dehydrated.

4. Stress

Stress might be the reason you are craving orange juice. If you’re depressed or have sleep problems, your body’s ghrelin level may become slightly elevated, and this can cause a craving for sweets or sugary foods like orange juice.

If you often experience stress, we recommend regular exercises, meditation, and yoga. These activities can help ward off tension and minimize its impact on your health, especially during pregnancy.

Side note: Ghrelin is a hormone that regulates your appetite and food intake, and it is also referred to as the hunger hormone. 

5. Gut bacteria

The rise in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy alters the gut function and bacterial composition, and gut bacteria influence your appetite and food preference.

As a result, you may crave foods that help support certain nutrients or bacteria (such as those found in orange juice).

Benefits of drinking orange juice during pregnancy

Boosts immunity

Taking orange juice during pregnancy can help boost the mother and fetus’s immunity and combat allergies that come with pregnancy. 

This happens because oranges are rich in Vitamin C, which enhances the proper functioning of the immune system and reduces the severity of allergic reactions.

Can help maintain blood pressure

The high potassium content in oranges can help regulate blood pressure levels in pregnant women and provide relief from hypertension.

It can help prevent constipation

Orange juices are rich in fiber and cellulose, which help regularize bowel movement and cure constipation, a common pregnancy problem.

Perfect for the skin

Oranges are potent antioxidants. Drinking orange juice can help prevent acne and eliminate tan from the skin.

Perfect for your unborn baby

The folate content in oranges can assist in forming your baby’s brain cells and tissues, thus preventing any brain or spinal cord abnormalities in the fetus. 

How to make orange juice at home

Pasteurized orange juice with no additives or preservatives is a great snack for pregnant women.

To make orange juice at home, use the following steps:

  • Extract the orange juice with a juice extractor or blender and transfer it into a large pot. 
  • Place the pot on the stove and heat the mixture over high heat. Stir often as it heats.
  • Check the temperature once the juice starts simmering. To be considered pasteurized, it needs to reach 71 °C (160 °F).
  • Then transfer the juice to an already heated jar.

You could also squeeze juice from fresh oranges for a refreshing drink. 

Healthy fruit juice alternatives for pregnancy

The following fruit juices possess similar nutritional composition as orange juice and can help satisfy your craving. 

Feel free to try any of them; they are also safe to consume during pregnancy.

  • Lemon juice
  • Strawberry juice
  • Beetroot juice 
  • Guava juice 
  • Carrot juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Apple juice

Frequently asked questions

Is orange juice good for pregnancy?

Pasteurized orange juice is a perfect juice for pregnant women, and it provides several health benefits to the mother and fetus.

What are the side effects of orange juice?

Excessive consumption of orange juice can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

What types of oranges are best for orange juice?

We recommend Valencia oranges for the best orange juice, followed by naval oranges and tangerines.

Is orange juice acidic or basic?

Orange juice is mildly acidic, with a pH of around 3.5.

How much orange juice should I have a day?

Pregnant women can have up to two glasses of orange juice daily. 

Can orange juice make you fat?

Orange juice is relatively low in fats and calories and may be an excellent additive for a weight loss diet.

What does orange juice do to a fetus?

Drinking orange juice during pregnancy can help develop your baby’s brain, thus reducing the risk of congenital malformation in babies.

When is the best time to drink orange juice?

It is best to enjoy orange juice during the first half of your day, and this will help provide you with energy for your daily activities.

Conclusion

Orange juice offers numerous benefits to pregnant women and will help you get back in shape post-delivery. However, be sure not to over-consume them as they can cause excessive birth weight in your baby if taken in huge quantities. 

Overall, we recommend checking with your doctor before adding orange juice to your everyday meals.