When you are pregnant there are a number of changes that you need to make in your diet. Including healthy foods and omitting certain ones are essential for the health of the mother and the child. There is a lot of debate about the effects of green tea during pregnancy. Women are often confused whether it is actually good to consume this herbal drink or keep away from it during pregnancy.
Containing powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols and EGCG, green tea is known to be extremely beneficial for the human body. It helps lower cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, decreases risk of cancer and heart diseases and boosts the immune system to enable it to fight against diseases. Moreover for people wanting to lose weight, green tea is a boon as this herbal tea increases thermogenesis and helps in dissolving fatty tissues.
In pregnancy, green tea can help reduce problems related to gum diseases and tooth decay. Moreover green tea helps to keep the high blood sugar levels during pregnancy in check. The rise in the blood sugar levels in pregnancy are related to obesity and type 2 diabetes and this can be effectively controlled by moderate consumption of green tea.
High blood cholesterol levels, risk of infections due to a weak immune system and constipation are some of the common problems that afflict pregnant women. Green tea is known to keep these common pregnancy problems at bay.
Unfortunately even with its host of benefits, green tea does have a number of side effects that can harm the unborn baby. EGCG (epigallocatechins) present in green tea that help in fighting cancer and heart diseases can affect the body’s power to absorb folates.
The levels of folate in the body are not only essential for conception but also helps keep anemia at bay during pregnancy thus ensuring a safe pregnancy. Moreover research has linked depletion of folic acid levels that helps prevent neural tube defects with the excessive consumption of green tea.
One of the primary reasons why doctors discourage green tea during pregnancy is due to the presence of tannic acid and caffeine in this tea. While the caffeine content in green tea is considerably less as compared to coffee, excessive consumption can lead to the caffeine crossin the placenta and reaching the baby.
Since the fetus is unable to metabolize the caffeine it can lead to a host of problems in pregnancy. Excess caffeine consumption is linked with fertility problems, an increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and chances of still birth.