Drinking green tea during pregnancy is generally considered safe, as long as the intake is limited to one or tw cups a day. Though it is not necessary to stop drinking green tea whilst you are pregnant, but it should be noted that it too contains caffeine, though in lesser in quantities and hence requires cautionary intake.
What is Green Tea?
Not most of you are aware that green tea actually comes from the same tenacious normal tea plant–Camellia sinensis. The difference is in the processing of tea leaves. The regular black tea is derived by fermenting leaves of the plant. This fermenting process alters the color, flavor and enhances the tannin and caffeine levels in it. On the contrary green tea leaves are not fermented instead they are dried or steamed. This is the reason it appears green upon brewing.
Is Green Tea Healthy?
The nutritional value of green tea is quite high. Besides it’s distinctive taste, stimulating effect and bitterness caused by presence of caffeine, it is enriched with tannin’s or Catechin Polyphenols compounds that give it it’s unique bitter taste. The Catechin chemical compounds include epicatechin, catechin, ECG (Epicatechin Gallate) and many Pro-Anthocyanidins commonly called the flavonoids.
Not only are the flavonoids effective antioxidants, but they also contains amino acids like thiamine which accounts for its characteristic flavor. Various important vitamins such as vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3 and E are also found in large amounts in green tea. All these constitute for its amazing health benefits.
Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is considered as a healthy drink and a good alternative for ‘tea-holics’. It contains good amount of antioxidants –the chemicals concerned with prevention of cell damage. They are also helpful in protecting heart diseases, diabetes and soaring blood pressure. Following are the unmatched benefits stemming from green tea:
Healthy for bones and teeth: Besides giving a pleasant taste, it also strengthens your bones and teeth
Boosts immunity: Green tea enhances your immunity and keeps you protected against microbes. The Catechins found in green tea strengthen your body’s natural defense mechanism
Prevents halitosis: The Catechins take care of the toxins released by micro organisms and checks the foul mouth odor and tooth decay
Astringency action: Green tea has amazing astringency properties and stimulates muscular contractions and tones up the skin and muscles. You can use green tea as mouthwash to keep teeth and gums tight and avoid their loosening. Hair, if washed with green tea is seen to grow healthier and stronger
Reduces Cholesterol: this is another important function of green tea. It is believed that the alkalinity of the tea is responsible for cholesterol reduction
Weight Loss: green tea is ideal for weight loss because it increase your metabolism rate and prevents storage of fat in body tissues. So drink one or two cups of green tea in the morning and you will surely she doff few kilos in a week
Anti-aging: Aging is primarily caused by the release of free radicals which corrode the body in more than one way. Anti-oxidants combat and neutralize the free radicals or oxidants and retard the aging process. The Catechin Polyphenols particularly the Epigallocatechin Gallate, found in green tea are largely responsible for its anti-oxidant effect. So, regular intake of green tea can delay and postpone aging
Detoxifying action: Green tea is the most popularly recommended beverage to get rid of fatigue and hangover resulting from alcohol consumption
Is Green Tea A Stimulant?
The age old reason for tea consumption is its stimulating effect. The tannin’s and caffeine present in tea leaves is responsible for the stimulating effect.
Tea is the ideal answer to wade off laziness and lethargy. Drink a cup of brewing tea and you are on! All the used up energy is regained and you become revitalized. However, when pregnant, stimulants can have adverse effects on you and the baby, and hence it is advised to limit the same. Stimulants also put additional load on the liver, which is already too occupied with the pregnancy hormones.
Is Green Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women can have green tea but just a cup or two. There is nothing wrong with it. The problem arises when intake increases and more caffeine reaches your body. Below points will help you understand the effects:
Caffeine In Green Tea
Caffeine is found in cola, energy drinks, chocolate and soft drinks, besides tea and coffee. The amount of caffeine in green tea is slightly less than in normal tea, so just a cup or two of green tea should be fine. Pregnant women are advised to limit your caffeine intake and keep it within 200 mg per day. A cup of green tea would contain approximately 40 to 50 milligrams of caffeine. Avoid drinking too much green tea as it can result in adverse effects. The side effects concerned with green tea are very much identical to the adverse effects caused by over consumption of black tea or white tea. The caffeine and tannin’s are harmful substances if taken in high quantities. Caffeine can increase your blood pressure and also have addictive quality. It is toxic in nature and can harm your nervous system. Caffeine, being a diuretic, also affects the water in your body and can affect the hydration levels –which are crucial to the body. More on caffeine during pregnancy here
Green Tea In First Trimester Of Pregnancy
Having too much green tea affects the folic acid absorption in the body, which is in fact a very vital nutrient during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It would be best to avoid heavy consumption of green tea during initial stages of pregnancy. Some research also claims that mothers who have a huge intake of green tea at conception run the chances of having a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
Other Effects Of Too Much Green Tea
Prolonged use of green tea can lead to disturbed sleep, insufficient sleep, annoyance, restlessness, headaches, irritability, increased blood pressure, decreased appetite, constipation, muscular spasm and serious caffeine addiction.
Enriched with antioxidants green tea has acquired a prestigious place among all forms of beverages. In recent times, it has gained widespread global popularity and acceptance. Owing to its undeniable health benefits, its consumers are increasing every day.