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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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
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.
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.
Some people believe it is unsafe. It contains a number of herbs which can cause side effects. However, moderate intake is safe.
If you drink too much of it, yes. The caffeine content can affect the pregnancy. Limited intake can be beneficial.
Pregnancy causes sleep disturbance in many. the caffeine in green tea can stimulate your brain. This can worsen your sleeping problem.
Green tea does not contain milk. Milk can cause indigestion in pregnant women. Some green teas can irritate your stomach.
May 08, 2015
May 08, 2015