Green tea has become known as a wonder beverage over the last years. Everybody knows that it has the many health benefits, but when it comes to green tea consumption by pregnant women, there are still some queries. Some experts claim that drinking green tea during pregnancy is highly beneficial for both the mother and the baby, and others that believe that this tea can have adverse effects, especially if taken in large quantities.
Benefits of green tea in pregnancy
Green tea contains a significant amount of antioxidants, and it strengthens the immune system, thus warding off viral and bacterial infections that can be quite dangerous during pregnancy.
Pregnant women tend to suffer from gas, and green tea helps with that, because it reduces and prevents inflammation. It is also beneficial against various symptoms of indigestion, which is common during pregnancy.
Green tea protects the teeth, which need to stay healthy during pregnancy.
In is not uncommon for pregnant women to have higher levels of blood sugar. It happens because changes in hormone levels may interfere with insulin production, which results in high blood sugar. High blood sugar increases the risk of diabetes type 2 and obesity in babies. Green tea consumption controls the levels of blood sugar and prevents these complications.
Green tea also regulates cholesterol and high blood pressure, which may cause problems in pregnancy because the mother has to eat for two.
Some women have even found that regular consumption of green tea improves their probability of conception.
Adverse effects of green tea in pregnancy
As beneficial as green tea may bee in pregnancy, it should be said that there are certain negative sides to it.
Green tea contains caffeine, though much less than coffee. One cup of green tea, which equals to six ounces, contains 15 milligrams of caffeine, which is far less compared to coffee, which contains 100 milligrams of caffeine. Still, if consumed in large amounts and very frequently, caffeine from green tea can lead to low birth weight, still birth, premature labor and miscarriage.
Caffeine can also be passed to the baby through mother’s milk, which is why green tea should not be consumed in large quantities during breastfeeding.
Folic acid is very important in pregnancy, because its deficiency can lead to neural tube defects, which is very serious. Pregnant women are advised to take folic acid supplements and increase its intake through food, but they should know that green tea can deplete folic acid and reduce its effectiveness.
Similarly, antioxidants in green tea can reduce the levels of folate, which is important for conception and safe pregnancy.
According to studies, green tea is safe for use in pregnancy in small quantities and only after the first trimester.