Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Article # 199. Effects of Green Tea during Pregnancy
Effects of Green Tea during Pregnancy
Green Tea is one beverage loaded with health benefits and advantages, but its consumption has always been a point of debate during times of pregnancy. The tea has its own negatives and positives and hence requires understanding of the effects caused by green tea consumption. The Tea offers a huge lot of benefits that can be exploited by pregnant women.
It is a natural immune booster and is beneficial throughout the pregnancy period to ward off diseases and other infections.
One major problem faced by women during pregnancy is the increase in blood sugar levels which can lead to gestational diabetes in certain cases. Green tea helps control sugar levels thus saving the baby from adverse effects due to the high sugar levels.
The increase in food intake during pregnancy can lead to higher cholesterol related problems and these can be reduced by green tea intake as it helps regulate the cholesterol levels in the body.
Indigestion is one major problem associated with pregnancy and this can be effectively treated with green tea as it is a natural aid for digestion. Some women also suffer from gum diseases through the period of pregnancy and green tea can help prevent the inflammation and maintain the teeth healthy.The tea is also a low caffeine beverage and is recommended over coffee which is analysed to have five times more caffeine over green tea.
Though green tea has many health benefits, it also presents certain situations that are required to be given due importance during the period of pregnancy.
It is known to have very less content of caffeine, but more than advised consumption of green tea can lead to increase in caffeine levels in the body to hazardous levels. Studies have shown that the higher levels of caffeine during pregnancy can cause miscarriage or reduction in birth weight. Excessive intake might also increase caffeine levels in breast milk and can turn harmful for the baby.
Folic Acid is one important component that is required by the body for safe pregnancy and adequate development of the foetus. The consumption of folic acid by pregnant women is advised to prevent any cases of neural tube birth defects due to deficiency of folic acid. Green tea is known to affect the enzyme that controls the synthesis of folic acid thus reducing its levels in the body. It is therefore a must that pregnant women avoid green tea during the first trimester though it can be consumed in the later trimesters.
It is also makes it difficult for the body to absorb iron from the food and this is one another reason as iron is another important nutrient required during pregnancy.
It can be deduced from the above facts about green tea, that the tea is a healthy option during pregnancy provided its consumption is kept low and strictly taken only after the first trimester. The moderate levels of consumption of the tea of about 1-2 cups a day reduces the side effects and offers considerable benefits. With the advice of a doctor, you can also consider increasing the consumption of folic acid rich foods or tablets to compensate for the loss due to green tea.