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Lemon juice has a refreshing aroma and taste which soothes the stomach. Lemon juice also helps in relieving nausea and morning sickness, making it beneficial during the months of pregnancy. One lemon without the peel contains high amounts of minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, niacin, calcium, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C and riboflavin along with close to 17 calories. With such nutritional benefits, it is good to include lemon juice in your daily intake during pregnancy. It is, however, imperative to be cautious during pregnancy.
Is it safe to Drink Lemon Juice When Pregnant?
Yes, lemon juice is safe to be included in your diet during pregnancy. The intake needs to be at moderate levels, which is safe for the mother as well as the unborn child. Consumption of high quantities of lemon water will lead to rapid detoxification. It is not safe when you are pregnant. Consult your gynaecologist before deciding to include this in your daily diet. It is advised to avoid canned or packaged lemon juice and instead, drink freshly squeezed juice.
Amazing Benefits of Drinking Lemon Juice during Pregnancy
Lemon water and juice intake has multiple benefits while experiencing pregnancy. Some of these benefits have been explained below.
1. Beneficial in treating morning sickness
It is said, by the American Pregnancy Association, that lemons can subside the nauseous sensations experienced by pregnant women that accompany morning sickness, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Lemon keeps a check on the excess flow of bile and also rids of the accumulated phlegm present in the digestive tract. This prevents obstructions in the digestive tract. Lemon is also a mouth freshener. In cases where lemon is of no help, and you experience severe nausea, visit your doctor immediately.
2. Keeps a check on blood pressure
Lemon has a high level of vitamins which help in strengthening the blood vessels. The pliability and softness of the blood vessels are maintained. This also helps in preventing internal haemorrhage, thereby reducing high blood pressure. Lemon is also known for its capabilities of reducing cholesterol levels.
3. Helps in treating indigestion
It is not uncommon to experience indigestion during pregnancy. A useful remedy to soothe the stomach is the intake of lemon water which aids in proper digestion and easing any discomforts experienced in the tummy.
4. Beneficial in relieving constipation
Another symptom experienced by many pregnant women is constipation. Sonali Ruder, in her book ‘Natural Pregnancy Cookbook’, has said that constipation during pregnancy can be prevented by consuming a glass of lemon water on a daily basis. The liver is stimulated by the lemon, thereby improving peristalsis, helping in the elimination of waste by stimulating the bowels.
5. Improves immunity
Common infections like flu, common cold, and certain types of fever are said to be prevented by intake of lemon water. Rich in Vitamin C, lemons help in improving the natural defence system of the body and combats virus as well as bacteria.
6. Improves health of the baby and maintains the bone strength
Calcium and magnesium improve bone health and aids in the development of the baby. Lemons are a rich source of these minerals. It also helps in the process of bone development in the child. Apart from this, lemon water also supplies minerals to your unborn child. The potassium in the lemons aid in nourishing the brain and nerve cells.
7. Urogenital infections are prevented
Lemons are said to possess diuretic property which is beneficial in maintaining the health of kidneys and their functions. This helps prevent infections in the urinary and genital areas.
8. Aids in maintaining the alkalinity of the body
Lemon water aids in maintaining the pH levels of the body by achieving healthy alkalinity. Lemon is acidic, but it shows basic properties inside the human body. The alkaline residues left by the lemon aids in easing the acidosis symptoms. The human blood’s pH range is slightly alkaline between 7.3 to 7.45. When the pH becomes acidic, the body performs a buffering action by borrowing the alkalinity from bones and teeth to compensate. This can be avoided by taking in lemon water which aids in preserving the body’s alkaline levels and making it readily available during the developmental process of the foetus. The blood pH levels also indicate the availability of oxygen to the cells. It is essential to have properly oxygenated cells for the development of the foetus.
9. Provides relief to swollen feet
Edema or swollen feet is a common occurrence during pregnancy. It is a very uncomfortable, painful and unhealthy condition. It can be treated by consuming one spoon of lemon juice along with lukewarm water. It helps in easing the pain and reduces the swelling of the feet.
10. Keeps you hydrated
Staying hydrated during pregnancy is very important as it prevents various complications such as headaches, nausea, cramps, dizziness, and oedema. Consuming lemon water helps in keeping the body hydrated.
11. Lemon as an antioxidant
It is said that lemons are natural cleansers. Regular consumption of lemon juice helps in eliminating toxins from your body thereby preventing infections from occurring during pregnancy.
12. Ease stress during labour
Labour can be a stressful and painful process. Intake of lemon water along with honey will ease out the stress during labour. You need to begin consuming lemon water and honey from the fifth month of pregnancy for this remedy to work. It is advised to consult the gynaecologist before you begin.
13. Other benefits
It is said that the high content of citric acid in lemons kills intestinal worms and prevents digestive infections.
Ways to Prepare Lemon Water When Pregnant
Opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice which will help in avoiding any harmful bacteria.
1. Lemon juice
- Cut one lemon in two. Squeeze one-half of the cut lemon and extract the juice.
- Add this lemon extract to a glass of clear water.
- Natural sweeteners like honey can be added to this mixture.
- Immediately consume this mixture.
2. Ginger and lemon tea
- Boil a glass of drinking water.
- Peel an inch of ginger and grate this.
- Cut a lemon into slices. Add two of these slices and the grated ginger in the boiled water.
- Let it steep for ten minutes. Strain the mixture and consume this tea.
Precautions to be Taken While Having Lemon Juice/Water During Pregnancy
- The acidity of the lemon can affect the enamel of your teeth. It is advised to gargle water and rinse your mouth after consuming lemon water to prevent any dental issues.
- Start consuming lemon water in small quantities and check if it is causing any gastrointestinal discomforts or heartburns. Checking this especially during pregnancy is important.
- Ensure the use of a freshly squeezed extract from fresh lemons.
- As the extract of an entire lemon will be too much for some pregnant women, it is advised against consuming concentrated lemon water.
- It is suggested to add lemon extract to lukewarm water as opposed to boiling water. Boiling water is said to reduce the effects of lemon to a great extent.
- It is recommended to start with a quarter of a lemon in 0.4 to 0.5 litres of water daily. This can be increased gradually, reaching two or three glasses a day.
Side Effects of Having Lemon Water
Lemons do have side effects even though they are extremely beneficial for pregnant women. It is advised to consult a gynaecologist before including lime water in your daily diet. Some of the possible side effects are listed below.
1. Gastrointestinal discomfort and heartburns
Gastrointestinal discomforts and heartburns are likely to be experienced by pregnant women, especially late in the pregnancy. The high levels of citric acid content in the lemons might make these conditions worse. It is advised to be cautious and avoid the intake of lime water till such symptoms reduce.
2. Dental damage
Teeth and bones are highly susceptible to decalcification during pregnancy. The high levels of citric acid in lemons might trigger this, thereby damaging the enamel of the teeth and leading to other dental issues. Consult your dentist for any such dental issues and ensure that the texture and colour of your teeth have not changed. It is advised against consuming high quantities of lemon water regularly.
3. Chilled lemon water
Consuming cold or chilled lemon juice during pregnancy is likely to cause a cough and cold. It is better to consume lemon water which is slightly warm or at room temperature, especially during cold seasons.
While pregnancy can be a joyful experience, it is imperative to be cautious regarding your intake as it can affect the baby too. It is advised to consult your gynaecologist and ensure that it is safe for you to consume lemon water on a regular basis. Educate yourself on the possible side effects it can cause to prevent the occurrence of any stressful situation. Lemons do not react negatively with any drugs, ruling out the worry of consuming lemon water while taking medication. For many a pregnant woman, lemon water is the go-to tonic for the uneasiness during their first trimester.