Lemon Juice During Pregnancy: Safety, Benefits and Side Effects
Lemon juice is a refreshing drink which instantly soothes our taste buds as well as the stomach. It also relieves nausea and morning sickness, making it an ideal drink for pregnant women. One lemon without the peel contains high amounts of minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, niacin, calcium, folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and riboflavin. Considering its nutritional benefits, it is a must include in the pregnancy diet. It is, however, imperative to be cautious during pregnancy.
Is It Safe to Drink Lemon Juice While Pregnant?
It is absolutely safe for pregnant women to drink lemon juice if they don’t have allergies to lemon. But you should drink it in a moderate amount. Consuming lemon juice in high quantities is not good for the health. So, it is safe to have the juice of 1-2 lemons per day. Do consult your gynaecologist before deciding to include it in your daily diet.
Benefits of Drinking Lemon Juice During Pregnancy
Drinking lemon juice offers multiple benefits to a pregnant woman if consumed in a limited amount. Some of these benefits have been explained below.
1. Helps Treat Morning Sickness
Lemons can help subside the nauseous sensations experienced by pregnant women that accompany morning sickness, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Drinking lemon juice keeps a check on the excess flow of bile and also helps get rid of the accumulated phlegm present in the digestive tract. This prevents obstructions in the digestive tract. Lemons are also mouth fresheners. However, if lemon juice doesn’t work for you and you experience severe nausea, consult your doctor immediately.
2. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Lemons are a good source of vitamins, which help in strengthening the blood vessels. Drinking lemon juice can help maintain the pliability and softness of the blood vessels, which further helps prevent internal haemorrhage and lower high blood pressure levels. Drinking lemon juice can also keep your cholesterol levels in check.
3. Provides Relief From Constipation
Another symptom experienced by many pregnant women is constipation. But worry not because drinking a glass of lemon water daily can keep constipation at bay! Consumption of lemon is also associated with liver health as it may help flush toxins from the liver and help it cleanse, thus improving its functions as well as your health.
4. Helps Cure Indigestion
It is not uncommon to experience indigestion during pregnancy. A useful remedy to soothe the stomach is the intake of lemon water. Drinking lemon water can aid proper digestion and ease any discomfort in the tummy.
5. Strengthens the Immune System
Common infections like flu, common cold, and certain types of fever are said to be prevented by intake of lemon water. Being a rich source of Vitamin C, lemons can improve the natural defence system of the body and help us combat viruses as well as bacteria.
6. Helps the Unborn Baby
Lemon water supplies essential minerals to your unborn baby. Also, the potassium in the lemons can also help nourish the baby’s brain and nerve cells.
7. Helps Prevent Urogenital Infections
Lemons are said to possess diuretic property which help maintain the health of the kidneys and make them function normally. Thus, the chances of infections in the urinary and genital areas are also reduced.
8. Maintains the pH Levels of the Body
Lemon water aids in maintaining the pH levels in the body by achieving healthy alkalinity. Yes, lemons are acidic, but once they reach into our systems through lemon water or juice, they are alkaline. 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 and 7.45. When the pH levels turn acidic, the body performs a buffering action by borrowing the alkalinity from bones and teeth to compensate. This can be avoided by drinking lemon water, which preserves the body’s alkaline levels and makes it readily available during the developmental process of the foetus. The pH levels of the blood 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 From Swollen Feet
Oedema or having swollen feet is common during pregnancy. But that is not to say that it is not painful. This condition can be very uncomfortable and painful. However, it can be treated by consuming one spoon of lemon juice with lukewarm water. It helps in easing the pain and reduces the swelling of the feet.
10. Prevents Dehydration
Staying hydrated during pregnancy is very important as it prevents various complications such as headaches, nausea, cramps, dizziness, and oedema. While drinking water always helps, drinking lemon water can be refreshing for a change. Lemon water is tasty and consuming it can keep you hydrated.
How to Prepare Lemon Water
Drinking lemon juice during pregnancy can be refreshing, especially if you have a summer pregnancy. But you cannot drink lemon juice available in cans with preservatives and loads of sugar. You should always drink freshly squeezed lemon juice during pregnancy. So here are two recipes –
1. Lemon Juice
Here’s how you can make lemon juice.
- Cut a lemon into half. Squeeze one-half of the lemon in a bowl to extract its juice.
- Add this lemon extract to a glass of clear water and mix well.
2. Ginger and Lemon Tea
Ginger and lemon tea can beat nausea and morning sickness. It is one good healthy beverage to have during pregnancy.
- Boil a glass of drinking water.
- Peel an inch of ginger and grate it.
- Cut a lemon into slices. Add two slices and the grated ginger to the boiled water.
- Let it steep for ten minutes. Strain the mixture and consume the tea.
Precautions to Take While Having Lemon Juice During Pregnancy
Lemon juice is safe to drink if it is consumed in limited quantity. Too much of it can have adverse affects on your health. Here are some precautions you should keep in mind with regards to the consumption of lemons in pregnancy.
- The acidity of the lemon can affect the enamel of your teeth. It is advised to gargle and rinse your mouth after consuming lemon water to prevent any dental issues.
- If you want to drink lemon juice, start taking it in small quantities and check whether it is causing any gastrointestinal disorders or heartburn.
- Drink only freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- The extract of an entire lemon can be too much for some pregnant women, so it is advised to use only half a lemon and avoid consuming lemon juice in concentrated form.
- 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.
Side Effects of Drinking Lemon Water
Although drinking lemon water is beneficial for a pregnant woman, it has certain side effects. 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 Disorders and Heartburn
Gastrointestinal discomforts and heartburn are likely to be experienced by pregnant women, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. The high levels of citric acid in lemons can sometimes worsen these conditions. It is advised to be cautious and avoid the intake of lime water till such symptoms subside.
2. Dental Problems
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. Cough and Cold
Consuming cold or chilled lemon juice during pregnancy can sometimes lead to a cough and cold due to temperature or allergies. It is better to consume lemon water which is slightly warm or at room temperature, especially in the cold winter months.
The nine months of pregnancy are full of ups and downs. You’ll have happy and not-so-happy moments. What you eat during pregnancy will decide your health as well as your baby’s health. So it is imperative that you be cautious regarding your eating habits.
It is also suggested that you consult your gynaecologist to check whether it safe for you to consume lemon water or not. For most pregnant women, lemon water is the go-to tonic for the uneasiness during the first trimester. 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, so don’t worry. Confirm with your doctor and nutritionist and sip your way to good health!