The refreshing taste and aroma of lemon is known to soothe the tummy and helps relieve morning sickness and nausea, all of which are beneficial during pregnancy. According to the book Lemon Health Benefits by Chris Shaw, one raw lemon without its peel contains nearly 17 calories and is high in vitamins and minerals like niacin, calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C, B 6, and riboflavin. With its amazing nutritional benefits and its ability to ease morning sickness, you can include it in your diet when pregnant. However, pregnancy is a time when you have to maintain caution.
MomJunction explains how safe is it to consume lemon during pregnancy and the amount that you should intake.
Is It Safe To Drink Lemon Juice During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to include lemon juice in moderation in your diet. Taking anything in moderate levels is safe for both the mother and child (1). It is better to drink freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than canned or stale one.
Over consumption of lemon can lead to fast detoxification, which is unsafe during pregnancy. Moderation is always the key but is it important to check with your gynecologist before you decide to include it in your diet.
[ Read: Lime Juice During Pregnancy ]
Benefits of Lemon Water during Pregnancy:
1. Treats Morning Sickness:
According to the American Pregnancy Association, though there is no scientific evidence, lemons are known to subside nausea associated with morning sickness in your first trimester (2). It checks the excess bile flow and gets rid of the phlegm accumulated in the digestive tract, thereby preventing obstruction. It is also believed to act as a mouth freshener. If lemon doesn’t help and the nausea is severe, you should see a doctor immediately.
[ Read: Morning Sickness During Pregnancy ]
2. Checks Blood Pressure:
The vitamin content in lemons strengthens blood vessels by keeping them soft and pliable. It, therefore, prevents any internal hemorrhage and plays an effective role in reducing high blood pressure. It is also known to reduce cholesterol levels (3).
3. Treats Indigestion:
4. Relieves Constipation:
Constipation is another common problem faced by a lot of women during pregnancy. According to Natural Pregnancy Cookbook by Sonali Ruder, consuming one glass of lemon juice every day helps prevent constipation. The lemon stimulates your liver, and increases the peristalsis movements, therefore, stimulating the bowels to eliminate wastes from the body.
5. Boosts Immunity:
Lemon water helps prevent common infections such as common cold, flu, and some kinds of fever. The rich vitamin C content in lemon helps improve your body’s natural defense mechanism and combats bacteria and virus (5).
6. Bone And Baby Health:
Lemon water is a rich source of magnesium and calcium, which improve your bone health and development. You will also be supplying these minerals to your fetus (6). Lemons contain potassium which helps nourish the brain cells and nerves and is also known to aid bone development in the fetus.
7. Arrests Urogenital Infections:
Lemon water has diuretic property (7) and is helpful in maintaining healthy kidney functions. This is how it prevents urogenital infections in pregnant women.
[ Read: Grapefruit During Pregnancy ]
8. Alkalizes The Body:
Lemon water helps manage pH levels in your body and achieves healthy alkalinity. Though acidic in nature, it shows alkaline characteristics inside the body. It leaves alkaline residues to ease acidosis symptoms (8).
The typical pH range of human blood is 7.3 to 7.45, which is slightly alkaline in nature. If the body turns acidic, it tries to take off the alkalinity from teeth and bones to buffer the acidic levels. Drinking lemon water helps preserve the alkaline levels in the body so that it will be available for the fetus during development. Blood pH is also an indication of oxygen availability to the cells. Well-oxygenated cells are essential for developing the fetus.
9. Treats Swollen Feet:
Swollen feet, also known as edema is common among pregnant women (9). It is a painful, unhealthy, and uncomfortable condition. To treat this condition, you can take a spoonful of lemon juice with lukewarm water. It eases out the pain and helps reduce edema to a great extent.
Lemon juice helps you stay hydrated which is important during pregnancy to prevent complications like nausea, headaches, edema, cramps, and dizziness (10).
11. Great Antioxidant:
Lemons are believed to be natural cleansers as per the findings in the book, Super Drinks For Pregnancy by Fiona Wilcock. When you consume lemon juice regularly, it helps eliminate the toxins from the body and therefore protects you from infections during pregnancy.
12. Eases Labor:
Labor is painful and stressful. Drinking lemon juice with honey eases out the stressful labor. This remedy will work if you begin taking lemon juice from your 5th month until labor. But, it is better you consult your gynecologist before opting this remedy.
13. Some Other Benefits:
- It is believed to control certain illnesses like fever, cold, asthma, and scurvy.
- According to Blender Recipes by Juliana Baldec, the citric acid content in lemons destroys intestinal worms and therefore prevents digestive issues.
Possible Side Effects Of Lemon Water During Pregnancy:
Though lemons offer several benefits during pregnancy, they are also known to cause side effects. Therefore, it is always better to check with your gynecologist before you plan to include it in your diet.
1. Heartburn Or Gastrointestinal Discomfort:
During later stages of pregnancy, most pregnant women are likely to suffer from heartburn or other gastrointestinal distresses. The high acidic content in the lemons can aggravate or trigger these conditions (11). If you are suffering from the above, it is better to avoid taking consuming lemons until the symptoms subside.
[ Read: heartburn during pregnancy ]
2. Dental Problems:
Your bones and teeth are highly prone to de-calcification while you are pregnant. The citric acid content in lemons acts as a trigger, damaging the teeth enamel. This could also lead to dental problems (12). You should avoid consuming large amounts of lemon water on a regular basis and, check with your dentist if you notice changes in your teeth color or texture.
3. Avoid Ice-Cold Lemon Juice:
Drinking cold lemon water can cause cold and cough during pregnancy. You should have lemon water at room temperature or slightly warm lemon water, especially in the colder seasons.
Healthy Ways Of Making Lemon Water:
You can prefer pasteurized lemon juice or a fresh lemon to avoid harmful bacteria.
1. Lemon With Water:
- Cut the lemon into two halves and use one-half of it to extract juice.
- Add the juice to one glass of water.
- You can add a natural sweetener like honey
- Consume the lemon water immediately.
- You can also use the other half to make the lemon water more concentrated, or you can store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to prepare another glass.
- You can obtain nearly 20% of daily vitamin C requirement from half a lemon. This would contain about eight calories.
[ Read: Sweet Lime Juice During Pregnancy ]
2. Lemon And Ginger Tea:
- Boil one glass of water.
- Take one inch of ginger, peel and grate it.
- Take two slices of lemon. Add both ginger and lemon in water.
- Allow it to steep for ten minutes and then strain the tea.
- You can also use one tsp of ginger tea leaves instead of ginger root.
3. You can also add lemon to your cooking. You can squeeze fresh lemon juice over lean proteins, salad, pasta or over chicken or fish. It adds flavor and leaves you feeling refreshing and light.
[ Read: Benefits Of Ginger Tea During Pregnancy ]
Some Tips You Should Follow:
- The acidic nature of lemon can affect your teeth enamel. Therefore, after consuming lemon water, you should gargle and rinse your oral cavity to lessen the dental problems.
- When you start taking lemon in your pregnancy diet, you should begin with small amounts to check if you are experiencing any heartburn or gastrointestinal discomforts.
- Make sure you use fresh lemon and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- One full lemon will be too much for some women. Therefore, an active concentration of lemon water is not suggested.
- It is better to add lemon juice to warm water rather than boiling water as its effects will not be significant in boiling water.
- It is recommended that you begin with one-fourth of lemon in 12 to 16 oz glass of water every day. You can gradually increase to two to three glasses every day, depending on how you feel.
[ Read: How Much Water To Drink During Pregnancy ]
It is always advisable to check with your doctor to know about the effects it can cause. Surprisingly, it is known to rule out any unpleasant interaction with drugs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is Lemonade Good For Pregnancy?
Yes, lemonade is a refreshing drink that relieves morning sickness during pregnancy and also provides you with good amounts of vitamin C. However, drinking an excess of sugary lemonade can cause extra weight gain. Fortunately, there are some artificial sweeteners approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for use in moderate levels during pregnancy. Lemonade that has artificial sweeteners like Stevia (Rebaudioside A), Equal or Nutrasweet (aspartame), Sunett (Acesulfame potassium) and Splenda (sucralose) can be taken without worrying. Pregnant women should not take aspartame if they have high blood levels of phenylalanine.
2. Can Lemon Cause Miscarriage?
No, lemon is not known to cause miscarriage. It is believed that citrus fruits like lemon can increase the acidic levels and can cause abortions. However, when you take in moderation, it is safe.
3. Can You Drink Lemon Soda During Pregnancy?
Drinking soda, whether it is caffeinated or not is a matter of concern during pregnancy. Most of the lemon soda drinks contain caffeine and sweeteners, both of which are not good when taken in excess amounts. Artificially sweetened drinks can raise the risk of preterm labor. Also, your caffeine intake should be 200 milligrams per day. A typical soda contains 35 to 55 milligrams of caffeine. Therefore you should take other sources of caffeine in your everyday diet (tea, coffee, chocolate, and other energy drinks) also into account when you choose to drink lemon soda.
4. Is Lemon Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes, lemon tea is safe to take in small amounts. You can prefer drinking a small cup of homemade tea than bottled lemon tea as these drinks are high in sugars and can increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
5. Can You Take Lemon And Cucumber Water During Pregnancy?
Lemon and cucumber water with a few sprigs of mint is a great refreshing drink you can take during pregnancy. Lemons are natural cleansers and good for digestion cucumbers enhance hydration, and mint gives a fresh flavor. You can prepare the drink by blending freshly sliced cucumber and adding water, lemon juice, and mint. You can enjoy this drink throughout the day.
6. Is Med-Lemon Safe During Pregnancy?
Med-lemon is a flavorful medication that combats colds and flu. It cannot be taken during pregnancy, especially in your first and third trimesters except under the supervision of your gynecologist.
7. Can You Use Lemon Oil During Pregnancy?
Lemon oil can be used as an aroma-therapeutic oil during pregnancy as long as you use it in diluted and sparing amounts.
8. Is Lemon For Acne Good During Pregnancy?
The acidic nature of lemon is effective in curing acne during pregnancy. You can apply some lemon juice on the acne affected skin area, leave for five minutes, and then rinse off using water. An everyday application can remove dirt which clogs acne and also softens the accumulated sebum.
How did you include lemon water in your pregnancy diet? Share your thoughts and ideas in the below comment section.
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