Green tea is a type of tea that is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is a popular beverage consumed worldwide and is believed to have numerous health benefits, including weight loss and heart health. A cup of green tea can be just as refreshing as anything. And those who have a habit of taking green tea regularly, it must be tough for them to think of giving it up. But when you’re expecting a baby, you think twice before consuming anything. For example, you might wonder if green tea is safe during pregnancy or what are the benefits of green tea while pregnant.
Don’t worry. In this post, we have gathered all the essential information for you!
First, What is Green Tea?
Around 6000 years ago, green tea first originated in China. Initially, tea was consumed as a medicine; people used to eat it to cure poisonous effects. It took people a long time to understand that it’s actually they sip, not eat! Today green tea is commercially cultivated all around east Asia.
Many people think that green tea and herbal tea are pretty much the same. Well, it’s not. Green tea comes from camellia Sinensis only, whereas herbal tea is an infusion of one or more herbs. It has lower caffeine content than coffee and black tea but is still not caffeine-free.
Green tea is often consumed for its high concentration of antioxidants, which may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is also thought to have a variety of other health benefits, including improving mental alertness, reducing the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, and helping with weight loss. Green tea is typically prepared by steeping the leaves in hot water for a few minutes, and it can be enjoyed hot or iced.
Common Green Tea Varieties
Many varieties of green tea are available, each with its unique flavor and characteristics. Some of the most common types of green tea include:
- Sencha: Made from whole tea leaves, this is the most common type of green tea in Japan. It has a grassy, vegetal flavor and a bright green color. It has the properties to fight neurodegenerative diseases and skin inflammation.
- Gyokuro: This type of green tea is grown in the shade, giving it a sweeter, more delicate flavor. It has a bright green color and a slightly bitter taste. Popular for its sleep-inducing effects, it can also be helpful when you’re stressed and badly in need of a tonic.
- Matcha: Made from ground tea leaves, Matcha is probably the most popular green tea all around the world. Matcha has a bright green color and a strong, grassy flavor but has lower caffeine content than coffee.
- Dragonwell: This popular type of green tea from China has a flat, elongated leaf shape. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and a bright green color.
- Gunpowder: This type of green tea is named for its small, tightly rolled leaves, which resemble gunpowder. It has a strong, slightly smoky flavor and a deep green color.
- Biluochan: This Chinese tea is rich in antibacterial properties and grown in the high mountains of Taiwan. It can treat edema, beriberi, and water-hysteretic tumor.
- Tulsi: It is one of the most popular Indian green tea. You’ll find many health practitioners or yoga coaches suggesting this one. Tulsi tea saves you from chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, skin diseases, etc.
These are some common green teas available in the market. However, before buying green tea during pregnancy, you must be concerned and check the ingredients for safety.
Green Tea and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is generally safe to consume moderate amounts of green tea. However, it is important to keep in mind that green tea contains caffeine, which can cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of the developing baby. Caffeine can affect fetal heart rate and may also interfere with the absorption of iron, which is important for the baby’s growth and development.
For this reason, it is recommended that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams or less per day. This is equivalent to about two cups of coffee or four cups of green tea. It is also a good idea to avoid drinking green tea in the evening, as caffeine can ruin a good night’s sleep during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and enjoying green tea, it is important to pay attention to the amount you are consuming and to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
Benefits and Risks of Drinking Green Tea during Pregnancy
While research on the potential benefits of green tea during pregnancy is limited, some studies have suggested that it may have certain benefits. For example, some studies have suggested that green tea may reduce the risk of certain complications during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Pre-eclampsia is a condition that can occur during pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and can increase the risk of complications for both the mother and the baby.
Green tea also has antioxidant properties, which can help protect against cellular damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits and to understand the optimal amount of green tea consumption during pregnancy.
It is important to remember that green tea contains caffeine, which can cross the placenta and enter the developing baby’s bloodstream. Caffeine can affect fetal heart rate and may also interfere with the absorption of iron, which is important for the baby’s growth and development. For this reason, it is generally recommended that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams or less per day. This is equivalent to about two cups of coffee or four cups of green tea.
There is still a lack of scientific studies on green tea’s effects on pregnant women. So better be cautious about the doses. If you have a habit of drinking green tea regularly, make sure you aren’t overindulging. Also, don’t forget to get approval from your doctor!