More people nowadays are having in-depth discussions about green tea and pregnancy. This is not surprising given the fact that the health and wellness information campaigns conducted by several concerned groups are making an impact on society.
The result is a better public awareness about the health risks and benefits that come with consumption as well as learning how to take greater care of the unborn child during the stage of pregnancy.
Anyone who is concerned or simply curious can find a lot of varied studies about green tea and pregnancy online and find out for themselves the connections, both positive and negative, between the two important topics at hand. It is also recommended to discuss green tea and pregnancy issues with the doctor.
To put things in perspective, green tea is derived from Camellia sinensis, a tea plant that originates in Asia. Its leaves are picked manually and those leaves get heated or steamed. After that, the leaves get dried up.
Green tea has a long-standing legacy behind it. It has been widely used in China and Japan for countless generations and today green tea is widely available given the fact that many tea-making companies have realized strong public (and global) demand which is pretty much influenced by many recent scientific findings that the tea is mostly healthy and a cleansing beverage safe to drink.
As seen in many studies, green tea is rich in antioxidants as well as other healthy substances like ascorbic acid (or Vitamin C), zinc, chromium, carotenoids and more. Recently green tea has been revealed to help lower the risk of heart disease as well as reduce the amount of cholesterol (note: cholesterol findings are limited to tested animals).
There are also some unproven health benefits that come with green tea such as determining if the tea itself is helpful in replacing coffee as a main source of caffeine, finding out if it is truly effective in preventing and treating cancer, and most of all finding out if green tea really made any impact on losing or moderating weight. These factors also hamper other efforts to find useful data covering green tea and pregnancy.
The link between green tea and pregnancy
While it is known that green tea is popular mainly due to its perceived health benefits, many have yet to learn whether it is safe for pregnant women to drink the said tea. The link between green tea and pregnancy, until now, is pretty much unexplored and there is strong clamor for future studies about it.
The findings about the connection between green tea and pregnancy at this stage are as follows:
- While green tea is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that the pregnant woman can benefit from, several doctors believe that the tea is risky as it might affect the folic acid levels of the woman’s body. Folic acid is considered as one of the essential nutrients required to keep the fetus healthy and also avoid neural tube effects (example: spina bifida) found in some babies whose mothers drank a high amount of green tea around the occurrence of conception.
- An obvious risk that comes with the debates surrounding green tea and pregnancy is the fact that the tea itself has caffeine and in most cases caffeine intake, even if low and perceived safe by some, is discouraged during pregnancy.
- Very similar to other teas, green tea will negatively affect the person’s ability to absorb iron from food consumed and this alone is very risky for the unborn child.
The findings on the connection between green tea and pregnancy suggest that there are indeed risks that can affect both the mother and her unborn child. It is also clear, based on the findings that the benefits of drinking green tea are greater when consumed by individuals (or in this case, women who are not pregnant).
One thing that hampers the quest for more solid findings in regards to green tea and pregnancy is the lack of information in regards to whether pregnant women during the ancient times in Japan and China (or Asia in general) actually consumed green.
With all the debates and scientific findings or theories about green tea and pregnancy, it is clear that the risks outweigh the potential benefits. Regardless, there is a need for concerned organizations to conduct more well funded studies covering green tea and pregnancy.