It is common for a woman to crave lemon while pregnant. During pregnancy, the body undergoes hormonal and physical changes, which could lead to various cravings. Several medical facts and myths have been fronted to support these cravings. However, it is hard to point out the cause of lemon craving.
These citrus fruits have a variety of benefits to the mum and her unborn baby if taken in moderation. This article will look deeper into possible causes of lemon craving, benefits, and side effects.
Possible Causes Of Craving lemon While Pregnant
Cravings in pregnancy are normal, and in most cases, there are no definite causes. Your craving could be an indicator of a health problem or deficiency. It could also be your body’s way of coping with the hormonal changes it is undergoing.
Your taste and smell buds change, and you may suddenly want to eat lemons. It might be helpful to talk to your doctor if the craving comes with other symptoms, such as aches and fever. Myths on cravings also exist. For instance, people may believe when a mother craves bitter things, such as lemons, she is carrying a boy. Some myths may be true, though with no scientific backing, while others are untrue.
Benefits Of Lemon In Pregnancy
Lemons are loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to mothers and children. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and B16, calcium, potassium, and folate. Some of the benefits include;
Relief Morning Sickness
Lemons might help ease nausea and vomiting in the first trimester. You could eat the fruit if you can. Slice it into small pieces and enjoy your sour morning treat. If you cannot stand the bitterness, you can infuse it with tea, have lemon water, or inhale its essential oils. You can drop a piece of lemon in your bag and smell it when you get nauseated.
Lemon is rich in folates that help in fetal development, reducing birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. You require folate most in the first trimester when the fetus starts forming.
Sometimes a pregnant woman may not want to take plain water. Adding lemon to your water or herbal tea could help you improve your fluid intake. You could also take lemon-flavored soda or juices in small amounts.
The citric acid in lemon might help in quickening digestion. This acid is helpful because some pregnant mothers experience constipation and bloating. However, if you suffer from chronic heartburn or acid reflux, you may want to take small amounts of lemon or get an alternative relief.
Calcium found in lemon might help strengthen bones during pregnancy. It is crucial to have strong bones to carry the extra pregnancy weight and during delivery. Calcium might also strengthen your baby’s bones.
Lemon is low in calories and cholesterol and thus excellent for the heart. It might help prevent high blood pressure and heart diseases such as stroke. Lemons could also help reduce obesity and unhealthy weight gain.
Lemons contain antioxidants that help fight free radical cells, improving your immune system. Additionally, it helps fight diseases and infections and reduces the risks of certain cancers. Its diuretic property might improve kidney health, preventing conditions such as kidney stones. Also, lemons have anti-inflammatory properties that might help ease pain in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Side Effects Of Lemon
Lemons are rich in essential nutrients, but you should consume them in moderation. They have high levels of acid, sugars, and vitamin C, which could be harmful to you. Side effects include;
- Enamel erosion could lead to serious dental problems. To reduce damage to the teeth, use a straw and eat the fruit in moderation. Brushing or flossing after consuming lemon might be helpful too.
- The citric acid in lemons might accelerate heartburn and acid reflux. If you suffer from chronic heartburn or acid reflux, you should avoid consuming lots of lemons. Adding honey to your lemon drink might help reduce heartburn.
- Excess consumption of lemon could lead to irritation of the small intestines causing abdominal pains and a burning sensation.
- One medium size lemon provides you with 70% of your Vitamin C recommended daily intake. If you consume excess lemons, it could be counterproductive.
- Excess consumption might lead to blood sugar spikes as lemons are rich in sugars.
Precautions For Taking Lemons While Pregnant
- Consult your doctor if you have chronic heartburn, acid reflux, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- Though rare, you could get allergic reactions. If you notice allergy symptoms such as skin rash, hives, abdominal cramps and pains, excess sweating, and swollen tongue and lips, seek medical attention.
- Use a straw when drinking infused lemon water, lemonade, or herbal tea. It will reduce contact with teeth, minimizing risks of enamel erosion.
- Reduce your intake of lemon-flavored soda, energy drinks, and processed juices. They contain high amounts of sugar, which might be unhealthy for you and your baby.
- Wash your lemons well before consuming them. Disease-causing germs could hit you harder while pregnant.
- Opt for pasteurized honey in your lemon drink. Unprocessed honey could contain harmful bacteria. You are more vulnerable to infections and diseases during pregnancy.
- Refrigerate or freeze excess lemonade, herbal tea, or infused water.
How To Take Lemon
You could consume your lemon in a variety of forms. You can slice and eat the whole fruit, infuse it in water, squeeze the juice over your salad, and make lemonade. You could also add ginger, eucalyptus, and myrtle and make herbal tea.
In conclusion, craving lemon while pregnant is normal. The craving could be the body’s means of coping with the changing hormones or an indicator of a health problem or nutritional deficiency. Lemons contain lots of nutrients, but you should consume them in moderation. Consult your doctor before consuming lemons if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux.