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    LifeFoodFood For Thought: Debunking The Myth That Pregnant Women Shouldn't Have Tea

    Food For Thought: Debunking The Myth That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Have Tea

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    A desi household is incomplete without the quintessential “chai ho jaye?” question every couple of hours. And while it’s always met with an enthusiastic yes, pregnant women are often told to avoid tea. If you are an avid lover of tea, it is difficult to avoid consuming them. Many pregnant women consider tea as a healthy refreshing drink that could be consumed during pregnancy. So does tea consumption have different rules for pregnant women?

    Benefits Of Tea

    Now that you know about the states that grow tea, let us look at some of the benefits of tea.

    1. Calms And Soothes The Stomach

    Pregnant women could suffer from morning sickness characterized by nausea and vomiting. Consumption of ginger tea would help in reducing nausea, cramping and vomiting.

    2. Good Source Of Polyphenols And Antioxidants

    Tea is a good source of polyphenols and antioxidants which help in reducing inflammation. It also neutralizes the free radicals and prevents oxidation.

    3. Promotes Hydration

    Individuals who are reluctant to consume water could consume tea during pregnancy and keep themselves hydrated. Dehydration can result in sleep disturbances, tiredness and water retention.

    4. Source Of Nutrients

    Certain teas contain iron, calcium and magnesium. The polyphenols and antioxidants of tea can strengthen one’s immune system.

    Chai Bina Chain Kaha Hai? Watch this video to see 5 types of chai lovers and tell us in the comments which one are you!

    Should Consumption Of Tea Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

    Certain teas should be avoided during pregnancy. Licorice, Ginseng, Dong Quai, Motherwort, Fennel, Fenugreek, Sage, Borage, Lovage, Pennyroyal are some of the teas that could increase the risk of preterm labour and its consumption could be avoided during pregnancy. Certain herbal teas can also promote menstruation, birth defects and react with medications consumed during pregnancy. This does not mean that all teas are unsafe. Certain teas namely Oolong, Black, Matcha, Green, Chai and White teas could be consumed during pregnancy. Moderate caffeine consumption could be beneficial for pregnant women.

    Nutritional Recipes

    Now that you know about the myths related to tea consumption, let us look at some nutritional recipes related to tea that you can try out!

    1. Ginger Tea

    This warm tea can be a good alternative for fever and is easy to prepare as well.

    Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 40 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 10 gms

    Protein: 1 gm

    Fat: 1 gm

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of water
    • 2-inch ginger
    • ½ cup of milk
    • 3 tsp of tea powder
    • 3-4 crushed cardamoms
    • Sugar to taste

    Method:

    1. Clean and peel the ginger. Grate the ginger.
    2. In a mortar, crush the cardamoms.
    3. In a saucepan, add ginger along with water and cardamoms.
    4. Boil this mixture for at least 5 minutes. 
    5. Add sugar and boil for a minute.
    6. Add tea powder and simmer the mixture for 3-4 minutes.
    7. Add ½ cup of milk and simmer for a while. 
    8. Strain the tea. Pour into glasses and serve hot.

    2. Oolong Tea

    The taste of Oolong tea varies from sweet to nutty flavour. The drink mentioned here is sweet and easy to make.

    Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 14 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 5 gms

    Protein: 1 gm

    Fat: 1 gm

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tsp of oolong tea leaves
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 tsp of honey
    • Ice cubes (optional)

    Method:

    1. Boil the water. 
    2. Remove the water from the stove. Add the tea leaves to the water and let it remain so for 5-6 minutes.
    3. Add the honey. Strain the tea. Add the ice cubes. 
    4. Pour into glasses and serve.

    3. Raspberry Leaf Tea

    This tea is a good source of B complex vitamins, magnesium and calcium, essential for a healthy pregnancy.

    Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 15 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 4 gms

    Protein: 1 gm

    Fat: 1 gm

    Ingredients:

    • 3 tsp of raspberry tea leaves
    • 1 cup of hot water
    • 1 tsp of honey
    • Few ice cubes (optional)

    Method:

    1. In a tea ball, add raspberry tea leaves. Pour the hot water over the tea leaves.
    2. Add honey to the tea.
    3. In a glass, add ice cubes. 
    4. Pour the tea over the ice cubes and enjoy!

    4. Peppermint Tea

    Pregnant women suffering from morning sickness or nausea and vomiting could definitely try this tea!

    Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 17 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 4 gms

    Protein: 1 gm

    Fat: 1 gm

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of water
    • 10 mint leaves
    • 1 tsp of honey
    • 2 tsp of lemon juice

    Method:

    1. In a saucepan, simmer water.
    2. Add the mint leaves and steep for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Strain the tea. Add honey and lemon juice. 
    4. Mix well and serve hot.

    5.  Dandelion Leaf Tea

    This tea has a bitter flavour though it can help in relieving oedema observed in pregnancy.

    Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 13 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 3 gms

    Protein: 1 gm

    Fat: 1 gm

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of hot water
    • 2 tsp of dandelion tea leaves
    • 1 tsp of honey

    Method:

    1. Steep the tea leaves in warm water for at least 15 minutes.
    2. Strain the tea. Add honey and mix well.
    3. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

    Key Takeaways

    1. Many herbal teas have to be avoided during pregnancy. Only certain herbal teas like raspberry leaf tea, ginger and peppermint tea have been found to be safe to be consumed.
    2. Do not consume excess caffeinated teas as the baby’s liver has difficulty breaking down caffeine and result in birth defects.
    3. Excess caffeine intake could also increase the risk of miscarriages.
    4. Herbal teas could be contaminated with heavy metals as tea does not undergo regulation.
    5. Buy tea from reputed brands.
    6. Caffeine also has a diuretic effect which can promote dehydration.

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