Can you eat lemons while pregnant?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat lemons while pregnant?” with an in-depth analysis of the nutritional composition of lemons, the health benefits and the risks of eating lemons while pregnant. 

Read on to know about some pregnancy-friendly lemon recipes. 

Can you eat lemons while pregnant?

Yes, you can eat lemons during pregnancy. Lemons have many nutrients, some of which are essential during pregnancy, providing many health benefits. But, it is recommended to consume lemons in moderation while pregnant to avoid any complications. 

During pregnancy, many women experience symptoms of nausea and morning sickness. Due to concerns about the dangers of taking medicines, some females prefer to use herbal or natural treatments alternatively.

They usually use lemon to help relieve the symptoms of nausea, but it also provides other health benefits. However, excessive consumption of fresh lemons during pregnancy may pose some health risks.

The nutritional profile of lemons

One medium-sized raw lemon provides only 17 calories with little to no fat while offering various vitamins and minerals including magnesium, niacin, calcium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, thiamin, folate, phosphorus, copper, manganese, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. All of these are required for the healthy growth and development of the fetus. 

Eating lemons during pregnancy can be an efficient way to get these nutrients. Considering its nutritional perks, it is a must fruit to have during pregnancy.

The benefits of lemons during pregnancy

Better immunity and fetal growth

One-half cup of lemon (without the peel) can provide 56.2 mg of vitamin C, a healthy vitamin for both the mother and fetus.

It has been found that even a slight scarcity in maternal vitamin C can inhibit fetal brain development, especially the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory. 

Safe ranges of vitamin C may also boost immunity and help to fight infections from bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as well as provide antidiabetic and anticancer properties. Lemons may also help remove free radicals from the body.

One more essential vitamin in lemons is folate, a significant one for pregnancy. Folate can reduce the risk of fetal neural tube defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly. These severe diseases damage the brain and spinal cord and can occur within the 1st month of pregnancy. 

That means adding some more lemon in the 1st few weeks of pregnancy may provide some added benefits.

Reduction in nausea

Lemons can help relieve the feeling of nausea experienced by pregnant women that come with morning sickness, especially during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. 

Drinking lemon juice regulates the excess flow of bile and also helps get rid of the accumulated phlegm present in the digestive tract, thus preventing obstructions in the digestive system. 

Lemons are also mouth fresheners. But, if lemon juice does not benefit you and you feel severe nausea, call your doctor directly.

Helps control blood pressure

Lemons provide a good amount of vitamins, which help in strengthening the blood vessels. Drinking lemon juice can help maintain the softness of the blood vessels, which further helps prevent internal haemorrhage and lower high blood pressure. Consuming lemon juice can maintain cholesterol levels.

Hydration boost

Staying hydrated during pregnancy is very crucial as it prevents various problems, for instance, headaches, nausea, cramps, dizziness, and oedema. While drinking water always benefits, drinking lemon water can be refreshing. Lemon water is tasty and consuming it helps in hydration.

The risks of eating lemons during pregnancy 

Although lemons are generally safe during pregnancy, there are some risks associated with their immoderate consumption. 

Tooth erosion

In excessive amounts, the citric acid found in lemons can cause the pH of the mouth to decline to an acidic range.

If you drink highly acidic drinks or foods regularly and over a long time, like throughout your entire pregnancy, the acidic environment can cause erosion of the minerals that strengthen the enamel of your teeth, resulting in weaker and more sensitive teeth.

Heartburn

The extreme acidic levels generated due to citric acid may also increase the risk of acid reflux (or heartburn), which is already very prevalent during pregnancy. 

Pregnancy-friendly lemon recipes

If you are looking to add a little more lemon to your life, consider these pregnancy-friendly and delicious recipes.

Lemon yoghurt parfait

  • One cup Greek yoghurt
  • Juice from one lemon wedge
  • A quarter cup low-sugar granola
  • One teaspoon honey

Instructions 

Add lemon juice to yoghurt and beat well. Sprinkle it with granola and add a little honey. Next, enjoy.

Lemon- and basil-infused water

  • Two quarts water
  • Two thin lemon slices (with seeds discarded)
  • Two basil leaves

Instructions 

Add lemon slices and basil leaves to the water. Keep in a refrigerator for 1-4 hours before consuming.

Other FAQs about Lemon that you may be interested in.

Can I use citric acid instead of lemon juice?

Can I use lemon peel instead of lemon zest?

Are lemon seeds edible?

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat lemons while pregnant?” with an in-depth analysis of the nutritional composition of lemons, the health benefits and the risks of eating lemons while pregnant. We have also shared some pregnancy-friendly lemon recipes. 

References 

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/is-lemon-good-for-pregnancy#safety
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/is-lemon-good-for-pregnancy
https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/lemon-juice-during-pregnancy-safety-benefits-and-side-effects/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.