There is no denying that you tend to crave weird flavors or foods during pregnancy that you normally don’t like or eat. One of the most common cravings that pregnant women have is sour foods, which include lemons or limes. As with any other craving, you have to ask yourself if it’s okay to give in to these cravings.
Lemons and limes are both generally safe to eat during pregnancy and cravings for these foods are normal. Consuming these fruits is beneficial because they provide nutrients and minerals both to the mother and the developing baby. However, you have to be careful because overindulging in acidic citruses can lead to tooth enamel problems.
Keep reading as we dissect why pregnant women crave lemons or lime and what to do when you are in this situation.
Is it normal to crave lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits during pregnancy?
Your body has a lot of development to do during pregnancy and sometimes its development means that it will demand food and nutrients that you typically don’t consume. This leads to food cravings, which are sometimes linked to your body sending you a message that you are lacking in some nutrient or mineral.
It is completely normal to crave lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits during your pregnancy. Scientists have not been able to pinpoint why pregnant women would crave citrus fruits but the common reason for this craving is based on the fact that these fruits are easily digestible and refreshing.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that fruit is oftentimes the most craved for by pregnant women, regardless of what trimester they are in. During pregnancy, your senses of taste and smell also change, which is why there’s also food aversion that takes place.
When do pregnant women crave lemons and limes?
All pregnancies are different and sometimes cravings don’t happen at all or it doesn’t end at all which means that some women have strong cravings throughout their entire pregnancy.
Food cravings start to develop from the beginning of your first trimester, strongest in your second trimester, and seem to taper off in the third trimester.
Another factor that can affect cravings is how strong your morning sickness is. Morning sickness usually peaks in the first trimester which will leave you with reduced feelings of cravings, this usually goes away at the beginning of the second trimester which will usher in your cravings for specific foods.
Can you eat lemons and limes while pregnant?
It is safe to eat lemons and limes while pregnant because it provides a lot of nutrients and minerals beneficial to you and your growing baby. With anything that you consume during pregnancy, it is important to exercise moderation and always consult your doctor.
Lemon is considered one of the most popular citrus fruits. It is a great source of vitamin C, Potassium, and vitamin B6.
A medium lemon is about 20 calories. Lemon is mostly made up of 10% carbs and the remaining 90% in water. The main fiber found in lemons is pectin, which helps lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch.
The plant compounds in lemon have been found to have beneficial effects on cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammation. The main plant components in lemon include citric acid, hesperidin, diosmin, eriocitrin, and D-limonene.
Lime is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Limes are known to boost immunity, reduce heart risk factors, help with iron absorption, prevent kidney stones and promote healthy skin.
There are different limes, including Key Lime, Persian lime, kaffir lime, and desert lime. A medium lime is 20 calories and has small amounts of riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Both lemons and limes have high concentrations of vitamin C which help the body produce white blood cells that combat diseases and boost your immunity. Regularly taking Vitamin C is also proven to lessen the effects of common colds, which results in shorter periods and less severity.
Are lemons and limes good for pregnancy?
According to Healthline, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits are safe to consume during pregnancy.
Lemons and limes have numerous vitamins and minerals that can support a pregnant woman’s health and at the same time help with the baby’s development.
Lemons and limes can also help with morning sickness or the feeling of nausea. According to Medical News Today, some studies have shown that lemons are more effective than medication when trying to curb your nausea symptoms.
A study published by the US National Library of Medicine reported that even inhaling lemons can reduce nausea and vomiting symptoms significantly in the majority of pregnant women. This study was centered around 100 pregnant women who underwent lemon inhalation therapy, all women had mild to severe nausea symptoms.
Lemons and limes are also rich in folate, which is a nutrient important in the neural development of your baby. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that pregnant women consume 600 mcg of folate every day through supplements and food.
Are lemons and limes bad for pregnancy?
It is important to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy and if you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can squeeze a sliver of lemon in there to make it more flavorful.
Out of all the citrus fruits, lemons and limes especially have higher concentrations of citric acid compared to other fruits like grapefruit and oranges. Because of this, you have to be careful and consume these fruits in moderation because of the effects they will have on your teeth.
Like everything else, you have to exercise moderation when it comes to putting lemon in your water. Since lemon is in the citrus family, the citrus can affect your tooth’s enamel and make it weak which will result in dental problems later on. If you have any concerns about this, you can always consult your doctor for additional guidance.
Pregnant women are also prone to heartburn which can be exacerbated by consuming foods with high citric acid content which includes lemons and limes. On the other hand, if you are experiencing heartburn symptoms because of low stomach acid, the acidity levels in lemon might help you because it helps alkalize the juices in your digestive tract.
What if you are craving lemons and salt during pregnancy?
When it comes to food cravings especially during pregnancy, sometimes the saltier the food is, the better! And this craving for salt might seem that it came out of nowhere, but some studies out there that resulted otherwise.
During pregnancy, your body’s blood volume increases, so craving for salt might be a message from your body that your sodium levels are low. As you go through your pregnancy, your baby is growing more and more which makes your body more and more demanding as well.
A little salt will not be harmful but if you have an urge to reach for a salty snack or chips flavored with salt, you can opt for a healthier option by putting a little bit of salt in your fruit or vegetables.
What if you are craving lemonade during pregnancy?
Another option that you can do to curb your lemon or lime craving is by drinking lemonade.
Keep in mind that store-bought lemonade is packed with lots of sugar which can be detrimental especially if you are keeping an eye on your sugar intake during pregnancy.
Lemonade can be so refreshing, especially on a hot summer day, but just be careful of how much sugar you are consuming with these drinks. You can make your own homemade lemonade and make it healthier by substituting honey instead of sugar.
What does it mean if you crave lemons and limes while pregnant?
While it can be exciting to listen to old wives’ tales regarding your baby’s gender, craving a specific type of food is not indicative of your baby’s gender.
There have been scientific studies claiming that food cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you are lacking minerals and nutrients brought about by the food that you are craving. Following this train of thought, if you are craving lemons and limes, your body tells you that you lack vitamin C.
Does craving lemons and limes while pregnant mean it’s a boy or girl?
Old wives’ tales are always fun to talk about and it will lead to some speculation as to whether you are expecting a boy or girl depending on what type of food you are consuming.
It has been said that the more you crave sour and citrus fruits, the more likely it is that your baby is a girl. Again, these things are fun to think about but your food consumption or cravings do not dictate the gender of your baby.
If you want to learn more, I have a HUGE list of the most common pregnancy cravings just for you!