Limes When Pregnant: Cravings, Juice, Safety + More

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Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

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If you’re pregnant, you may experience lime cravings, and then the next logical thought is wondering if limes are safe – and how best to prepare and eat them.

For the most part, limes are safe to eat during pregnancy. In fact, limes are a good source of Vitamin C, which is essential for pregnant women.

One area of caution is the increased acidity in lime juice since it is a citrus fruit. Limes are best consumed in moderation. Too much acidity can lead to heartburn, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal issues while pregnant, especially since pregnancy itself can aggravate such symptoms.

This blog post will explore everything you need to know about the consumption of lime juice during pregnancy. From cravings to juice safety, we’ve got you covered.

Is it Safe to Eat Limes When Pregnant?

Like other citrus fruit, limes have a high acidic content. For this reason, it’s best to consume them in moderation. Too much acid can lead to heartburn and indigestion (source: Healthline). You can try diluting lime juice with water or another beverage to lessen the acidity. You can also eat lime slices instead of drinking juice. It’s unlikely you’re drinking straight lime juice anyway, but we know some cravings can be really strong!

Generally, it’s best to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy. This will give you the most nutrients and help you avoid cravings for any one food. Limes contain vitamin C, which is essential for expectant mothers. When a woman is pregnant, iron absorption is crucial, and vitamin C aids in this process. Iron helps prevent anemia, which can cause fatigue and other problems during pregnancy (source: Royal Society of Chemistry).

This means that a squeeze of lime juice over your food like tacos, salads, or fish dishes can go a long way in boosting your absorption of iron, too.

sliced fresh limes closeup

The recommended daily amount of Vitamin C for pregnant women is 85 mg (source: Medical News Today). One lime has about 44.5 mg of Vitamin C (source: Medical News today).

In our how-to-wash vegetables and fruit guide, we recommend that you wash all fruit, including limes, well before eating them. This will help remove any bacteria or pesticides on the skin. Wash the lime under running water before you slice it.

Aside from the traditional lime we use to garnish drinks, there are other types of limes. Key limes, for example, are smaller and have a more intense flavor. These can be treated the same for pregnancy safety – they’re safe if you wash them first. Persian limes are also safe, since they’re usually dried, and are therefore less likely to harbor bacteria.

Is Lime Juice or Soda Safe for Pregnant Women?

Lime soda is not recommended in large amounts during pregnancy because of its high sugar content. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other problems during pregnancy (source: Nutrients Journal). Plus, lime soda is a carbonated beverage that can cause an increased risk of gas and bloating (source: Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal). This can be uncomfortable during pregnancy, though some people say that sparkling drinks sometimes help with nausea, so it depends on what works for you.

On the other hand, lime juice is safe to consume in moderation. As we mentioned earlier, acidity can cause heartburn and indigestion (source: Healthline). If you buy lime juice in the supermarket, ensure it is labeled 100% juice with no added sugar. Also, make sure it is pasteurized. 

Unpasteurized juice can contain harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning (Souce: FDA).

It is considered safe to drink freshly squeezed lime juice during pregnancy if you’re squeezing the juice at home – for example, squeezing a lime wedge over some food. However, you should ensure the limes are correctly washed before juicing them.

For commercially-made lime juice products, including smoothies, juice blends or other types of drink – make sure these are pasteurized before enjoying them during pregnancy.

lime juice on a table

I’m Craving Limes During Pregnancy: What Does it Mean?

Pregnancy cravings can be interesting! You may desire foods you usually don’t eat or crave certain flavor combinations you have not necessarily tried before.

Some women crave limes during pregnancy because of the sour taste. Others may be trying to satisfy a need for Vitamin C. If you suddenly crave limes, it’s probably nothing to worry about, and it’s pretty safe to indulge this craving.

Limes are also often paired with salt, which is a common craving during pregnancy. This is also normal but be careful not to overdo it on the salt. Too much sodium can lead to water retention and other problems during pregnancy.

The Benefits of Limes During Pregnancy

Limes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is vital for pregnant women. This vitamin helps the body absorb iron and is essential for tissue repair. It can also help boost your immune system (source: Nutrition Reviews Journal). In addition to Vitamin C, limes are a source of folate

Folate is essential for pregnant women because it helps prevent brain and spine congenital disabilities (source: Nutrition Journal).

Limes are low in calories and fat and can help you stay hydrated if you add them to drinks or make water more “interesting” by adding lime slices. Lime water or similar drinks can also help relieve morning sickness and nausea because of its citric acid content (source: Cleveland Clinic). As we’ve already mentioned, keep acidity in mind, which might upset your stomach if you are not used to consuming foods at this level of acidity.

Limes are a delicious and refreshing fruit that can be enjoyed during pregnancy.  Just be sure to eat them in moderation and wash them properly before eating.