There is often a strong craving for certain foods when a woman is pregnant. A craving for salty, sweet, sour, or spicy food is most common. The majority of expectant mothers like to add black pepper to bland dishes to make them more appealing but are concerned about the effects of black pepper during pregnancy on the unborn child. Is it safe to have black pepper during pregnancy? Historically, black pepper has been used in cooking and medicine for centuries. The health benefits of black pepper extend beyond its use as a flavoring and cooking ingredient.
Various health problems can be treated with black pepper, which include lung disease, liver problems, indigestion, constipation, toothaches, and sunburn. The pepper’s therapeutic properties do not necessarily indicate that it is safe to use during pregnancy. We will look at the benefits and possible side effects of black pepper while pregnant.
Nutritional Value Of Black Pepper
A variety of minerals are found in black pepper, making it a highly nutritious spice. Black pepper contains no calories. Antioxidants are abundant in the compound piperine, found in black pepper. This compound is responsible for most of black pepper’s health benefits1.
- Black pepper is high in manganese. One teaspoon of ground black pepper provides around 13% of the daily needed manganese2
- Black pepper also contains minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and potassium
- Black pepper contains no cholesterol
- It contains traces of vitamin B5, B6, and vitamin K
Related Reading: 21 Pregnancy Superfoods To Include In Your Pregnancy Diet
Is It Safe To Eat Pepper While Pregnant?
Every expecting mother should be aware of spices to be consumed & spices to be avoided during pregnancy. Pepper can be safe for expectant mothers when consumed in moderation. Pregnant women may also benefit from it in many ways. Although conclusive scientific proof is rare, it is best if a pregnant woman does not eat large quantities of pepper during her pregnancy. Wondering if black pepper tea during pregnancy is safe? Well, excessive consumption of black pepper may have some serious side effects when pregnant. So, it’s better to avoid it more than food quantity in order to avoid complications.
Consuming too much black pepper may leave you feeling acidic. Pregnant women are especially at risk for acidity. Always be careful while consuming black pepper during pregnancy first trimester, as it tends to increase the body’s core temperature. Consuming black pepper alone is also not recommended during this time. For enhanced taste and nutrition, sprinkle black pepper powder over fruits, vegetables, or salads. Lemon and salt are also good additions.
Health Benefits Of Consuming Black Pepper During Pregnancy
Known as the “king of spices”, pepper is the most popular spice. You can make your pregnant food more palatable by adding a dash of pepper. Black pepper has the following benefits during pregnancy:
1. Black pepper helps to stimulate digestion
During pregnancy, women’s digestion becomes slower. It helps make sure you get the most nutrients from the food you eat by slowing down its movement through your digestive system. Slowed digestion, however, can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal cramps during pregnancy. Pregnant women can improve their digestion with black pepper.
Black pepper contains piperine, which stimulates the release of hydrochloric acid (HCl) within the stomach, which assists in digestion and prevents gastric troubles. It also helps resolve gastrointestinal disorders by flushing out toxins. Research suggests black pepper can increase good gut bacteria3. This is one of the important benefits of black pepper during pregnancy.
2. Enhances nutrient absorption
Piperine, the alkaloid in pepper promotes nutrient absorption and improves digestion. Adding black pepper to food may improve absorption of calcium and selenium. Pepper helps to increase the absorption of some key nutrients in green tea and turmeric milk. All of these nutrients are crucial for a healthy pregnancy4.
3. Black pepper works as a natural remedy for cough and cold
Colds and coughs recur frequently during pregnancy. The condition can be extremely uncomfortable, and taking medications for it is not recommended either. Black pepper is an excellent home remedy for coughs and colds during pregnancy.
In Ayurvedic medicine, black pepper has been used for a long time as a remedy for these conditions. A nasal decongestant and a mucus remover, these medications ease nasal congestion and remove mucus from the respiratory tract, thereby accelerating the healing process. Vitamin C, flavonoids, antioxidants and antibacterial properties are all present in black pepper, which can help your immunity and treat coughs and colds. Hence, pepper is ideal for treating coughs and colds when added to hot soups or mixed with honey5.
4. Acts as a brain booster and mood enhancer
Depression and anxiety are common among pregnant women. Pepper helps our brain to work more efficiently6. By stimulating chemical pathways in the brain, it enhances memory. You should not take medications for anxiety or depression if you are expecting a child. If you are suffering from pregnancy blues or pregnancy brain, adding black pepper to your diet is the easiest remedy.
Related Reading: 9 Early Warning Signs Of Postpartum Depression To Watch Out For
5. Black pepper helps control blood sugar
Women experiencing gestational diabetes will benefit from taking black pepper to control their sugar levels. Because piperine in black pepper is a powerful antioxidant, it has the potential to stabilize blood sugar levels. Also as already mentioned it also boosts the digestive tract’s health. This helps to control blood sugar levels in expecting women with gestational diabetes7.
6. Black pepper helps to boost the immune system
A pregnant woman’s immune system is compromised during the pregnancy period. She is, therefore, more susceptible to infections. Medicines for infections may not always be safe for pregnant women. Using black pepper as a natural remedy can be beneficial & is one of the simple ways to boost immunity during pregnancy. With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, this spice helps keep infections at bay. Black pepper for pregnancy also contains Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system8.
7. Help maintain the blood pressure
Many pregnant women suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Research has suggested that black pepper can reduce cholesterol levels9. It has been found that black pepper, which contains the compound piperine, can significantly lower blood pressure. Although not abundant in black pepper, it also contains potassium.
It contributes to maintaining a healthy level of blood pressure. Excessive blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to serious health issues. The developing fetus can also be affected. By including black pepper in your pregnancy diet, you can reduce the risk of preeclampsia and hypertension, and you ensure that your fetus is healthy.
8. Effective in fighting cancer
Black pepper’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties can help keep cancer at bay. Women’s bodies undergo significant changes during pregnancy. These changes can often trigger oxidative damages that can lead to cancer later on.
Studies have also shown that black pepper can help prevent cancer. Piperine in Pepper reduces cell damage and keeps tissues healthy with its antioxidant properties. It prevents any DNA damage and thus, protects both the mother and fetus from cancer10.
9. Black pepper is an effective remedy for acne
Pimples and acne are common during pregnancy. They are caused by rising pregnancy hormones that upset the hormone balance. Adding black pepper to pregnant women’s diets can alleviate this issue to some extent. Having black pepper mixed with honey will prevent pimples and acne from appearing or help heal them sooner.
You can also apply black pepper and honey paste to infected areas to heal them faster. Black pepper and turmeric combo, as well as black pepper and yogurt combo, both works well and is one of the simple tips for a glowing skin during pregnancy.
Black pepper contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties that are effective for unclogging pores, treating acne, acne scarring, and blemishes. Black pepper also exfoliates the skin. Combined with oatmeal, black pepper can be used as an excellent exfoliator, removing dead, dull skin from the skin, which may prevent excessive skin pigmentation11.
10. Helps to alleviate joint pains
Peperine, a constituent of the pepper species, is an alkaloid that has long been used to treat inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. As an anti-inflammatory, nociceptive, and antiarthritic agent, piperine in black pepper reduces pain and inflammation. Pregnancy often brings about joint pains and leg cramps for many women. Many of these aches and pains can be alleviated by black pepper during pregnancy.
Related Reading: 7 Home Remedies For Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
Is Pepper Soup Good For A Pregnant Woman?
Gastric troubles are common during pregnancy, along with acidity or blotting sensation. Pregnant women are usually advised to eat bland meals that are usually not very appetizing. The lack of taste makes pregnant women lose their appetite. A pregnant woman who does not eat well could develop serious complications because she is not getting enough nutrients.
Black pepper is not only a flavour enhancer in pregnancy, but also contributes to a healthier pregnancy. A bowl of healthy vegetable soup with some pepper in it can be beneficial to pregnant women. In addition to reducing digestion issues, it increases appetite and supplies most of the necessary nutrients.
Side Effects Of Consuming Pepper During Pregnancy
You found the perfect seasoning with nutritional benefits for your salads and soups. Also, you know that this spice offers many benefits to your pregnancy. So, you must be eager to begin using this wonder spice. However, you should be aware of the disadvantages of black pepper and the harms that can be caused when it is improperly used during pregnancy.
1. Risk of increasing core body temperature
When pregnant women consume black pepper, their body temperature can rise. It is one of the major side effects of black pepper during pregnancy. The sudden rise in your body temperature during pregnancy is not good for the healthy progress of the pregnancy. It can increase the risk of some major complications, too. Particularly, during the summer, black pepper consumption can be highly dangerous. It is always better to stay away from spicy foods if you are expecting during the summer months.
2. Risk of allergy
Black pepper is an allergen for many women. It can cause an array of reactions that indicate an allergy. In such cases, you should avoid pepper intake. If you suspect an allergic reaction, try a small amount of it in your food and watch for reactions. If there are no signs, then, and only then, should black pepper be added to the pregnancy diet. Your doctor should be consulted if you experience an allergic reaction and the symptoms persist.
Related Reading: 9 Common Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of
3. Risk of experiencing burning sensation
Indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy can prove to be a real nuisance. Black pepper can also cause a burning sensation in the bodies of pregnant women. After consuming pepper, it is normal to experience a burning sensation in the stomach or throat. However, if the pregnant woman is already suffering from such symptoms, consumption of black pepper will aggravate the issue. In such cases, it’s best to avoid spicy foods.
4. May stimulate the uterus
When consumed in proper form, black pepper does not harm pregnant women. When in oil form and applied topically to the skin, pepper has been known to be a uterine stimulant. Due to this, women in pregnancy are more likely to experience early contractions.
Pregnant women and black pepper have been the topic of a lot of discussions. Pregnant women can use black pepper to satisfy their appetites for delicious food. We now know that black pepper not only enhances bland dishes but also has some health benefits. Kali Mirchi during pregnancy is not harmful as long as you consume it in moderation.
Black pepper can be consumed with healthy foods, as well as mixed with other spices. Pepper’s health benefits are enhanced when combined with other spices like turmeric.
As a seasoning, it can be added alone or combined with cumin powder to salads, fruits, and vegetables.
Black pepper during pregnancy can, however, cause acidity, abortion, indigestion, and burning sensations if consumed excessively.
Yes, black pepper helps to alleviate nausea during pregnancy. Add 1/2 cup of boiling water to a pinch of black pepper powder and a teaspoon of brown sugar, let steep for five minutes, then drink.
This remedy is effective to alleviate nausea and vomiting.