Many medications or herbal remedies that are commonly used to ease many discomforts are not advised during pregnancy. The medicinal value of ginger is famous. But, is it safe to have ginger during pregnancy?
You might have heard not all herbs, irrespective of its medicinal value, are safe during pregnancy. If you are an adrak chai fan, if you used to include this amazing herb in your dishes liberally, no wonder you are having concerns about its safety during pregnancy.
Ginger is a common member of Indian spice racks. It is liberally used in curries and used in cookies and cakes. This article will guide you through the benefits, side effects, precautions, and ways to consume ginger during pregnancy.
Is Ginger Safe During Pregnancy?
There’s a lot of contradictory talk about whether pregnant women can benefit from using ginger to ease nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Well, according to studies moderate intake of ginger cause no harm during pregnancy.
You can safely consume raw ginger in moderation. But it is important to steer away from dry ginger root during pregnancy. Fresh ginger is safe during pregnancy. It is more beneficial as well.
Ginger is safe to consume as long as you take it in healthy amounts. Having dishes in which fresh ginger is used as an ingredient is also safe during pregnancy. But, expecting women should stay away from ginger supplements.
Ginger content in its extracts and supplements may cross the safety level allowed during pregnancy. Intake of a higher concentration of ginger during the first trimester increases the risk of miscarriage.
How Much Ginger Is Safe During Pregnancy?
Like any other herbs, when it comes to ginger during pregnancy, moderation is the key. Expecting mothers can safely consume one gram of ginger in a day. However, it is important to split the dose.
Ideally expecting women can have 250 mg of fresh ginger or dried and powdered ginger 4 times a day. But to continue this as apart of therapy for more than 4 days you should get permission from the doctor.
Many times you might wonder how to measure 1 gram of ginger. Well, the following measures equal one gram of ginger.
- One teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- Half teaspoon of powdered ginger
- Two one inch pieces of crystallized ginger (Ginger cooked in sugar syrup and coated with granulated sugar).
- 4 cups of ginger water made with a half teaspoon of freshly grated ginger ( less grated fresh ginger is needed to make ginger water because while undergoing the boiling process, certain elements of ginger get concentrated)
Nutritional Value Of Ginger
Gingers are not loaded with vitamins and minerals. Fresh ginger contains approximately 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. It also has vitamin B6, magnesium, and manganese.
Ginger also has some unique compounds. These compounds give ginger its powerful medicinal properties and health benefits.
Gingerol: Gingerol is the key compound in ginger. Its level is relatively high in fresh ginger than in dry ginger. It gives the ginger its unique aroma. It’s responsible for the majority of the medicinal properties of ginger. Research shows gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
Shogaols: The chemical structure of shogaols is similar to gingerol, but it is produced when the ginger is dried or cooked. And hence it is a dehydration product of gingerol. It also comes with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Other than these, ginger has many essential oils. As ginger ages, the concentration of essential oils also increases. Thus, the older the ginger, the spicier it gets.
What Are The Benefits Of Ginger During Pregnancy?
The versatile root ginger offers many health benefits during pregnancy. It promotes the healthy development of the fetus and the healthy progression of pregnancy. Here are some of the top benefits of ginger during pregnancy.
1. Ginger for pregnancy nausea
Ginger during first trimester of pregnancy is effective in providing fast relief from pregnancy nausea and morning sickness. In a study, 250 mg ginger capsules were administered four times a day for four days among pregnant women suffering from nausea and vomiting.
The result of this trial was incredible. The incidences of nausea and vomiting showed considerable drop. According to another study, consuming ginger for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy in moderation has no harmful maternal or neonatal effects.
Many ginger products like ginger candies and ginger tea are very effective in dealing with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
2. Ginger for headaches while pregnant
Ginger is loaded with essential oils that are responsible for both its flavor and health benefits. The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of these chemical compounds help to alleviate headaches during pregnancy.
Ginger blocks prostaglandins, which stimulate muscle contraction and thus helps prevent headaches and even migraines. Likewise, massaging a few drops of the diluted ginger oil into your temples, forehead, and back of the neck once or twice daily also helps to relieve headaches
3. Ginger during pregnancy helps to boost immunity
The immunity level will drop during pregnancy making the expecting woman susceptible to various infections. Gingerol in ginger is an immunity booster. Moreover, the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help in keeping several infections at bay.
4. Ginger helps to absorb nutrients
Ginger stimulates gastric and pancreatic enzymes. This significantly helps with digestion. It promotes the complete assimilation of nutrients from the food consumed. Both these are highly beneficial for an expecting mother.
5. Helps to maintain blood sugar level
Ginger is effective in maintaining blood sugar levels. If you already have diabetes, maintaining blood sugar levels is critical for a healthy pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can also bring about undesirable effects during the gestational period.
Expecting women can reap this benefit of ginger by simply having a ginger tea or just liberally using it while cooking dishes
6. Helps to ease bloating and heartburn
Taking ginger tea or ginger ale is excellent to deal with pregnancy issues like heartburn and bloating. Intake of ginger before bedtime helps in easing pregnancy-related indigestion, gas, and bloating. Ginger’s volatile oils are an effective means to relieve heartburn associated with pregnancy.
Side Effects Of Ginger During Pregnancy
Ginger is beneficial during pregnancy if consumed in moderation. However, if you consume excess amounts of ginger, it may bring about many side effects.
Even in moderation, ginger will not suit expecting mothers with some underlying risks and health conditions.
- Ginger has blood-thinning properties. Therefore, over-consumption of ginger towards the end of pregnancy can increase the risk of blood loss during delivery.
- Expecting mother with a history of miscarriages, vaginal bleeding, or blood clotting issues should also avoid ginger products
- Over-consumption of ginger during the first trimester can result in miscarriage carriage.
- A high dosage of ginger can drop the sugar level significantly. This could have an adverse effect on expecting mothers who are taking medicines for diabetes. it can affect the blood sugar levels of expecting mothers with gestational diabetes.
- Ginger can interact with some medications. Around 55 drugs have been listed to have contra-indications with pregnancy. Therefore, if you are under some medication, it is a necessity to get a green signal from the doctor before incorporating ginger into your diet.
How To Incorporate Ginger In Pregnancy Diet?
There are many simple ways to incorporate ginger in your regular diet during pregnancy. You can mince, chop, crush, or shred it and use it to spice up your dishes. The only thing that you should remember before adding ginger to your diet is to use it in moderation:
Find out a few way to incorporate ginger I pregnancy diet.
- Ginger cookies are excellent to provide fast relief from morning sickness. You can have it regularly without concerns. It is low in sugar and high in vitamins and minerals.
- You can use shredded ginger to spice up your soups
- You can drink ginger water by simmering 1 teaspoon of freshly shredded ginger in hot water for a few minutes
- You can also consume it in the form of ginger tea and ginger ale.
Ginger Tea During Pregnancy- How To Make
Ginger tea during pregnancy is beneficial in different ways. Drinking ginger tea during the first trimester helps to relieve morning sickness. However, never over-consume ginger tea just because it is effectively alleviating nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
You can have ginger tea twice a day during pregnancy. Drink ginger tea when you feel nauseated. Most people recommend against drinking ginger tea close to labor. This is because the blood thinning property of ginger increase the risk of bleeding.
How to make ginger tea
It is a simple process. All you need is a saucepan, water, ginger, and lime. You can use dried/ powdered or fresh ginger. If you are using dried ginger powder, half a teaspoon is enough to prepare one cup of ginger tea.
In a saucepan, combine one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger with little more than one cup of freshwater. Let it boil. Once it boiled, bring down the flame and let it simmer for five minutes. Pour the tea through the sieve into the cup. A dash of lime enhances its flavor.
Take a sip and if you find the flavor is too strong for you, you can dilute it with water until it suits your taste bud. To combat nausea, you should sip ginger tea slowly rather than consuming it fast in three or four gulps.
Can I Drink Ginger Ale During Pregnancy
Ginger ale is a popular soft drink. It contains carbonated water, sugar, and ginger flavor. Drinking ginger ale during pregnancy offers quite a few benefits.
You might have told to limit your intake of soda during your pregnancy because it is high in sugar and caffeine. And it is true.
Ginger ale, on the other hand, is free from caffeine. The carbonation and natural flavor and aroma of ginger help to settle down the tummy. Thus, it helps in warding off nausea and vomiting during the initial months of pregnancy.
The main drawback of drinking ginger ale while you are pregnant is its high level of sugar content. For the same reason, drinking ginger ale everyday during pregnancy is not really recommended.
There is nothing wrong in having a few sips of ginger ale when morning sickness is troubling you too much
Are Ginger Chews Safe During Pregnancy?
Ginger chews made from real fresh ginger is not only safe but also one of the easy ways to combat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. You can also add these chews to water instead of grated ginger while preparing ginger tea.