Pregnancy comes with a lot of restrictions, whether it’s your lifestyle or your eating habits. What you eat impacts your baby, and that’s why taking care of your well-being holistically is important. As a mother, you would certainly be cautious while choosing what to eat and what not to. So how about what spices to eat during pregnancy and what spices to avoid during pregnancy.
Spices have a special place in our kitchen, and consuming spicy food is a regular routine. We do not shy from using certain spices and natural herbs in our kitchens -they turn our bland dishes into lip-smacking, soul-satisfying food. However, when you are expecting a child, your health care provider would make some changes in your regular diet to accommodate the needs of the growing baby. When pregnant, it is always nutrition over taste.
Generally, spicy food, in moderation, does not cause any harm during pregnancy. However, consuming too much spices than you can tolerate could create problems such as heartburn, digestion, and acidity issues- pregnant or not. There are also a few spices that are best avoided during pregnancy – for both your and your baby’s safety.
So let us discuss in detail, if you can eat spices during pregnancy and what kind of spices to avoid.
6 Spices To Eat During Pregnancy
Haven’t we all heard that it’s all about what you eat when you are pregnant? Well, that is so much true. The arrival of the little new member is going to bring happiness to everyone’s life. The newborn gets its nutrition from what a mom eats. To ensure the baby gets the best, a lot of care needs to be taken.
When talking about spices, a woman has to be careful about what spices to eat during pregnancy. Although spices are natural, not all spices are safe during pregnancy. There are a few spices that contain substances that could also lead to miscarriage, preterm-birth, or affect the growth of the fetus.
Related Reading: 21 Pregnancy Superfoods To Include In Your Pregnancy Diet
On the other hand, there are a few spices that are too good to consume during pregnancy. A handful of eating those spices could benefit the mom and the baby to be born. So, here’s the list of 6 spices to eat during pregnancy.
1. Black pepper
Black pepper is one of the safest spices to eat during pregnancy. This, if eaten in moderation, can be very helpful during pregnancy. It enhances the immunity of the body which is required during the pregnancy phase.
One natural way of combating problems such as acidity, indigestion, and heartburn is by including black pepper in your pregnancy diet. Problems such as flatulence and bloating that happen during pregnancy can be easily warded off with it. Women who experience gestational diabetes will find black pepper extremely beneficial as per this study.
Also, if you have a cold and cough during pregnancy the best home remedy is to include more pepper in your food.
Read More: Black Pepper During Pregnancy- Is It Safe?
Ginger is best known for its medicinal value. It is also one of the safest spices to eat during pregnancy. Pregnancy troubles such as morning sickness, nausea can be easily tackled with help of ginger. Also, cholesterol levels can be maintained easily during the pregnancy phase by including ginger in your pregnancy diet.
To treat morning sickness, take 1 gm ginger everyday for about 4 days. You will notice a considerable improvement.
Including ginger in your pregnancy diet helps you to build more immunity thereby making you recover fast, says a study. Eating ginger helps your body to absorb nutrients from the food you consume which may help the fetus as well.
A common question that everyone asks is, “is cardamom safe during pregnancy?” Cardamom is a key ingredient in many Indian curries and for tea lovers, it’s a spice that gives one immense satisfaction. It is appealing to taste buds and has a pleasing aroma.
Cardamom during pregnancy is very safe to eat, provided you consume it in moderation. It is a good spice to battle pregnancy nausea as well – women consuming cardamom regularly experience decreased nausea. Plus, it is a mood-booster. Pregnant women suffering from anemia could include a pinch of cardamom in their tea/milk or consume cardamom regularly in their curries.
Eating cardamom has also resulted in reducing cholesterol levels, claims a research. Also, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cardamom can be helpful during pregnancy. You can also inhale the cardamom oil and eat the spice to alleviate morning sickness.
Cinnamon is a common spice that is found almost in every kitchen. You can eat foods that have cinnamon. However, doctors are against the use of cinnamon supplements during pregnancy because it is classified as an emmenagogue herb and can induce menstruation, hence miscarriage.
Its properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, blood sugar regulator add ease to pregnant women. Always ensure your doctor is there to guide you on the safe quantity for you based on your medical conditions and stages of pregnancy.
As per a source, cinnamon bark contains active ingredients that can regulate blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes is common in pregnancy. Having this spice in limitation can control blood sugar. Also, regular consumption of cinnamon helps in controlling high blood pressure. It is also a rich source of calcium and potassium.
Related Reading: Why Should You Avoid Cinnamon While Breastfeeding
Jeera or Cumin is a medicinal herb from the Indian kitchen with India being its largest producer and consumer. It is a part of everyday cooking in many Indian kitchens. If you are thinking “is cumin safe during pregnancy?” the answer is yes.
Intake of cumin seeds in a limited amount is safe during pregnancy. Too much intake of cumin can lead to certain side effects such as heartburn or increased body heat. It also reduces inflammation and aids in gas issues during pregnancy.
Turmeric is safe to consume during pregnancy. The curcumin substance present in turmeric is found to be very helpful for pregnant women. Eating meals that contain curcumin is found to control inflammation.
Turmeric is also one of the best spices that can control the heartburn you experience during pregnancy. Also, it has been found that intake of turmeric regularly helps in the development of the fetus’s brain.
6 Spices To Avoid During Pregnancy
Many people doubt eating spicy food during pregnancy. People have a misconception that eating spicy food is dangerous, whether you are pregnant or not. It’s not true! Spicy foods are safe, however, only in moderation. Eating spicy food during pregnancy has several effects – both good and bad – on you and your baby.
Many women believe in eating spicy foods to get labor going. However, there is no evidence that this works. On the other hand, there is an entirely different list of herbs and spices that are “possibly unsafe” and should not be taken without the approval of your doctor.
Listed below are the 6 spices to avoid during pregnancy.
Coriander/dhania seeds are proposed to cause harm during pregnancy and it is better to avoid or limit its intake. The phytoestrogens content stimulates the uterus contractions.
According to Ayurveda, these seeds are used after pregnancy to stimulate the period and cleanse the uterus. It is also beneficial to increase lactation and tackle hormonal disorders. It makes it clear that it should be consumed only in limitation. If you are wondering “is coriander safe during pregnancy?” the answer is yes, but in moderation.
Garlic is one of the Indian spices to avoid during pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience symptoms such as burning sensations in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after consuming garlic.
Many people add garlic to their diet as it has anti-viral properties. During the first trimester, garlic is said to be beneficial but in the second and third trimester, it is recommended to reduce the quantity. Due to its pungent taste and smell, many pregnant women experience nausea. Though it is an immunity booster, it is best to take it in moderation.
Related Reading: Garlic During Pregnancy – Benefits Risks And Precautions
Hing or Asafoetida is a common Indian spice that is widely used in Indian recipes. Hing is seen to cure any menstrual problem as it helps stimulate the uterus. Anything in small amounts is not a problem. However, asafoetida can cause a miscarriage if taken in too high amounts.
Hing can also interfere with your blood pressure. The abortifacient property in Hing could lead to miscarriage and menstruation if Hing is taken in high amount during pregnancy. Eating raw Hing can cause vomiting and nausea because of its strong flavor and hence is unhealthy for pregnant women.
4. Fenugreek/Methi Seeds
Eating fenugreek seeds during pregnancy can be beneficial for your health but it can even lead to certain complications. Fenugreek seeds, when consumed in moderation can boost your immune system greatly.
Fenugreek is one of the spices to avoid during pregnancy as it can induce contractions. Eating this any time before the 37th week could cause premature labor. Consuming fenugreek seeds can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea, and nausea.
Related Reading: How To Eat Fenugreek Seeds To Increase Breast Milk Supply?
Peppermint is one of the spices to avoid during pregnancy. Though its tea helps in the relaxation of the uterus, it also increases the risk of miscarriage, as per studies. Pregnant women are usually prescribed various supplements. In some cases, peppermint might affect the absorption of these medicines, and thus deprive the body of its benefits.
Also, excessive intake of peppermint in any form could cause heartburn, which women are more prone to during pregnancy.
6. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds or Til are used as natural ways for abortion. Sesame seed is one spice to avoid during pregnancy as it is capable of stimulating the uterine muscles, triggering contractions, and finally leading to the expulsion of the fertilized ovum.
You need to be very careful in the initial three months of pregnancy and hence it is better avoided.
Related Reading: Can Sesame Seeds During Pregnancy Cause Miscarriage? Know Here
The wonderful journey of motherhood starts with pregnancy. A pregnant woman must have a balanced and nutritious diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Though there is no evidence that spicy food is dangerous during pregnancy, it could make you feel a little uncomfortable in the digestive area, especially if you are not too used to eating spicy food.
Many women know what expectant mothers should eat and what they should avoid for the health of the little life growing inside them. Yet we suggest you should be careful about what you consume throughout the pregnancy. Remember the mantra “moderation is safe”.