Pregnancy is well known for cravings. It comes in all tastes and textures. One of the most common cravings during pregnancy is for sour food. Craving for sour foods is generally high during the first trimester. But then as you know, not all the cravings safe and healthy. If you like the tangy, sour taste then you must be using tamarind in your food. What about tamarind during pregnancy-is it safe?
Is It Safe To Eat Tamarind During Pregnancy?
Tamarind causes no harm to the normal progression of pregnancy or to the healthy development of the fetus. However, moderation is the key when it comes to consuming tamarind during pregnancy. It is advisable to keep intake of tamarind during pregnancy below 10 grams per day
It is equally important how the tamarind is consumed when it comes to its safety, health benefits, and side effects. Still, just popping in a small piece to fulfill your craving for tamarind during pregnancy will not cause any harm
Excessive consumption of tamarind, especially in raw or undiluted form, can be hazardous. Tamarind also can potentially react to some medications. Therefore, it is important to seek a medical opinion before including tamarind in your everyday menu.
Nutritional Benefits Of Eating Tamarind During Pregnancy
According to experts, tamarind is a rich source of nutrients. It is loaded with potassium, calcium, iron, and dietary fiber. It also has a reasonable amount of protein and healthy sugars.
Tamarinds are rich in polyphenols and flavonoids and contain decent amounts of vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C. It is known for therapeutic properties like anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-microbial.
One cup of tamarind pulp holds many vital nutrients that aids in the healthy progression of pregnancy. It holds around 3.4 mg of iron. This is not an insignificant amount considering the fact that the daily requirement of iron during pregnancy is 27 mg.
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One cup of tamarind also provides 2.3 milligrams of niacin. Pregnant women require about 18 milligrams of niacin every day. This amount of tamarind pulp also provides 6.1 grams of dietary fiber. This is a significant portion considering expecting mothers require at least 28 grams of dietary fiber every day.
Health Benefits Of Eating Tamarind During Pregnancy
Tamarind intake during pregnancy offers amazing health benefits for both mother and the unborn baby. Here are some of the top health benefits of consuming tamarind during pregnancy.
1. Helps to combat morning sickness
Tamarind can work as an antidote to nausea and vomiting due to morning sickness majority of the expecting women contract during their first trimester. Some compounds present in tamarind with its laxative effect help to ease the vomiting sensation by soothing the stomach.
When feeling nauseous or when you think morning sickness is about to strike, suck on a piece of tamarind covered with some salt. You will feel the vomiting sensation easing out.
2. Tamarind during pregnancy improves immunity
Common colds and cough are probably the last thing you’d want to endure during pregnancy. To ensure that you stay healthy and free from infections, consuming tamarind is a good idea.
Tamarind contains a significant amount of vitamin C. It is also loaded with antioxidants. It also has antiseptic effects. Therefore, overall, tamarind aids in enhancing immunity.
3. Eases swellings and pain
Swellings and pains are not uncommon during pregnancy. The polyphenols in tamarind comprise antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, consuming tamarind during pregnancy can help to reduce swelling around the ankles, bloating, and muscle pain.
4. Enhances fetal development
Tamarind is rich in nicotinic acid/ niacin or vitamin B3 – a water-soluble vitamin. This nutrient is crucial for the healthy development of the brain and nervous system. It also helps in the development of the skin and digestive system of the fetus. Niacin also helps to prevent certain birth defects.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
5. Aids with digestion
Tamarind is an important ingredient in many ayurvedic medications for digestive issues. This sour fruit stimulates bile production and thereby, promotes digestion. Being rich in fiber tamarind eases bowel movement. So if constipation has been bothering you during pregnancy, ease it with tamarind.
It contains natural binding agents like gums and pectin. Therefore, if used in moderation it even helps to firm the stools and fight off diarrhea.
6. Helps to regulate blood pressure
Hypertension is one of the common issues of expecting mothers. Tamarind contains a significant amount of potassium and iron. It also contains mild sodium. According to studies, tamarind helps to regulate blood pressure.
Besides bringing down the blood pressure, tamarinds also and enhance cardiovascular health by lowering the bad cholesterol.
7. Helps to combat constipation
Constipation is a common issue for the majority of expecting mothers. They might have experienced it at some point in their pregnancy journey. Tamarind is a potential laxative and therefore helps to combat constipation. Thanks to the high fiber content of tamarind.
8. Helps to deal with gestational diabetes
Tamarind is known for its anti-diabetic property. It is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols which are known to regulate sugar levels. Therefore eating tamarind during pregnancy helps to deal with gestational diabetes.
9. Helps to reap the advantages of iron
Tamarind is rich in iron. Iron is one of the vital minerals required during pregnancy. As the blood volume increase by about 50%, there should be an increase in iron intake as well. It is important for the production of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying element in the blood.
Iron deficiency not only paves the way to anemia but also increases the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight of the baby. Therefore eating tamarind during pregnancy helps to reap the benefits of adequate iron intake.
10. Helps to prevent some kinds of cancer
Tamarind contains a high level of polyphenols and flavonoids. Strong antioxidants and phytochemicals in tamarind help to prevent the cell damages caused by free radicals. Tamarind, therefore, believes to prevent some forms of cancers.
Related Reading: Eating Tomatoes During Pregnancy- Is It Safe?
Are There Any Side Effects Of Eating Tamarind During Pregnancy?
Despite all the advantages mentioned above, excessive intake of tamarind during pregnancy bears some risks and side effects.
1. Harmful effects of excess intake of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients that pose many health benefits including enhancing immunity. However, overindulgence of vitamin C can pose many harmful effects in an expecting mother.
In early pregnancy, excessive intake of tamarind can cause miscarriage or self-induced abortion. This is because excess vitamin C impedes the production of the pregnancy hormone progesterone.
High doses of vitamin C in later pregnancy increase the chances of preterm delivery. It can also cause cell damages in the fetus.
If taken in moderation, tamarind acts as a laxative that eases constipation, which is beneficial. However, if exceeds, it can cause uncontrolled diarrhea. This can increase the risk of dehydration. Dehydration stimulates uterine contraction.
Thus, excessive consumption of tamarind during the third trimester can end up in preterm labor. Therefore, tamarind and induction of labor are interconnected.
3. Aspirin Interaction
Eating tamarind during pregnancy can cause miscarriage if taken along with medication like aspirin. This is because tamarind interacts with aspirin. It enhances the absorption of this medicine by the body. This increases the side effects of aspirin
Aspirin is a blood thinner. Over absorption of aspirin can bring about bleeding complications. When the blood thins, it impedes proper nutrient absorption by the fetus. Over absorption of aspirin by the mother can also bring about irregular blood flow in the unborn baby. This adversely affects fetal development.
Aspirin interaction can also increase the chance of miscarriage and lung and heart issues in the fetus. Aspirin interaction towards the end of pregnancy could delay labor. So, if you are taking aspirin, it is better to stay away from tamarind intake during pregnancy.
4. Ibuprofen Interaction
Similar to aspirin interaction, tamarind also interacts with ibuprofen. It increases the Ibuprofen absorption by the body which can be harmful. This drug is categorized as class D. This means, if you take this drug during the third trimester, it could harm the fetus.
Even though the dosage of this drug is low, if it is taken along with tamarind, its effect multiple many folds. This is because tamarind enhances the ability of the body to absorb ibuprofen.
Over absorption of this drug can close the heart passage of the fetus permanently. It can also bring about lung and cardiovascular damage. It can even end up with fetal demise. It also delays the onset of labor in pregnant women.
What Happens If You Eat Too Much Tamarind?
Tamarind holds many health benefits. But eating too much tamarind can bring about many issues during pregnancy. It could,
- Bring about an imbalance in blood sugar level
- Interact with medicines like paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, resulting in over-absorption of these drugs. (therefore, never eat tamarind before 24 hours after these drugs are taken)
- Cause self-induced abortion
- Delay labor
Does Tamarind Help With Pregnancy Nausea?
Yes. Tamarind is traditionally used to fight off nausea and morning sickness. Even though pregnancy can make you averse to many foods, experience food aversions, many expecting women enjoy eating tamarind dishes like puliyogare during pregnancy. Some like to drink rasam during pregnancy when they feel nauseous.
Tamarind chutney, tamarind sambhar, or just sucking on some of it seems to provide relief to pregnant women from nausea.
How To Incorporate Tamarind In Pregnancy Diet?
Always consider safety when eating tamarind during pregnancy. Tamarind should be consumed with other food items rather than raw or undiluted form. You can eat tamarind in the form of candies. You can also find out a variety of Indian recipes like rasam, puliyogare, etc.
We hope you have a great pregnancy.