Is It Bad To Eat Spicy Food While Pregnant

Can They Cause Miscarriage

Spicy foods while pregnant: are they safe? | Nourish with Melanie #75

One of the main reasons that women avoid spicy foods during pregnancy is that there is a rumour that they can cause miscarriages. Although you may read this in blogs, there is no evidence to suggest that eating spicy foods during pregnancy can cause miscarriages. The reason that this rumour probably started, is that there is there are a few small studies which have found a link between spicy foods and preterm labour. Preterm labour is when you go into labour before 37 weeks, and obviously having your baby before he or she is fully developed is undesirable.

But, personally, unless you have a high risk of preterm labour, I dont believe that you need to avoid spicy foods for this reason. Theres a lot of other risk factors that are much more likely to cause preterm labour than eating spicy foods. For example, smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm labour by approximately 30%. Having high levels of psychological stress is another cause. And, remember there are millions of women around the world, in countries like Thailand and India, who consume spicy foods daily throughout their pregnancies with little issue.

What Eating Well Means

  • eating more healthy foods containing folic acid, iron and iodine
  • limiting intake of high fat and high sugar foods
  • taking vitamin supplements containing vitamin D
  • drinking lots of fluids but only small amounts of caffeine
  • not drinking alcohol at all
  • taking care how you prepare and store food

Can Spicy Food Affect My Baby

The most common question that pregnant woman have is that is spicy food bad for pregnancy? Spicy food does not have any impact on the pregnancy, and it will not harm the baby in any way.

Although spicy food is safe to consume during pregnancy, it is best to keep its intake limited in order to avoid discomfort due to heartburn and indigestion. Eating a healthy diet with a mix of different flavours will help break the monotony and keep your taste buds interested in the food you consume.

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Spices Not To Eat While Pregnant:

Here is a quick list that will come in handy when creating your diet plan.

1. Fenugreek:

Consumption of fenugreek seeds has a reverse effect on the uterus, and hence it is not advisable to be consumed by pregnant women. When fenugreek is taken raw, it can cause bloating, acidity troubles, gas problems and also diarrhoea. A very high dosage of fenugreek seeds can also cause retardation of growth in children.

2. Garlic:

Garlic is potentially toxic and is thus not advisable to be consumed during pregnancy. The Garlic has the power to cause bodily harm to both you and your baby as it could cause bleeding and heartburn. Watch out for the quantity you consume.

3. Peppermint Tea:

Peppermint tea helps in the relaxation of the uterus, but this increases the risk of miscarriage. Applying peppermint oil during these times can cause menstruation and one have to be extra cautious before using peppermint available in any form. Anything that has peppermint dosage in it can be a potential threat to the baby.

4. Asafoetida:

Commonly known as hing, asafoetida is a regular spice available in the market easily. This is a strict no during pregnancy since the consumption of this spice can also lead to miscarriage. It may also cause blood loss. It can cause problems with ones blood pressure too.

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What Are Some Safe Heartburn Remedies To Take During Pregnancy

Junk Food During Pregnancy

They say you canât have too much of a good thing, but try telling that to your tummy after eating chicken vindaloo â and licking the plate clean with your finger If youâre repenting after popping one too many jalapeno poppers into your mouth, though, get ready to reach for some OTC relief. âChewable Tums are always safe to take during pregnancy and they also provide a little extra calcium,â advises Dr. Flynn. âMylanta is also safe when used sporadically.â And be sure to listen to your body if you feel icky after eating spicy food, you might want to limit the times you eat it, no matter how tempting those spicy tacos are.

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What If Eating Spicy Food While Pregnant Upsets Your Stomach

Because pregnancy hormones slow your digestive system, heartburn and stomach upset are common during pregnancy.

In the first trimester of pregnancy, eating spicy foods is less likely to cause as many side effects beyond adding to the nausea of existing morning sickness. In the second and third trimester, when your uterus is expanding and pressing on your stomach, eating spicy food can cause heartburn as well, but also indigestion, nausea, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

There are many over-the-counter medicines for heartburn that are unsafe to use while pregnant. If you have heartburn, you can drink some milk or have yogurt to try to find some relief.

Eating Fish While Pregnant

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise pregnant, nursing, or even women considering having children, to eat 2-3 servings of certain varieties of seafood each week in order to protect developing babies from high levels of potentially brain-damaging mercury.

Here are drafted recommendations and guidelines that government officials say will help pregnant women reduce their exposure to mercury:

  • Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, bigeye tuna, orange roughy, or golden or white snapper from the Gulf of Mexico, because they often contain high levels of mercury.
  • Eat 8-12 ounces a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish and shellfish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
  • Another commonly eaten fish, albacore tuna, has more mercury than canned light tuna. So when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, limit your consumption of albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week.
  • When eating fish you or others have caught from streams, rivers, and lakes, pay attention to fish advisories on those waterbodies. If there are no warnings, limit eating such fish to 6 ounces a week and 1-3 ounces for young children.
  • When adding more fish to your diet, be sure to stay within your calorie needs.Fish sticks and fast-food sandwiches are commonly made from fish that are low in mercury.

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Can You Eat Spicy Food When Pregnant

Theres no scientific evidence to suggest you need to cut out spicy foods during your pregnancy, so if you enjoy your food with a bit of a kick, theres no need to cool things down. In fact, many women experience strong cravings for hot, spicy foods during pregnancy. These cravings can be caused by fluctuating pregnancy hormones which can play with your sense of taste and smell.

As long as you remember to include a variety of vegetables in amongst all that spice, theres no harm in enjoying your favourite spicy foods. Read more about a healthy balanced diet during pregnancy.

Should You Avoid Any Specific Spices While Pregnant

Nutrition : How to Eat Hot Food During Pregnancy

There are no known spices that are harmful during pregnancy, but pay attention to any added herbal ingredients to spices you purchase, especially in spice blends and seasonings.

Many spice blends and herbal seasonings contain a long list of ingredients, and some herbs that can actually be harmful to you or your unborn child during pregnancy.

The FDA recommends that pregnant women consult their doctor before ingesting any herbal supplements. There are many herbs that are unsafe during pregnancy and can cause miscarriage, harm to your baby, premature birth, or uterine contractions. These dangerous herbs are contraindicated during pregnancy and should be avoided.

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Why Do I Crave Spicy Food During Pregnancy

Its really common to crave spicy food during pregnancy . The exact scientific reason as to why this is hasnt been established, but some unproven theories have been put forward.

The most likely explanation for spicy food cravings is that hormonal changes cause your senses of taste and smell to alter, and your food preferences and aversions change in turn.

Cravings dont seem to have a direct cause, but aversions are linked to what may have made you feel nauseous earlier in your pregnancy .

Another theory is that pregnant women are often hot, and spicy food stimulates sweating to cool down. More theories also suggested that cravings are due to nutritional deficits, or are purely from cultural influences. Many of these were looked at in a 2014 study and no one conclusion could be drawn .

The bottom line is nobody knows exactly why women crave spicy food. If you have such cravings, theyre perfectly normal. It doesnt have any particular meaning that should affect your or your baby and is not a symptom of anything dangerous or sinister.

Rumored Effects Of Spicy Food On Pregnant Women

The following are rumors and are not backed by expert research and study, but are all testimonials of women who have gone through the experience and confirm these statements as effects of eating hot and peppery foods when pregnant.

  • Rumor # 1: Pregnant women who are expecting a boy tend to crave for spicy foods.

Some say pregnant women crave bizarre food and their choices for food indicate the unborn childâs sex. It is believed those carrying infant girls crave sweets while those carrying boys crave spicy piquant foods.

  • Rumor # 2: Spicy food can induce labor.

Some people believe pungent foods can naturally induce labor in other words, that stimulating the digestive system of an expectant woman may also stimulate contractions. Base on the physiology of contractions and its stimuli, this statement may be indirectly true. Spicy food can sometimes cause irritation and diarrhea â diarrhea can lead to dehydration â a known side effect of dehydration is causing contractions to start. Another probable explanation is the fiery hot food increases prostaglandin, which helps contract smooth muscles and induces labor.

  • Rumor # 3: Consuming spicy foods can result in birthing an ill-tempered baby.
  • Rumor # 4: Eating too much fiery food can result in giving birth to a blind baby.
  • Rumor # 5: Eating peppery foods during pregnancy can leave markings on the babyâs skin.
  • Rumor # 6: Excessive consumption of spicy food can reduce the amount of the infantâs hair.

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Are Spicy Foods Bad During Pregnancy

Almost every culture in every country has its own belief about pregnancy diets. From spicy foods increasing body heat to inducing early labor, the myths are many. But its good to know your facts before completely eliminating peppery hot foods from your diet.

Are you a healthy pregnant woman without any kind of gastrointestinal or gastroesophageal issues? Go ahead and eat what you like, provided you dont overeat.1 Were you naturally prone to GI issues even before pregnancy and are now facing the pregnancy side effects such as acid reflux and morning sickness? Then, you need to be a little more cautious.

Lets take a closer look at the negative symptoms of pregnancy and how spicy foods affect them:

Irritable Uterus Due To Spicy Food

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Though spicy food is usually safe during pregnancy, too much spice or a sensitive digestive system can have some side-effects for pregnant women. In some women, spicy food can cause an irritable uterus or irritation in the intestines. Spicy foods usually pass through the gastro-intestinal tract quicker than non-spicy food, and may even cause diarrhoea, acidity, or gas. These issues can make the intestines cramp, which in turn, causes irritation in the uterus due to its close proximity to the intestines. The major symptom of an irritable uterus is disorganised twitching in the uterine muscles or cramps in the lower abdomen, which in rare cases, can cause contractions that begin to dilate the cervix. Women who are less than 37 weeks pregnant and experience any such symptoms should immediately consult their doctor, who can further guide them. If you notice any sensitivity to spicy foods during pregnancy, such as acidity, gas, or cramping, it is suggested that you avoid spicy food.

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Why You Should Enjoy Spicy Foods During Pregnancy

But don’t get rid of those chili peppers just yet! There are some benefits to eating spicy foods during pregnancy. Researchers say capsaicin in peppers can have anti-inflammatory effects, which support your immune system and overall health . Enjoying spicy food may also expand your baby’s palate. Exposure to different tastes may increase your baby’s potential liking of different foods as they absorb the spicy flavors through the amniotic fluid. Research has shown what you eat in pregnancy influences your baby’s food preferences later in life. So you may have a hot sauce lover on your hands!

Old wives tales also say that spicy foods can induce labor. Although research has found that some women report having successfully induced labor via spicy foods, there isn’t hard scientific evidence to confirm that claim, according to Healthline.

If you partake in spicy food during pregnancy, be sure to stay hydrated and consume in moderation. If you experience symptoms of discomfort after eating spicy food, be sure to check with your doctor about which over-the-counter medications are safe for pregnancy. You should also consult with your medical team if those gastrointestinal pains don’t go away or become more severe.

Food Cravings During Pregnancy

You’ve probably known women who craved specific foods during pregnancy, or perhaps you’ve had such cravings yourself. Some old theories held that a hunger for a particular type of food indicated that a woman’s body lacked the nutrients that food contains. Although this turned out not to be so, it’s still unclear why these urges occur.

Some pregnant women crave chocolate, spicy foods, fruits, and comfort foods, such as mashed potatoes, cereals, and toasted white bread. Other women crave non-food items, such as clay and cornstarch. The craving and eating of non-food items is known as pica. Consuming things that aren’t food can be dangerous to both you and your baby. If you have urges to eat non-food items, notify your doctor.

But following your cravings is fine as long as you crave foods that contribute to a healthy diet. Often, these cravings let up about 3 months into the pregnancy.

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Some Popular Spicy Foods

There are certain spicy foods that are tasty but may need caution while consuming during pregnancy. Let us understand them and their inclusion in your diet.

Curry sauce is a blend of fresh onion, garlic, chili paste, and all common spices. Used largely in Indian cooking, it is safe to consume during pregnancy. Too much can give you stomach pain or heartburn, but will not hurt your baby.

Wasabi peas are hot and crunchy peas which can be addictive. It is safe to eat and causes no harm.

Kimchi is a Korean dish made of pickled cabbage and is served with noodles and barbecued meat. It is safe to eat unless it has raw seafood.

Tom Yum soup is a clear hot and sour soup made with lemongrass, lime juice, kaffir, lime leaves, fish sauce, and chili peppers. It is safe to take unless you have it in large amounts in one go.

Middle Eastern cooking sauces are sweet sauces made of tomato coriander, black onion seeds, and green chilies. They are safe to eat in moderate amounts.

Piri-piri sauce is a blend of onion, garlic, tomato, lemon, spices, and the key ingredient is the super-hot African birds eye chili. It is safe to eat as long as you do not include a lot if it.

As every pregnancy and body system is different, the tolerance levels for spicy foods are different too. This means that you should perhaps be a better judge of how much of spice you would like to consume. You could check with your healthcare provider about it.

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Does Craving Spicy Food While Pregnant Mean Its A Boy Or Girl

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There are countless old wives tales about pregnancy, childbirth, and babies. Possibly the most common and fun to entertain are those revolving around the idea that the food you are craving may give some indication as to whether the baby you are carrying is a boy or a girl.

The fact that you have spicy food cravings doesnt mean you can go ahead and plan that gender reveal party or paint your babys nursery just yet. Food cravings experienced during pregnancy dont provide any information on the sex of your unborn baby.

While analyzing the specific food cravings you are experiencing and trying to draw conclusions about the sex of your baby may be fun and exciting, that bottom line is that there is no real scientific evidence that food cravings foretell the sex of your unborn baby.

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Does Craving Spicy Food Predict Babys Gender

Its a lot of fun to try and guess, but unfortunately, cravings arent a reliable indicator of the gender of your baby.

This myth began doing the rounds in 2008 when around 2,200 women were surveyed on a now-defunct parenting website about what they craved during pregnancy, and what the sex of their baby was.

The survey results showed that women who had boys craved spicy food more often, and chocolate was the most popular craving for those having girls. This was picked up by a tabloid paper in the UK , who misleadingly declared if you crave spicy food, youre probably having a boy.

Since this was just a survey with no scientific basis or measurements, no real conclusion can be drawn from it until better studies are done in the future. Well certainly add them here when they are!

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