8 Amazing Benefits Of Pepper During Pregnancy

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Pepper is a dried fruit used for seasoning and is one of the most commonly used spices. You may be skeptical about consuming pepper during pregnancy due to its heat and spiciness. However, you can safely consume a moderate amount to add a kick to your meals.

Besides enhancing the flavor of food, it has several beneficial properties. For example, it helps improve immunity, enhance digestion, and maintain blood pressure levels.

It is normal to worry about whether the foods you consume during pregnancy are safe. Knowing the various benefits and side effects of each food can help you consume them safely and enjoy flavorful and nutritious meals.

Scroll through to learn more about pepper consumption during pregnancy, including its benefits and side effects.

Benefits Of Pepper During Pregnancy

Apart from its spicy taste, pepper does have some health benefits to offer. Go ahead and check out a few of them:

1. Helps in digestion

Pepper during pregnancy can improve your digestion.

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During pregnancy, the functioning of your digestive system can go haywire. Pepper can play a role in improving your digestion and providing relief from issues like bloating, gas and cramps (1).

2. Prevents cancer

When you are pregnant, your body has to go through a lot of changes. You may suffer from oxidative damages, which can lead to cancer in the future. Pepper contains carotenoids, which is an antioxidant. It can prevent any DNA damage and keep you safe from cancer (2).

3. Fights acne

Pepper helps keep your skin blemish free.

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Many women end up with acne and other skin problems during pregnancy. Pepper contains ingredients that can help keep your skin blemish free (3).

Quick tip
Eating honey with black pepper or applying this paste over the acne or acne lesions may help in the healing process. Speak to your doctor before following any home remedies for acne.

4. Cures cough and cold

Getting a cold while pregnant can be a real nuisance. Fortunately, pepper can help you out here too. There is no scientific evidence to back this claim, but several cultures from around the world use pepper to treat cold and cough.

5. A natural antidepressant

During pregnancy, many women suffer from anxiety and depression (4). Including pepper in your diet is a great way to beat the pregnancy blues.

6. Contains folate

Pepper prevents neural tube defect in your unborn baby.

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You need folate or folic acid during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defect in your unborn baby. All kinds of pepper contain a good quantity of folate (5).

7. Boosts immune system

Your immunity is low during pregnancy. Pepper contains vitamin C that can give your immunity a boost and prevent common illnesses like cold and cough (6).

8. Keeps blood pressure in check

High blood pressure is a big threat to your health during pregnancy. Potassium helps keep blood pressure under control (7). Pepper is rich in potassium and can prevent hypertension and preeclampsia.

Point to consider
Black pepper powder and seeds may be adulterated with papaya seeds, which can adversely affect the pregnancy due to its papain content (13). Buy quality black pepper from a trusted manufacturer and supplier to avoid this risk.

That’s a quite a lot of benefits from the spicy pepper! But there are a few side effects that come with the package too.

Side Effects Of Eating Pepper During Pregnancy

Excessive pepper consumption can cause gastric problems.

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Here are a few side effects of consuming your favorite spice:

1. Gastrointestinal problems

Excessive pepper consumption can cause gastric problems. So, if you have a sensitive stomach, avoid pepper (8).

2. Allergies

Consuming pepper can cause allergy-like symptoms in some women. If you have experienced such symptoms before, stay clear of black pepper during pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is black pepper harmful during pregnancy?

Although moderate and mindful consumption of black pepper is safe, it could sometimes lead to heartburn while pregnant. More research is needed to demonstrate its effects on pregnancy-related complications (9) (10).

2. What spices to avoid in pregnancy?

Excess use of peppermint, poppy seeds, and nutmeg could be avoided when pregnant. Moreover, according to the American Pregnancy Association, saw palmetto, ephedra, passion flower, and pennyroyal are among the herbs that are best avoided during pregnancy (11) (12).

Spices such as pepper are great additions to food preparations and could change the taste of a dish, besides being beneficial for health. If you wish to have pepper during pregnancy, you may add it to your food in small quantities. Consuming pepper may aid in digestion, fighting acne, cough, and cold while pregnant. However, that does not mean you may load your dishes with all kinds of pepper because it could increase the risk of gastric troubles and allergies. If you have spicy cravings, you may add this spice to your meal in moderation and consult your doctor if you have any apprehensions.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. K Srinivasan; (2007); Black pepper and its pungent principle-piperine: a review of diverse physiological effects.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17987447/
  2. R S Vijayakumar et al.; (2004); Antioxidant efficacy of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) and piperine in rats with high fat diet induced oxidative stress.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15231065/
  3. Final report on the safety assessment of capsicum annuum extract, capsicum annuum fruit extract, capsicum annuum resin, capsicum annuum fruit powder, capsicum frutescens fruit, capsicum frutescens fruit extract, capsicum frutescens resin, and capsaicin.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17365137/
  4. A Possible New Treatment for Depression.
    https://www.med.upenn.edu/psychiatry/assets/user-content/documents/enewsletter_022513.pdf
  5. Katherine M Phillips et al.; (2006); Difference in folate content of green and red sweet peppers (Capsicum annuum) determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17177533/
  6. Eva S Wintergerst et al.; (2006); Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16373990/
  7. P K Whelton et al.; (1997); Effects of oral potassium on blood pressure. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9168293/
  8. B M Myers et al.; (1987); Effect of red pepper and black pepper on the stomach.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3103424/
  9. Heartburn and Nausea.
    https://www.sutterhealth.org/health/pregnancy/heartburn-nausea
  10. Zulfa Nurfitri Ramadhani et al.; (2020); The Safety of Herbal Used for Health Complaints during Pregnancy – A Systematic Review.
    https://www.sysrevpharm.org/articles/the-safety-of-herbal-used-for-health-complaints-during-pregnancy–a-systematic-review.pdf
  11. Spicing Up Your Life during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Are Spices and Herbs Ok?
    https://mothertobaby.org/baby-blog/spicing-up-your-life-during-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding-are-spices-and-herbs-ok/
  12. Herbs and Pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/herbs-and-pregnancy/
  13. Ruwani Dissanayake et al.; (2016); The Length Polymorphism of the Locus psbA-trnH is Idyllic to Detect the Adulterations of Black Pepper with Papaya Seeds and Chili.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301903683_The_Length_Polymorphism_of_the_Locus_psbA-trnH_is_Idyllic_to_Detect_the_Adulterations_of_Black_Pepper_with_Papaya_Seeds_and_Chili

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