Is It Safe To Eat Jalapenos During Pregnancy?

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The spicy, peppery jalapenos have many nutritional benefits. They are good sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. However, you may worry about consuming jalapenos during pregnancy due to their high spice levels. They tend to cause abdominal discomfort when eaten in excess, even in normal individuals. Since pregnancy is accompanied by a few abdominal discomforts of its own, an expectant mother could be doubtful to consume this nutrient-rich pepper. However, if you enjoy eating spices and have been craving some jalapenos in pregnancy, keep reading this post for some information.

What Is Jalapeno?

Jalapeno peppers derive their name after Xalapa in Mexico. People in Mexico and Central America cultivate the peppers from past thousands of years. However, today you can find jalapeno in Asia and other parts of the world. The two to four-inch long jalapeno is full of nutrients and vitamins. The pepper adds a dash of spice with its hot and pungent flavor to a variety of cuisines. Jalapeno offers several health benefits, so it is beneficial to eat it while you are expecting.

Quick tip
Jalapenos pickles can satiate your cravings for both spicy foods and pickles when pregnant (8).

Health Benefits Of Jalapeno During Pregnancy

1. Prevents excessive pregnancy weight gain

Jalapeno contains a natural compound, capsaicin, which makes jalapenos taste spicy. Capsaicin also helps lose weight safely during pregnancy (we do not promote weight loss during pregnancy but rather a safe weight gain rate, this benefit can do more harm than good). The compound supports burning fats and calories, helping you lose excess of weight (1).

2. Treats arthritis

Eating jalapenos during pregnancy may help treat arthritis

Image: Shutterstock

The capsaicin in jalapeno possesses anti-inflammatory properties. The compound inhibits Substance P that aids the inflammatory process. So eating jalapenos while pregnant is effective in minimizing pain and swelling in females who suffer from arthritis (2).

3. Prevents the risk of cancer

Capsaicin in jalapenos kills cancer cells, particularly prostate cancer cells. Moreover, vitamins and flavonoids in the jalapeno peppers are powerful antioxidants that help prevent cancer and curb cell damage during pregnancy (3).

4. Provides relief from headaches

Capsaicin in jalapenos effectively inhibits the neuropeptide, popular as Substance P, which is the prominent brain pain transmitter. So eating jalapenos offers you relief from headaches or a migraine during pregnancy (4).

5. Treats nasal congestion

Eating jalapenos generates heat due to capsaicin, which helps clear sinuses. Also, the compound helps combat sinus infections and cleanses the nasal airways. So, eating jalapenos while pregnant helps cure nasal congestion effectively (5).

6. Prevents the risk of ulcers

Eating Jalapeno kills bad bacteria in your abdomen and intestines while you are expecting. The pepper prevents the harmful activity of bad bacteria that can result in ulcers (6).

7. Regulates blood pressure

Eating jalapenos during pregnancy helps in regulating blood pressure

Image: Shutterstock

Jalapenos are rich in flavonoids. Also, jalapeno contains good amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. So, eating jalapeno helps regulate high blood pressure during pregnancy (7).

8. Prevents fluid retention

Fluid retention in the body is harmful during pregnancy. The fluid can accumulate around your heart and exert a strain on your heart and damage it. Swollen ankles and difficulty in breathing normally are symptoms of fluid retention. Jalapenos prevent fluid retention during pregnancy. The pepper makes you sweat and reduces the excess of fluid in your body.

9. Promotes heart health

Capsaicin in jalapenos reduces triglycerides, cholesterol, and aggregation of platelets. The compound helps dissolve fibrin, which is the key ingredient in the formation of blood clots during pregnancy. Medical studies reveal that jalapenos reduce the chances of stroke and heart attack substantially. Bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C aid in strengthening your blood vessels making them more elastic and helping them adjust to changing blood pressure during pregnancy.

Quick tip
Choose smooth, firm jalapenos that have a good color and shape. Avoid those with soft spots or wrinkled skin, thin walls, or cuts or punctures through the walls.

Can You Eat Jalapenos When Pregnant?

Eat jalapenos in moderation

Image: Shutterstock

Yes, it is completely safe to eat jalapenos while you are expecting. Since the chilly pepper is spicy, you may feel a bit uncomfortable if you don’t eat it regularly. However, make sure you eat jalapenos in appropriate amounts since excess consumption can result in heartburn, particularly in the last trimester of your pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why am I craving jalapenos while pregnant?

Cravings during pregnancy could be due to nutritional deficiencies, hormonal fluctuations, or a heightened sense of smell and taste. Your body might crave spicy food, particularly if it wants something to cool down the body temperature (8).

2. Can I eat pickled jalapenos when pregnant?

You may occasionally consume pickled jalapenos when pregnant after seeking your doctor’s approval (8). Ensure to eat in limited quantities to avoid heartburn. Also, consume only pasteurized pickled jalapenos as unpasteurized products may contain harmful pathogens.

3. Can eating jalapenos during pregnancy boost both mine and my baby’s immunity?

Jalapenos are rich in capsaicin, a chemical compound that might boost the gut microbiome. These flourishing gut microbes help boost the immune system (9). However, it is unknown whether jalapenos might also boost the baby’s immunity.

Consuming jalapenos during pregnancy may be beneficial in preventing excessive weight gain. Often, mothers worry about consuming anything too spicy during pregnancy to avoid abdominal discomfort. However, a well-monitored quantity of jalapenos may work in your favor. Its anti-inflammatory properties can control issues around arthritis and reduce the risk of cancer. Moreover, it is a great way to get rid of water retention. However, you must know the right amount that is safe to consume.

Infographic: Health Benefits Of Jalapenos In Pregnancy

Jalapenos are little green or red peppers that are mildly spicy. They are often used in Mexican cooking but are famous worldwide. Although spicy and not recommended during pregnancy, jalapenos bring various health advantages. Go through this infographic to discover the health benefits of jalapenos.

why you can eat jalapen [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

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. Mary-Jon Ludy et al.; (2012); The effects of Capsaicin and Capsiate on energy balance: critical review and meta analysis of studies in humans.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257466/
  2. M Matucci-Cerinic et al.; (1990); Effects of Capsaicin on the metabolism of rheumatoid arthritis synoviocytes in vitro.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1004172/
  3. Akio Mori et al.; (2006); Capsaicin, a component of red peppers, inhibits the growth of androgen-independent, p53 mutant prostate cancer cells.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16540674/
  4. P. Anand and K. Bley; (2011); Topical capsaicin for pain management: therapeutic potential and mechanisms of action of the new high-concentration capsaicin 8% patch.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169333/
  5. Jonathan A Bernstein et al.; (2011); A randomized, double-blind, parallel trial comparing capsaicin nasal spray with placebo in subjects with a significant component of nonallergic rhinitis.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21802026/
  6. D Y Graham et al.; (1999); Garlic or jalapeño peppers for treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10235193/
  7. Jalapeño Peppers
    https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/food-technology/nutrition/jalapeno-peppers/
  8. Why pregnancy can make you have weird cravings?
    https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/intermountain-moms/2016/10/why-pregnancy-can-make-you-have-weird-cravings/
  9. Is spicy food good for you?
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-spicy-food-good-for-you/

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