Top 10 Spices To Eat & Avoid During Pregnancy

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Do you believe that spices and spicy food could cause trouble in your pregnancy? Are you saying no to all outside food just because you are not sure what spices you should be eating and what to avoid during pregnancy?

To answer all your queries, we have an exhaustive list of spices to eat and spices to avoid. Just read the article to have a clear picture.

What Are Spices?

Spices have a very special place in our cooking, as the blanched vegetables once treated with a variety of spices can do wonders and produce a lip smacking dish.

Wikipedia defines spice as a dried kernel, root, bark, vegetable or fruit substance that adds flavor, aroma and taste to your recipes. You can use spices, not just for flavoring, but they also serve as coloring agents and preservatives for a food item.

Spices differ from herbs, as the latter has a green leafy part attached to it. It is mostly used for garnishing or flavoring.(1)

What Are The Top Five Spices I Could Eat During Pregnancy?

1. Turmeric:

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Spices during pregnancy can be extremely beneficial.We all are well aware of the nutrient value of turmeric as a pain reliever and could do wonders for your skin. However, it contains a substance called cur-cumin which is a natural detoxifier that protects liver from the damages of alcohol, chemical and some pharmaceuticals. It also helps in reducing oxidative stress. The safe limit is up to 8gms a day. (2)

2. Ginger:

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Ginger is an effective home remedy to treat morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting during pregnancy. Women suffering from morning sickness could take a dose of 1 gm ginger daily for four consecutive days to get immediate relief. Studies done in the past have shown that it helps in treating women with morning sickness. (3)

3. Black Pepper:

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Black pepper is a rich source of chromium, which is required by a pregnant woman. Low chromium levels can increase blood sugar level and cholesterol, which could result in diabetes or heart diseases. A study has shown that women who get diabetes as a result of pregnancy, if are on a regular diet of chromium could help in reducing it. Studies are ongoing for more accurate results and announce the clear verdict. The recommended level is 30 mcg daily. (4)

4. Cardamom:

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You can use cardamom scents or tea during pregnancy as they can help to beat nausea and are pretty safe. (5)

5. Chives:

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Fresh Chives are rich and natural source of folate. As we know a pregnant woman needs folic acid for the fetus brain development, cell division, and DNA synthesis. Enough folate levels in your diet could prevent your baby from neural tube defects. (6)

What Are The Top Five Spices To Avoid During Pregnancy?

1. Fenugreek:

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Fenugreek seeds have a stimulant effect on the uterus and, therefore, are not advisable for pregnant women. Also, ingesting seeds through mouth could cause bloating, gas trouble and diarrhea. A high dose of fenugreek seeds could cause growth retardation in children. (7)(8)

2. Asafetida:

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A daily spice used in every household, it should be avoided during pregnancy as it may lead to miscarriage. It works as a contraceptive and could also result in blood loss (9)

3. Garlic:

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Garlic contains some potent and potentially toxic substance that is not advisable for a pregnant woman. Also, if taken in a large amount, it could cause heartburn and bleeding as well.(10)(11)

4. Angelica:

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This spice contains substance which could cause thinning of blood and hence is not advisable in pregnancy.(12)

5. Peppermint:

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Peppermint tea relaxes the uterus, and this could cause a miscarriage. Also, applying peppermint oil during pregnancy can trigger menstruation hence be extra cautious before using peppermint in any form. (13)(14) From the list you now know that there are herbs and spices to avoid during pregnancy. We have told you five spices to avoid during pregnancy.Do let us know more if you want to add to the list.

Do let us know your spice story in the comments section. Have a happy and safe pregnancy!

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Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.