Ginger During Pregnancy: Health Benefits And Side Effects

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Ginger has been used as a therapeutic agent to cure illnesses and control pregnancy symptoms such as nausea or morning sickness. But is it safe to eat ginger during pregnancy, and how much can be consumed? Ginger is considered to be one of the superfoods. For pregnant women, it helps manage symptoms of vomiting, cramps, back pain, etc. Studies have suggested that consuming about 1gm of fresh ginger per day can help the baby’s proper development. Continue reading this post to learn about the benefits of ginger and how you can eat it.

Is It Safe To Eat Ginger During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to take fresh ginger in your food during pregnancy (1). However, dried root may not be good. Ginger is beneficial as long as you take it in healthy amounts, by adding it to a recipe or ginger tea. Do not take any ginger supplements unless you get your doctor’s opinion, as the higher concentrations may raise the risk of miscarriage.

How Much Ginger Is Safe During Pregnancy?

You can take about one gram of ginger root per day in two to four divided doses. You can include fresh ginger or candied forms for pregnancy-related nausea and morning sickness (2). You need to be especially careful in the first trimester.

During the first trimester, you are likely to suffer from nausea, vomiting, malaise and mood changes. So, the best time to drink ginger tea is when you feel nauseated; it alleviates your discomfort and is refreshing. But, do not over-consume just because it is working for you.

10 Possible Benefits Of Eating Ginger During Pregnancy

You may be sipping a hot cup of ginger tea or adding ginger in your food for its flavor. Here are some of the possible benefits that ginger might have for you.

1. Blood circulation

Ginger boosts blood circulation in your body and therefore can promotes adequate blood supply to your unborn baby.

2. Cholesterol levels

Ginger helps control cholesterol levels, thus it could help reduce the risk of high cholesterol levels during pregnancy.

3. Morning sickness

If you are suffering from morning sickness and nausea, you can expect relief by taking ginger as it is a soothing agent. Have homemade ginger ale or ginger tea to calm down those tummy issues.

4. Cold and cough

Ginger is effective in treating a common cold, minor ailments and persistent cough. Your immune system gets sluggish when you are pregnant, making you vulnerable to these minor ailments. Ginger can boost immunity and help you recover. It also helps you prevent these diseases (3).

5. Blood sugar levels

Research studies state that ginger might help keep the blood glucose levels in check. It also aids in maintaining your energy levels high and controlling exhaustion and fatigue (4).

6. Heartburn

Ginger helps deal with heartburn. You can consume ginger tea made with a fresh slice of ginger and sugar or honey to sip in between your meals. Homemade ginger ale also works.

7. Bloating

During pregnancy, digestion slows down to allow the baby to absorb nutrients. This might make you feel heavy, leading to bloating and gas. Take ginger before bedtime to avoid any digestive issues. You can also take one teaspoon of fresh ginger juice and honey.

8. Inflammation

Ginger is anti-inflammatory in nature and thereby reduces inflammation and swelling during pregnancy. Dip a slice of ginger in honey and eat it for relief.

9. Tired muscles

A cup of ginger tea a day might relieve you from achy bones and muscles, which usually result from back pain, sciatica, or sore feet (5).

10. Libido

Ginger improves your libido. It warms up the body, and improves the functioning of the circulatory system, particularly towards the genitals.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Ginger In Pregnancy?

Consuming fresh ginger in small amounts may not cause any problems. However, you may have to take some care:

  • Talk to your doctor if you can take ginger when you are on medication for blood pressure or blood clots.
  • Avoid ginger if you have a history of miscarriage, clotting disorder, vaginal bleeding, and dizziness.
  • Women with gestational diabetes should also avoid ginger as it can affect blood sugar levels.
  • Heavy doses of ginger can lead to miscarriage or menstrual bleeding, which may be dangerous for you and your unborn baby.

Limit the amount of ginger intake, and use it the right way so as to get maximum benefits. But what could be the ‘right’ way?

Ways To Include Ginger In Pregnancy

Ginger is available in the form of candies, ale, capsules and chewable tablets. Keep them handy to manage those nausea strikes. If you are using ginger ale, read the ingredients list as some brands do not use ginger in it.

  • Drink ginger infusion. Mix one teaspoon of ginger juice in one cup of hot water. Leave for five minutes and drink.
  • Add minced ginger to over steamed vegetables or roasted potatoes.
  • Mix shredded ginger in soups or stir-fries.
  • Fresh ginger can give a twist to grilled fish such as trout or salmon.
  • Make a soothing ginger tea by adding mint leaves or cinnamon to boiling water.
  • As ginger has low sodium content, you can use in foods as a substitute for salt.

To extend the shelf-life of ginger root, wrap it in a plastic bag and store in a freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can ginger cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?

Ginger is not likely to result in miscarriage as long as you are taking it in small quantities.

2. Are ginger root capsules safe during pregnancy?

You should not take ginger root capsules without your doctor’s prescription. Your healthcare provider may recommend the capsule to decrease morning sickness (6).

3. Are ginger chews safe during pregnancy?

Ginger chews are made of real ginger root and contain all of its natural active compounds. They are soft, chewy and can also be used to make instant ginger tea. Eating half a candy can provide instant relief from nausea. Again, you should only buy them with your doctor’s prescription.

4. Are ginger snaps okay during pregnancy?

If you long to have a cookie from time to time during pregnancy, ginger snaps are a good option. They are low in fat and sugar and offer an abundant dose of vitamins and minerals. They would suit you best in the early months of pregnancy to work against morning sickness.

Ginger is a highly nutritious and therapeutic ingredient to include in your pregnancy diet. So if you are wondering – is it safe to eat ginger during pregnancy? Go ahead and try out the different ways to include this refreshing superfood in your pregnancy meals to soak in its various benefits such as improved blood circulation, alleviation of morning sickness, management of heartburn, and more. However, be careful not to go overboard with it, as consuming more than the recommended amount can lead to complications.

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. Herbs and Pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/herbs-and-pregnancy/
  2. Iñaki Lete and José Allué; (2016); The Effectiveness of Ginger in the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy and Chemotherapy.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818021/
  3. Nafiseh Shokri Mashhadi et al.; (2013); Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/
  4. Nafiseh Khandouzi et al.; (2015); The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar Hemoglobin A1c Apolipoprotein B Apolipoprotein A-I and Malondialdehyde in Type 2 Diabetic Patients.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277626/
  5. Parvin Rahnama et al.; (2012); Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22781186/
  6. Giti Ozgoli et al.; (2009); Effects of ginger capsules on pregnancy nausea and vomiting.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19250006/

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Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different... more

Jyoti Benjamin

(MS, RD, CSO, FAND, CD)
Jyoti Benjamin has 25 years of experience as a clinical dietitian and currently works in Seattle. She focuses on teaching people the value of good nutrition and helping them lead healthy lives by natural means. Benjamin has a masters in Foods and Nutrition, and has been a longtime member and Fellow of AND (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) and the... more