Diet during the time of pregnancy is most important. It not only provides nourishment to the mother’s body but also aids development of the child. As a mother, you should always keep in mind about the balance of nutrients that your body requires in different phases of pregnancy. One big issue that occurs with everyone is about spicy food. India is country which is full of spices and people prefer good number of spices in their every food. Hence it becomes difficult to resist, especially during pregnancy because your body is going through a lot of hormonal and physical changes. Today we will find out if spicy food is healthy for the pregnant women or not. We will also try to bust some myths around it.
Is Eating Spicy Food Safe During Pregnancy?
We spoke to Ms. Shreya Pandey, Clinical Dietician and Consultant at Fatima Hospital, Lucknow to know if spicy food can affect the health of a pregnant woman. Dietician explained that it does not directly affect the health or development of the baby. But spices can actually elevate symptoms of acidity, bowel disorder and heartburn, which might cause complications. Expecting mothers should limit their spicy food, especially after the first trimester to have better chances of normal birth.
Spicy food during First Trimester
Consuming spicy food items in the first few months of the pregnancy is quite safe and it does not usually impact the baby. The chances for heartburn or acid reflux might increase in this period because of stomach acids reverting into esophagus. Eating the spicy food actually requires to elevate the conditions and thus you need to be very careful while choosing your meals.
Spicy food During Second and Third Trimester
Consumption of spicy food during the second and third trimester actually increases the chances of acid reflux and heartburn. You should try to avoid any kind of spicy food in the third trimester especially because of the risk of complications could increase by eating spicy food. It could cause inflammation in the esophageal canal and thus lead to complications. Pregnant women might even feel more pain and inflammation if they consume spicy food.
Eating a lot of spicy food during pregnancy can make the women and her baby vulnerable to several conditions. Here are some risk factors you must know.
1. Morning Sickness- this is very common in some early stages of pregnancy. Due to changes in hormonal levels, a person might be aggravated by consumption of spicy food. Morning sickness can get intense because of eating spicy food in diet.
2. Heartburn- Heartburn and digestive issues tend to becomes higher because of consuming this type of food in your diet. Spicy food can actually increase acid reflux and lead to health problems in the late months of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Myths Related to Spicy Food
Let us also bust some myths that could actually cause issues if believed so. There is so scientific backing about these statements below-
Myth-1 Spicy food can actually have adverse impact on the health of baby
Myth-2 Consumption of spicy food can lead to pre-term labor, no it does not.
Myth-3 Eating spicy food during pregnancy can lead the woman to miscarriage and congenital disabilities.
Myth-4 Spicy food can cause developmental issues with the child and child could become paralyzed from birth.
Tips to Consume Spicy Food in Pregnancy
You cannot just eat as spicy food as you used to earlier. Nor you should eat raw chili or such things. The best way is to blend it in your diet in such a way that nutrients get balanced out and it does not affect you or your baby’s health.
1. Do not take spices that are sold in open, take only branded and packed spices so that there are no external impurities or risk of infections for pregnant women.
2. Start eating spices in minimal or less quantity so that it is fresh and best to grind them at home.
3. Check the expiry date of the spices in the packaging. Do not buy expired spices because it could have a negative impact on your health.
4. Limit yourself just to eat one spicy dish in the whole day. This will reduce the risk of heartburn or acidity. Try to have that meal in the afternoon.
5. Try to eat more home-cooked food and meals. Regulate quantity according to your choice so that there are no irritants that could cause inflammation in pregnant woman.
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