So, are you bored of the bland healthy food you have been eating ever since you started expecting? Are you craving to eat something hot and spicy during this pregnancy? Yes, when you are pregnant, your palate can do weird things. Foods that were hot favorites can suddenly become a huge turn-off. It is common for many pregnant women to develop cravings for spicy foods. And when you talk about spicy, you cannot possibly ignore pepper!
But there are a number of people who will warn you against consuming spicy, pepper-laden food during pregnancy. Are these people mere fear mongers or is there an iota of truth behind this popular pregnancy myth? Let’s find out!
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:
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:
Many women end up with acne and other skin problems during pregnancy. Pepper contains ingredients that can help keep your skin blemish free (3).
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:
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.
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:
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).
Consuming pepper can cause allergy-like symptoms in some women. If you have experienced such symptoms before, stay clear of black pepper during pregnancy.
So, when it comes to pregnancy, pepper is not a big worry. But that doesn’t mean you can load your dishes with all kinds of pepper! A dash of pepper in your diet will do more good than harm. But too much of it can become dangerous. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Cravings come and go, but your health is not something you can experiment with during pregnancy.
Don’t forget to share your experience with pepper during pregnancy! Till then, stay safe and healthy – best of luck!