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During pregnancy, it is common for many women to crave spicy food. Green and red chillies that are the quintessential spice additives are not recommended during pregnancy as they tend to cause acidity, heartburn and other digestive problems. The next best alternative to this is the addition of black pepper. Black pepper has always been viewed as a spice with immense medicinal value. If you are planning to substitute the chillies in your diet with pepper, then here are some of the things you should know.
Is It Safe to Eat Black Pepper in Pregnancy?
Yes, black pepper is very much safe for consumption during pregnancy. Like any other food, it is harmless when consumed in moderation. It can be used alone or in combination with cumin powder as a spice seasoning for salads, fruits and vegetables. Excess consumption of pepper, however, can lead to acidity and burning sensation in the stomach.
Nutritional Facts of Black Pepper
Black pepper is an excellent source of some vital nutrients. It is packed with vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin K. It also contains essential minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium. potassium and copper. It is a very good source of anti-oxidants also.
Health Benefits of Pepper in Pregnancy
There are many health benefits to black pepper that will be very helpful during pregnancy. Some of them are listed below.
1. Improves Immunity
Black pepper is naturally known in Ayurveda to improve the immunity of the body. During pregnancy, a regular and optimal intake of pepper in the diet serves as a natural immunity booster.
2. Improves Digestion
The growing uterus in pregnancy presses against the digestive organs and causes acidity, indigestion and heartburn. One of the natural ways of combating this problem during pregnancy is to regularly include pepper in the diet. It significantly reduces flatulence and bloating that occurs during pregnancy.
3. A Cure for a Cough and Cold
Consuming medication for cold and cough during pregnancy can be challenging as it can cause side effects on the baby. One of the best home remedies for curing a bout of cold is the consumption of pepper in all the foods. Consuming pepper soup during pregnancy can greatly alleviate the symptoms of the cold.
4. Combats Depression
Depression is common among expecting mothers both during pregnancy and after delivery. Consumption of pepper daily in small amounts can ensure a good mental and emotional health.
5. Source of Folate
Folic acid is a very critical vitamin that is necessary during the first trimester of the baby. The consumption of folic acid is essential for preventing the occurrence of neural tube defects. Pepper is a natural and good source of folate.
6. Controls Blood Pressure
Blood pressure can be harmful to an expecting mother as it can lead to further complications in the last trimester and during delivery. Slightly elevated blood pressures can be controlled naturally by the regular consumption of pepper.
7. Fights Acne
Pepper has been found to be very useful in fighting acne. It is one of the safest and natural ingredients that can flush out the toxins and skin infections from the body. A regular application of pepper and honey mix or a small intake in the daily diet can greatly help pregnant women retain their skin glowing and acne free.
8. Prevents Cancer
Pepper is one of the most important spices that protect the body from cancer. The antioxidants in pepper help in combating the rapid changes in the body of an expecting mother and prevent the free radicals from attacking healthy tissues to cause cancer.
Side Effects of Eating Pepper when Pregnant
Although the answer to ‘is pepper bad for pregnancy’ a sound ‘no’, it can sometimes cause some side effects even if taken in small amounts.
1. Allergic Reactions
Some women experience allergic reactions to some food substances during pregnancy. Pepper can trigger a series of symptoms indicating an allergy. If you experience any such reaction, it is better to avoid the intake of pepper, especially during pregnancy. You can try adding just a pinch of it to give the required spicy flavour and check if the reaction persists. You can also consult your doctor if the allergic symptoms are severe.
2. Burning Sensation
A burning sensation after consumption of pepper is quite normal. But, during pregnancy, when there are issues of indigestion and heartburn, consumption of pepper can sometimes worsen the situation. In such cases, it is better to avoid any kind of spicy food for a few days.
3. Increase Body Heat
Summers can be very hot and an intake of spicy food containing pepper can increase the heat of the body. It can lead to indigestion, ulcers in the mouth and other such complications. If the weather is very hot, it is better to avoid pepper in the diet.
In Ayurveda, pepper is seen as the king of all spices for its innumerable health benefits. Adding a dash of it in your diet is sure to help you tide over a lot of pregnancy-related health concerns easily.
Also Read: Eating Cloves during Pregnancy