Consuming Tamarind in Pregnancy

TAMARIND

Nutrition is one of the most overlooked and most essential part of any lifestyle. This is true twice as much for when you’re pregnant. There are a lot of foods that are healthy for you normally but are considered dangerous when you have a growing baby in your belly. It is always important to understand that your dietary needs change immensely when you’re pregnant. The link between an ingredient like tamarind, in moderation, and pregnancy can be extremely beneficial to your dietary planning needs.

Nutritional Value Of Tamarind

Tamarind is an extremely tasty ingredient that is commonly used in numerous dishes due to its distinct flavour. There are numerous ancient civilizations that use tamarind for medicinal purposes, tamarind does have some medicinal properties but what makes it such an interesting ingredient is its nutritional value. Tamarind is rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, potassium, iron, dietary fibre, vitamin A, C and K as well as many more minerals, here is a nutritional chart for tamarind with a few key figures to help you plan your diet better.

Tamarind Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 100 grams, raw
Amt. Per
Serving % Daily
Value*
Calories 239
Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 1 g 1%
Saturated Fat 0 g 1%
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 26 mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 63 g 21%
Dietary Fiber 5 g 20%
Sugar 57 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A1 % Vitamin C 6%
Calcium7% Iron 16%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Is Eating Tamarind During Pregnancy Safe?

Understanding the nutrition of tamarind is great for planning a diet but is tamarind safe for you during your pregnancy? The answer is, in moderation- yes. Tamarind is rich in nutrients like vitamins A & C and calcium. It is also a decent source of protein, fibre and healthy sugar. It can also be used as a laxative. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and antimicrobial properties. Medicinally it can also help with gestational diabetes, diarrhoea, constipation and is extremely rich in antioxidants.
Tamarind is known to react to certain medications like paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin, so if you are on these medicines, you may want to give yourself 24 hours after taking medicine to eat tamarind. Always talk to your doctors to understand how your body reacts to an ingredient before adding it to your diet, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.

Benefits Of Consuming Tamarind During Pregnancy

When consumed in moderation, there are numerous benefits to eating tamarind, some of these are:

  • The anti-inflammatory properties of tamarind can help reduce swelling around the ankles, bloating and muscle pain in the later stages of pregnancy.
  • Tamarind is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols which help with gestational diabetes.
  • The minerals in tamarind are known to help control blood pressure to a mild extent because of the presence of potassium and mild sodium.

Benefits Of Tamarind In Pregnancy

  •  Sweet tamarind in pregnancy can help battle constipation due to its laxative properties
  •  Tamarind is great for balancing digestion when used in moderation; this can also help the flow of stools be firm, thus combating diarrhoea.
  • The digestive properties of tamarind are known to help combat and prevent dysentery, and in some cultures, it is used to treat bile disorders.
  • The antioxidants in tamarind are believed to prevent some forms of cancers.

Side Effects Or Risks Of Eating Tamarind While Pregnant

Much like the benefits, there are risks involved with eating tamarind, especially in large uncontrolled amounts, Some of these are:

  • Tamarind increases the body’s ability to absorb ibuprofen. This can be dangerous in the third trimester as ibuprofen, during this time, can potentially cause the permanent closing of the baby’s heart passage. It is recommended that you do not combine this medicine with the consumption of tamarind.
  • Similar to the ability to absorb ibuprofen, tamarind increases the risk of over absorption of aspirin, this can act as a blood thinner and lead to your baby not receiving the proper nutrition, it can create irregular blood flow for your baby as well.
  • Over-eating tamarind can lead to an imbalance in your blood sugar.
  • Consuming too much tamarind can harm your blood pressure.

If you have fluorosis during pregnancy, having raw, undiluted tamarind can harm the foetus.
It is important to understand that the risks and benefits of tamarind during pregnancy are based on the amounts consumed and the manner in which it is consumed. It is highly recommended that you talk to your doctor about how to prepare dishes using tamarind during your pregnancy. Be sure to communicate with your nutritionist about any medications you are on during this period of pregnancy, as that can dramatically affect the ingredients you are allowed to consume during this period of your life. Remember to eat safe, in moderate portions and frequently.

Tamarind is not an ingredient that can completely replace the need for all other food. Remember to combine various healthy ingredients in a dish that has a good nutritional balance. You may feel a craving for tamarind during your pregnancy. Ensure that you inform your caregivers and partner not to allow you to over-consume it due to the complications it can cause to the foetus.

It is recommended that when eating tamarind on a regular basis during your pregnancy, you keep a constant check on your blood sugar and blood pressure levels. If you do not feel comfortable, stop eating it and consult your doctor immediately. In this situation, doctors can give you tamarind capsules or supplements to make up for the lost nutrition. Try not to eat too much raw tamarind.

Ensure your primary care physician is always aware of your diet during all your check-ups, and ensure that you keep a food diary. This will help your doctor understand your body better and make tweaks to your diet and medication as required.