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Congratulations! You are pregnant. The news of pregnancy must be slowly sinking in but you must have already thought twice about your diet. Pregnancy calls for making healthy choices – you know that but it’s the time that you make those. Whatever you eat during pregnancy will affect your health and your baby’s health. And you might doubt even the healthy spices, which otherwise you’d have added generously to your vegetables and dals. Today, we will talk about one particular spice – turmeric – which is known for its medicinal properties. Turmeric, the yellow spice, offers a host of benefits to a pregnant woman, but high doses of it can harm the foetus. Read on to know whether turmeric is safe for pregnant women or not.
Nutritional Value of Turmeric
Turmeric consists of certain bio-active compounds, like curcumin that gives turmeric its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in essential minerals like manganese, potassium, and iron. Plus it is an excellent source of vitamins like Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. Being rich in fibre also makes turmeric an extremely useful medicinal spice. And it offers innumerable health benefits such as improving digestion and liver function, facilitating regular bowel movements, decreasing congestion, etc.
The following table presents a quantitative estimate of the nutritive values of turmeric:
|Nutrition||Values per tablespoon|
|Vitamin C||1.7 milligrams|
Is It Safe to Drink Turmeric Milk While Pregnant?
Turmeric, the golden spice, and when taken with milk, is highly beneficial for the health. It provides additional calcium to a pregnant woman, which is necessary for the growth and development of the skeletal system of the developing foetus. You can have turmeric milk during pregnancy as it will offer you a host of benefits, however, make sure that you drink it in moderate amounts as too much of it can have adverse effects on the health of the foetus.
Benefits of Having Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy
Turmeric milk, when consumed in pregnancy, can help in combating various changes (like increased water retention, and low immunity) that occur in a pregnant woman’s body due to hormonal imbalances. It also gives the strength to a woman during pregnancy, as there is increased pressure on internal organs due to the growing foetus and expanding uterus. Thus, drinking turmeric milk makes pregnancy a comfortable experience by reducing nausea and discomfort.
Following is a list of health benefits conferred upon consumption of turmeric milk during pregnancy:
1. Provides Relief From Pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric provide much-needed relief to pregnant women. During pregnancy, women tend to have swollen feet and they may also experience joint pain due to water retention and hormonal changes. Turmeric helps in healing this pain.
2. Helps Fight Infections and Common Colds
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help provide relief from cold and flu. Drinking warm turmeric milk is a quick home remedy for a sore throat and a cough with a common cold.
3. Improves Bowel Movement
Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy and many women complain of it. An increase in hormone progesterone during pregnancy relaxes the smooth muscles of the body, including the muscles of the digestive tract. Thus it hampers digestion and bowel movements. Another reason for this is the increasing pressure on the growing uterus on the rectum causing constipation. Turmeric is known to reduce constipation and provide relief to pregnant women.
4. Strengthens the Immune System
Turmeric being high in antioxidants helps boost the immune system by removing free radicals and by keeping mild infections at bay.
5. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Serum cholesterol levels tend to increase during pregnancy. The antilipidemic properties of turmeric keep a check on rising cholesterol levels.
6. Improves Blood Circulation
Turmeric regulates blood flow and is regarded as a blood purifier. It also helps combat dizziness and nausea that are associated with pregnancy.
7. Improves the Health of the Skin
Not all pregnant women have pregnancy glow, some women even experience a sudden acne outbreak during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester owing to the hormonal changes. But including the golden spice in the pregnancy diet can help. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help reduce acne and eczema, and its blood purifying properties gives a glow to one’s skin.
8. Improves Sleep
A glass of warm turmeric milk is known to induce a good sleep, eliminating the discomfort of pregnant women that deprives them of a sound sleep.
Side Effects of Drinking Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy
Turmeric, when consumed in excess amounts, may be harmful for the health of a pregnant woman and also her baby. Following are the risks associated with it:
Having turmeric in excess amounts during pregnancy may contract the smooth muscles, including the uterine muscles. And uterine contractions in the early stages of pregnancy may stimulate labour pain and lead to a miscarriage. Hence, turmeric should be consumed in moderate amounts. It should also not be consumed in excess towards full-term or when a woman is close to 37 weeks.
2. Birth Defects
Curcumin in large doses can lead to foetal defects and hamper the foetal development. Since curcumin is a major ingredient in turmeric, it may pose a risk to the developing foetus. So if you want to consume it, it is suggested that you speak to your doctor or a nutritionist.
3. Bleeding Disorders
Too much of turmeric can increase the chances of bleeding. It may also cause abnormal and excessive blood clotting that can lead to further complications. Turmeric supplements can even cause early spotting after consumption.
4. Nausea and Uneasiness
During pregnancy, consuming turmeric in an excessive amount can lead to nausea, diarrhoea, heartburn, and indigestion.
Turmeric milk certainly has health benefits for pregnant women. However, as pregnancy is a state of easy vulnerability to infections and teratogenicity, it is suggested that pregnant ladies take utmost care and seek regular medical advice before consuming any foods (including herbs and spices), other store-bought goods, or medications.