Can you eat spicy food while pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat spicy food while pregnant?”. We will also talk about the dangers of eating spicy food during pregnancy and what are its positive effects. We will further discuss what you can eat while pregnant, if you can drink alcohol and if spicy foods can induce labor.

Can you eat spicy food while pregnant? 

Yes, you can eat spicy food while pregnant, it is completely safe for you and the baby. Most doctors will tell you that the choice of eating spicy foods or not is totally up to you.

However, it is known that spicy foods can cause some discomfort to the mother, even if she is a spicy-lover. This may include nausea and other types of food aversion.

Is spicy food dangerous to eat while pregnant? 

No, spicy food most definitely is not dangerous to eat while pregnant. Although there are rumors about it, there is no evidence that they can cause great harm to you or the baby. But spice can, indeed, bring some discomfort, including:

Abdominal pain 

Spice can trigger something called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in those who have previously been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It can also cause abdominal pain to healthy people.

Heartburn

It is a pain in the chest that is often related to what you have eaten. During pregnancy, it is normal to feel heartburn (mostly in the last trimester) due to the effect of the hormones in your body, but spicy foods can aggravate it.

But in the end, spicy foods offer more benefits than possible harm, like cancer prevention, cardiovascular health improvement and endorphin production (fights depression!).

Is spicy food good for you while pregnant?

Yes, spicy foods may have positive effects on the mother and also on the baby. If you already like eating some spice, you don’t have anything to worry about.

One positive effect is that spicy foods can affect your baby’s taste in food. Later, it can help them enjoy a wider variety of dishes and beverages.

However, you may eat spicy foods with moderation, so you can avoid some negative effects like those cited previously along with other gastrointestinal stresses.

What can you eat while pregnant? 

You can eat whatever you want, but it is recommended to maintain a healthy diet.

Making smart and healthy choices will ease the pregnancy for you and also your baby. Choose menus that are varied in proteins, carbohydrates and fat. You may eat:

  • Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products;
  • Low-sugar, low-fat and low-sodium foods;
  • Establish limits for snacks, bread and cookies (you can still eat them, but with moderation);
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking along with other harmful habits;

You can find some specific topics about foods you can eat while pregnant here in our blog.

Can spicy foods induce labor?

There is no scientific reliable evidence that spicy foods directly induce labor. Eating spicy foods, however, can sometimes cause gastrointestinal stress, and that can stimulate uterine contractions. It may bring on labor, but this is very unlikely.

There is no miraculous food that will induce labor. In fact, the reasons that cause the fetus to start the labor process are still not totally clear. You can try some enchiladas and jalapeños, but you will probably only get diarrhea.

Can you drink alcohol while pregnant? 

Most definitely not, you should not consume any alcohol while pregnant. 

Although science has not yet established a specific amount of alcohol that is safe to take in, the overall recommendation is to not drink anything alcoholic during the whole pregnancy.

Drinking alcohol can harm your baby badly because when you drink it, it passes from your blood to your baby through the placenta. Since a baby’s liver is only matured in the later stages of pregnancy, they cannot process alcohol well, and it can seriously affect their development.

Also, drinking alcohol during pregnancy leads to higher risks of premature birth, miscarriage and other problems (including postpartum ones that will affect the baby’s life).

It can also cause a condition called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which can interfere with:

  • Learning process and behavior problems;
  • Joints, bones and muscles grown;
  • Emotional development and social skills;
  • Hyperactivity;
  • Speech conditions and communication problems;

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we addressed the query, “can you eat spicy food while pregnant?” We also talked about spicy food being dangerous to eat during pregnancy and what its positive effects were. We then discussed what you can eat while pregnant, if you can drink alcohol and if spicy foods can induce labor.

Citations

https://www.verywellfamily.com/can-i-eat-spicy-foods-while-pregnant-5195400

https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/diet-and-fitness/is-it-safe-to-eat-spicy-foods-during-pregnancy_1246919

https://www.aptaclub.co.uk/pregnancy/diet-and-nutrition/understanding-food-groups/spicy-food-during-pregnancy.html

https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/pregnancy/nutrition-and-physical-activity/eat-healthy-during-pregnancy-quick-tips

https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/drinking-alcohol-while-pregnant/

https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/the-health-benefits-of-spicy-foods

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