Can You Eat Hot Spicy Food While Pregnant

Can You Eat Hot Spicy Food While Pregnant

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Once you find out that you are pregnant you might immediately wonder what changes to make to your diet. If you love cooking with lots of spicy chilli in your food, you may be wondering whether spicy foods are safe for you right now.

The good news is that consuming spicy foods won't harm you or your baby. "Spicy foods are not harmful to maternal health or the health and development of the baby," said Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD, a Texas-based Registered Nutritionist and Licensed Nutritionist.

However, your body may react differently to spicy foods during pregnancy. Early in pregnancy, morning sickness can make these foods inedible and later contribute to heartburn or indigestion.

Eating spicy foods while pregnant is safe, but it can add to pregnancy discomfort. "Eating spicy food during pregnancy is entirely up to the pregnant woman," says Hanes. If you eat spicy foods regularly, you are less likely to feel uncomfortable eating them during pregnancy, but it is still possible.

Examples of spicy foods and their safety in pregnancy

If you want to eat something spicy while pregnant, you should also check that the other ingredients are pregnancy-safe.

Rather than classifying everything with just the term "spicy food", I know that there are several dishes that pregnant women often ask about, so I've addressed them specifically here:

  •     Chillies (whether green chillies, red chillies, or any other type of chilli pepper) - Chillies are safe to eat during pregnancy, but be aware that most of the "heat" comes from the seeds and "ribs" inside the peppers.
  •     When handling a hot variety, wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes or skin after cooking. Chilies should be treated like any other vegetable - wash them first. For more information on how to properly wash vegetables during pregnancy, click here.
  •     Hot chips or crisps - all of these are safe in pregnancy. Common brands are Hot Cheetos, Doritos Flamin ’Hot, Seabrook Scorchin’ Hot Fire Eaters and Takis Fuego. Like many high-sodium, high-fat snacks, chips and chips should be consumed in moderation during pregnancy.
  •     Hot Sauce - Most types of hot sauce are safe for pregnant women. Storage-stable, filled versions are all sterile and safe to eat. Occasionally you will see a “fresh” chilled hot sauce or salsa - these should be checked depending on the ingredients as they are not cooked or pasteurized. You can search this site for individual ingredients from the home page to review.
  •     Spicy Hot Mayo - You should treat spicy mayo like normal mayonnaise for pregnancy safety. Here is my guide to mayonnaise in pregnancy to help you out.
  •     Spicy Tuna Roll (Sushi) - It's not the seasoning in a tuna roll that can make it unsafe for pregnant women to eat, but the tuna instead. Whether the tuna roll is spicy or not makes no difference to pregnancy security, but whether the tuna is cooked or not.

Should I eat spicy food to induce labor?

Although many women testify that they eat spicy foods to start labor, there is no evidence that it works. In fact, most of the purported ways to induce labor naturally have not proven helpful.

Some people theorize that spicy food causes contractions by stimulating the digestive system. Others suggest that spicy foods increase prostaglandin production, which can also help encourage labor. But while an upset stomach or diarrhea can release prostaglandins into the body and cause mild uterine cramps, it is unlikely that it would be enough to cause labor.

A study that interviewed 663 women identified 50 different triggers associated with labor, including eating spicy foods. The majority of women said they couldn't associate any particular trigger with the onset of labor. The only trigger that appeared to have a possible noticeable effect in a small number of women was acupuncture.

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