Chili pepper in pregnancy: does the expectant mother have to give it up?

The consumption of chili peppers during pregnancy is one of the doubts that arise when a woman discovers she is pregnant. Opinions are conflicting: c "there are those who say that capsaicin (substance contained in chillies) is harmful, and can be dangerous for the fetus. We must admit, however, that there is no scientific evidence to prove this. Before continuing to read , we leave you with a video on foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Can I eat hot peppers when pregnant?

Expectant mothers are always very attentive to nutrition, especially because they are concerned for the health of the fetus as well as for their own. Pregnancy is always a delicate period and in terms of nutrition it is good to ask yourself whether what we are eating is recommended or not. . One of the most frequent doubts concerns spices and in particular chili pepper during pregnancy: can it be eaten or would it be better to avoid it until the day of delivery? Nutritionists recommend that you follow a balanced diet, with moderate consumption of food. spicy.

The first step is to organize an adequate meal plan: the doses are of fundamental importance. Although some experts in the sector prohibit dishes in which pepper is present, in reality, we can say that many do not completely remove it from the diet of the expectant mother. But is it really to be considered dangerous?
Spicy food for some may promote premature birth or even the loss of the baby. Some, on the other hand, advise against consuming high doses of hot peppers during pregnancy, as there is a fear that capsaicin may have side effects on the baby.
There is nothing absolute in all this, so the golden rule for a correct diet that also includes chilli pepper lies in moderation: in the right doses, nothing can be considered dangerous.

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Contraindications of chili pepper in pregnancy

When you are pregnant your body begins to change and transform, but these changes do not only affect the outside (the growth of the belly), but also and above all the inside of the body. What you can do is take care of yourself so that the benefits also reach the child. A first step is precisely nutrition, choose foods carefully, avoiding foods that in excessive doses can have a negative impact on the health of the child.

The main risks associated with the consumption of hot peppers during pregnancy are due to the presence of some substances that can have negative effects on the body, including:

  • Capsaicin
  • Provitamins A

The main symptoms that can be found after taking an overdose of spicy during pregnancy are:

  • A strong sense of nausea and vomiting;
  • Irritation of the gastric mucosa;
  • Disorders of the intestinal tract;
  • Severe heartburn.

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Hot pepper in pregnancy: the effects of capsaicin

Chilli pepper contains capsaicin, a substance capable of promoting states such as burning, pain, mucosal infection and excessive sweating. Among the negative effects of capsaicin on the body during pregnancy there are certainly the worsening of problems such as constipation, anal fissures and hemorrhoids.

Apparently capsaicin could favor the development of hemorrhoids, it also greatly increases the sensitivity of the mucous membranes, causing a greater sensation of pain in people suffering from diseases such as fissures or hemorrhoids.

During pregnancy, due to a change in the venous circulation and intestinal transit, many women are affected by these disorders. If you already have irritable bowel or gastritis, taking chilli can increase problems such as diarrhea or constipation.
The areas of the body that are most affected by the unwanted effects of spicy food during pregnancy are the stomach and the anal area.

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Benefits of hot peppers in pregnancy

If considered in moderate doses, chili pepper during pregnancy has no contraindications, indeed it even has several benefits. The main advantages of chilli in small quantities are given by the high content of vitamin C, vitamin A, B and flavonoids, lutein, beta-carotene, mineral salts, iron, magnesium and potassium.

The positive effects on the body of the pregnant woman concern above all the blood supply and the improvement of well-being in general, both for the mother and for the baby.

In addition, capsaicin has anti-diabetic, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic and even analgesic properties.
It helps prevent the formation of free radicals, keeps the skin more elastic, and helps lower bad cholesterol levels thanks to the formation of bile acids. It stimulates the production of adrenaline and is therefore a source of energy.

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Is it bad to eat chili while breastfeeding?

On the other hand, how to behave with chilli while breastfeeding?
Once cigarettes and alcohol have been eliminated, fried and particularly harmful foods removed, the question of spices still remains.
Chili peppers can be consumed during breastfeeding, but clearly it must be moderate.

The same goes for any spice or spicy food, the expectant mother can eat them safely without overdoing it. So why are they often not recommended? The speech is the same that applies to cabbage, asparagus, onion and garlic., All substances that can alter the taste of milk making it unwelcome to the child.

The advice we would like to give is to consult your doctor before eating chili pepper when pregnant. He will give you the best advice and guide you in your nutrition during the nine months.

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Frequently asked questions about chili in pregnancy

Can eating hot peppers during pregnancy induce labor and therefore premature birth?
There are theories according to which capsaicin has a contractile effect on the muscles of the uterus, for this reason the chili pepper would be able to stimulate labor. In the past, this natural method was used with women who had by now passed the expected weeks of gestation, to stimulate the birth of the baby. This popular custom is wrong because foods that contain capsaicin, such as hot peppers, do not induce the contraction of the uterus, on the contrary, they would favor the release of endorphins, and would therefore have a calming effect.

Pathologies linked to the consumption of chili peppers in pregnancy: is teratogenesis lethal?
Chilli is very rich in vitamin A, an essential nutrient both during pregnancy and when following a balanced diet to get back in shape.
However, provitamin A, if taken in excessive quantities, could be negative for pregnancy and cause teratogenesis, a very dangerous disease that could lead to malformations for the fetus. In any case, there is no risk to fear as the chili even if taken in large quantities, will never release an excessive and dangerous amount of Vitamin A.

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