When pregnant, most women think of ways to maintain a good health for themselves and their babies. You find yourself changing your diet and lifestyle habits all because of the new life that you are carrying. One of the things you may have considered is how turmeric for pregnant women really works. Other than adding turmeric in your spicy dish to give it some flavor, the same herb can be used for its medicinal properties.
Benefits of using turmeric for pregnant women
Turmeric contains strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic properties that your body may benefit from. When pregnant, use turmeric as a spice by adding it in your food.
Possibly when used with other spices, turmeric can really help in digestion. Bloating and indigestion is quite common among pregnant mothers. This herb can really help to fight digestive problems.
Other than that, turmeric also contains a lot of vitamin C, which you need to fight any colds or infections. Remember that taking medication for colds or antibiotics for infections is not usually recommended when you are pregnant. The herb’s antioxidant properties will also protect your unborn child from any infections and boost overall immunity.
Herbs like turmeric can also act like a natural antiseptic in the event that you are injured and you need the wound to heal properly.
Many pregnant mothers experience swelling especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help to minimize swelling.
Protect your child from genetic damage
Doctors usually recommend that pregnant women should undergo tests to identify any early signs of genetic disorders. There are chemicals and medications that can expose an unborn child to genetic damage.
Genetic damage can result in a miscarriage, spontaneous abortion or even a birth defect. The good news is that you can help to keep your unborn baby safe by consuming natural ingredients like turmeric. While there is still no adequate research to prove that curcumin which is present in turmeric when consumed during the first trimester can help to protect babies from genetic damage.
Turmeric is also said to help pregnant mothers protect their unborn children from the negative impacts of alcohol. While most people know that taking alcohol while pregnant is very dangerous, sometimes they may consume it if they are not aware of the pregnancy. Consuming alcohol can cause serious damage to the baby’s heart and brain. It may also lead to a wide range of respiratory issues.
Turmeric can definitely help to minimize the risk of your baby suffering from any of those physical health issues. You don’t have to consume it as a supplement or extract. By simply adding some powdered turmeric as a spice in your meals, you will enjoy all the benefits of curcumin in protecting your unborn baby from the ill effects of alcohol.
Common side effects of turmeric when pregnant
Your doctor may advice against taking turmeric in high doses when pregnant because it has some serious side effects. There are certain groups of people such as those who are suffering from or have had gall bladder issues, that aren’t required to take turmeric supplements. Do not take turmeric supplements when pregnant if you suffer from gestational diabetes or have a family history of diabetes.
Turmeric, when consumed excessively can lead to blood clotting. Try and cut back on the consumption of turmeric at least two weeks before your due date. This is especially important if you have had blood clots before.
Other effects of turmeric when taken in large doses include nausea, diarrhea and heartburn. Turmeric is best consumed as a tea but you can also consider taking the supplement form.
How to use turmeric when pregnant
Traditionally, turmeric is used as a spice in food or as a medicine to treat conditions like arthritis and edema. The spice has also been used externally where ointments are made using the plant and used in the treatment of wounds and cuts. However, when you are pregnant doctors recommend against eating turmeric if you are at high risk of miscarriage. If you are carrying a low risk pregnancy, you can add turmeric as a spice in your food. You can mix it up with other spices like ginger which provides other additional health advantages like that of the benefits of turmeric.
You can also prepare some good turmeric teas using other herbs like lemon and ginger. Turmeric when mixed with an herb such as black pepper provides more health benefits. Black pepper makes curcumin easily absorbed by the body. This ensures that your body gets the most benefits of curcumin.
When preparing turmeric tea, make sure you use honey to taste instead of sugar. If you feel nauseous because of milk, you can just prepare the turmeric tea with some lemons and ginger and plain water. Ingredients like ginger have powerful properties that make your tea more nutritious.
If you prefer using turmeric for seasoning, mix it with freshly grounded ginger during the early stages of preparing the milk. Remember that turmeric has a very strong color so when you use it on soups; it is likely to leave your clothes stained if you pour it on you while eating. Nonetheless turmeric is a powerful herb that needs to be used wisely among pregnant mothers.
Is it safe to use turmeric?
Avoid the use of turmeric during the early stages of your pregnancy. The risk of miscarriage is usually high during the first months of pregnancy and that’s why most doctors will warn against using this herb. Even when you are using turmeric in your food for seasoning, make sure you use it in moderation. Do not apply it for medicinal reasons or even take it in form of supplements when pregnant.
Just use the herb with discernment and a lot of caution. Most importantly, speak to your health care provider regarding the use of turmeric when pregnant.
Author Bio: Maggie Martin is a Ph.D. in Cell Biology graduate. She is very passionate about healthy living and has been writing about Food and Healthy Lifestyles. When she is not busy, she takes interest in a variety of things such as lifestyle, food, health, herbal medicine, and the benefits of turmeric. Currently she is associated with Personalized By Kate.
Follow her on Twitter @Maggiemartink