Turmeric has abundant bioactive compounds that help fight off infections. Turmeric has amazing medical properties, aiding in speeding up the healing process of wounds and is beneficial to your health. It helps fight sore throats, dry coughs or any other infections. In India, turmeric is largely consumed in everyday foods for this reason. But is turmeric good for pregnant women?
Though turmeric has healing properties and other health benefits, what are the dangers and benefits of turmeric in pregnant women?
Nutritional Value Of Turmeric
Before talking about the benefits of turmeric, let us look at the nutritional value of turmeric. Turmeric, Curcuma longa (scientific name) is a root and is used in medicines and food. Also known as the ‘queen of spices’, turmeric is available as powder, capsules, or extracts.
One tablespoon or one serving size of turmeric powder accounts to 24kcal and includes a total fat of 1g per serving. One serving of turmeric powder consists of 3mg of Sodium, 1g dietary fiber, total carbohydrates of 4g, 1g of protein, 12.4mg of Calcium, 2.8mg of Iron, and 1.7mg of Vitamin C. All these nutrients are required by a pregnant woman and benefit the baby and the carrying woman.
Benefits Of Turmeric Powder
As mentioned earlier, turmeric helps in fighting infections and thereby gives your immune system a boost. It also maintains bone strength and health. Turmeric improves bile flow thereby making fat breakup and digestion easier. Turmeric also prevents gastrointestinal problems by maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut. Further, the curcumin present in turmeric prevents abnormal cell growth in the uterus. Turmeric is a good detoxifying agent and purifies the blood. Research shows that turmeric attains its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from curcumin.
Is Turmeric During Pregnancy Safe?
Studies show that consuming low levels of turmeric during pregnancy is safe and even beneficial. Turmeric attributing to its good nutritional value and antioxidants properties keeps the pregnant woman healthy and away from any possible infections. Adding small amounts of turmeric powder in your food during pregnancy is beneficial for both the growing child and yourself.
However, refrain from any kinds of turmeric supplements directly or indirectly in your food.
Consuming Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy
A pinch of turmeric powder in a glass of milk is a good way of boosting your immune system and keeping yourself healthy. But, turmeric is a heating agent and thus should not be taken too often and must be consumed in small quantities. Milk is the major source of calcium which is essential in pregnant women for bone development in the baby. Turmeric with its rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, when combined with milk, offers the best benefits and keeps your health in check.
Benefits Of Drinking Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy
Turmeric cannot be taken directly as an oral supplement due to its bitter taste. However, when combined with milk, it tastes better and the benefits are doubled too. Turmeric milk has the following benefits in pregnant women:
- Curcumin present in turmeric can treat joint pains and swollen legs due to its strong anti-inflammatory property.
- Constipation is a common problem pregnant women face during this period. Turmeric does wonders to your digestion system. It improves the digestive ability and bowel movements preventing constipation.
- When you’re pregnant, your hormones are on a rage and so are your cholesterol levels. Many pregnant women face a fluctuation in their cholesterol levels. Turmeric milk can balance your cholesterol levels and maintain your cardiac system.
- Turmeric is an age old medicine in treating a sore throat, common cold, cough, and chest congestion.
- With its amazing antioxidant properties, this home spice boosts your immunity. It helps in getting rid of the free radicals present in your blood and prevents any infections.
- It helps in blood circulation and detoxifies your blood. Turmeric is known to be a potent blood prifier. This spice is also exclusively beneficial for carrying woman as it helps combat nausea and dizziness.
Risks Of Turmeric Consumption During Pregnancy
While turmeric has great effects on pregnant women or even others, there are some concerns that need to be addressed about consuming it during your pregnancy.
Turmeric is a type of spice and is a heating agent. Due to this, consuming too much turmeric can induce uterine contractions and cause bleeding, more so in the apex of your pregnancy(full term). These induced contractions and bleeding can often lead to miscarriages, preterm births or other complications.
2. Birth Defects
Turmeric composes of bioactive components that affect fetal development. However, studies or tests reveal no evidence of long-term DNA or cellular structure effects in animals.
3. Bleeding Disorders
Turmeric increases your chances of bleeding during pregnancy. This is because, turmeric prevents the production of clotting factor in your body, slowing down the aggregation of platelets thereby aggravating the bleeding.
It is best advised to consult your doctor before you consume turmeric in any form. Also, avoid any turmeric supplements directly or indirectly. But, turmeric is good for your skin and external body too.
Skin Benefits Of Turmeric
Turmeric adds a glow to your skin and also makes it smooth and shiny. Here is a list of the skin benefits of the external use of turmeric:
1. Stretch Marks
Pregnancy stretch marks are a new mother’s worst nightmare. Turmeric acts as a home remedy for stretch marks. Make a paste of turmeric and curd, and apply it over your stomach. Leave the paste on for about 15 minutes and then take a bath. Stretch marks can disappear if the paste is used regularly.
Turmeric plays a vital role in skin pigmentation. It helps lighten the skin tone. Blend cucumber, extract the juice and then add lemon juice and turmeric powder to this extract. Make a paste of the above and apply on the pigmented area. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash with plain water.
Rich in antioxidants and full of antiseptic properties, turmeric helps cure acne. Make a paste of turmeric with water and apply on the acne-prone area of your skin. When used regularly, acne can be cured.
Turmeric, when mixed with honey, helps remove any dirt or tan on the skin, leaving the skin fair and clear. Make a paste of turmeric powder and some honey. Apply on your face, leave for 15 minutes and wash with cold water. You can also make yourself a face pack at home with turmeric powder, curd, milk, and gram flour.
Turmeric Tea During Pregnancy
The turmeric content in turmeric tea is very high for a pregnant woman and thus must be avoided at all costs. Excess consumption of turmeric can lead to bleeding and induce uterine contractions.
Though turmeric has great benefits for your skin and body, do not use it without consulting with your doctor first when you’re pregnant.