Nutrition · Pregnancy

Are spicy foods okay in pregnancy? 3 ideas to flavour food

Chili heart on bamboo background

Can I eat spicy food while I am pregnant? The answer is, yes – if you can handle it!

Heartburn is a common complaint in pregnancy that may occur when eating spicy foods. Heartburn may be a burning feeling in your throat or chest, or the feeling that food is caught in your chest. Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, but is related to hormonal changes happening during your pregnancy. Heartburn often happens in the 2nd half of pregnancy, and can get worse when spicy foods are eaten.

Good news: heartburn does not hurt your baby. However, it may cause some discomfort for you. So if you like eating spicy foods, and want to continue doing so despite the heartburn, you can!

However, if you find you are experiencing heartburn frequently and it is causing you pain, you may want to consider removing spicy foods from your meals and see if it helps. You can also talk to your health care provider for tips to help manage the symptoms.

Remember to talk to your health care provider first before taking any antacids. Some may not be safe to use in pregnancy.

Can’t take the heat? Here are 3 other ways to flavour your food that don’t add spiciness:

  1. Herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil, rosemary)
  2. Cooking the food using a broth or stock (homemade, vegetable, chicken, mushroom, seafood, beef)
  3. A sprinkle of nuts or seeds (crushed peanuts, sliced almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds).

What other ways do you add flavour to your meals? Comment below!

Experiencing heartburn in pregnancy? Speak with a health professional on eChat or call (416) 338-7600.

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