Turmeric, when consumed properly, can be extremely beneficial. Many are aware of the nutritional value of turmeric as a pain reliever, an anti-inflammatory agent, and its potential to work wonders for your skin. It contains a substance called curcumin which is a natural detoxifier that protects the liver from the dangers of alcohol, chemicals and some pharmaceutical drugs. Turmeric powder helps with oxidative stress, which results from an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in the body. This imbalance can cause damage to the cells and tissues. The process of oxidative stress is a natural part in the aging process.
While turmeric offers excellent health benefits for most people, during pregnancy, it should be consumed with extreme caution and in moderation. A large amount of turmeric during pregnancy (or while trying to get pregnant) could be dangerous for the health of the embryo or fetus. Turmeric can be used in moderation during pregnancy. Pregnant women can sprinkle it as a spice on salads or eggs. This powdery, golden-yellow spice has been a staple in kitchens across the world for years, especially in India, but many people even consume it in capsule or supplement form. Considerable scientifically proven evidence confirms its benefits.
Reported Health Benefits of Turmeric
- Joint pain relief
- Back pain relief
- Cholesterol reduction
- Fatigue relief
- Kidney health
- Digestive issue regulation
- Prediabetes and blood sugar regulation
- Relief from common cold and sore throat
- Antioxidant-rich, boosts immunity
These health benefits do not affect everyone the same. Due to its remarkable health benefits, pregnant women are sure to be tempted into adding turmeric into the diet.
When Is Turmeric Unsafe During Pregnancy?
Turmeric during pregnancy may become unsafe when consumed in medicinal amounts. Supplements contain a higher concentration of curcumin, which has been shown to increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Curcumin is believed to mimic estrogen within the body. Consuming turmeric during pregnancy (especially in large doses) can, therefore, promote cramps and can even stimulate contractions of the uterus. This possibility can increase certain pregnancy risks, such as miscarriage or premature birth. Large quantities of turmeric can also interfere with certain medications such as acid blockers and blood thinners. Turmeric also increases the risk of birth defects. Too much turmeric can cause abnormal bleeding or spotting. It is reported that taking turmeric can lead to nausea, diarrhea or indigestion. Additionally, as with all edible substances, some people may have an allergic reaction to the spice. If you notice any allergy symptoms such as a skin rash, hives or difficulty breathing, immediately discontinue use of turmeric and consult a doctor.
Turmeric is generally safe in pregnancy when consumed in small amounts we would use in our typical diet. Using it as an accent to foods or as a culinary herb should be completely safe. The amount of curcumin in powdered or dried turmeric is not high enough to trigger any type of negative reaction in the body.
It is advisable to avoid turmeric capsules or supplements during pregnancy. Studies have shown that men who use a turmeric supplement daily could be more likely to have healthy testosterone levels. This can help couples trying to conceive. Consult your physician or gynecologist to determine what is right for your body.