Previously, you could tolerate mild to moderate spice in food, but not anymore. Almost anything that contains the word “buffalo” is what you crave now that you’re expecting, including chicken wings, roasted cauliflower, and convenience store potato chips.
Is It Safe To Eat Spicy Cuisine When Pregnant?
Yes, eating spicy food while pregnant is good for both the mother and the fetus. They are not listed among the numerous foods to avoid while pregnant.
Many individuals have a false belief that consuming spicy food while pregnant is hazardous. It is untrue! Although your taste buds and the digestive system might not always be able to handle the heat, spicy meals are harmless.
Does The Desire For Spicy Food Have Any Meaning?
All kinds of things, none of which often make sense, make you want different things when pregnant. If you name anything, a pregnant person has consumed it. Pickles and ice cream, strawberry jam on hamburgers, and marinara sauce on tuna in cans are some examples.
There is typically just one clarification: hormones, which are responsible for almost everything. There is no secret to understanding your desires; however, there are some misconceptions online about why many pregnant women prefer hot meals.
Others wonder if it’s an innate desire to cool off (basically, eating spicy food makes you sweat, and sweating lowers your body temperature). Some people think it happens more often when you’re expecting a boy. No matter what, if you find yourself suddenly desiring five-alarm chili, remember that your taste receptors frequently alter during and after pregnancy. It most likely isn’t a “sign” of anything significant.
Are Hot Meals Safe For Infants?
The good news is that eating spicy food while pregnant is entirely healthy for your unborn child. Really! It won’t harm your child in any way.
However, one word of caution: 2019 research
A reputable source claims that if you eat certain foods while pregnant, your amniotic fluid’s “taste” may change. However, no research has particularly examined the consumption of spicy foods.
With all those buffalo chicken wraps, though, you could be affecting your baby’s taste buds, and they might eventually demonstrate a liking for certain well-known tastes. So that you know, it’s not always a terrible thing.
Pregnant Women’s Reactions To Eating Spicy Cuisine
When you’re pregnant, eating spicy food can have a variety of positive and negative effects on you and the unborn child. The risk of heartburn increases when eating spicy food. Heartburn is a common symptom of pregnancy, and for some individuals, spicy meals can make it worse. Heartburn is caused by the valve that, during pregnancy, prevents stomach acids from rising back up into the esophagus relaxing. Heartburn can happen at any point during pregnancy, but it is most common in the third trimester when your developing baby pushes stomach acids up into your esophagus.
Cause Stomach Aches
Stomach ulcers aren’t caused by spicy food; in fact, capsaicin, the chemical that gives peppers their bite, may even help heal ulcers. However, in people who have already been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, eating spicy foods may cause the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to appear.
Improve your general health. Peppers contain a spicy substance called capsaicin that has anti-inflammatory benefits. Spicy meals may even benefit your immune system and heart health, according to some studies.
Increase your baby’s (potential) palate. During pregnancy, your child consumes whatever you eat. Your child’s ability to taste things you eat is aided by the amniotic fluid in your body. It is likely that your baby has already started tasting your food since she is consuming amniotic fluid and has taste buds that are fully developed by week 15.
Are Hot Meals Healthy For You?
Here’s the unfortunate news: Eating a lot of spicy food might have some unpleasant side effects for you, but it’s satisfying even though it’s not dangerous for your kid. Although it isn’t harmful, it might not always be worth it to avoid the discomfort that comes with heartburn, indigestion, and GI irritation after giving in to the urge.
Start off slowly if you’re not used to eating spicy cuisine but your pregnancy has made you crave chili peppers.
Avoid consuming spicy meals in large quantities or at every meal. Make sure you drink plenty of water. Using high-quality ingredients and washing your hands after handling peppers will help you prepare hot meals safely.
And try not to go straight for the Ghost Pepper Tabasco with the skull and crossbones on the label; instead, gradually increase your tolerance to heat.
Symptoms By Trimester
Eating spicy food during the first trimester isn’t expected to create many problems, although it can make morning sickness worse. Spicy meals may make your nausea and dizziness worse if you already experience them all day.
Eating spicy food throughout the second and third trimesters may result in:
Heartburn and indigestion are brought on by stomach acid rising into your esophagus as your uterus expands. Typical symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) include bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Can Spiciness In Food Help Induce Labor?
Everyone will tell you to eat something spicy if you’re getting close to the end of your pregnancy and thinking about inducing labor early, from your mother to your grandmother to the guy who lives next door.
In fact, this tip is so common that researchers tested it alongside other labor shortcuts (including strolling, sex, and laxatives) in 2011 (Trusted Source).
To find out if they had ever attempted to induce spontaneous labor and, if so, how, researchers looked at 201 postpartum women. Of the 50% who responded that they had, 20% said they had done so by eating spicy foods.
one and only issue? There is no scientific evidence to support this. Eating a platter of wings won’t make your body unexpectedly ready for delivery if you’re 38 weeks along with no dilation.
Additional Safety Measures
In order to fulfill a strong urge, you might be prepared to put up with the heartburn that results from eating spicy meals, but bear in mind that using Pepto-Bismol to treat heartburn during pregnancy isn’t as simple as it once was.
Some over-the-counter medications for nausea, indigestion, and heartburn are not thought to be healthy for pregnant women. Call your doctor if you have severe or ongoing digestive issues like:
- scorching pain
Listen, mama: You can eat all the spicy cuisine you want when pregnant if you have the stomach for it (pun intended)! You and your child won’t be harmed by it.
Go slowly if you’re not acclimated to the heat; if you start experiencing unpleasant side effects, cut back on how often and how much Tabasco you put on your food.
- Chaudhry Z, et al. (2011). Women’s use of nonprescribed methods to induce labor: A brief report. DOI:
- Horsager-Boehrer R. (2016). 5 weird pregnancy symptoms you might not know about.
- Spahn JM, et al. (2019). Influence of maternal diet on flavor transfer to amniotic fluid and breast milk and children’s responses: A systematic review. DOI:10.1093/ajcn/nqy240