Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Cinnamon Muffins, Cinnamon Star Cookies, Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes – if you are in a restaurant and are drooling over these delicious cinnamon recipes, go ahead and order one of them. It is absolutely okay to eat foods with cinnamon flavouring during pregnancy. It has many health benefits to offer and was once considered a gift fit for kings!
In small amounts cinnamon can provide great benefits to an expecting mother. Cinnamon is rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant that battles free radical damage, as well as infections caused by fungus, bacteria and parasites. The cinnamon bark contains cinnamaldehyde that keeps blood sugar levels of a mom-to-be in check, preventing gestational diabetes. Cinnamon’s anti-inflammatory properties help counteract joint pains, swelling and any other inflammation in the body. Cinnamon also helps reduce blood pressure level, lowering the risk of preeclampsia in pregnancy. It can also help in heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, allergies, cancer and tooth decay.
But too much of a good thing can be harmful. While there is no set dose for cinnamon, experts suggest 2-4 grams of cinnamon (i.e. half to 1 teaspoon) used in culinary dishes to flavour food should be fine for an expecting mom and cause no harm to the baby. An occasional cup of cinnamon tea within these doses should also be okay.
But avoid cinnamon if you have obstetric disorders or high-risk pregnancy or are allergic to cinnamon. You may also want to avoid cinnamon or adjust your medication after consulting your doctor if you are a heart patient or have diabetes. Avoid taking cinnamon in supplement form or using it as an essential oil during pregnancy as it can cause toxicity and may be passed on to the foetus. Excess use of cinnamon can cause uterine contractions and premature labour. It is best to consult your doctor about foods and herbs safe during pregnancy.