Eating spicy food during pregnancy is absolutely safe. It does not affect the baby at all. But if you are prone to morning sickness, eating spicy food may aggravate your symptoms. You may also experience heartburn or GERD symptoms especially if you are in your second or third trimester. This is because in the second and third trimesters, the growing foetus pushes the gastric acids back towards your oesophagus and consuming spicy food may exacerbate the condition. If you can digest the spicy food and have had it all your life, there is no reason to stop it because you are pregnant.
In fact, capsaicin in chillies boasts a number of health benefits. It aids in digestion by relieving bloating, gas and cramps, it fights acne, giving you a clearer, glowing skin, it fights coughs and cold, is a natural anti depressant relieving you from baby blues. Capsaicin in chillies also contains folate essential for the prevention of neural tube defects in a foetus, it boosts immunity, regulates blood pressure and even prevents hypertension and preeclampsia in expecting mothers. Moreover the carotenoids – a type of antioxidant present in chillies also prevents cancer. Just make sure that the spices used are fresh and unadulterated. Stay away from loose spices bought from the market as they may contain heavy metals and colour.
And all those old wives’ tales saying consuming spicy food during pregnancy can adversely affect the baby or induce pre-term labour or lead to miscarriage or congenital disabilities are unfounded. If you can digest it, you can eat it, even during pregnancy with no adverse effects on you or the baby. Just remember to stay well hydrated.