Tamarind is grown across Asia and Africa. It has sour and fleshy pods that are often used for medicinal purposes. The distinct sour taste also makes it a good remedy for nausea and morning sickness that many women suffer from during pregnancy. It has been found to be safe during pregnancy. However, like all things, it should be ingested in moderate amounts. If taken in excess, its benefits may turn into side effects.
Is It Safe to Take Tamarind During Pregnancy?
So, is tamarind safe to be consumed during pregnancy? Let’s find out:
1. Vitamin C:
Tamarind is rich in Vitamin C. It is a healthy nutrient and a good addition to your daily diet. But, in excess, Vitamin C leads to harmful effects on pregnant women.
- In pregnant women, excess Vitamin C can lead to self induced miscarriage or abortion. In the first month of pregnancy, taking too much Vitamin C can reduce the production of progesterone, which can cause miscarriage.
- Some studies have also shown that high doses of Vitamin C increase the chance of pre-term birth.
- According some gynecologists, too much consumption of Vitamin C can cause cell damage in fetuses.
Tamarind acts as a moderate laxative. It helps relieving constipation, which is a common problem during pregnancy. However, consuming too much tamarind and thereby too much laxative can cause any of the following problems:
- It can cause uncontrolled diarrhea, which can harm the pregnancy.
- It can dehydrate the body.
- It may stimulate contractions of the uterus, especially during the last stages of pregnancy and lead to pre-term birth.
3. Aspirin Interaction:
Aspirin is known to interact with tamarind moderately. So, if you are taking aspirin, do not use tamarind during pregnancy because of the following reasons:
- Tamarind usually increases the absorption of aspirin in the body.
- This may induce side effects of aspirin to manifest.
- Increased aspirin intake, especially during early pregnancy, has been linked with miscarriages.
- A full dose of aspirin during late pregnancy may delay labor.
- Increased aspirin intake can also increase risk of heart and lung problems in the newborn babies.
- Aspirin may also cause bleeding complication for the mother and baby.
4. Ibuprofen Interaction:
Like aspirin, tamarind intake also increases the ibuprofen absorption by the body. This tamarind ibuprofen interaction can be harmful.
- Ibuprofen is classified as a category D drug in third semester, which means that there is sufficient evidence to prove that taking ibuprofen in the third trimester can harm the fetus.
- It may cause the baby’s heart passage to close permanently, leading to heart and lung damage and even cause death.
- Ibuprofen may also delay labor.
Benefits in Moderation:
While it is unsafe to consume tamarind in excess quantities, taking it in moderate amounts is safe and even beneficial for pregnant women.
- Tamarind pulp is effective for the digestive health. It is a natural treatment for bile disorders and dysentery. It also increases the appetite.
- Tamarind contains many antioxidants, which prevent the formation of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are often responsible for the development of cancer.
- Gestational diabetes is a common problem among pregnant women. So, for these women, tamarind is helpful as it stabilizes the blood sugar levels.
- Taking tamarind can be harmful for the fetus, if the woman is suffering from fluorosis during pregnancy. Tamarind water helps in getting rid of the fluoride ions.
- Some pregnant women also suffer from blood pressure spike. Tamarind contains many minerals. Some of them are potassium, sodium, iron, etc., which help in reducing and controlling the blood pressure level in the body.
- In moderate amounts, it can act as a mild laxative that can alleviate constipation, a common problem in pregnant women.
While tamarind can be consumed in moderation, it is best that you avoid indulging in it for its taste. Who does not love the tangy taste of tamarind? So, go ahead and use tamarind in your dishes and reap its many health benefits even during pregnancy. Just don’t overdo it!
Did you use tamarind during your pregnancy? Did it cause any problems? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.