10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURMERIC DURING PREGNANCY

INTRODUCTION

Is it safe to take turmeric during pregnancy? Well, this question will be answered in today’s article. Turmeric is a very effective nutritional supplement. Several high-quality research has examined and confirmed its benefits to the body and the brain.

Here is what you need to know about taking or not taking turmeric during pregnancy.

First of all, let us begin with why turmeric is so common.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURMERIC

Turmeric is also known as the “golden spice.” This is due to its bright yellow color. Turmeric has been in use for over 4000 years. Its first use dates back 4000 years to the Indian Vedic culture.

For hundreds of years, turmeric has been used all over the world, and for good reasons other than just being used as a killer culinary ingredient.

Some authorities believe that turmeric is a very potent supplement that can provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and even anti-cancer effects.

Studies have shown that turmeric can block inflammatory signals in the body, among other healing and protective effects.

As an expectant mother, the question on your mind would be “could I and my baby gain any special health benefits from turmeric?”

It is important to note that there is very little evidence-based research on the medicinal benefits of turmeric. No matter what you’ve read on this topic, we encourage you to sit back, relax, and read our evidence-based review on the health benefits of turmeric during pregnancy.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF TURMERIC WHILE PREGNANT

A woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy. Some of these changes are welcome – for instance, the baby bump, while others may not be welcome – e.g. heartburn.

Could the consumption of turmeric during pregnancy help with this? Let’s see.

Relieves heartburn

If you experience heartburn in pregnancy, chances are that you will be so desperate to lay hands on anything that will offer some relief.

Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, as an alternative therapy for heartburn and other diseases of the digestive system.

Although there are no human studies to verify the effectiveness of turmeric in the treatment of heartburn, a 2006 study showed that oxidative stress and some pro-inflammatory factors play a role in the onset of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Turmeric has well-known anti-inflammatory effects, and so it could help to relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, there is a need for more studies on the efficacy and safety of turmeric while pregnant. 

It soothes bleeding gums

You take good care of your dentition. You brush twice daily, and you floss impeccably, but suddenly, your gums are beginning to bleed. Why?

The fault is progesterone’s – a pregnancy hormone.

Progesterone levels reach their peak between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. It increases a pregnant woman’s susceptibility to pregnancy gingivitis.

Pregnancy gingivitis signals the inflammatory processes of the body. So what role does turmeric play in resolving this?

A 2012 clinical trial has shown that turmeric plays a positive role in the treatment of bleeding gums. According to the study, a turmeric mouthwash is as effective as a standard antimicrobial in preventing gingivitis and plaque.

Prevents preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is peculiar to pregnancy. It occurs usually after the 20th week. Preeclampsia occurs when blood pressure is elevated and there is protein in the kidney or urine, or the pregnant woman has liver problems.

A study by Cleveland Clinic shows that up to 8% of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia and most women who have the condition deliver safely and recover fully.

However, it is worth noting that preeclampsia can be a very serious condition, leading to infant and maternal disability or death if not well-treated.

We do not know the exact cause of preeclampsia in pregnant women, but inflammation contributes to it.

A particular study sought to compare the plasma in preeclampsia women to those who do not have the condition. Results from the research showed that curcumin could reduce markers of inflammation in pregnant women, and also assist in preventing the condition.

The result is promising, but there is a need for more research to recommend turmeric for the prevention of preeclampsia.

It helps in the development of the baby’s brain

One of the benefits of turmeric during pregnancy is that it enhances the development of the baby’s brain.

Research shows that inflammation may affect an infant’s neurological and brain development.

Clinical studies have shown that babies born to mothers with cases of inflammation during pregnancy are at high risk for developing neurological disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and an autism spectrum disorder.

A study conducted in 2018 established a correlation between high maternal markers of inflammation and low functional memory scores at 2 years of age.

Turmeric is a natural antioxidant

Oxidative damage is a major cause of many diseases. Oxidative damage involves free radicals. These free radicals are highly reactive molecules that have unpaired electrons. These free radicals react with proteins, DNA, fatty acids, or other vital organic substances.

Antioxidants can protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Curcumin is an important antioxidant that is present in turmeric. Its chemical structure allows it to neutralize free radicals.

Also, curcumin makes your body’s antioxidant enzymes more active. That way, it can combat free radicals effectively. It blocks their activities and then triggers your body’s defense system into action.

Turmeric milk helps fight common colds & infections

The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric is very effective in curing a disease. Turmeric milk, when warmed, work speedily to soothe a sore throat and suppress common cold.

It lowers the risk of heart disease

Heart disease is the world’s number one killer according to the World Health Organization.

A lot of research has been done on this over the past decades.

It is not surprising that heart disease is quite complicated and several factors contribute to it.

Curcumin, the most bioactive component in turmeric reverses most of the steps in heart disease.

Curcumin improves the function of your endothelium. The endothelium is the lining of your blood vessels.

If your endothelium is bad, it triggers heart disease. A dysfunctional endothelium is unable to regulate blood clotting, blood pressure, and other factors.

Research has shown that curcumin can improve endothelial function in pregnant women. Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function.

Improves bowel movement

Constipation is a common feature in pregnancy. It occurs due to a rise in progesterone level, which relaxes the body’s smooth muscles, including the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, it inhibits digestion and excretion. Another reason why a pregnant woman may be constipated is the increased pressure of the expanding uterus on the rectum. Turmeric reduces constipation and relieves pregnant women.

It enhances the skin

Many women experience acne during pregnancy. This occurs mostly in the first trimester, due to the hormonal changes. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce eczema and acne, thus giving your skin that glows that it so needs.

Brings down the level of cholesterol

Cholesterol levels in the serum tend to increase during pregnancy. Turmeric has antilipidemic properties that help it to check the rising levels of cholesterol.

TURMERIC PREGNANCY SIDE EFFECTS

No research has been carried out to investigate the harmful effect of turmeric on pregnancies. Attempting to carry out clinical trials on this subject would attract ethical concerns.

A 2007 animal study showed that the only adverse effect was a reduced weight of the offspring.

Human studies, although not on pregnant women, have shown that intake of curcumin or turmeric during pregnancy can affect the female reproductive system in many ways.

There is also the risk of a miscarriage. Excessive intake of turmeric during pregnancy may cause the uterine muscles and other smooth muscles to contract. As a pregnant woman, you should avoid this especially when your pregnancy is approaching full term or is close to 37 weeks. Contractions of the uterus may stimulate labor pains before baby and mother are naturally set for birthing.

TURMERIC TEA DURING PREGNANCY

Consuming turmeric tea during pregnancy can fight the various changes that occur in the body of an expectant mother due to hormonal imbalances, increased retention of water, and decreased immunity. It also strengthens a woman during pregnancy, as the pressure on the internal organs increases due to expanding uterus and rapidly developing uterus.

CAN I EAT TURMERIC WHILE PREGNANT?

Turmeric on its own is an outstanding superfood. It is beneficial for your health. Turmeric supplements calcium in expectant mothers which is vital for the growth of the skeletal system and its development. Turmeric is safe and has many health benefits. However, you should take it in moderate amounts.

TURMERIC INTERACTIONS WITH IBUPROFEN

Turmeric slows down the process of blood clotting. If you take turmeric together with anticlotting medications, then your risk of bruising and bleeding may increase. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) is an example of a medication that reduces blood clotting. Others include warfarin, heparin, enoxaparin, dalteparin, etc. 

TURMERIC SUPPLEMENTS AND PREGNANCY

Turmeric supplements come in the form of pills and concentrate. Medical professionals caution against consuming turmeric as supplements. Supplements and capsules contain very large amounts of curcumin which increases the risk of pregnancy complications.

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