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Is It Safe To Eat Chicory During Pregnancy?

4 min read

As soon as a woman sees those two telltale lines, along with feeling joyful she is filled with a lot of doubts as to what to eat or drink during this phase. What was safe earlier comes under the radar of doubt during the pregnancy period. This is because certain food products which had positive benefits under normal circumstances can have adverse effects on the pregnant woman and her unborn baby. So now let us see whether it is safe to eat chicory during pregnancy or not?
chicory in pregnancy

  • What Is Chicory?
  • General Health Benefits Of Chicory
  • Is It Safe To Eat Chicory During Pregnancy?
  • Benefits Of Chicory During Pregnancy
  • Side-Effects Of Chicory During Pregnancy

What Is Chicory?

Chicory is a woody plant with bright blue flowers and it is a cousin to the dandelion plant. Chicory is also known as sailor’s succor and wild succor. The leaves of this plant are used in salads, while its roots are baked, roasted and ground and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers and roots are also used for a lot of medicinal purposes. Because of its high nutritional value, this herb is highly beneficial.

General Health Benefits Of Chicory

  • Improves the functioning of the heart: Intake of chicory reduces the bad cholesterol which is responsible for a lot of heart problems and strokes
  • Prevents cancer: Research has found that chicory can reduce tumor growth and prevent several kinds of cancer
  • Weight loss: Chicory contains a good source of oligofructose and inulin that helps the body to lose weight
  • Reduces anxiety and stress: Due to the sedative qualities that chicory possesses it is a great aid in soothing the mind and reducing anxiety. Due to this quality it thereby reduces the chances of heart disease, hormonal imbalance, insomnia and premature aging. Moreover chicory contains no caffeine so it can be used freely. It is found that consuming chicory reduces stress in the body
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Caffeine free chicory coffee helps in a significant improvement in red blood cell deformability and this in turn reduces inflammation that occurs in the body which in turn maybe the root cause of a lot of diseases. It also helps with pain and stiffness in joints and may help with arthritic symptoms
  • Liver protection: Chicory extract is found to be very rich in anti-oxidants and therefore acts as a great boost for the immune system and cleanses the liver
  • Can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes: The extract of roasted chicory root has a fibrous makeup that can or delay the onset of diabetes

Is It Safe To Eat Chicory During Pregnancy?

It is found in a lot of researches and studies that chicory is not safe to consume in large quantities during pregnancy. If there is no substitute, then you can have small amounts of chicory during pregnancy. But do check with your doctor before consuming it. Though chicory has a lot of benefits during pregnancy, but on the flip side, because of its strong side effects like triggering uterine contractions and risk of abortion, it is recommended that to have chicory in moderation during pregnancy.

Benefits Of Chicory During Pregnancy

  • Store house of vitamins and minerals: Chicory is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals and therefore it makes up for the deficiency that occurs during pregnancy and thereby promotes the growth and development of the unborn baby
  • Reduces stress: A lot of doctors advice pregnant women to stay off caffeine during pregnancy. Chicory has no caffeine in it so it is a great substitute to reduce the consumption of caffeine and keep cortisol levels in check thereby reducing stress.Being herbal in nature, chicory is supposed to have a very calming effect on the mind of the pregnant woman
  • Prevents digestive issues: The common symptom of nausea, heartburn, and discomfort that are experienced during pregnancy are reduced by chicory consumption
  • Reduces constipation: Due to presence of large part of inulin, a strong probiotic, chicory helps in reducing constipation which is very common during pregnancy and eases bowel movement
  • Immunity booster: It acts as an immunity booster for pregnant woman due to its anti-bacterial properties that help in fighting against a number of dangerous and disease causing bacteria
  • Takes care of the kidneys: Chicory extract acts as a natural diuretic that helps to increase urination frequency thereby eliminating all the toxins from the liver and the kidneys. It also helps in reducing water retention from the body during pregnancy

chicory safe in pregnancy

Side-Effects Of Chicory During Pregnancy

Though chicory has a lot of health benefits for pregnant woman, consumption of large quantities of chicory is known to have certain adverse effects. Some of the common ones include:

  • Abortion risks: Though chicory is safe to consume, in certain cases because this plant is emmenagogue, it can bring on menstruation and can increase the risk of an abortion when the consumption exceeds its required limit
  • Sudden uterine contractions: Chicory is abortifacient in nature so it can cause sudden uterine contraction in pregnant women and thereby lead to a miscarriage
  • Body imbalance: Chicory intake can give a pregnant woman essential nutrients required for her body, but when consumed in large quantities it can lead to an imbalance in the body
  • Weight loss: As chicory intake increases appetite, it should be consumed in limited quantity during pregnancy as excess use may result in weight loss in pregnant women which is not desirable during this period
  • Skin ailments: It is known to cause skin problems like contact dermatitis and various other skin allergies in many pregnant women
  • Allergic reactions: People who are allergic to flowers like daisies, chrysanthemum and marigolds should avoid using chicory as they can develop severe allergic reactions. Various problems like hives, swelling on the face, intense and continuous itching, shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, wheezing, feeling of dizziness, loss of consciousness and a pale skin are some of the symptoms which can result due to allergy from chicory
  • Digestive problems: Due to the presence of fiber in the chicory root, when it is consumed in large quantities, it can lead to gas, bloating, feeling of nausea, flatulence, severe cramps in the stomach, diarrhea, and constant rumbling sound in the stomach

So to conclude as some people say it is better to follow the “all things in moderation approach” to the consumption of chicory. Compliance with the advice of the doctor will help a pregnant woman to avoid any kind of adverse effects which will result in a healthy pregnancy.

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