Spicy Foods During Pregnancy – Benefits, Side Effects and Precautions

5 min read

Written by Tarasha Chandra

Tarasha Chandra

Spicy foods during pregnancy

A healthy diet is undoubtedly an integral part of one’s life. It is of utmost priority at all times and specifically during pregnancy. So, it is imperative to have a healthy intake of fruits, vegetables, protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proper hydration, etc. A balanced diet is key to a smooth pregnancy. However, your cravings for spicy foods may go a level up during pregnancy and this is not uncommon. 

Pregnancy is a time when the woman has many types of cravings, few crave sweets, few crave sour, and yet many crave spicy food. It is thus important to know if having too spicy food will affect the health of the mother and the growing fetus. Studies indicate that having spicy food is not harmful during pregnancy if taken in the recommended quantity. If the food is taken in excess quantity, it results in heartburn, digestive issues, etc. 

In This Article

Is it Safe to Have Spicy Foods During Pregnancy?

Spicy food in moderation during pregnancy is relatively safe. Excess can cause heartburn and acidity. Since pregnancy is a sensitive time, it is better to avoid too much spice and salt at this time. This can help in staying away from digestion-related problems during pregnancy.

Benefits of Spicy Foods During Pregnancy

pregnant woman adding pepper to her food

Having spicy food is safe for the mother and the baby and it has some good health benefits as well. 

Here are a few benefits of eating spicy foods during pregnancy

1. Heart Health

Having spicy foods during pregnancy has some amazing health benefits and they are as below

  • It increases the good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein or HDL and decreases the bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein or LDL.
  • HDL and LDL both increase when the woman is pregnant, so HDL is a must to flush the LDL from the body.
  • If there is enough HDL in the body, it helps to reduce strokes and heart ailments.

2. Expose Baby to New Tastes

When the mother during pregnancy tries different tastes and variations, it helps the child in the future helping him to accept all such flavors in his later life. Your baby’s taste buds are developed by the time you are in the second trimester, she can taste the strong flavors of the food you eat.

Side Effects of Spicy Foods During Pregnancy

pregnant woman suffering from heartburn

As such, there is no danger with having spicy food during pregnancy but it can be discomforting due to the strong flavors and the heat in it.

It also becomes difficult to eat spicy food during pregnancy due to hormonal as well as physical changes in the body.
Having spicy food during the first trimester does not result in many problems but it can trigger morning sickness or even trigger already existing queasiness or nausea.

But if you have too much spice in your diet it may result in

  • Heartburn 
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Burning Sensation in Stomach
  • Vomiting

Having spicy foods can trigger or worsen your morning sickness and nausea. It can also irritate your stomach walls leading to extreme acid reflux. It is best to listen to the body and have only when you feel comfortable.

Precautions to Take While Having Spicy Foods During Pregnancy

In order to reap the benefits of consuming spicy food during pregnancy it is best to have it properly else it can trouble you.

Here are a few precautions that are a must when having spicy food during pregnancy

  • Avoid consuming spices that are bought loose, they may contain a lot of impurities.
  • Try to buy FDA-approved spices
  • Always check the date of expiry and packing before buying spices.
  • Be cautious before experiencing any new spice in your diet. 
  • Try and buy fresh spice to grind at home.
  • Keep changing cuisines as having the same cuisine and spice can trigger heartburn.
  • It is best to go for home-cooked meals as one can control the quantity of oil and spices used.
  • For every meal, take only one spicy dish only along with other bland food varieties.

How Can You Include Spice in Your Diet When Pregnant?

curry sauce and rice

When consuming spicy foods during pregnancy, one needs to be very selective as well as cautious. It is always advisable to use sauces that are homemade to avoid any excessive spice or oil intake. Excessive consumption of oil and spice during pregnancy can trigger heartburn. spicy foods that could make it to the pregnancy diet are given as under:

1. Piri-Piri Sauce

Tomato, onion, garlic, and chili are blended together to prepare the piri-piri sauce. This tangy and spicy sauce can be used as a spread on sandwiches. 

2. Curry Sauce

The curry sauce is made by blending chili, common spices, garlic, onion, etc. These are popular in Indian cuisines and are safe for use during pregnancy.

3. Pickles

These pickles are easily available and having them in small amounts with food as a condiment does no harm during pregnancy.

4. Pepper

A common way to include spice is by making pepper-based soup which helps with a sore throat and even keeps the body warm. It is even good to build immunity during pregnancy. It is spicy as well as has anti-bacterial properties which are very beneficial.

Thus, spicy food during pregnancy is good when taken in moderation. Having it in excess can have some adverse effects on health which are not good at this time. So, it is best to be cautious and take all preventive measures stated above to enjoy having spicy foods during pregnancy.


1. Why Am I Craving For Spicy Foods During Pregnancy?

Any craving during pregnancy is just out of comfort, it could be sweets or spices which we relate to our childhood especially when we were not well.

2. Can a Baby in The Womb Taste Spicy Food?

The baby in the womb can taste spicy food but cannot decipher it distinctively. 

3. Is Chilli Good For Pregnancy?

Eating chilli does not harm the baby or the mother. Yet it can trigger or worsen nausea or heartburn.

Tarasha Chandra,PGDPM

She loves to dance, listen to music, cook, and read in her free time. She is transparent, intuitive, quick-witted, and loves to spend time with her near and dear ones. She believes in taking each day as it comes.Read more.

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