Cardamom, the aromatic spice, instantly enhances the flavor of rice, tea, curries, drinks, and desserts. The flavorful cardamom seeds are packed with many health benefits. Cardamom essential oil is also used for aromatherapy. With so much to offer, is cardamom safe to eat during pregnancy?
Due to its potency, women become skeptical about consuming cardamom during pregnancy.
Here’s a bubble buster: Cardamom is definitely safe to eat during pregnancy. In fact, its essential oil helps tone down the feelings of nausea. But you should keep the intake quantity in check.
Here’s an in-depth rundown on the safe limits of eating cardamom during pregnancy:
Types of Cardamom
Cardamom comes in two different forms; green and black cardamom.
Green cardamoms are small green pods with a sweet aroma. It’s added to tea, desserts, and curries.
Whereas black cardamom is bigger sooty pods with a conspicuous smoky scent. Being a part of garam masala, it is used in rice dishes and curries.
Nutritional Value of Cardamom
Cardamom is a great source of minerals and vitamins as well as fiber. It’s very low on carbs and calories to prevent excess weight gain.
As per the report of the Department of Agriculture, a tablespoon of crushed cardamom contains:
- 18 calories
- 0.6 g protein
- 0.4 g fat
- 4 g carbs
- 1.6 g fiber
As for nutritional potency, the same amount of cardamom contains the following minerals and vitamins:
- 64.9 mg potassium
- 0.81 mg iron
- 22.2 mg calcium
- 13.3 mg magnesium
- 10.3 mg phosphorus
Is Cardamom Safe During Pregnancy?
Green cardamom is safe to eat during pregnancy but in moderation. While the black cardamom variant is safe to add to foods for flavoring. Both black and green cardamoms are safe in moderation.
But, directly chewing on green cardamom as a medicine during the first trimester of pregnancy is not safe. Cardamom has potent properties that can lead to bleeding or even miscarriage in early pregnancy.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Cardamom During Pregnancy?
Cardamom offers antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial during pregnancy. Here are some amazing ways the green pods can make your pregnancy journey easier (in a natural way):
1. Treats Acidity
Heartburn and acidity are common problems experienced during pregnancy. Eating cardamom during pregnancy provides immediate relief. Cardamom is alkaline in nature, and it also strengthens the stomach lining. Thus, it helps balance the stomach pH to provide quick relief from acidity.
2. Alleviates Depression
Excessive stress and depressive thoughts are natural in pregnancy. With no medicinal cure during pregnancy, it is best to choose mood-lifting foods. According to some studies, cardamom contains several compounds that help you with unwanted mood swings and stress.
3. Reduces Nausea
Cardamom is not only a great mouth freshener, but it helps lower nausea. Moreover, it helps in relieving the symptoms of morning sickness like dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. But, during the first trimester, only add a pinch of cardamom powder to your lemon juice.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Cardamom is a good source of manganese. Studies show that manganese not only lowers your risk of developing diabetes but helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. Pregnant women are more prone to developing symptoms of inherited diseases. So, cardamom can help prevent diabetes.
6. Reduces Blood Pressure
Most pregnant women experience high blood pressure during pregnancy. According to the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) report, one in every 12-17 pregnant women between 20-44 years of age experience high blood pressure.
Hypertension is harmful to both the mother and baby, increasing the chances of preterm delivery. Research has found that adding cardamom to your daily diet helps keep your blood pressure low.
6. Aids with Asthma
If you are asthmatic, pregnancy can be a challenging time for you. Some studies show that cardamom counters shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and uncontrollable coughs.
Cardamom works by increasing blood flow toward the lungs. Also, the anti-inflammatory potency of cardamom pods reduces the sudden inflammation of the mucus membranes. This helps treat asthmatic attacks.
Cardamom during pregnancy is one of the safest and most healthy spices you can consume. It offers relief from many pregnancy woes and health issues that surface during pregnancy. Thus, make cardamom a part of your pregnancy diet.