Once you find out that you are pregnant and the initial rush, excitement, and happiness settle down, the hard part of preparing and taking care of yourself for the next nine months begins. There are so many things that you need to think about. There are so many questions in your mind, and the one that will probably resurface over and over has to do with foods you can and cannot eat.
There is an extensive list of things that doctors and experts recommend avoiding during pregnancy due to negative side effects on the baby or the chances of resulting miscarriage. There are also many myths and misconceptions about miscarriage and pregnancy in general. Generally, raw meat, raw eggs, sushi, and alcohol are not recommended during pregnancy. But there is one food item that has always been debated: cinnamon.
Can cinnamon cause miscarriage? How much cinnamon is okay to consume during pregnancy? These are some of the most common questions asked by pregnant women. Today, we are going to discuss the possible side effects and benefits of this delicious spice that is used in a variety of foods throughout the world.
What Can Accidentally Cause a Miscarriage?
In most cases, miscarriage happens due to reasons that you have absolutely no control over. Miscarriages usually occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Less than 1% of miscarriages occur after the first trimester.
More than half of all miscarriages that occur during the first trimester are due to chromosomal abnormalities. They can happen due to hereditary conditions or they may be spontaneous because of abnormalities in the parent’s sperm or egg. However, there is no proof it is caused by stress or physical activity. Other reasons and factors that can contribute to a miscarriage include:
- Infections of many kinds (like fungal infections or reactions)
- Hormonal imbalance
- Improper implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine lining (like an ectopic pregnancy)
- Age of the mom-to-be- statistics show that between the ages of 35 and 40, the chances of miscarriage increase by 20-30%
- Exposure to environmental and workplace hazards, such as high levels of radiation or toxic agents
- Incompetent cervix (when the cervix begins to open before nine months, without any signs of pain or labor)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Kidney failure
- High blood sugar levels
- Thyroid conditions
- Lifestyle choices, such as consuming excessive alcohol, smoking, or using drugs
Is Cinnamon Safe During Pregnancy?
We will discuss the benefits and side effects of cinnamon in detail, but to answer your question, consuming cinnamon in small quantities as a flavoring or seasoning is fine during pregnancy. At the time of publication, no research proves that cinnamon leads to miscarriage.
Cinnamon, in limited quantities, has several health benefits. However, as is the case with most foods, cinnamon can have some dangerous side effects if it is consumed in high quantities.
Also, like any other ingredient, cinnamon will produce uncomfortable side effects if you’re allergic to it.
To answer your question, it is safe to say you can enjoy a cinnamon roll or sprinkle the spice over your cookies and cakes and enjoy them during your pregnancy without worry. As long as you make sure you enjoy it in small amounts, it is completely safe to consume.
What Does Cinnamon Do in Early Pregnancy?
Cinnamon is a spice that is enjoyed by people throughout the world. Sprinkle it on your cakes, pancakes, drinks, or pies, and enjoy! When consumed in small amounts, cinnamon can have some wonderful benefits, and this is especially true for pregnant women.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
- Maintenance of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is quite common during pregnancy and cinnamon can help control and regulate blood sugar levels. Cinnamon bark is known to contain active ingredients that can control blood sugar levels and can greatly help in managing gestational diabetes. However, no research shows that this spice can do the same for pre-diabetic and diabetic patients who are not pregnant.
- Natural Antioxidant
There is a reason this spice is so widely popular worldwide. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols 3, 4, and 5 that help fight against free radicals and provide a ton of health benefits. These polyphenols also boost the immune system, which tends to become weak during pregnancy. In fact, because of its antioxidant properties, cinnamon is more powerful than garlic and oregano, which are considered superfoods.
- Natural Flavoring Agent
When you are pregnant, you want to consume the very best and safe ingredients for your little bun that’s baking inside. That’s where cinnamon can be of great help! Cinnamon is a rich, natural flavoring agent, which makes it an excellent substitute for artificial flavorings. There are many varieties of this spice that you can experiment with, including Chinese cinnamon, Indian spice, cassia cinnamon, Malabar cinnamon, and Ceylon cinnamon.
- Blood Pressure Regulation
When consumed as a flavoring agent or as a spice in food, cinnamon keeps the systolic blood pressure in check, preventing high blood pressure. This is especially helpful during pregnancy, as it can prevent high blood pressure and the risk of preeclampsia.
Nutritious and balanced meals are a must when you are pregnant, and including small amounts of cinnamon in your food can help you with ensuring you keep yourself fed well. This spice is rich in healthy fatty acids and carbohydrates. It is also a great source of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Sometimes during pregnancy, women suffer from inflammation. Cinnamon is known to have incredible anti-inflammatory properties and helps people who have chronic inflammation problems.
When consumed in moderation, cinnamon has many health benefits and can help pregnant women greatly.
How Much Cinnamon Can a Pregnant Mom Take During Pregnancy?
As of now, there is no data that suggests an exact or safe amount of cinnamon that can be consumed during pregnancy. All of the studies and research just state that “small quantities” of cinnamon are safe for a pregnant woman. There is no definition for this small quantity.
However, most experts recommend incorporating 1/2 or 1 teaspoon (3-6 grams) of cinnamon powder into your daily diet.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to not consume cinnamon in unreasonably large quantities when you are pregnant. Pastries, pies, or drinks have very small amounts of cinnamon and they are perfectly fine to enjoy during those nine months, especially when those sweet cravings hit!
Also, unlike popular belief, cinnamon tea is completely safe for pregnant women when consumed no more than once or twice a week. Like most herbal teas, each cup of cinnamon tea contains only small amounts of cinnamon, and it is safe to drink. In fact, drinking cinnamon tea can have the same health benefits as having the spice in food.
However, there are other instances in which you may encounter cinnamon while you’re pregnant. During your pregnancy, avoid the following:
- Cinnamon essential oil: this essential oil is used in aromatherapy, but it contains high concentrations of cinnamon and should not be used during pregnancy.
- Cinnamon supplements or cinnamon pills: these are a complete no-no during pregnancy, as cinnamon supplements are concentrated and not recommended.
Excessive Cinnamon and Pregnancy
While there is no research or stats that show how large amounts of cinnamon can affect pregnancy, uterine conditions, or delivery, it is simply not safe for your overall health to consume cinnamon in absurdly large quantities.
However, this natural spice can be a risk for pregnant women in certain scenarios:
- Excessive cinnamon can disrupt glucose levels during pregnancy. This can cause trouble, especially for women who will need a c-section, as it can make it difficult to control blood sugar levels during and after surgery.
- Cinnamon is a coagulant, so if you are on any blood thinners, then it is best to avoid it, as it can lower the platelet count and increase the risk of bleeding. If you go through a cesarean or any other emergency surgery, excessive bleeding could result.
- If you are going to use cinnamon every day and are already on medications for diabetes or other health conditions, then consult with your doctor. Cinnamon is known to interfere with the effects of certain drugs and cause complications, so it is best to be safe.
- A variety of cinnamon known as cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, which has been linked to liver damage. If you have had issues with your liver in the past or have liver sensitivities, then it’s best to avoid it. On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon is a mild variety of this spice and is best for use in food.
- Cinnamon allergy is one of the most common spice allergies. When you are pregnant, your body is more susceptible to allergies and is more sensitive to food. When you ingest cinnamon, always look out for signs of an allergic reaction, like inflammation of the throat, cheeks, or tongue.
No evidence shows excessive cinnamon can cause miscarriage, but when it comes to pregnancy, natural herb consumption is always debated.
Cinnamon During Pregnancy: Yay or Nay?
So can cinnamon cause miscarriage? The simple answer would be no. There is no scientific evidence, research, or data that proves that cinnamon can cause miscarriage, and there is no data that states that cinnamon should not be consumed during pregnancy.
However, consuming too much cinnamon can lead to other health problems. Moderation of all substances is key to keeping your body healthy. If you are having a healthy pregnancy, then there is no reason why you need to avoid this spice. Just remember to use it in moderation. Large quantities of cinnamon can lead to other health issues that can indirectly affect your pregnancy. If you are already suffering from a high-risk pregnancy, then it is recommended that you consult with your doctor before including this spice in your diet.
Lastly, when you are pregnant, you’ll definitely experience cravings, whether it is spicy foods, sweets, or ice-cold popsicles! Always make it a point to eat food that nourishes, energizes, and makes you feel happy. For all those cinnamon lovers, go ahead and enjoy those cinnamon rolls or cinnamon tea, but make sure you do it in moderation.