Pregnancy is a phase where even the most nonchalant soul could become overly cautious about what they eat and what they do so that they don’t harm the little life inside them. And one of the foods that you should be conscious while consuming is Cinnamon.
Cinnamon is one of the herbs which is most versatile and popularly used for the culinary purpose and also for the medicinal purpose. But the question is how far it is safe to consume cinnamon during pregnancy and if it is safe, how much should be consumed.
Is Cinnamon Safe During Pregnancy?
Everything around us has two sides - Positive and negative and so is the cinnamon. Cinnamon has great benefits if consumed in limit but at the same time, it could be harmful if consumed in a higher amount. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults should limit their consumption of Cinnamon to 2-5 grams a day. Since the specific impact of Cinnamon on pregnant women is not known yet, the guidelines about the cinnamon consumption for pregnant is not framed.
What Is Not Safe During Pregnancy?
Though normal dietary intake of cinnamon could be beneficial during pregnancy, consuming high medicinal or therapeutic doses of cinnamon in the form of supplements could be harmful to the mom-to-be and the foetus. It is also advised not to have aromatherapy from cinnamon along with essential oils.
Benefits Of Cinnamon:
Cinnamon is beneficial to human body and most of the benefits of cinnamon are not particular for pregnancy.
Cinnamon has lots of antioxidants such as polyphenols (3, 4, 5). This makes it one of the herbs with very high medicinal value. The antioxidants present in cinnamon helps in fighting different infections such as bacterial, yeast infections and parasitic infections.
2. Regulates the blood sugar:
Cinnamon is one of the herbs which regulates the blood sugar level. However, what role cinnamon plays in pre-diabetic and diabetic treatments needs more research.
For Pregnant women with gestational diabetes, cinnamon bark is the best option to keep blood sugar level in check.
3. A Healthier Substitute in Food:
Cinnamon is known for its strong flavour and also, it is low in sugar. This makes Cinnamon as a healthier substitute in food.
The bark of cassia variety cinnamon counteracts the enzyme responsible for inflammation in the human body. To enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits, a pinch of it could be added to drinks, smoothies or any recipes.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure:
Just like the compounds which help in both, regulating blood sugar and lowering blood pressure, cinnamon also does the same. Regular consumption of cinnamon lowers systolic blood pressure and keeps a check on blood pressure.
6. Benefits For Brain:
Cinnamon possibly blocks the protein called tau in the brain. Tau protein buildup is usually found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. Hence, cinnamon may help in staying safe from Alzheimer’s. The exact mechanism of how it blocks is yet to be studied.
Side effects of Cinnamon when consumed in larger doses:
1. Allergic Reactions:
Some people may be allergic to Cinnamon. The allergic reactions could set off inflammation or burning sensation in the mouth and could also lead to lesions in the mouth. Though the allergic reactions disappear once you stop consuming, this is not something you want to deal with when you are pregnant.
2. Higher bleeding risks if you take blood thinners:
If you are taking any kind of blood thinners like anticoagulants, cinnamon works alongside and further lowers the platelet counts resulting in higher risk of bleeding during surgeries.
3. Uterine Contractions:
Cinnamon, either consumed in high doses or inhaled in the form of cinnamon essential oils, activates the smooth muscle in the uterus leading to contractions. The uterine contraction in the first trimester could lead to spontaneous abortion and the contractions in the third trimester could lead to preterm labour in pregnant women.
4. Raises the risk of miscarriage:
The larger doses of cinnamon consumption stimulate menstrual flow and the abortifacient effect of cinnamon could increase the risk the miscarriage.
5. May interfere with medication:
Cinnamon has the ability to interact with medicines and cause the adverse effects. So, it is best to check with your physician about cinnamon consumption if you are taking any medicines.