Garlic and Hot Peppers in Diet


Dear Nutritionist,
Can I really not eat garlic or hot peppers while I'm pregnant? I love both and would really miss them as part of my diet...

I have already noticed I can't drink any of my teas, either. Is there a tea I can drink other than Green Tea?


There is no problem with eating garlic during your pregnancy unless it would trigger any type of morning sickness/nausea for you. The possible problem with eating hot peppers would be heartburn and/or nausea. For some women spicy foods can trigger morning sickness and/or nausea. In addition, heartburn is more prevalent during pregnancy and eating spicy foods such as hot peppers can trigger and enhance this uncomfortable problem.

As far as tea goes, if you are talking about herbal teas, keep in mind that herbs are drugs and often powerful ones. Taking any drug during pregnancy and/or while breastfeeding can be potentially harmful, even it is advertised as "natural." Your best bet with any product, including tea that contains herbs, is to check with your healthcare provider first to see what he/she recommends.

You should definitely steer clear of any tea that contains Ma Huang or ephedra! In addition, be aware of how much caffeine you are consuming through tea. It is recommended, unless otherwise specified by your healthcare provider, to get no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine daily during pregnancy.

Even teas that are promoted as teas for pregnant women should be used with caution. There are no clinical studies to support any claims on these products according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

-- Kimberly, RD LD


Rooibos tea

Rooibos tea does not contain caffeine

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus", in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and, Inc as well as continuing education courses for She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.