Garlic and Hot Peppers in Diet

Kimberly A. Tessmer's picture


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