Mustard during Pregnancy: Benefits , Risks and Precautions

mustard during pregnancy
mustard during pregnancy

In terms of safety for consumption, mustard is considered appropriate in normal food amounts when used as a seasoning, condiment, or ingredient. However, caution should be exercised when using it in medicinal or supplemental doses. The American Pregnancy Association suggests that many herbs and spices are safe for use during pregnancy, provided they are consumed as food and not in concentrated forms such as supplements. This article merely covers the suitability of mustard as a common culinary ingredient found in sauces, condiments, and seasonings.

Nutritional Value of Mustard

Mustard is densely rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; making it an advantageous dietary addition for optimal health benefits. Tabulated studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) divulge that even a tiny quantity equivalent to one tablespoonful provides ample support via these primary components:(source: https://spreadthemustard.com/health-nutrition/)

  • Calories: 3
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Vitamin C: 0.6 mg
  • Iron: 0.1 mg
  • Calcium: 4.5 mg
  • Potassium: 12.6 mg

Health Benefits of Mustard during Pregnancy

1. Helps in Digestion

The compound allyl isothiocyanate present in mustard plays a crucial role in promoting digestive juice production, thereby facilitating effective digestion. This property of mustard also aids in diminishing stomach distresses like constipation and bloating, which are prevalent during pregnancy. (1)

2. Prevents Cancer

It is scientifically established that mustard seeds encompass considerable amounts of anti-cancer components like glucosinolates and myrosinase. These active ingredients actively impede the growth of malignant cells, thereby serving as a potent safeguard against various forms of cancer; specifically, breasts, and colon cancers.(2)

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3. Boosts Immunity

Due to its abundance of vitamin C, mustard acts as a valuable antioxidant that stimulates the immune system. The role of the immune system during pregnancy is very important and protects against infections and ensures health for both mother and fetus.(3)

4. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in ensuring a smooth pregnancy experience for pregnant women. Therefore, it is recommended to use nutritious foods such as mustard, which provides vital extracts for the development of the fetus.

Contains abundant amounts of key vitamins such as; Vitamins A and K, along with other vital minerals such as folate and calcium, make mustard an essential component of a sustainable pregnancy diet.

5. Reduces Inflammation

Considered as an excellent source of various anti-inflammatory compounds like selenium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids, mustard has numerous health benefits for expectant mothers. With regular consumption, they can effectively reduce inflammatory responses within their bodies which promote comfort while relieving pain during pregnancy.(4)

6. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

The regulation of blood glucose levels is among the known benefits of mustard seeds due to their rich chemical composition. As such, inclusion of these nutritious seeds into the diets of pregnant individuals with high risks of developing gestational diabetes could lower their risk significantly. Notably, consumption of mustard seeds on a regular basis enhances insulin sensitivity – a crucial factor in keeping healthy glycemic indices.(5)

Types of Mustard

During pregnancy, it’s considered safe to consume all types of mustards according to The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

  • yellow mustard: the mildest type and the most common condiment
  • mustard powder: a stronger form of yellow mustard
  • Dijon mustard:  made with mustard seeds and white wine or white wine vinegar.
  • mustard sauce: which often contains other ingredients that should be checked for pasteurization.
  • honey mustard: a sweet and tangy variety that contains honey
  • mustard seeds: which can be used as an ingredient or seasoning in cooking.
  • wholegrain mustard: which contains intact mustard seeds and is used in sauces, dips, and as an accompaniment.
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Precautions to Take While Consuming Mustard during Pregnancy

Despite the numerous health benefits of mustard during pregnancy, it is important to take precautions to minimize potential risks. Therefore, when consuming mustard during pregnancy, caution should be followed and these instructions should be followed:

1. Check for Allergies

A handful of studies have acknowledged the potential risk that mustard allergies pose to selected groups of people. For pregnant women with existing allergy to the sauce, avoidance is ideal due to possible clinical manifestations such as hives, wheezing or shortness of breath, among others.

2. Avoid Excess Consumption

Accidental consumption of mustard in moderate levels does not cause any dangerous complications during pregnancy. Conversely, consuming large amounts of mustard causes digestive complications such as heartburn. As a preventive measure, expectant mothers should seek guidance from medical professionals or nutritionists when adjusting their dietary patterns regarding the required amount of mustard.

3. Choose the Right Type

Mustard is a versatile condiment that comes in various forms such as powder, paste, oil or seeds. When using this substance during pregnancy, note that moderate amounts of powdered mustard and paste are fine, but you should avoid using mustard oil altogether.

4. Avoid Mustard Oil Massage

Although mustard oil massage is known to reduce muscle pain and stiffness, it should be avoided during pregnancy due to possible side effects. Mustard oil massage can cause skin irritation that may cause premature contractions.

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Mustard Oil in Pregnancy

Toxic to the heart, erucic acid in mustard oil has resulted in its prohibition as a culinary addition in the United States and Europe despite its frequent use in traditional cuisine. Pregnant women and others must abstain entirely. Any potential harm makes it unwise to use or ingest, despite its occurrence in some ethnic stores. During pregnancy, seeking advice from a doctor or nutritionist about food safety is recommended. This is important to bear in mind, especially when it comes to certain ingredients.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erucic_acid#cite_note-McInnis-5)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is It Safe To Consume Mustard During Pregnancy?

Yes, consuming mustard in moderation is safe during pregnancy.

How Much Mustard Can Be Consumed During Pregnancy?

The optimal amount of mustard to consume during pregnancy is different for each person. To ensure safe consumption of mustard, consultation with a medical professional or nutritionist is recommended.

Can Mustard Cause Miscarriage During Pregnancy?

No, there is no evidence to suggest that consuming mustard causes miscarriage during pregnancy.

What Are The Other Alternatives To Mustard During Pregnancy?

When a person is pregnant, there are many types of condiments such as ketchup or hot sauce that can be consumed. Please note that any condiments chosen should be minimally salted with little sugar, yet free of artificial elements for optimal health benefits.

conclusion

Consuming mustard during pregnancy is considered safe and healthy due to its rich nutrients that have several beneficial properties for pregnant women. These include improved digestion processes, cancer prevention elements, immune boosting properties and blood glucose level regulating abilities. However, pregnant mothers should be careful when using this seasoning. Its recommended amounts can be determined in consultation with health practitioners or nutritionists.

  • Cappellini, F., et al. “Mustard Seeds: A Comprehensive Review on Phytochemicals and Therapeutic Potential.” Nutrients 12.9 (2020).
  • Gupta, M., et al. “Mustard (Brassica juncea) Oil: Health Benefits and Physiological Functions.” Food Reviews International 28.3 (2012).
  • Krishnan, P., et al. “Nutritional and Health Benefits of Mustard Seeds and Oil: A Review.” Food and Function 7.1 (2016).
  • Kulkarni, P., et al. “Mustard and its Medicinal Uses: A Review.” Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies (2015).
  • Mokhtar, B., et al. “Antioxidant and Anti-Cancer Properties of Mustard (Brassica juncea) and Its Potential as a Functional Food.” Antioxidants (2021).
  • Rawat, R., et al. “Pregnancy and Diabetes Mellitus: An Overview.” Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care (2021).
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