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Is Sesame Oil Good During Pregnancy?

By Super

Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful experiences in the life of a woman. It is the time when she has to think and act, not just for herself, but also for the baby growing inside her. At this time, the baby's only source of food is the mother; so, much care must be taken to ensure that the expectant mother gets all the necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Sesame oil has become a topic of controversy as far as pregnancy is concerned. Sesame seed is a good source of many essential nutrients like iron, potassium and calcium, but is also purported to cause miscarriages and other dangers to pregnancy.

While taking sesame is not recommended for those who have allergies or a history of preterm labour, it is considered good for those who have constipation and nutritional requirements.

So is sesame oil good or bad for pregnancy? The effect of sesame oil on pregnant women depends on the health status of the pregnant woman and the quantity consumed.

Still, we have to consider both the pros and cons before using it because nobody wants to take a chance during pregnancy. Your doctor might say sesame oil is okay during pregnancy, but your grandmother will tell you to steer clear of it.

So, the big question here is whether or not sesame seeds and its oil are safe for pregnancy. To answer that, let's consider the various effects of sesame oil on pregnant women.

Miscarriages: In some parts of India, sesame oil mixed with some jaggery is used to induce abortion. So if you ask your granny is sesame oil okay when pregnant, they would definitely say ‘no' - especially during the first trimester.

Allergies: Sesame oil contains sulphur and polyunsaturated fats. These can cause allergies especially during a pregnancy when your immune system is vulnerable. So, if you are allergic to sesame oil then it is best to stay clear of it.

Hot food: According to Ayurveda, sesame oil comes under the category of heat emitting foods. It causes the internal body heat to rise affecting foetal growth. Hence, the answer to the question ‘is sesame oil good for pregnancy' is again no.

Hormone inducing: Sesame oil has hormone inducing behaviour. This might trigger uterine contractions leading to preterm labour or miscarriage. This is one of the main reasons why women are advised against using sesame oil during pregnancy.

Uterine contractions: Because of the hormone inducing properties of sesame oil, women may experience uterine contractions. This can be harmful if you are pregnant and so many would say that sesame oil is not good for pregnant women.

Premature bleeding: Sesame oil has hormone balancing properties and hence is useful in stopping premature bleeding in pregnant women. So, when used in the correct quantities, taking sesame oil during pregnancy can be good.

Combat constipation: Constipation is a common problem faced by pregnant women. Sesame oil, which is high in fibres, will help to combat this issue. So again, sesame oil is said to be okay for pregnancy.

Reduce anxiety: Pregnancy is an anxious time for everyone, especially the soon-to-be mother. Sesame oil, rich in the nutrient niacin, helps reduce anxiety. So here, you could say that sesame oil can benefit a pregnant woman.

Good for vegans: If you are a vegan you might find yourself in a quandary as you try to ensure your diet has all the essential nutrients. So sesame oil in moderate quantity can be nutritional, especially if you are not allowed to have milk or nuts.

Story first published: Saturday, January 25, 2014, 3:29 [IST]
Read more about: prenatal pregnancy