Women who enjoy Thai cuisine need not give up green curry paste during pregnancy, but they may want to consider a few things before deciding to tuck into a bowl of spicy southeast Asian food. Curry paste poses no danger to an unborn infant or mom-to-be and might even offer benefits long after birth, but it could cause short-term discomfort for some women.
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Green Curry Paste
Green curry paste combines classic southeast Asian ingredients such as Thai green chilies, onion, garlic, galangal and lemongrass to create a flavorful spicy mixture that can be used to make curries, soups and other Thai dishes. One teaspoon of green curry paste contains about five calories and does not contain fat or cholesterol. There are 250 milligrams of sodium in a single teaspoon and about 2 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Heartburn is a common pregnancy complaint, especially during the second and third trimesters when the developing baby begins to crowd the abdominal cavity and push upward on the stomach. For women prone to pregnancy heartburn, spicy food, including dishes made with green curry paste, can sometimes trigger an episode. Consuming smaller meals and drinking water between meals can help prevent heartburn, but if the discomfort becomes severe, you might need to forgo green curry until after your baby is born.
Tastes in the Womb
One advantage to eating foods spiced with green curry paste during pregnancy is the possibility of acclimating your developing baby to your favorite foods while he is still in the womb. A 2001 study in the journal "Pediatrics" found that flavors in the mother's food move into the amniotic fluid for the fetus to experience. Babies who later tasted the flavors first experienced in the womb showed fewer aversions to new food and seemed to enjoy the foods that their mothers had enjoyed during pregnancy. Exposing your baby to a wide variety of flavors in the womb could benefit both of you later when you are trying to wean your child and prevent him from becoming a fussy eater.
The choice of whether to consume foods made with green curry paste during pregnancy is an individual one. While there are no safety issues with regard to this ingredient, the potential for heartburn discomfort can be a factor in the decision. Pregnant women who do choose to eat foods made with green curry paste should do so as part of an overall healthy diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.