Medical and nutrition experts say there is no scientific evidence to suggest that eating spicy foods during pregnancy is dangerous and can result in blindness in babies.
According to them, no study yet has linked blindness in children to spicy food consumption during pregnancy.
They, however, said eating spicy foods might predispose pregnant women to the risk of heartburn, especially in those who had ulcers before conception.
Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, one of the experts and a Professor of Public Health Nutrition, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, said it is untrue that consuming spicy foods during pregnancy leads to blindness in babies.
The myth suggests that spicy foods eaten during pregnancy can burn the baby’s eyes, resulting in blindness.
Prof. Onimawo, a former Vice-Chancellor, of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, said, “It is a pure fallacy. There is no research to back that kind of statement. I am not aware of any spices pregnant women should avoid. But I can say that eating spices is a bit more cultural.
“There are some people that eat a lot of spices but others don’t. They don’t like it because of the way a person is brought up.”
The don said he was not aware of any spicy food that is contraindicated in pregnancy.
Prof. Onimawo, a former President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria pointed out that drugs and alcohol are the things that are contraindicated in pregnancy and have harmful effects on the foetus and not spicy foods.
The nutritionist, however, urged pregnant women to eat healthily and consume more fruits and vegetables.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, food safety is vital for everyone – but especially for pregnant women, their unborn babies, and children younger than five.
An online portal, BabyCentre says spicy foods are safe during pregnancy.
“Yes, spicy foods are safe for you and your baby when you’re pregnant. They certainly don’t make the long list of foods you should avoid when you’re expecting.
“Plenty of people (wrongly) believe that eating spicy food is dangerous, whether or not you’re pregnant. It’s not true! Spicy foods are safe, although your taste buds and digestive system may not always do well with the heat,” the centre said.
This content was originally published here.