Is it Safe to Consume Cinnamon During Pregnancy?

It's safe to consume cinnamon during pregnancy in moderate doses. This culinary spice has many health benefits. Learn more!
Is it Safe to Consume Cinnamon During Pregnancy?
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 17 December, 2022

Cinnamon is a spice with many health benefits. It acts as a hypoglycemic and anti-diabetic and also modulates the inflammation of body tissues. However, when introducing cinnamon during pregnancy, some considerations must be taken into account.

First of all, it’s important to emphasize that during pregnancy, it’s important to adapt your diet and avoid the consumption of certain foods that may endanger the development of the fetus. Of course, toxic habits that can lead to serious health problems and even miscarriages should be eliminated.

The truth about eating cinnamon during pregnancy

Cinnamon sticks and freshly ground cinnamon.

Under normal conditions, the consumption of cinnamon during pregnancy doesn’t have to be risky, as long as it’s ingested in moderate doses. The spice contains a compound called coumarin, which can harm the fetus in high concentrations. However, its use in cooking doesn’t represent a risk at all.

If for some reason, the recommended daily dose is exceeded, certain gestational alterations may occur. For example, deformations in the fetus, spontaneous miscarriages, premature births, or fissures in the placenta.

All this has been shown in a study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. However, these are very extreme cases.

Cinnamon is beneficial during pregnancy

Cinnamon consumption is generally considered beneficial at all times, although supplementation with the spice during pregnancy and the use of its essential oil isn’t recommended.

Its presence in the diet of women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome may be positive, as stated in a study published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry. In this case, an increase in insulin sensitivity can be experienced, which in the medium term, translates into a higher probability of conception and a better quality of life.

Body composition will also be positively affected and the risk of developing complex diseases that jeopardize proper metabolic functioning will be reduced. For example, diabetes mellitus.

The use of spices in normal quantities is also good for adding flavor and aroma to all kinds of dishes and desserts. In this way, it’s possible to reduce the consumption of not-so-suitable condiments such as salt and sugar.

Tips for consuming cinnamon during pregnancy

In reference to quantities, these can’t be specified, as there are no official recommendations at the moment. Also, no long-term study has quantified a safe dose.

It’s best to add it in moderation as a spice either with foods or drinks. You can sprinkle it on fruit, yogurt, toast, or use it to spice up stews and sweet preparations.

For total safety, it’s best to always use Ceylon cinnamon and avoid cassia cinnamon. The latter may contain much higher amounts of coumarin, a compound that, as we’ve seen, can be harmful to health.

Can you drink cinnamon tea during pregnancy?

Cinnamon tea is a fairly common infusion, especially to treat certain digestive disorders and due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, in the field of popular medicine, it’s known as a plant that could help induce labor.

However, this last belief has no scientific support and, therefore, it’s not advisable to take cinnamon infusions in the final days of your pregnancy in order to advance or promote this moment.

In general, it’s considered safe to drink cinnamon tea during pregnancy as long as the amount of spice added isn’t greater than that which would be used in a culinary preparation. It’s also preferable not to exceed the amount of one cup per day.

With infusions, you should be more careful during pregnancy to avoid taking doses above what’s recommended. For this reason, they’re not usually recommended to remedy common ailments, as there aren’t studies that determine their safety in pregnant women.

In the case of suffering digestive discomfort, other dietary measures for symptomatic relief can be implemented. Spacing meals and fractioning their volume facilitates digestion and improves the function of the stomach and intestine.

A pregnant woman drinking tea.

Cinnamon can be taken during pregnancy in moderate doses

As you’ve seen, it’s possible to consume cinnamon during pregnancy, as long as the intake is done in moderate doses and preferably at a dietary level.

In no case are the use in high doses, supplementation with cinnamon tablets, or the ingestion or application of cinnamon essential oil recommended.

Finally, remember that it’s important to adapt and optimize your diet during pregnancy. In this regard, you promote the adequate development of the fetus and reduce the risk of suffering from chronic diseases in the future.

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  • Abraham K, Wöhrlin F, et al. Toxicology and risk assessment of coumarin: focus on human data. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Febrero 2010. 54 (2): 228-39.
  • Agricultural Research Service. Cinnamon Health Benefits. U. S. Department of Agriculture. Agosto 2016.
  • Bluhmki T, Fietz AK, Stegherr R, et al. Multistate methodology improves risk assessment under time-varying drug intake-a new view on pregnancy outcomes following coumarin exposure. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2019;28(5):616-624. doi:10.1002/pds.4710.
  • Heshmati J, Sepidarkish M, Morvaridzadeh M, et al. The effect of cinnamon supplementation on glycemic control in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Food Biochem. 2021;45(1):e13543. doi:10.1111/jfbc.13543.
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Cinnamon. Mayo 2020. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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