Can Pregnant Women Eat Sesame Seeds?

When you are pregnant, your physician may give you what seems like a laundry list of foods, beverages, skincare products and other habits to avoid for the health of your growing baby. While avoiding some foods, like alcohol, is definitely beneficial, some foods are simply rumors. This is the case for sesame seeds. While they are rumored to cause harm during pregnancy, they actually can be beneficial in providing needed nutrients for your baby.


Many of the rumors related to sesame seeds and pregnancy are rooted in Indian tradition, according to Baby Center. Indian culture uses sesame, or “til,” seeds in many dishes, but the seeds are considered “hot” foods in Ayurveda. This heat is rumored to cause harm in your baby that can supposedly lead to miscarriage when consumed, according to Dr. Seeta Arjun, author of “Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy” on the Wonder Woman website. However, there is no scientific basis to support that sesame seeds can lead to miscarriage or other ill effects during pregnancy.



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Sesame seeds are not only safe for pregnant women, they also can be beneficial during pregnancy. Sesame seeds are a calcium source for your body. Calcium is needed to help your baby form strong bones and teeth. SFGate, a division of the “San Francisco Chronicle” newspaper, recommends sesame seeds in their article “7 Superfoods Pregnant Women Should Eat.” You can add these seeds to stir-fry, to yogurt, over chicken, in vegetable soups or in rice dishes. Ground sesame seeds also are eaten as tahini, a sesame seed paste.

Additional Benefits

In addition to being a calcium source in your diet, sesame seeds also contain several other key nutrients needed to promote healthy growth and development in your baby. This includes iron, oxalic acid and proteins. Also, sesame seeds have vitamins B, C and E, which support cell growth and tissue development.



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While sesame seeds generally are not unsafe for expectant mothers, every woman’s body may respond differently to foods during pregnancy. If you eat foods that contain sesame seeds and seem to experience upset stomach afterward, you may wish to avoid sesame seeds until after the first trimester, when nausea seems to subside. While the sesame seeds won’t harm your baby’s health, they can upset your stomach if you seem to be more sensitive to their effects.