During pregnancy, expectant mom's are compelled to live a healthy lifestyle. During this time, you must be careful with the kind of food you eat or the kind the of drinks you take. This is extremely important. By now you may already be aware of the many things that are healthy for you to consume during this period, but have you ever considered the bitter kola?
You may be wondering, is kola safe to take during pregnancy? Or can pregnant woman take Bitter kola?
Bitter kola, also known as Garcinia Kola, is a plant found in Central and Western Africa that has long been valued for its medicinal properties and benefits.
Although, All parts of the Bitter Kola plant are used for medicine in African traditions, the seeds are mostly commonly eaten. Bitter kola seeds have a sharp, bitter flavor that eases into a slight sweetness as you chew, and they’re typically eaten raw.
It is also known to be very effective in the treatment of illness such as diarrhea, cough, glaucoma, boost human metabolism and it's also believed to increase longevity. However, the abuse of the intake of Bitter kola can result into serious side effects.
In this article, we will talk more about the effects of Bitter kola during pregnancy, it's health benefits and side effects and whether or not if it safe for pregnant women to take. So let's dive right into it!
Effects Of Bitter Kola On Pregnancy
Bitter Kola contains Caffeine which is a natural stimulant that stimulants the brain and helps to keep you alert and awake. This is mostly found in energy drinks, tea, coffee and cocoa plants (bitter Kola). Most people take this stimulant in order to stay alert and awake in the night or when they are supposed to sleep.
Even though this allows you to stay alert and awake all night or when you are supposed to be sleeping, this can however cause serious negative effects on you afterwards. While some believe bitter Kola is good for Pregnancy.
Research and some studies shows that one bitter kola contains as high as 200mg of caffeine in it, that is exactly the same amount of caffeine contain in two cups of coffee.
Eating Bitter Kola During Pregnancy
Considering the high amount of caffeine contain in bitter kola which as a result can cause an increase in the adrenaline, blood pressure and heart rate of the pregnant woman as well as affect her sleeping pattern. Which is not a good condition for a pregnant woman.
Normally, a pregnancy woman should get enough sleep and a normal blood circulation and heart rate until she delivers.
Other effect of bitter Kola on pregnancy is that the caffeine in bitter Kola also affects the baby's sleeping pattern, weight, metabolism, movement and subsequent serious health problem to the baby and this can even lead to miscarriage of the unborn child
Pregnant women are therefore advised to stay away from bitter kola especially in there first trimester as the baby is just maturing in this stage and can't adopt to the rate of caffeine in bitter Kola which can pose a negative effect on both the baby and the mother.
Can bitter kola cause abortion?
There is no research or report where bitter kola has been fingered to be a cause of miscarriage or abortion or birth defects.
That bitter kola causes abortion is not scientifically backed and is largely unproven. We however, advise moderation when consuming bitter kola during pregnancy.
Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola
Although bitter Kola has shown to have serious side effects on pregnancy, research as shown that bitter kola may be able to help with health problems including:
1. Treats nausea and vomiting
Most times, pregnant women tends to develop nausea and vomiting very often especially in the early stage of pregnancy. It is very uncomfortable for woman to be nauseous and develop the feeling of wanting to vomit (or actually vomiting). It makes them weak and dehydrated. Pregnant woman chew bitter kola to relieve these symptoms.
Early studies suggest that a chemical called kolaviron, which is found in bitter kola, may protect against hypoglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes. Although this first study was done on rats and has not yet been reproduced on humans, these early findings are promising.
3. Weight Gain
Regular intake of water helps to digest properly and reduce belly fat. So how can you continue to drink more water? One of them is by consuming bitter kola. Yes, this might come as a surprise to you. But have you noticed that after eating Bitter Kola, you always feel thirsty. This is because bitter kola increases the urge of drinking water and drinking more water can help you digest food properly and help you lose weight and belly fat.
Glaucoma is an eye defect that is caused as a result of increased pressure in the eyeball and can lead to blindness if not taken care of. According to the Lagos university teaching hospital journal, bitter kola can help reduce the pressure in the eyes when consumed regularly.
5. Cold and flu remedy
The chemicals in bitter kola are very effective in cleaning the excess mucus in your throat. By possessing the ability to enlarge the alveolar sac and duct, Bitter kola provides relief for chest cold and goes on to prevent cold altogether. It is a potent expectorant.
6. Lowers blood pressure in pregnancy
There are chemical substances in bitter kola that helps to regulate blood circulation. If pregnant woman chew bitter kola, it may help prevent hypertension in pregnancy. This should however, not substitute the place of a doctor.
7. Boost immune system
During pregnancy, the immune system drops. Bitter kola can influence multiple regulatory systems in the body, the immune system inclusive. It allows the body to adapt to stress and also acts as an anti-infective agent. It boosts the immune system to help fight off infections.
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