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Pregnancy & Birth

Spice, spice baby! Labour-inducing foods, debunked

Should Harry and Meghan be ordering up a curry?

By Rebel Wylie
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are about to become parents for the first time.
The exact due date of the royal baby has remained shrouded in mystery so Meghan could right now be looking at the foods to eat to induce an early labour. But is that even "a thing." Can certain foods bring on your labour?
To confirm whether a spicy curry can speed things along, Deliveroo Nutritionist Olivia Bates has detailed and debunked some old wives tales.
Pineapple
"With the impending royal baby birth and Meghan edging closer towards labour, consuming pineapple may aid in giving the so-called 'last push' to women on the verge of active labour", says Olivia.
"Lessening the duration of labour is believed as another one of its perks. Interestingly, the enzyme bromelain in pineapple acts as a potential stimulant for the reduction in duration of labour. Furthermore, bromelain is also thought to act as a prostaglandin. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances which act in various bodily functions including the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles. This explains how bromelain can act to help soften the cervix."
Want baby to come soon? Better put pineapple on those pizzas. Image: Getty.
Spicy Food
"The belief that the consumption of spicy food induces labour may have more breadth then simply being a well-known old wives tale," notes Olivia.
"While there is no actual scientific evidence supporting the claim, spicy foods are known and have been scientifically indicated to temporarily speed up metabolism."
"For Meghan, indulging in spicy food prior to labour could result in the food irritating the nerves in her intestines, speeding up wave-like movements, or peristalsis, ultimately propelling the food through the digestive system. This mechanism of speeding up digestion is thought to play a role in inducing labour."
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Ginger & Pepper
"While there are a diverse range of spices, they are all unique in their own way. Capsaicin, the compound responsible for the kick in chilli powder and cayenne pepper has been shown to have the greatest impact on metabolism, with black pepper and ginger also having similar effects in stimulating digestion and thus potentially stimulating labour."
"Chinese takeaway is great for a dose of ginger, especially Chinese stir-fries. A Chicken Sweet and Sour Stir -Fry is loaded with ginger, but it's a common ingredient in Chinese dishes," says nutritionist, Olivia Bates. Image: Getty.
"While there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that specific foods induce labour, there is some merit to the inference that these popular theories bring on labour," says Olivia.
"With the royal baby slowly approaching, there is no harm in attempting these options as the weeks slowly exceed the due date!"

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