Here's what you need to know about having za’atar when pregnant, including which herbs and spices are safe for expecting moms and foods that should be avoided.
If you’re an expecting mom or planning to be, it’s never too early to start learning about which foods are safe to eat and which foods to avoid during pregnancy. In particular, it’s worth knowing which herbs and spices are pregnancy-safe.
Za’atar is a Mediterranean spice blend made from sesame seeds, dried wild thyme, dried oregano and sumac.
If you’re on a mission to have the safest and healthiest pregnancy possible, you’ll want to steer clear of certain foods that may be harmful to you or the baby. But can you have za’atar when pregnant? Here’s what you need to know.
Can you have za’atar when pregnant?
The short answer is yes, za’atar is perfectly safe for pregnant women. In fact, this spice blend even has some health benefits that may be good for pregnant mom and her baby. Herbs like oregano and thyme contain plant-derived compounds that can soothe inflammation and even support your immune system with vitamin C.
However, moderation is particularly important during pregnancy, so you don’t want to significantly increase your consumption of za’atar or any herb without talking to your doctor first. The same goes for other common cooking herbs like rosemary, garlic, ginger and turmeric.
If you’re looking for herbal remedies to treat common symptoms of pregnancy, talk to your health care provider first. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so they may carry risks that could jeopardize your health and the health of your baby.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Although za'atar is a safe herb for pregnant women to enjoy, there are some foods to steer clear of to avoid potential birth defects and other complications. Of course, it’s always best to work closely with your health care provider if you’re planning to change your diet during pregnancy.
Here are some generally accepted foods to avoid during pregnancy:
- Raw or undercooked meat or seafood. Because pregnant women are at a higher risk for food poisoning and other food-borne illnesses, it’s best to skip anything with a higher likelihood of containing pathogens.
- Under-pasteurized dairy products like milk, yogurt and soft cheeses are more likely to contain bacteria that can make pregnant women sick.
- Alcohol. Research suggests that regular alcohol consumption during pregnancy can increase the chance of birth defects.
- Cured or highly processed meat and fish are also more likely to harbor microbes that can cause listeria in pregnant women with weakened immune systems.
The Bottom Line About Foods During Pregnancy
At the end of the day, while there are foods that pregnant women should steer clear of, za’atar is not one of them. And there are plenty of delicious ways to nourish your body and your baby with the help of this tasty Mediterranean herb. Here are some of our favorite pregnancy-approved recipes from our archive: