Could licorice be the most polarizing food on the planet? Probably. You either hate it or you love it. I've never met someone who "just sort of" likes licorice!
As it turns out, liking licorice (specifically black licorice) is a genetic thing, similar to how liking cilantro is based on your genes. The preference is based on how your body reacts to these chemicals:
Glycyrrhizin: a natural sweetener in licorice root, which can taste like saccahrin (the same sweetener found in Sween 'n' Low)
Anethole: an aromatic that appears in anise and fennel which plays on your sense of smell.
But there's bad news to all you pregnant mamas out there looking to snack on some licorice. As it turns out, the glycyrrhizin in licorice can affect your baby's long-term health.
A study conducted in February 2017 by a group of Finnish researchers compared the physical and cognitive health of 378 teenagers whose mothers had either consumed "large amounts" of licorice during pregnancy, vs mothers who had consumed "little to no" licorice during their pregnancy.
The results showed some pretty telling affects of the glycyrrhizin.
Continue reading to find out what long-term risks you could be exposing your kids to by eating licorice during pregnancy.
The University of Helsinki released the findings of their 2017 study, and it's something all mothers should take into consideration.
The exposure to black licorice can increase the risk of ADHD in children, as well as lower their IQ points. Teens who were exposed to higher levels of glycyrrhizin had an average IQ seven points lower than those who were not. They also performed more poorly on cognitive reasoning tests and memory related tasks.
Licorice has also been linked to the following issues during pregnancy:
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of still-birth
- Heavier children (on average)
Did you eat licorice during your pregnancy?