Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
“Good food and good choices are better for you and best for the baby”. Paying extra attention to your food intake is vital during pregnancy. Remember, it’s not just yourself that you are feeding now, but also the small baby growing inside you.
In this article, we will be discussing the food items which are not healthy and should be avoided for both, you and the baby, when you are pregnant.
Before proceeding further, caution! There might be some of your favourite items listed down here. Be a strong heart and say goodbye to those food items till the time you have delivered your baby.
Take this hard step now, and it will prove to be fruitful for you and your baby in the future.
Without any further ado, let’s get started with our list of ‘do-not-eat-foods’ during your pregnancy:
- Raw or undercooked green vegetables and sprouts
- Fish (also raw)
- Soft cheese
- Undercooked, raw, or processed meat
- Unwashed produce
- Unpasteurized milk and juices
- Unripe papaya and pineapple
- Sesame seeds
- Fenugreek seeds
- Liver products
- Energy drinks
- Spicy food
Raw or Undercooked Green Vegetables and Sprouts:
You would be surprised to read this because supposedly greens and sprouts contain the required nutrients and should be a part of your diet.
However, food items like – radish, clover, and moong beans contain the bacteria E.Coli, which can cause infection in the blood. E.Coli is considered to be fatal in pregnancy and no risks should be taken whatsoever.
Be it raw or uncooked, eggs should be avoided at all costs due to the presence of the bacterium Salmonella in them. This bacterium causes the Salmonella infection. Even worse, it lasts for over a week and may be hazardous for people with a complex immunity system.
If you are a caffeine lover and an expecting mother, stop consuming caffeine now! The fetus cannot break down the caffeine. This may lead to low birth weight at the time of delivery and can also result in infant death or chronic diseases in the case of major amounts of caffeine consumption.
No, no amount of alcohol is permissible during pregnancy. When the alcohol passes from the umbilical cord into the fetus, it may cause mental and developmental issues. This means permanently impairing the mental health of the baby. It can also lead to ‘fetal alcohol syndrome’ causing facial deformities or heart defects.
Naturally being a source of protein for the body, medical professionals advise not to consume a certain type of fish due to the high mercury content in them. Mercury intake accumulates in the bloodstream and can cause nervous disabilities in the developing baby.
Fishes to watch out for are – swordfish, bigeye tuna, marlin, shark, and king mackerel. Sushi and sashimi, a type of raw or uncooked fish, should also be avoided due to the presence of harmful bacteria in them.
In pregnancy, all types of seafood like oysters, crabs, and shellfishes should be avoided. The seafood contains the bacterium Vibrio, a cause of Cholera and other infections. Since its intake can be hazardous, it should not be a part of your diet.
Cheese is a product made from both, helpful and harmless bacteria. It is formed from unpasteurized milk which can be harmful to the mother and the baby. Cheese types like – Feta, Gorgonzola, Brie, Roquefort, and Queso Fresco should be avoided.
Eating hard cheese like Swiss or Cheddar is advisable as it is free from harmful bacteria. Additionally, any cheese which is made from pasteurized milk is a green signal.
The contents of soda are sugar and loads of empty calories. Doctors advise not to have a soda as it can contribute to making the baby overweight. This can cause trouble for the mother as well as the child in the future.
Undercooked, Raw, or Processed Meat:
Similar to fish, some meat consists of harmful bacteria likes Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasma. These can be found either on the covering of meat or inside the meat as well. Due to processing and storage, the perilous bacterium becomes active and can be risky for mothers to consume. This leads to a stillbirth or even neurological diseases like night blindness and epilepsy.
Pregnant women, if required, should consume processed meat only and only if it has been reheated and is steaming hot at the time of intake.
Expecting mothers should not eat any unwashed fruit or vegetable. These food items can be contaminated due to being soil handled. Consuming contaminated produce can lead to Toxoplasmosis, a condition wherein no symptoms would be seen initially but at a later stage, intellectual disabilities can occur.
Unpasteurized Milk and Juices:
These contain harmful bacteria like Listeria and should be avoided. Its intake can cause life-threatening consequences for the baby growing in the womb.
Unripe Papaya and Pineapple:
Both of these fruits have a presence of latex in them. This latex causes premature contractions and can also affect the texture of the cervix. Consuming ripe or semi-ripe papaya once in a while is fine. Eating pineapple can result in miscarriage and also cause diarrhoea. Hence, both being dangerous for the baby, they should not be eaten.
Grapes are said to produce high amounts of heat in the human body which is not good for both, the mother and the baby. Ideally, in the trimester, grapes should be completely avoided to stay clear from complications.
Known as medicine for causing abortion, these seeds also lead to stimulating the uterine muscles. This stimulation causes expulsion of the fertilized ovum. Thus, be careful to not include sesame seeds as a part of your diet.
An essential ingredient of Chinese cuisines, Ajinomoto should not be used while preparing food for expecting mothers. Intake of Ajinomoto can cause brain impairments in the baby, and thus, to protect the health and growth of the baby, it should be avoided.
Popular for purifying the uterus, fenugreek seeds also contain the potential to stimulate menstruation. Hence causing danger for the two, that is, the mother and child.
Liver pate or liver sausages contain vitamin A in more than required amounts. It can cause harmful effects and should be avoided during pregnancy.
Due to the presence of high caffeine, it is recommended to not include energy drinks as a part of your diet. Some energy drinks also contain high amounts of sugar content and calories which is not suitable for the development of the baby. Its intake during pregnancy can cause severities in the future.
Eggplants, a variant of the ‘nightshade family’ contains alkaloids that can be toxic for the growing baby. It can cause nausea, vomiting, and throat burning. Some consider it as a healthy food item while some avoid its intake. If its consumption does not suit your body, it is best avoided.
Although being lip-smacking, spicy food items are a big no in pregnancy. They can cause heartburns which are not good for the mother and child. Hence, special attention needs to be paid to avoid spicy food intake in your diet.
With this last point, we have successfully covered all the food items that you should avoid in your pregnancy. The list might look long and tiresome to read but following this will be worth all your effects!
Pregnancy is a beautiful moment and eating a well-balanced diet will be beneficial for you and your baby to venture into the moment as healthy individuals.
You mustn’t ignore the points mentioned in this article as precaution now can prevent lifelong harmful effects in future. Understand the effects of the food items that you are consuming during pregnancy and take the right decision for yourself and your little one.
Bringing this article to an end, we hope we were able to impart significant knowledge and put light on what food items should be avoided in pregnancy.
June 1, 2021 Sam Bell