Pregnancy is the most unexceptional moment in a woman’s life. It is that moment when everybody is extra careful about the expecting mother especially when it comes to food. The food consumed by the mother can directly affect the health of the child.
Expecting mothers have to pay close attention to what they eat and make sure to avoid harmful foods and beverages. Certain foods should only be consumed rarely, while others should be avoided completely. Therefore, it’s very important for pregnant women to eat a healthy diet.
List of Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy:
Avoiding some foods ensures that you and your baby are safe and healthy. Below, we give a list of the absolutely must-not-haves during pregnancy.
1. High-Mercury Fish
Mercury is a highly toxic element. It has no known safe level of exposure and is most commonly found in polluted water. In higher amounts, it can be toxic to your nervous system, immune system, and kidneys. It may also cause serious developmental problems in children. Pregnant women should not eat high-mercury fish more than 1–2 times each month. This includes shark, swordfish, tuna, and mackerel.
2. Undercooked or Raw Fish
Raw fish, especially shellfish, can cause several infections. These can be viral, bacterial, or parasitic, such as Norovirus, Vibrio, Salmonella, and Listeria. Raw fish and shellfish can be contaminated with bacteria and parasites. Some of these can cause adverse health effects and harm both the mother and the unborn baby.
3. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs may be contaminated with Salmonella, which can lead to sickness and an increased risk of premature birth or stillbirth. Symptoms of Salmonella infections are usually experienced only by the mother and include fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
4. Unpasteurized Milk and its Products
Milk should be slightly boiled before consuming as it kills germs and prevents disease-causing microbes which can be harmful to the growth of the baby. Milk is definitely important but it should be pasteurized.
This is yet another item that most Indian women avoid during pregnancy. Pineapple comprises traces of bromelain enzyme that is found to be helpful in cervix softening and bringing on labor. Pineapple belongs to the family of food that gets your body heated very soon and therefore is not recommended during the conception period as it can trigger a miscarriage or premature labor. However one needs to understand that a single pineapple contains just minute traces of the above-mentioned enzyme and it turns dangerous only if you have around six to seven pineapples together.
6. Smoked Seafood
Refrigerated, smoked seafood often labeled as lox, nova style, kippered, or jerky should be avoided because it could be contaminated with listeria. (These are safe to eat when they are in an ingredient in a meal that has been cooked, like a casserole.) This type of fish is often found in the deli section of your grocery store. Canned or shelf-safe smoked seafood is usually fine to eat.
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7. Undercooked, Raw and Processed Meat
Eating undercooked or raw meat increases your risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Bacteria may threaten the health of your unborn baby, possibly leading to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses, including mental retardation, blindness, and epilepsy.
Pregnant women should not drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
9. Processed Junk Foods
Eating processed foods during pregnancy can increase your risk of excess weight gain, gestational diabetes, and complications. This can have long-term health implications for your child.
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