Pregnancy-the birth of miracle, rainbow and all things sugar, spicy and nice. One of the most debated topics is the diet and exercise a pregnant woman should follow. A well rounded and balanced meal is important. But, what may work for some pregnant ladies may not work for others. What to gorge on and what to avoid eating? Cravings during pregnancy are quite normal, thanks to the hormonal surge. Women all over have goofy cravings which can range from eating sauerkraut to eating ice cream all the time. But, which food is a big NO NO is tough to figure out. While most food items can be included in a pregnant women’s daily menu, there are some food items which one should avoid eating.
Then let us help you provide a comprehensive list of food items which you should avoid eating during your journey of motherhood:
1. Fish containing mercury:
Fish which contain mercury such as mackerel, swordfish and tilefish should be avoided like the plague during pregnancy. Mercury can lead to food poisoning and can infect the blood. Mercury intake can lead to increase in developmental delays in the babies and lead to brain damage.
Seafood such as salmon, bluefish, trout and striped bass may be carriers of germs as they grow in contaminated water. These fishes are exposed to high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), which is extremely unhealthy for both mother and child. They can cause the baby’s immune system to fail. Choose to eat fresh water fish and get your protein intake.
Raw fish during pregnancy is cause for danger. Obviously, Sushi is to be included in this list. Consuming sushi can be harmful to the baby as the raw fish can lead to acute food poisoning and indigestion. A definite red flag, you should avoid eating sushi.
4. Raw papaya:
In many cultures, it is prudent to not let any pregnant women consume raw papaya. It is the only fruit which is prohibited to eat. Consumption of raw papaya may lead to miscarriages.
5. Undercooked eggs:
Raw or undercooked eggs may contain the harmful salmonella bacteria which can cause food poisoning. It may lead to diarrhoea, severe vomiting, headache and abdominal pain. All of these symptoms will make the mom-to-be weak, leading to a sicker baby. Avoid mayonnaise, meringue, tiramisu, Ceaser salad dressings, custards, ice creams.
6. Unpasteurized milk:
It is risky to drink unpasteurised or raw milk during pregnancy. It does not have any nutritional value and accounts for the presence of higher level of bacteria. Boiled milk is safe and is germfree. Choose to drink almond milk, soy milk. They are healthier options.
7. Raw sprouts:
Never consume raw sprouts consisting of clover, radish, sunflower, broccoli, beans, alfalfa. They are prone to salmonella bacteria, listeria. It could lead to premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth and infections in newborns. Always snack on cooked sprouts during pregnancy.
8. Unwashed vegetables and fruits:
This is a rule all pregnant women must follow. Unwashed fruits and vegetables contain the parasite Toxoplasma. They may cause brain developmental defects in the baby. It is always preferred to consume completely rinsed vegetables and fruits.
Consuming coffee or coke which contains higher doses of caffeine can be harmful to the baby. It may lead to miscarriage, low weight babies, premature birth and withdrawal symptoms in an infant. Some studies suggest a dosage of 200 milligrams a day is healthy. Beyond it, can be fatal.
10. Sugar rich-food:
Pipe down on the consumption of sugary food such as candies, desserts, cakes, ice creams, chocolates, sweetened beverages, biscuits, snack bars. Excessive of sugar in the body can cause the new mom-to-be to have gestational diabetes, the risk of preterm labour, preeclampsia and increase the risk of metabolic syndrome in babies.
11. Street food:
Pregnancy brings with it out-of-turn cravings. Street food can be one of them. Spicy, saucy and contaminated, street food contributes to all of the former attributes. They can cause infections, stomach problems and food poisoning. It is due to poor food and hygiene standards.
12. Artificial sweeteners:
Artificial sweeteners contain aspartame and saccharin. Aspartame consumed in lower doses is acceptable for the body, in higher levels can cause heart problems and birth defects in the baby. While saccharin remains in the fetal tissues and may or may not show signs of risk.
With this exhaustive list of what not to eat during pregnancy might be clear now. Now you can surely avoid eating potentially dangerous items. What is important is to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Binge on snacks which have some nutritional value and are tasty. Eat number of meals rather than eating just three times. Exercise as much as possible, take a walk and remain active during the 9 months. It has a very positive effect on the baby. Eating right and resting well will lead to the birth of a well rounded and proportionate baby.