foods to avoid during pregnancy

6 Foods You Didn’t Know You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful moments of a woman’s life. The question of what to eat, and what not to eat, is a very big issue in most of the health conscious families in these nine months. The diversity between old generation and new generation is again a big problem. Food and food sources available 30 years back were not the same as those of today. Nowadays, organic food has flooded the market.

People are not so familiar with healthy food. Along with health, they want taste also. Fast food has grabbed major nutrients from the market. High risk foods like ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate) have become a part of daily dietary intake. Although eating everything that is healthy and hygienic is considered good by all gynecologists and doctors during pregnancy, but ladies still didn’t know the side effects of certain foods during the early days of pregnancy.

The first trimester of pregnancy marks the beginning period, and is accompanied by a feeling of giddiness, nausea and unconsciousness sometimes. Actually, this is the time, when the fetus has to set itself in the cozy environment of the womb. It would not be wrong to say that this all happens because of weakness. But it has been proved globally that this happens due to production of heat by certain foods which can have ill effect on the growing fetus. And we cannot ignore the fact that, every lady’s body is different.

Each and every food is not fit for everyone. Here I am listing 6 foods which should be actually avoided during pregnancy, especially during the early days (first trimester). Although, eating a meagre amount would always be safe.

Foods You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

1. Non Vegetarian Food

It’s always better to switch over to a vegetarian diet when you are pregnant. All non-vegetarian food: eggs, meat, fish are considered to be hot food. All are unhealthy for the liver. All these foods are a store house of bacteria. Eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria, fish are contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Shark and some other sea fishes contain mercury. If not cooked properly, any non-vegetarian diet may cause food poisoning.

2. Papaya (Carica papaya)

Consumption of unripe or semi-ripe papaya is extremely unsafe for the growing fetus. Papaya seeds and skin contain latex; the same latex which is present in oils and paints. Latex triggers uterine contractions. This may lead to miscarriage, early birth and birth defects. This is the reason why many pregnant women completely exempt papaya during their pregnancy. Although, consumption of ripe papaya is good for the growing fetus; it is a good source of vitamins and fiber. It prevents constipation, and thus disallows collection of toxic materials in the blood. But you never know; the market is flooded with unripe fruits which are set to be ripe by the use of chemicals.

3. Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius)

Yam is again a restricted vegetable during pregnancy. It contains toxic substances like dioscorin, tri-terpenes like diosgenin etc. Dioscorin has been used as monkey poison in certain African countries. It is poisonous not only to the fetus but also to lactating mothers. Raw and under cooked yam is definitely and unhealthy diet for a pregnant lady.  It also contains certain bitter proteins and irritant oxalate crystals. Excessive consumption of oxalate compounds can even cause paralysis.

4. Pineapple  

Fresh pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme, named as bromelain. Most pregnant ladies are allergic to bromelain. This enzyme may cause diarrhea, and intestinal pain. Mostly consumption of bromelain is restricted during pregnancy and breast feeding. Also, if a person has had surgery some time back (at least 2-3 weeks back), bromelain increases the risk of bleeding. So, in caesarean cases, bromelain consumption becomes a very serious risk of overbleeding, which can also lead to miscarriage. Even in normal delivery, bleeding may increase due to bromelain consumption.

5. Red lentils (Lens culinaris)

Red lentils is a widely used pulse in north/west India. It may cause slight giddiness in certain people and if consumed in large quantity (as staple food), may cause irritation to the growing fetus. It induces gas problem and vertigo to certain people. Certain pregnant ladies show allergy to this lentil. It is a common misconception among people that it is a cause of gout, although it is not unhealthy for all people.

6. Tea/Coffee Intake

These drinks contain caffeine. If taken if large amount, they become a potent source of alcohol in your body. And alcohol is totally unsafe for the growing fetus. Caffeine is also found in chocolate, soda, cold drinks and many energy drinks. So, it would always be better to switch over to home-made juices during pregnancy.

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Author’s Bio

She is a public health nutrition scientist whose research aims to improve diets and nutrition, particularly among high-risk populations.

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