It is very essential for a pregnant woman to have a balanced and nutritious diet, in order to ensure proper health of her baby and herself. However, certain foods like pineapple, papaya, crabs, eggs, and mercury-rich fish are among list of foods that pregnant women should refrain from eating.
This is because these food items can prompt a possible miscarriage, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy, when pregnant women are usually at a higher risk of having one. It is essential for pregnant women to take care while combining foods into their diet and avoid specific foods during pregnancy to prevent a likely miscarriage. Foods pregnant women must watch out for are listed below:
- Raw Dairy Products
Unpasteurized or raw dairy products like milk, gorgonzola, mozzarella, feta cheese, and brie may possess disease-carrying bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes which can be detrimental to the pregnancy.
- Mercury Rich Fish
Fish is full of essential nutrients, but pregnant women should especially watch out for some fishes, especialy those that contains mercury. Mercury consumption can harmfully affect the baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Mercury rich fish includes shark, tilefish, swordfish, mackerel, bigeye tuna, king mackerel, and orange rough.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is well known for its abundant health benefits. However several studies show that pregnant women should avoid eating Aloe Vera during pregnancy because it comprises of anthraquinones, a kind of laxative that can induce contractions of the uterus and pelvic bleeding, which can lead to a possible miscarriage.
Crabs are a rich source of calcium, but they contain high levels of cholesterol. This may cause the uterus to shrink, leading to internal bleeding and a possible miscarriage. Therefore, its wise to refrain from eating it during pregnancy, until after childbirth.
Apart from functioning as preserving agents, spices are used to add flavours to the dish. They also contain a lot of nutritional value. However, some spices like fenugreek, asafoetida, garlic, angelica, peppermint should be avoided by pregnant women during pregnancy. These spices can stimulate the uterus, resulting in contractions, leading to preterm labour or miscarriage.
- Eggs or Poultry
Care should be taken while consuming eggs or poultry during pregnancy because eggs may carry bacteria called salmonella, which can lead to problems like fever, food poisoning, diarrhea, intestinal pain or even a miscarriage. It is critical to cook the eggs thoroughly, till the white and yolk of the egg turn solid. This helps in killing the bacteria and making it safe to consume. Pregnant women may also refrain from eating foods that list raw eggs as its ingredients such as homemade mayonnaise, mousses, soufflés, smoothies containing raw eggs.
Peaches are hot in nature, and if consumed in large quantities, it can produce excessive heat in a pregnant woman’s body. This can lead to internal bleeding, resulting in a miscarriage. Besides, pregnant women should peel the skin before eating it as the hair of the fruit can cause the throat to burn and itch.
Pineapple contains bromelain which may cause the cervix to soften, triggering contractions in a pregnant woman. This may result in a miscarriage. It is best to avoid consuming pineapple or pineapple juice during the early stages of pregnancy.
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- Animal liver
Animal liver is rich in vitamin A. So, eating it occasionally may not be harmful during pregnancy. However, if eaten excessively, it can promote a gradual buildup of retinol which can adversely affect the baby.
- Sesame Seeds
Pregnant women should avoid eating sesame seeds combined with honey during the early stages of pregnancy. Pregnant women may thinly have black sesame seeds during the later stages of pregnancy as it is believed to benefit during delivery.
- Processed Meat
Processed meat like sausages, pate, stuffed meat, deli meat, minced meat, salami, pepperoni is usually considered unsafe for pregnant women to consume. This is because the meat may harbour bacteria like Toxoplasma gondii, listeria or salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Pregnant women should particularly avoid eating undercooked or raw meat because the bacteria present in the meat can pass on to the baby, causing severe problems like miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth.
Seafood like oysters, shellfish, prawns, sashimi, and sushi, may be contaminated with bacteria like listeria which when consumed by pregnant women can result in pregnancy complications like preterm labour or miscarriage. Raw or fresh seafood is usually at high risk of being potentially contaminated with parasites like tapeworms and viruses, thereby exposing pregnant women to infections like listeriosis and food poisoning.
Consuming papaya, whether unripe or green, can trigger preterm labour or miscarriage. This is because papayas contain components that act as a laxative. The seeds of papaya are rich in enzymes that may cause contraction of the uterus, resulting in a miscarriage.
Experts advice that pregnant women should avoid taking herbs during pregnancy. Certain herbs contain steroids which can unfavorably affect the baby’s growth during pregnancy. If herbs like Centella, dong quai, Gotu kola – is consumed by a pregnant woman, it may cause harm to the liver, resulting in severe jaundice and probable damage to the baby’s brain.
Drumsticks are rich in iron, potassium and vitamins. Drumsticks contain alpha-sitosterol, which may be harmful for the pregnancy. So, it is advised to eat them in small quantity. Moreover, it is essential to wash them properly before consuming them, to get rid of any bacteria and pesticides.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.