Top 10 foods you must avoid during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful feeling. With all the preparation and excitement for the child, we like to ensure the best for the baby. While we research about baby’s needs and find Dealvoucherz health promo codes for the same, we often forget ours. Pregnant women need a lot of attention and care to ensure that they and the baby stay healthy. From your diet to lifestyle, there are some significant changes you will need to make during this period. Here are some foods that can harm you and the baby during pregnancy that you must avoid. By making these dietary modifications, you can get the nutrients you need for you and the baby.

  1. Fish with mercury

Some types of fish like mackerel, tilefish, shark and swordfish are high in mercury content. Mercury is converted to methylmercury while consumed. This is a neurotoxin linked to damage in the brain and delays in development. Choose fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids instead as they can boost the heart and brain development in children.

  1. Fish from polluted water

Fish from areas with contaminated water can contain high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Exposure to these can cause low birth weight in babies, smaller sized head, learning disabilities and retention problems.

  1. Raw or undercooked eggs

Soft boiled eggs can contain salmonella if the whites are undercooked and it can lead to food poisoning. The symptoms include fever, diarrhoea, headache, abdominal pain and severe vomiting. Though this can’t harm the baby, it weakens your immune system, which can damage the fetal development. Buying pasteurised eggs can be a good idea.

  1. Raw meat or poultry

While you are pregnant, ensure that your meat is always well done. Consuming any raw or pink meat, that is bloody, like a rare steak, can cause toxoplasmosis. These can contain the toxoplasma parasite which can cause flu-like symptoms in a few weeks after consumption. Toxoplasmosis can lead to miscarriages and even fetal death during labour and delivery. Undercooked meat can also contain salmonella, leading to food poisoning. Ensure that meats are cooked to temperatures specified for the quantity and type.

  1. Deli meats

Ready-to-eat meats or deli meats like hot dogs, sandwich meat, cold cuts etc. should be avoided. If you want to consume deli meats, ensure that you cook it well thoroughly to kill any bacteria. Uncooked, they can contain listeria bacteria. This bacteria travel from the mother to the child through the placenta and can even cause fetal death.

  1. Unpasteurized milk

It can be a terrible idea to consume unpasteurized milk when you are pregnant. There are no nutritional benefits to unpasteurized milk and it can contain a number of bacteria. These include salmonella, E. coli, listeria and cryptosporidium, all of which can harm the mother and child. Avoid unpasteurized milk products like soft cheeses as well.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables that haven’t been washed properly

Unless you wash fruits and vegetables, they can contain a parasite called Toxoplasma. Toxoplasmosis is parasites that contaminate soils used for growing fruits and vegetables. Not being careful can lead to ingesting the parasite and microbes. Ensure that you rinse all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water. Peel outer layers and scrub off surfaces and bruised parts where there may be bacteria. Ensure that you cook vegetables thoroughly, especially leafy vegetables.

  1. Alcohol

If you are pregnant, it is advised that you lay off the drink entirely. There is no amount of alcohol that is proven to be safe. Even small quantities can have a negative impact on the development of the baby’s brain. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been linked to fetal alcohol syndrome. This has can cause a deformity in the face and heart as well as mental retardation in children.

  1. Processed Junk Food

Pregnancy is a time where there is unprecedented growth. Pregnant women need an increased level of nutrients, iron, folates and proteins during this time. Despite the notion of eating for two, you need just an added 350-500 added calories per day. Processed food items are low in nutrient content and very high in the sugars, added fats and calories. Added sugars have been linked to increased risks of type 2 diabetes, heart blockage etc. While you may need to gain some weight during pregnancy, excess can cause multiple diseases and complications. The risks include gestational diabetes, complications in pregnancy and birth. It also increases the chances of infant obesity, which increases the likelihood of adult obesity.

  1. Papayas and pineapples

Papayas have properties that can stimulate abortions. Latex in papaya causes contractions while papain and pepsin can lead to stunted fetal growth. Pineapples contain bromelain which can weaken cervix and cause unsuccessful labour or even miscarriages. It is advisable to avoid the consumption of these foods during pregnancy.

 

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