Aside from babies, the first thing that comes to mind when you mention pregnancy is food cravings. Yes, despite the nausea, bloating, and other annoying pregnancy symptoms, your appetite just seems to keep growing and you find yourself longing for the strangest of foods. While you certainly deserve all the pampering possible during these 9 months, it would be dangerous to give in to every food craving that you have.
There are some foods that pose particular risk to expectant mothers and unborn babies because of their high risk of contamination or because of the presence of certain toxins or compounds that could cause an adverse reaction. Here are some such foods to avoid during pregnancy.
Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
You know you shouldn’t eat raw meat, sushi, or street food when you’re pregnant, so we won’t touch upon these obvious ‘no nos’. Instead, here are some foods that may even be healthy under other circumstances, but are best avoided during pregnancy.
Fresh Fruit Or Vegetable Juice
“Rapid juicing & processing of fruits & veggies at juice centers poses a high risk of cross-contamination, with fresh juices often containing bacteria such as E.coli”
The next time you crave a fresh fruit juice in the middle of the night, don’t head down to the nearest juice center, or send hubby for a pickup. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices may be healthy, but they can give you more than a good dose of vitamins.
The rapid juicing and processing of fruits poses a high risk of cross-contamination, with fresh juices often containing bacteria such as E.coli. While this may not have much of an impact on you normally, it can cause serious illness for both mother and the fetus.
“Although exceedingly healthy, raw sprouts have frequently been linked with foodborne illnesses because of the high risk of contamination”
It’s great that you have healthy food cravings, but this time you’ll need to give the sprout salad a pass. Although exceedingly healthy, raw sprouts have frequently been linked with foodborne illnesses, as they are easily contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. While any illness in the mother affects the unborn baby, matters are complicated as medication options are further limited because of possible adverse effects on the fetus.
Cantaloupe & Papaya
“Fruits & veggies grown beneath the soil or at ground level are most likely to contain bacteria from soil, such as Listeria & E. Coli”
Ground growing fruits like cantaloupes are prone to contamination from the soil with bacteria like Listeria and E. Coli. While this bacterial contamination is only on the surface or rind, there is a good chance that the pulp of the fruit could also get contaminated when cutting through the fruit.
In the case of papayas, you need to avoid unripe or green papayas, as the unripe fruit can be potentially threatening to pregnancy because of the presence of a latex substance that can trigger uterine contractions.
“Whether eating a salad with raw meats, veggies, or mayo (contains raw egg), you face a high risk of parasitic or Listeria infection”
Whether it’s a vegetable, fruit, or meat salad that we’re talking about, you would do well to steer clear of them. Attention to hygiene when cleaning both vegetables and meats may be inadequate at most eateries and your salad could also contain bacteria or parasites like tapeworms. Salad dressings like mayo can also contain raw eggs, which the US FDA strictly warns against because of possible Listeria infections.
Herbal Teas & Supplements
“Be extremely careful with herbal products, as they contain potent compounds that give them their healing powers, but these can also make them highly toxic”
Pregnancy limits the range of medications that you can use safely, whether for the flu or constipation. This makes alternative therapies and remedies enticing, but you need to be extremely careful with herbal products, as they contain potent compounds that give them their healing powers. Unfortunately, these very same compounds can also be highly toxic. For example, licorice intake during pregnancy is associated with lower IQs in children.
Moreover, as reports show, most diet and herbal supplements sold in India are fake and many possess toxins that are actually restricted even in pharmaceutical products.
When you’re expecting it really does help to err on the side of caution. If there is any food product or beverage that you are not sure is 100% safe, speak to your doctor or gynecologist before giving into those cravings. There’s plenty to choose from, so don’t hesitate to ditch those treats that could be bad for you. After all, what you put in your belly affects your baby too.
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