A healthy diet is very important during pregnancy. As soon as you become aware that you are pregnant you want to ensure that you are eating right things. You get all sorts of advices and information about what to eat and what to avoid. This writeup aims to provide exhaustive information about Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy.
To begin with:
1. Raw Papaya:
One must completely avoid raw and unripe papaya as it has a substance called Latex which can start uterine contractions. It can cause miscarriage in early pregnancy. It also contains papain and pepsin which can cause fetal developmental issues. So it is advised by doctors to completely avoid raw and unripe papaya throughout the pregnancy.
2. Tulsi Leaves:
Tulsi leaves should be avoided during pregnancy as it has high levels of mercury and it is believed to cause contractions. If you need to use it for some cough or cold remedy then get an alter remedy.
3. Aloe Vera :
One must avoid consuming aloe vera or its juice during pregnancy. Taking aloe vera juice may cause uterine contractions and can also drop the sugar levels in blood. Sometimes it may cause vomiting and diarrhea which would lead to loss of electrolytes and vital minerals from the body. So avoid aloe vera.
4. Hing (Asafoetida) :
It is recommended to avoid hing (Asafoetida) during pregnancy as it increases the body temperature which may pose a risk for a pregnant woman. Hing is used in many Indian preparations which cause gas and bloating like Kadhis, Dals, Dosa Batter. So during pregnancy it is better too avoid hing in all forms.
5. Fenugreek Seeds / Methi Dana
During pregnancy high doses of methi dana or fenugreek seeds should be avoided as it has heat tendency as it may induce contractions. Methi Dana contains phytoestrogens which is used to start menstruation and treat hormonal disorders. It is given after delivery to aid in milk production for breast feeding.
It is advisable to avoid pineapple during pregnancy especially during the early stages as pineapple contains which may cause uterine contractions. Pineapple contains Bromelain which can soften the cervix and can start labor. So strictly avoid pineapple during first trimester.
7. Raw or Uncooked Eggs
Avoid consuming raw or uncooked eggs as they may contain Salmonella virus. Food items that may contain uncooked eggs include – Mayonnaise, Soups like egg drop, Mousse, homemade desserts, homemade sauces, Raw Cookie Dough.
8. High Salt Items
One must avoid high salt food items like namkeen, fried snacks – Samosas, Pakoras, Biscuits, Wafers, Fries, Pizza, Chips and Processed Cheese. All these food items are loaded with high salt which can cause water retention. Try not to sprinkle extra salt on the salads and raitas. It is best to eat normal salt. Avoid pickles too as they use high level of salt for preservation.
9. Strictly Avoid Street Food
Pregnancy is the time one craves for spicy, tangy food preparations like gol gappe, dahi bhalle, chowmein, kathi rolls, Tikki, samosas – the list goes on. No matter how tempting you may find them it is best to strictly say NO. First as Hygiene is the biggest concern. You cannot afford to have diarrhea or stomach infection during this condition. Street foods are generally prepared under low hygiene conditions. Second, these spicy foods can give you ingestion and heart burn. You may find it difficult to handle it. If you really want prepare these food at home.
10. Avoid Chinese Food
Chinese food contains MSG – mono sodium gulamate which can be harmful for the fetus development and can cause birth defects. Also soya sauce is very high in salt and may cause high blood pressure.
11. Food Made of Maida
During pregnancy avoid processed foods like refined flours (Maida) based products like Bread, Namkeen, Pizza, Pasta, Cookies. Also avoid readymade or packaged food items like various readymade Pasta Sauces, Ketchups, Pickles as they have preservatives and chemicals to increase their shelf life.
12. Raw uncooked meat and chicken
If you are a non-vegetarian make sure to eat all meats like lamb, goat, beef and chicken cooked at 73 degrees Celsius. There are certain parasites that can cause food poisoning in expecting mothers.
13. Restaurant Food
In general it is advisable to eat home cooked simple food as they are prepared hygienically. Restaurant foods have rich gravies made from cream, butter and vegetable oils and high salt. They are high on spices too which can give you heart burn.
14. Unpasteurized milk and its product
Milk is very important during pregnancy but never use unpasteurized milk and its product as they may carry disease-causing microbes which can harm the fetus development. If the milk is unpasteurised then boil it first before consuming.
List of food items to Completely avoid during pregnancy:
- Raw papaya
- Tulsi Leaves
- Raw / Uncooked eggs
- Raw meats & poultry
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Unpasteurized milk
- Excess coffee and tea
- Chinese Food
- Seafood and certain fish
- Canned / Readymade / Frozen Food
- Herbal Teas and Kadhas
- Soft Cheese like feta cheese
- High Salt