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The Pregnancy Platter: Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can send your taste buds into a tizzy and have you indulging bizarre pregnancy cravings. But amidst all the happy feasting, there are some foods best left off your plate.

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If you’ve got a baby in your belly, you have an automatic passport to supersized snacking and preciously portioned meals but leaning towards healthier side. While you may sense a change in your appetite and eating patterns, some foods, experts say, can be harmful to your body and baby. Here’s a list of what not to eat while pregnant.

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Foods to include with caution  During Pregnancy

  • Brinjal

Whether you’re a fan of baingan ka bharta, vangi bhaat or brinjal curry, do consider having this vegetable in moderation when you’re growing a baby. Brinjal is considered potent in easing premenstrual syndrome and menstrual disorders and may work counterintuitively during pregnancy.

Of course, it’s okay to indulge in a little now and then.

  • Seafood

If you’re a seafood lover, you might want to lay off the big fish while you’re pregnant. Large fish – like tuna, mackerel, kingfish and rohu – contain elevated levels of mercury, which can pose health risks to the brain and nervous system of developing infants.

That said, fish are rich sources of omega 3, so it’s wise to pick low-mercury variants. Consider shrimp, pomfret, sardines and rawas your go-to seafood on a blossoming belly. And the golden rule: avoid uncooked fish at all costs.

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  • Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds, as delicious when used in any recipe, have been associated with inducing or regularizing menstrual cycles, regarded as uterine stimulants that trigger the expulsion of the embryo. It’s a good idea to play it safe by consuming them in minimal amounts To be mommy can satiate her nutty cravings with other yummies like walnuts, peanuts, almonds and raisins.

  • Unboiled milk

If you’re the type to empty your milk packet directly into your morning cuppa, think again. Raw milk can carry disease-causing germs that can stunt the growth and development of your baby. Make boiling your morning milk (even if it’s pasteurised) a ritual, to cure it of bacteria and infections.

  • Monosodium Glutamate

A molecule of glutamate (MSG), a flavour enhancer in many Asian foods

If you’re a connoisseur of street-side Chinese fare, it’s more than likely that you unwittingly consume generous amounts of monosodium glutamate. While the ingredient can give your food a flavourful flair, it can pose a hazard to your baby, impeding the development of the brain.

Swap your roadside jaunts with homemade Chinese food and treat your belly and your baby to some tender loving care!

  • Papaya

Actually, Papaya tops the list of fruits to avoid during pregnancy, which is not true. Raw papaya is considered an abortion-causing agent because it contains a substance called papain, which stimulates uterine contractions. Also, papaya contains pepsin and renin, both agents that limit fetal growth. Considering the potentially damaging effects of papaya, it’s okay to avoid raw papaya & its recipes. But safe to consume well-ripened papaya in moderation.

  • Pineapple

Whether you like to pair your pineapple with cheese, add it to ice cream or have it as it is, Pineapple contains bromelain, a compound that can soften the cervix, leading to a miscarriage or premature labour. Also, pineapple is believed to cause a build-up of heat in the body. While you don’t have to banish it from your plate entirely, it’s wise to minimise your consumption.

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  • Maida

While maida-rich foods can be the perfect picture of an easy Sunday brunch (think pizza, pasta, noodles, bread and cake), they are usually packed with preservatives and chemicals to extend their shelf life. Restrict such indulgences to special occasions to avoid exposing your baby to processed ingredients.

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Additionally, they are a class of refined carbs which lacks fibre, leading to constipation.

It can be hard to curb your cravings and impose self-restrictions, especially when your taste buds take on a mind of their own. However, you’ll find a little care during pregnancy goes a long way. And before you know it, you’ll make up for lost time with the birth of your baby.

Consider this a short-term pregnancy food ban with a long-term goal; one you’ll be rewarded for by your beautiful, bouncing baby not long from now.

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