The Importance in Avoiding Certain Foods During Pregnancy
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Most foods are safe to consume during pregnancy, however there are some foods that should be avoided. The following list will help you wean out foods that could be harmful to you and your baby. When in doubt on a particular food item it is always best to do your own research to give yourself peace of mind.
1. Unwashed vegetables. While it is a general rule to wash these foods in many households it is especially important to do so during pregnancy. The soil where the vegetables were grown may have contained toxoplasmosis.
2. Fish with high levels of mercury. Mercury is a highly toxic element and is commonly found in polluted water. Large fish such as shark, tuna, swordfish, and king mackeral can accumulate high amounts of mercury and can lead to brain damage and developmental delays.
3. Raw shellfish. Under-cooked shellfish such as clams, mussels, and oysters can cause many sea bourne illnesses. Cooking them thoroughly can prevent some of the infections, but not the algae related infections.
4. Deli, or under-cooked meat and poultry. Consuming deli meats, under-cooked meat or poultry increases the risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites including E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and toxoplasmosis. Bacteria and parasites can threaten the health of a newborn by causing severe neurological illnesses and even stillbirth.
6. Unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice. Unpasteurized food and drinks may contain listeria, salmonella, and other bacteria which can to lead to serious illness and even poisoning.
7. Excessive caffeine. Too much caffeine is not good for the body, especially during pregnancy. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and is linked to low birth rate. While you don't have to give it up completely, excessive amounts should definitely be avoided.
8. Salads from the deli or restaurant. Prepared salads from these places may not contain a high quality of eggs, meat, fruit, or vegetables and contain listeria and other bacteria.
9. Herbal Teas.. While there are some herbal teas that are good for your pregnancy, there are others that can do more harm than good. It is best to find out if your herbal tea is safe to drink during pregnancy before consuming any.
10. Alcohol. Not even one drop of alcohol should be consumed during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of the baby and lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders.