Pregnancy introduces one of the most joyous phases in a woman’s life. But, it brings with it a lot of complications and sensitivity. From the changes in the hormonal balance to the body’s physiological changes, a woman goes through a lot.
Most women follow a pregnancy diet chart to ensure they are eating permissible foods that won’t lead to permanent complications for the developing fetus. While a holistic Indian diet is more or less safe for every step in the pregnancy term, there are some exceptions too.
Despite the lingering cravings, certain foods are unsuitable for consumption during pregnancy, keeping the mother’s and baby’s health in mind. This article will explore these Indian foods you likely didn’t know.
In this Article
- 1 List of Indian Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 FAQs
List of Indian Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
If this is your first pregnancy, chances are that you are being extra cautious. And rightfully so. However, when it comes to food and diet during pregnancy, there are certain factors that most women aren’t aware of.
Some of the healthiest foods you have eaten in your life might have completely different impacts during pregnancy.
Here’s a list of the top Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy first trimester and the months that follow:
1. Raw Papaya
Papaya (both in raw and ripe form) is considered super healthy. It promotes gut health and supports digestion as well.
But, while ripe papaya is still safe for consumption in moderation during pregnancy, unripe papaya is a big no. Not only is it rich in latex, but unripe papaya also has high levels of papain and pepsin, all of which are active triggers for miscarriage.
You’d be surprised to know that pineapple is a good and a bad fruit throughout pregnancy. It is not recommended during the initial gestational period and even into the later stages of pregnancy.
However, most doctors deem it safe (and often encourage) to eat pineapple once a mother reaches their due date. But why the stark difference?
Pineapple contains an active enzyme called bromelain, which leads to softening of the cervix. It also contributes to uterine contraction, which can induce early labour if consumed during the initial days of pregnancy.
3. Aloe Vera
The multi-faceted benefits of aloe vera in Indian culture are pronounced and effective. It is good for the skin, digestion, keeping the body cool during summer, etc.
But, consuming aloe vera (in any form) during pregnancy has completely different impacts. Much like pineapple, even aloe vera is responsible for inducing contractions of the uterus, which can lead to risks of miscarriages.
Besides that, excess aloe vera consumption during pregnancy has negative implications on the digestive system, leading to risks of diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, etc.
Before you get confused, let us clarify the reasons why.
In Ayurveda, brinjal is effectively used to treat complications like amenorrhoea and premenstrual syndrome. This means that women with irregular menstrual cycles often benefit from eating brinjal.
Keeping the same in mind, eating excess brinjal during pregnancy might be dangerous for the developing fetus in the uterus. There are no conclusive scientific studies that yet prove this as a potential threat, but most Indian households prefer avoiding brinjal during the pregnancy term.
Be it soaked or even in form of the staple “methi dana laddoo”, fenugreek seed is another big no during your pregnancy. The hilarious contrast is women are vehemently encouraged to eat fenugreek post-partum to support their recovery and boost milk production.
However, consuming fenugreek or methi during pregnancy can be damaging for the mother and the baby’s health. Methi imposes risks of miscarriages, which is why it’s not a suitable Indian food to include in the pregnancy diet.
6. Raw eggs
Not just eggs, raw animal-based products shouldn’t be fed to a pregnant woman. Be it raw eggs, raw sushi, etc. These impose heightened risks of food poisoning in the body, leading to multiple pregnancy complications.
Raw eggs can potentially carry the salmonella virus in them, which can trigger complications and even miscarriage in severe situations. Cooked eggs are thus recommended during pregnancy.
Remember that raw eggs are used in multiple foods, including desserts, mousse, mayonnaise, etc. So, try and avoid all of such food items and condiments too.
7. Extremely salty foods
Pregnancy brings a lot of food aversions, but it also introduces a lot of food cravings, including foods that are high in salt and sodium. While giving into the cravings once in a while and moderation is okay during pregnancy, excessive consumption of high-sodium foods isn’t ideal.
Very salty foods have the risks of increased blood pressure, which, in turn, enhances the risk of preeclampsia, which is a very dangerous pregnancy complication.
Excess salt in the diet can also lead to dehydration in several women, leading to tiredness and lack of energy throughout the day.
8. Sesame seeds
Did you know that sesame seeds are often used as a natural way to induce abortion? If not, you need to be aware of the same immediately to protect your pregnancy. Eating sesame seeds in any form (laddoos, raw, paste, sauce) isn’t recommended during pregnancy since it can lead to signs of early labor and contraction, leading to miscarriages.
Since the first three months are very sensitive and crucial, avoiding sesame seeds and similar foods is always ideal during the first trimester.
What you eat during your pregnancy affects the health and growth of your baby in multiple ways. From the nutritional to the safety aspect, there are a handful of Indian foods that are best to eliminate from the diet during pregnancy term. We have sorted out the most commonly eaten ones with hopes that it will enable you to have a safe and sound pregnancy without any hiccups along the way.
What spices to avoid while pregnant?
Angelica spices, peppermint, garlic, fenugreek, and asafoetida can lead to uterine contraction and induce a miscarriage. Hence, avoiding these Indian spices during pregnancy is ideal.
Can I eat pakora during pregnancy?
Eating one or two pakoras once or twice a month won’t be damaging for the baby. However, excess and regular consumption can take a turn for the worse.
Is cucumber safe during pregnancy?
Yes, cucumber is one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy. It prevents dehydration and is rich in fibre, which can relieve constipation during pregnancy too.