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Pregnant? Here Is A List Of 18 Indian Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Worry not as we've compiled a list of all the suggested Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy so that you and your baby are taken care of!

Pregnancy is one of the most memorable events in a woman’s life. There is excitement, delight, loads of nervousness, fear and much more because of the tiny life growing inside.

It is also a moment when you’ll be showered with blessings and a plethora of advice. Especially, in India, pregnancy is a family affair where everyone will be concerned about the mother-to-be and keep on giving advice.

While some are about how you should live and what workouts you should do, the majority are about what foods you should or should not eat.

When it comes to our kitchens, with the variety of foods we consume in India, one can get overwhelmed thinking about what to eat and what not to eat. 

All these pieces of advice, plus the roller coaster of emotions you might be going through(all thanks to the hormones), can be a lot and leave you confused and nervous, since the dont’s are more than the dos during pregnancy.

Worry not as we’ve compiled a list of all the suggested Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy, so that you and your baby are both protected during this wonderful period.

We say Indian foods, because these foods are a part of our everyday menu!

Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy- Fruits 

Fruits are beneficial to your health throughout pregnancy. They make a great light snack and are high in nutrients, but there are some fruits you should avoid at all costs, such as papaya.

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Papaya during pregnancy

Papaya is one of the major fruits that should be avoided during pregnancy because it is said to cause miscarriage. It includes a molecule called papain, which is responsible for a variety of pregnancy complications. As a result, eating papaya esp raw, is a strict no-no during pregnancy.

Pineapple during pregnancy

Pineapple includes enzymes that may produce uterine contractions, as well as Bromelain, an enzyme that softens the cervix and stimulates labour. This can result in a miscarriage during the first trimester.

Grapes during pregnancy

Grapes, on the other hand, can cause hormone imbalance in pregnant women. They can also cause a variety of stomach disorders, which can be harmful to both you and your baby.

Vegetables to avoid during pregnancy

Green vegetables, such as spinach or palak, are unquestionably advantageous to a healthy pregnancy diet. However, there are some vegetables that you should avoid, such as eggplant.

Baigan/Eggplant during pregnancy

Eggplant, also known as brinjal or baigan, is a popular vegetable in Indian households. However, if you ask your gynaecologist, they would tell you that eating brinjal during pregnancy is not a good idea. Consuming eggplants daily has been found to cause menstruation, which is not a good indicator during pregnancy. 

Mooli/Radish should be avoided during pregnancy

Another vegetable that you should avoid is Radish or Mooli, as it might harmful to you and your baby if not cooked properly. Soil foods contain bacteria that are nearly impossible to wash off, and if eaten unwashed, they can carry bacterial and parasite infections that can harm the foetus.

To avoid infections, avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits during pregnancy. Fruits should also be well washed before eating.

Meat, fish & eggs during pregnancy

I talk about this food group here, because the consumption of these food is fairly high in India today- chicken biryani, mughlai chicken, butter chicken, mutton lababdaar, and the list goes on!

Meats like chicken are good for pregnant women because they are high in protein, which is one of the most essential nutrients during pregnancy. However, undercooked meat can be hazardous to not only your health but also the health of your baby.

Especially fish, which contain high levels of mercury, which can cause brain damage and injury to the neurological system in newborns. As a result, you should avoid any seafood high in mercury.

Another food to be careful of is an egg. While the egg is an excellent source of protein, if consumed raw or undercooked it can cause bacterial food poisoning.

Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy- Spices 

Spicy foods and spices should be avoided by pregnant women in general as they can cause heartburn and indigestion, but it can be difficult, especially in an Indian household where every dish requires spices to enhance the taste.

However there are some spices, in particular, that should be avoided. Hing, for example.

Avoid usage of Hing in food during pregnancy

Hing, also known as asafoetida, is a ubiquitous spice in Indian cooking, notably for tadka. It is also used to treat menstruation problems such as irregular periods. It is advised to avoid or minimize its use when pregnant, especially during the first trimester, because it stimulates menstruation.

Tulsi Leaves during pregnancy

Tulsi leaves are another spice that should be avoided during pregnancy. In India, tulsi leaves have sacred significance. It offers a wide range of medicinal qualities.

However, because it contains high levels of mercury and is thought to trigger uterine contractions, it should be avoided during pregnancy. It can also induce excessive bleeding because of its blood-thinning characteristics. 

To avoid potential mid-term complications, many experts advise pregnant women to avoid tulsi totally for the first nine months of their pregnancy.

Garlic during pregnancy

Other spices to avoid include garlic, which has a blood-thinning effect and can cause bleeding or miscarriage if consumed in large quantities. 

Avoid Fenugreek/Methi Seeds during pregnancy

Methi seeds or also known as Fenugreek is also a spice you should try to stay away from as it stimulates the uterus and causes preterm contractions. As a result, it should not be consumed when pregnant.

You can eat it as methi ke laddoo after pregnancy! 

Dairy products during pregnancy

Milk is essential during pregnancy because it supplies a sufficient amount of calcium to both the mother and the growing baby. However, you should avoid drinking unpasteurized milk because it may contain a variety of bacteria. Before drinking, the milk should be properly boiled.

Any unpasteurized dairy product can cause listeriosis, a type of food poisoning. Listeriosis is a foodborne illness that can give you flu-like symptoms or harm your newborn.

Tea, coffee or caffeine during pregnancy

Along with these, there are a few other items you should avoid at this time, such as caffeine, which contains toxic compounds and can slow down the absorption of iron in your body, potentially leading to anaemia, which is already one of the most common problems women face during their pregnancy. 

Also, avoid any other form of product that may contain caffeine like soda or energy drinks which contains not only caffeine but also added sugar, which is bad for both you and your baby.

Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy- Street food, junk food, mithai 

I understand that pregnancy comes with a lot of cravings. You might want to eat those golgappas and more types of chaats. One of the days, you might also want to eat those delicious cheesy pizzas or have some sweet jalebis.

While these cravings are understandable during this time, you sure should enjoy this time by giving in to those cravings but only occasionally and in small amounts but you should try to avoid any street food or junk food during pregnancy. 

Street food or junk food has high amount of oil and salt which can be bad for your cholesterol and can also increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy (known as gestational hypertension), in turn, may increase your risk of a condition called preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia can also be caused by too much sugar intake along with gestational diabetes. Free sugars that are found in sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks should be avoided during pregnancy.

So, all the soon-to-be mummies, don’t let these restrictions and dietary limits overwhelm or stress you. They might seem too difficult but these restrictions help to protect the health of both you and your baby.

As your body goes through several changes during this time, you need to take care of what you eat and what you don’t eat to have an easy and safe pregnancy.  So, these are some Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy, there might be some more.

Though this food list is very general, mostly what we all know about, it increases according to various beliefs, regions and states. Do share in comments if you know of more!

It is best if you can find a suitable diet plan that helps you by working with your doctor or dietitian.

Disclaimer: The information, Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy, provided in this post should not be treated as medical advice. Do consult a specialist for detailed advice to suit your condition.

Image credit: Pixabay/Canva

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Mrigya Rai

A student with a passion for languages and writing. read more...

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