Pregnancy is a very delicate season for both the baker (mother) and the one who is being baked (child). It is easy to know the most important foods a mother must eat to ensure that both her and the unborn child come out of this season good but sometimes if not most times it is important to know what foods may do more harm than good during your pregnancy so that you can press the pause button for just a season.
Top 5 foods to stay away from during pregnancy
This may come as a surprise to a few of you (or even many, who knows!!!). Liver is an example of an organ meat and much as organ meats are packed with countless useful nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and copper, our concern is with Vitamin A. Eating too much animal-based vitamin A is not recommended during pregnancy because of the risk on Vitamin A toxicity which can lead to congenital malformations and miscarriage especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. Do not take them out completely from diet, rather reduce their intake.
Juicing and juice cleanses
As healthy as juicing and juice cleanses are, please keep away from these during pregnancy. (this applies to the breastfeeding ones too). During a juice fast, your body is getting rid of toxins and guess where these toxins go? To the bloodstream so that they make their way out of the body. As expectant or breastfeeding mothers, this means that these toxins will also be passed on to your precious little one too. Toxins that their tiny little body cannot handle. Organic juice is just fine.
Lovers of coffee you will have to sacrifice for the benefit of your child in this season. Caffeine is easily absorbed into the placenta but babies and their placentas don’t have the main enzyme needed to metabolize caffeine. This means levels can build up real quick and will be really high. Caffeine has been linked to birth defects in humans so you may want to stay away.
At all times we need to emphasize the consumption of nutrient-dense foods other than energy-dense foods and processed foods are a good source of the latter. For the benefit of both you and your growing little one, you will need increased amounts of many essential nutrients, including proteins, iron, folate e.t.c.
Also, consumption of processed foods during pregnancy can increase your risk of excess weight gain, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and complications which can have long-term health implications for you and your child.
Raw or under-cooked meat
If you are the type that loves their steak medium, be careful during pregnancy. Eating undercooked or raw meat increases your risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly taking care that there is no trace of pink or blood. Take particular care with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat. These bacteria may threaten the health of your little one, possibly leading to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses, including intellectual disability, blindness, and epilepsy.
The foods listed here are not an end in themselves. Their intake may be paused now but that does not mean they have been stopped for good.
To every pregnant lady, may your journey be smooth and enjoyable.
See you next Wednesday