Foods to Avoid when Pregnant
Even with a balanced diet, certain foods could adversely affect the fetus and cause pregnancy related complications.
Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is critical for fetal neural development. However, potential mercury content inside the fish could be toxic to babies, children, and even adults. For this reason, pregnant women are advised not eat more than 12 ounces or two average-size servings of fish per week, restricted to canned light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollack, or catfish. Flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, and eggs are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Oysters are a rich source of zinc but, like fish, run the risk of mercury contamination. Moreover, oysters are also source of food borne illness.
Milk, many types of soft cheese, refrigerated meat spreads, and smoked seafood are all good sources of calcium and protein for the newborn. However, such foods are prone to listeria, a bacterium that may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, or fetal illness. Similarly, undercooked or raw eggs run the risk of contamination with salmonella that leads to vomiting and dehydration and consequently harm for the fetus.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy causes physical defects, learning disabilities, and emotional problems in children.
Studies indicate that excessive caffeine, a major ingredient in coffee, but also found in tea, chocolate, and soft drinks could lead to miscarriage, low birth weight, and even stillbirth.
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