What to eat while pregnant and what to avoid

Want to know what to eat while pregnant and what to avoid, you are in the right place. One of the most famed symptoms of pregnancy is the craving for foods that you otherwise wouldn’t have been interested in. There have been women who enjoy the taste of pickles and peanut butter and others who prefer to eat tubs of ice cream throughout the day. With that being said, it is important that you eat well while you are pregnant to not only promote a healthy life for your child but for yourself as well. Below is a list of what to eat while pregnant and what to avoid including key things to consider taking while pregnant.

What to eat while pregnant

Even if you find that you’re currently eating healthy, you will want to take a look at your current diet. There are many women who believe that they are receiving the right nutrition to be healthy, but they are actually lacking in a variety of minerals and vitamins. As an example, many pregnant women require an ample amount of protein, iron, and folic acid. Consider fine-tuning your diet to ensure that you are eating enough and that you are still eating healthy for your well-being and the well-being of your child.

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what to eat while pregnant
What to eat while pregnant and what to avoid: Credit: Sun shining/Shutterstock

What to avoid while pregnant

There are dozens of foods that you will want to avoid while you are pregnant, alcohol, cheese, and sushi are just a few. These foods, including undercooked meat, are infamous for containing bacteria that could be quite harmful to an unborn child. There are a variety of different illnesses that you can contract from ingesting these foods as well, putting your life in danger. Some fishes are especially important to avoid as there are traces of methylmercury which has been proven to be harmful to the brain development of fetuses and children. See list in this list for fishes you can eat while pregnant and those to avoid.

  • Undercooked meat
  • Certain types of cooked fish
  • Raw or undercooked egg
  • Alcohol
  • An excessive amount of caffeine
  • Unpasteurised foods

Other things to consider while Pregnant

Prenatal Vitamins and Supplements

The most important factor to consider when you are looking to eat healthy while being pregnant is to take your daily prenatal vitamins and supplements. Prenatal vitamins help to prepare your body for the pregnancy and to ensure that you receive the correct amount of nourishment for both you and your baby. Also, prenatal vitamins have been proven to reduce the risk of diseases that fetuses can contract while in the womb, such as spina bifida. It is your responsibility to ensure that both mother and baby are sufficiently protected throughout the entirety of the pregnancy and this is possible with the help of prenatal vitamins.

Eating fish while pregnant

Most fish are safe to eat while pregnancy, so long as you cook them properly. You should limit the amount of tuna you take because of the reasons stated below. You should also limit the amount of oily fish you take as they contain pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins, and which are harmful to your baby. Raw shellfish should be avoided as they harmful organisms e.g. viruses, bacteria and viruses or toxins in them which can be harmful to you and your baby.

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NAFDAC: National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control

Eating sushi while pregnant

Eating shrimp while pregnant

Eating tuna while pregnant

Tuna does not considered as an oily fish, but you still need to limit it while pregnant because it contains a lot of mercury as compared to other fishes and as stated above, mercury can harm your baby. You should not eat more than two (2) tuna steaks per week which equals about 140g of tuna when cooked or 170g when raw. If opting for canned tuna, you should not eat more than 4 medium sized cans of tuna which equals 140g drained weight.

Eating crab while pregnant

Eating pineapple while pregnant

It is safe to eat pineapples while pregnant. You may be asking what about bromelain? Pineapple contains the enzyme called bromelain and this enzyme is thought to soften your cervix and bring on labour and probably early miscarriage. Experiments conducted in the lab using pineapple extract seem to support the theory, but you will probably need to eat a huge lot to bring on labour. The amount of bromelain contained in a serving of pineapple is unlikely to have any impact on your pregnancy.

Eating spicy food while pregnant

About the author

Nwasom is a pharmacy graduate and a pharmacist currently practising in the United Kingdom. I have great experience communicating with patients and their family as gained through working as a pharmacist in both the hospital and community pharmacy sector. I love writing so it was a natural thing to try and pass medical and health information on through writing.

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