Pregnancy is a time when one cannot take any chances as the mother's health directly affects the health of the growing fetus. So, as soon as you become aware that you are pregnant, ensure that you are eating right. In our country, nutrition of pregnant women is influenced by food fads, taboos, customs, cultural and religious beliefs, food habits and attitudes of family members. Most foods are safe; however, there are some foods that you should avoid during pregnancy

Raw Papaya: raw and unripe papaya has a substance which can start uterine contractions and can cause miscarriages

Pineapple: contains Bromelain which can soften the cervix and can start labor. So strictly avoid pineapple during first trimester.

Eggplant /Baingan: contains phytohormones, which can cause contactions. It is contraindicated during pregnancy, but small and less frequent consumption is not harmful

Dry Fruits and Seeds: Sesame seeds or til, was traditionally used as a medicine for causing abortion. It is advisable to avoid sesame seeds, especially in the first trimester. Nuts and dry fruits such as dates, raisins, almonds soaked in water, groundnuts, walnuts and pistachios are safe to consume in amount of 5 to 10 pieces daily Raw or Uncooked Eggs, Raw uncooked meat and chicken, Fish with Mercury - should not be consumed.

Unpasteurized milk and its products: never use unpasteurized milk and its products as they carry disease-causing microbes which can harm the developing fetus.

Alcohol: There is NO amount of alcohol that is known to be safe during pregnancy, and therefore alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Skip aerated or caffeine-based beverages like coffee, tea and colas.

Strictly avoid street food, Chinese food and consumption of unwashed vegetables.

Aloe vera juice and herbal teas: should be avoided. Recent studies indicate that large doses of these foods have to be consumed to cause any uterine contractions. Still, given the possible complications, it is safer to avoid such foods, especially during the first three to four months of pregnancy.

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