Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy

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Foods to avoid during pregnancy

Disclaimer: This list is by no means an authoritative source of medical information. It is intended only as a convenient resource for the readers of this website. If you or your loved one is pregnant, always consult your medical practitioner about what's best for your specific condition.

Food Other names/types Status Why?
Papaya Carica papaya DANGEROUS [1]
Papaya
Different parts of unripe papaya - fruit, seed, leaf and root - are known to induce miscarriage and abortion, but ripe papaya does not have that effect IN SMALL AMOUNTS[2]. The abortive effect of unripe papaya has been demonstrated in monkeys[3], and enslaved women in West Indies used to consume papaya to abort their fetus and prevent their children from being born into slavery[2]. The abortive agent is called papain, an enzyme which belongs to a category of enzymes called proteases. Papain is a component of the commercially sold meat tenderizers and works by making muscles loose. In pregnant women, papain induces uterine contractions thus leading to miscarriage.
Fish Raw shellfish, polluted fish, smoked seafood DANGEROUS [4] Most fish are contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals. According to a study in 2009, fish caught off the coast of Mumbai were found to have above-permissible levels of mercury[5]. There is a lot of pollution in India's fresh waters (rivers/lakes) too. So, avoid consuming fish altogether if you can. If you cannot, be very conscious about how much fish you eat. If you have other options available, such as those listed on this informative page[6], then you can have more freedom in your frequency of fish consumption.
Meats and eggs Deli meats, uncooked/partially cooked meats, under-cooked eggs UNSAFE[7] Undercooked meat and eggs can be a source of Salmonella or E. coli contamination. These bacteria get in meats/eggs via the water given to the animals. Water contaminated with human or animal feces can contain strains of pathogenic Salmonella or E. coli which can cause diarrhea or dysentery. Not only does this cause water loss, but also bowel contractions, which under some circumstances, can lead to preterm labor.
Dairy products Unpasteurized milk, cheeses UNSAFE For the same reason as above.
Nutmeg जैफल/जायफल, Myristica fragrans UNSAFE[8] Not enough research, however, see the adjoining link for more information.
Asafoetida हिंग UNSAFE in large quantities. Safe in food quantities. [9] Not enough research, however, see the adjoining link for more information.
Aloe vera Aloe vera UNSAFE, when taken by mouth[10] Can induce contractions if consumed orally in large quantities.
Raw sprouts Alfalfa, clover, mung bean, and radish UNSAFE [11] E.coli or Salmonella contamination can be very difficult to remove, even after thorough washing.
Certain herbal teas Chamomile, Sage, Parsley, Raspberry leaf[12] Possibly unsafe in large quantities Chamomile may cause circulation problems in babies. If you are allergic to pollen, chamomile tea may trigger some immune responses. Sage tea contains thujone, which may cause miscarriage and high blood pressure, a symptom associated with pre-eclampsia. Even concentrated extracts of parsley may be detrimental to pregnancy. Finally, raspberry leaf tea is believed to affect muscle tone of the uterus and cause contractions. Overdue mothers sometimes drink a lot of raspberry tea to bring on labor, however this can cause very strong contractions and can distress the baby[13].
Basil/Basil oils तुलसी, Ocimum tenuiflorum UNSAFE in large quantities. Safe in food quantities. [14] Basil oil is believed to stimulate blood flow to uterus and pelvic area causing contractions[15]. It also slows clotting of blood so it is advised to stop consuming basil a few weeks before delivery.
Herbs to avoid during pregnancy [16][17]
Pineapple अननस, Ananas comosus POSSIBLY UNSAFE[18]. Pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme used in medicinal preparations to relieve muscle soreness. It is helpful in arthritis, to reduce swelling, slowing clotting and for other purposes. However, its muscle relaxant action also makes it bad for pregnancy. It has been suggested that bromelain can cause preterm labor, but there is no good evidence for it. Nevertheless, experts advise pregnant women to stay off it [19].
Dill leaves Anethum graveolens POSSIBLY UNSAFE[20] According to WebMD, "It’s UNSAFE to use dill in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant. Dill seed can start menstruation and that might lead to a miscarriage."[21]
Pomegranate अनारदाना Punica granatum Possibly safe[22] It has been suggested[23] that pomegranate seed extract triggers uterine contractions due to presence of a steroid compound called beta-sitosterol, an ingredient found in a wide variety of foods. However, experts say that consuming a pomegranate once in a while is not harmful[24]. Do not overeat.
Mango आम, Mangifera indica Possibly safe[25] Do not overeat.
Cinnamon दालचीनी, Cinnamomum sp. Possibly safe. Do not ingest in large amounts [26] Do not consume in very large amounts. Food quantities are ok.
Ginger अद्रक, आलं, Zingiber officinale Possibly safe. Do not consume in very large amounts. Food quantities are ok. Recommended during pregnancy for morning sickness, but some experts advise against using it close to your delivery date due to risk of bleeding [27]
Garlic लहसुन, Allium sativum Possibly safe[28] Unsafe in large amounts. Do not overeat.
Vitamin C Ascorbic acid Recommended in small quantities, probably unsafe as supplements[29] Large quantities of Vitamin C, when taken as supplements, there have been very rare cases of pre-term labor [30].

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Title Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy Article is on this general topic Uses of biodiversity Author Gaurav Moghe
Specific location(s) where study was conducted Not noted General region where study was conducted Not noted State where study was conducted Pan-India
Institutional affiliation Not noted Institution located at Not noted Institution based around Not noted
Species Group Plants User ID User:Gauravm Page creation date 2013/6/10

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