Pregnancy causes so many changes in a woman’s body.
It is, therefore, crucial that pregnant women consider changing their food charts and eating habits to adapt to this new phase of their lives.
Diet affects the overall health of a pregnant woman and that of her unborn child as well. So while most foods are safe to eat during pregnancy, certain foods should be limited to keep both the mother and the unborn baby safe. Here are some of the foods you should limit now that you’re pregnant:
Undercooked or Raw Greens and Sprouts
While greens and sprouts are great foods to include in your diet due to their fiber and nutrient content, some may contain bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. These bacterial infections could end up being detrimental to a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.
According to a study by the Clinical Microbiology and Infection, bacterial infections of the blood like E. coli can be potentially fatal during pregnancy. Hence, pregnant women should either limit their intake of undercooked or raw greens or sprouts or thoroughly cook them before consumption.
According to the CDC, E. coli infections are difficult to pin down because they can come from different sources. If infected with E. coli, a pregnant woman can experience specific problems like urinary tract infections, food poisoning, and respiratory illnesses.
Therefore, always use fresh, new greens and sprouts and thoroughly cook them before eating. Avoid undercooked or raw sprouts like alfalfa, mung beans, radish, and clover. The USDHHS also warns against salads made in delis, therefore be careful of salads that could have ingredients that contain bacteria, such as chicken, ham, or seafood.
Unpasteurized Fruit Juices and Milk
The USDHHS also advises pregnant women to avoid both unpasteurized fruit juice and milk because they may contain Listeria, E. coli, or salmonella bacteria. These bacteria are dangerous to a pregnant woman because they can cause severe infections and stress their already stressed immune system.
Pregnant women should always drink pasteurized fruit juice and milk and check the labels before purchase. Avoid raw fruit juices and cider, especially fresh-squeezed juices like apple or orange juice. It would be best if you boiled unpasteurized juice or cider for about a minute before drinking to eliminate bacteria.
Undercooked or Raw Eggs
Eggs are a good source of protein and other nutrients. However, undercooked or raw eggs contain Salmonella bacteria. According to CDC, a salmonella infection could last a week and could cause severe effects in people whose immune systems are compromised like pregnant women and young children.
To prevent any infections, pregnant women should limit or avoid sources of undercooked or raw eggs like lightly scrambled eggs, poached or fried eggs with runny yolk, tiramisu, salad dressings with eggs like Caesar dressing, artisan or homemade ice cream, cookie dough, eggnog, hollandaise sauce, cake batter, casseroles and other product made with raw or undercooked eggs.
When shopping for eggs, buy those that are pasteurized because the pasteurization process kills harmful bacteria in the egg. Check the labels or any store-bought products that contain eggs to make sure they’re pasteurized. Make sure to thoroughly cook all eggs or foods containing eggs to 160 degrees F.
While it’s okay for pregnant women to enjoy small amounts of caffeine, it is recommended that you avoid or limit caffeine because it gets passed to the fetus via the placenta. Unlike a grown-up, a fetus still can’t break down the caffeine.
Consuming high levels of caffeine during pregnancy puts you at risk of pregnancy loss, according to a 2016 study in Public Health Nutrition. However, the research is not conclusive.
While most cheese contains helpful bacteria, some may contain bacteria that could be harmful to a pregnant woman. Pregnant women, as recommended by USDHHS, should avoid soft cheeses from unpasteurized milk like Gorgonzola, feta, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, and queso fresco.
To avoid Listeria or E Coli infections, it is safer to consume hard cheeses like Cheddar or Swiss cheese. The best option would be to consume pasteurized cheese.
Visit childmode.com to learn more about pregnancy and food.
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