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7 foods you must avoid during pregnancy

The pregnancy diet must be approached carefully and foods that could increase the risk of infections and those that can harm the baby must be avoided.

Alcohol can cause congenital disabilities, while excess caffeine is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.

Here are foods that you must avoid eating during pregnancy, as suggested by Nutritionist Juhi Kapoor.

1. Papaya: Unripe or semi-ripe papaya contains a latex substance and an enzyme called papain, which can cause contractions of the uterus and potentially lead to miscarriage or premature labour. Ripe papaya is considered safer to consume in moderation.

2. Pineapple: It contains bromelain, an enzyme that can also cause softening of the cervix and lead to contractions. Bromelain is found in higher concentrations in the stem and core of the pineapple.

3. Unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses: Unpasteurized dairy products may contain harmful bacteria like listeria, which can cause listeriosis.

4. MSG: Some studies suggest that excessive MSG consumption may have neurotoxic effects on the developing fetal brain and has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and metabolic disorders in offspring.

5. Large amounts of caffeine: Excessive caffeine intake (over 200-300 mg per day) has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight.

6. Alcohol: There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, as it can cause birth defects and developmental problems.

7. Raw sprouts: They may harbour salmonella or E. coli bacteria. Also, these are hard to digest, so may cause bloating and discomfort.

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