Are you a pregnant mommy preparing your diet chart?
You may want to continue reading this.
Good lifestyle habits, smart food choices, and safe food handling are all crucial to ensure the mother’s and baby’s health. Welcoming a newborn is full of joy and excitement, but always make sure you pay enough attention to your diet as certain foods may be putting your pregnancy at risk.
Let's not take any chance with your child's health - Check out the 10 foods that can cause miscarriage and it’s best to keep them off your pregnancy menu!
There’s a higher likelihood of ending a pregnancy in miscarriage when you consume too much caffeine. Limit your caffeine intake to less than 200mg a day. To let you have a rough idea of how you can control within the safe limit, here’s a shortlist of common beverages with their caffeine content:
- Filter coffee (1 mug) – 140mg
- Instant coffee (1 mug) – 100mg
- Energy drink (250ml) – 80mg
- Tea (1 mug) – 75mg
- Cola (1 can) – 40mg
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy not only increases the chance of miscarriage, it may also bring a range of lifelong harm to your baby even after successful delivery. There isn’t a known safe limit of alcohol use for pregnant mothers and the safest way is to not drink it at all. Note that there also isn’t any safe time for you to drink during pregnancy, and all kinds of alcohol are equally harmful.
Unpasteurized Dairy Products
Food poisoning can increase the risk of miscarriage. One of the bacteria which has known to be the culprit of miscarriage and stillbirth is listeria, and it is mostly found in unpasteurized dairy products. These include mold-ripened soft cheeses, soft blue cheeses, any unpasteurized cows' milk, sheep's milk, or goats' milk, as well as their food products.
Raw or Undercooked Meat
There is a risk of having toxoplasmosis upon consuming raw or undercooked infected meat, which may then cause miscarriage. To lower your risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, you are also advised to wash your cutting boards, counters, and utensils using hot soapy water after handling any raw meat or poultry.
For the same reason as raw or undercooked meat, you will also have to be careful with cold cured meats, e.g. salami and pepperoni, unless you are confident that they are cooked thoroughly.
Raw or Partially Cooked Eggs
Raw or partially cooked eggs may contain Salmonella, which is unlikely to harm the baby but the mother could get food poisoning. Therefore, always make sure you cook them thoroughly until the whites and yolks are firm/solid (to a temperature of 71°c) to kill germs.
There are many types of sprouts, including mung bean sprouts, alfalfa, and clover. Again, raw sprouts are another food that poses a risk of food poisoning, which is usually caused by Salmonella and E. coli, occasionally Listeria too. Thus, you’re advised to cook them thoroughly (until the sprouts are steaming hot throughout) for safe consumption.
Ripe papaya is considered safe but not the raw ones. Studies have shown that papaya extract may stimulate uterine contraction to trigger early labor. This is because it contains an enzyme called papain, which lowers the level of progesterone – an important hormone to maintain pregnancy. Papain is also a proteolytic enzyme, which may dissolve cervical clog and induce miscarriage.
Fresh pineapple contains bromelain. Just like papain, bromelain is another proteolytic enzyme that can soften the uterine tissue and cervix, induces early labor, and eventually lead to miscarriage. Interestingly, pineapple can be beneficial for women who are trying to conceive as bromelain may favor implantation when it is used in a correct dose and during a correct time of the menstrual cycle. However, once you’re conceived, it becomes harmful because of its ability to induce uterine contraction.
If you have not heard about fenugreek seeds, it is a spice that gives a special aroma in cooking with some medicinal uses. They contain a phytochemical called saponin, which has a similar effect as oxytocin, a hormone that helps improve contractions during labor. This oxytocin mimicking action makes fenugreek seeds harmful as it can induce preterm labor or abortion by stimulating uterine contraction.
Written By: Yong Ke Tian
BSc Hons Nutrition
University of Nottingham Malaysia
Reviewed by: Jasmine Lim
Love Earth Organic Nutritionist
Bachelor of Science Degree in
Dietetics (major) & Food Science (minor)
Iowa State University, USA