To eat, or not to eat?
Knowing what you can and can’t eat can be a worry in pregnancy!
It’s actually quite simple if you stick to healthy, fresh produce; but here’s a handy guide to help keep you and Baby-safe.
Food For Thought During Pregnancy
Choose wisely when it comes to these four foods:
- Eggs – should preferably be from free-range, non-medicated hens.
- Fish – fresh linefish from a reputable source is generally fine and a healthy pregnancy food choice. Oily fish like salmon and sardines are a great sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and seafood provides all-important iodine, which you can get from sea vegetables like kelp too. There are some concerns about toxic substances like mercury, which depends on the location of catches and what predatory fish, like tuna, forage on. Avoid sushi and shellfish as they have higher risk of food poisoning and allergy.
- Spicy foods – if you like spicy foods and suffer no indigestion, you can eat them. If you eat spicy foods during pregnancy, you can safely
carry on while breastfeeding.
- Onions and garlic – these do have therapeutic properties, but may cause painful bloating.
Foods To Reduce or Avoid During Pregnancy
- Not every woman will react negatively, but it’s a good idea to reduce these allergy risk foods:
- Dairy products-cow’s milk, yoghurt, and cheese Refined grain products – most breads, pasta, pizza, cakes, and biscuits
- Tree nuts – if there are no allergies in the family, you can use moderately; but if they’re stale, there may be bacterial growth
- Peanuts – actually legumes, but may still be allergenic; only use if they’re organically grown
Avoid Eating Some Exotic And Raw Foods, Including:
- Mushrooms – some varieties are toxic
- Pâtés -high vitamin A levels may cause birth defects
- Biltong- may contain toxic bacteria, though reputable produce can be eaten occasionally
- Cheese – particularly blue veined, unpasteurised, or very soft cheeses, as these may contain harmful bacteria
- Alcohol – avoid completely!
- Coffee – one good quality cup daily is fine, unless you become agitated or experience palpitations; then replace with decaffeinated coffee.
- Fruit juices – these provide a sudden release of sugar; rather eat fresh fruit, it releases sugar slowly.
- Herbal tea- limit to three weak cups daily.
- Rooibos and green tea have great anti-oxidants, fennel and ginger tea can help nausea and indigestion, and chamomile tea aids restful
sleep and anxiety.
- Sugary soda drinks-avoid, they contain caffeine and lots of sugar.
- Water – drink at least 1.5-2 litres daily.