Top 7 Myths about foods in Pregnancy busted
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Nov 10, 2020
Myth 1 Eating for two
Fact- though the requirement for energy and protein does go up in pregnancy, by no means you should be eating for two, during this time. You should instead be focusing on having a balanced diet with loads of good quality proteins.
What to do- over and above your normal balanced diet, add another bowl of dal/legumes/chicken/fish curry. Similarly having a glass of milk would meet both your protein and calcium requirements.
Myth 2 Papaya can cause abortion
Fact Green or unripe papaya contains an enzyme called papain. Eating large amounts of unripe papaya can cause uncontrolled uterine contractions which may lead to abortion depending on the estrogen levels. (Meera Sumanth et al/ Int.J.Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 4(3), May-June2013; http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/1012_pdf.pdf)
On the other hand ripe papaya is rich in beta carotene (vitamin A), potassium and other nutrients. It can be taken in little amounts for its nutritional contribution.
What to do: Avoid unripe papaya and if you love papaya too much to ignore, have a few small pieces, once or twice a week only.
Myth 3 Pineapple should be avoided as it may cause miscarriage
Fact Pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic (that dissolves proteins) enzyme, which is anti inflammatory. Since not enough is known about its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding it is better avoided.
Myth 4 Hot foods like mangoes, dried fruits, nuts should be avoided as it may cause bleeding
Fact these foods can be taken in moderation. Mango especially is a good source of vitamin A, which is required in pregnancy. Similarly, dried fruits and nuts provide essential nutrients like zinc, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids.
What to do: You may soak these a previous night and then have them.
Myth 5 Coffee and other caffeinated beverages should be avoided
Fact Caffeine can cross placenta and enter foetal circulation. Taking too much coffee may cause premature deliveries and small for date babies. It is better to avoid excessive amounts of this stimulant (tea, coffee, cocoa, cola) during pregnancy.
What to do: Limit your coffee intake to 2 cups a day.
Myth 6 Fish should be avoided during pregnancy
Fact Fish are one of the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical building blocks of fetal brain and retina. But fatty fish may be contaminated with mercury which causes adverse effects on development of child.
What to do You may take two servings (1 serving=100-150 grams)/week of low mercury fish to meet omega-3 requirements. Other safe alternatives for omega-3 fatty acids are vegetables oils and flaxseeds.
Myth 7 Ghee helps in normal delivery as it provides lubrication
Fact there is no medical evidence to support this theory. Too much of ghee in pregnancy can make unnecessary weight gain, which may make you prone to joint pains, diabetes or hypertension.
What to do: Ignore the advice about extra ghee and stick to normal amounts.