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Top 32 Indian Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

What you eat when you’re expecting affects the well-being of both you and your child. Read on to know the Indian foods you should avoid during pregnancy.

10 min read
Top 32 Indian Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the most critical period in a woman's life. There are many aspects of your lifestyle that can affect the child's growth and development, especially the food. During pregnancy, women often crave mouth-watering dishes. But controlling the diet based on the proper knowledge about different food types is essential.

Indian Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Below are the foods that shouldn't be consumed during pregnancy.

1) Pineapple

Pineapple contains a compound called bromelain that causes softening of the cervix.

Consuming pineapple during pregnancy, especially in the last months, can induce contractions, leading to premature birth.

2) Chicken

Having chicken during pregnancy may be harmful to a woman's health. Chicken meat carries a host of bacteria and other parasites that may lead to health issues in the newborn. Blindness, epilepsy, disability, etc., are common problems that can affect a woman's health.

3) Fenugreek

Fenugreek, or methi dana, is the most common food item in a woman's diet post-pregnancy. But one should avoid the consumption of fenugreek during pregnancy. This food item is a significant trigger for a miscarriage if consumed during pregnancy.

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4) Raw eggs

Raw eggs, or food with raw eggs, are the most common foods that cause miscarriage in the second trimester. They have a high risk of containing the salmonella virus, which can cause multiple pregnancy complications.

5) Alcohol

Alcohol is among the drinks that can cause abortion. Consumption of alcohol has adverse effects on the mother and the child. Alcohol is even capable of causing miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.

6) Unpasteurized milk

The consumption of unpasteurized milk should be avoided while pregnant in the first trimester. One should always boil milk before consuming it as it helps in killing germs. Pregnant women should never drink raw milk.

7) Hing

In India, hing is a standard part of everyday food consumption. But, overdose and regular addition of hing during pregnancy in food can cause vomiting, nausea, throat infection, swollen lips, burping, gas forming, and other related problems for the expecting mother.

8) Salty foods

You might crave salty and spicy foods during pregnancy. Consuming salty foods during pregnancy may satiate your hunger, but the high salt content will increase water retention, which will ultimately lead to complications during pregnancy.

9) Cornflour

Maintain a distance from items with high starch content, such as corn flour during pregnancy. Also, food items with a high content of packed corn flour can cause harm to the growth and development of the growing baby.

Still have doubts regarding pregnancy? Book a Free Doctor Consult with Be Bodywise & speak to an expert from the comforts of your home, hassle-free!

10) Seafood

Many seafood dishes contain high levels of mercury, which is harmful to your child. Scratch these food items off your list. If you love these dishes, consult your doctor before consuming seafood during pregnancy.

11) Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto is used extensively in street food and Chinese food items. Consumption of Ajinomoto can majorly affect the development of the brain in the fetus. Consult your doctor about how much Ajinomoto is safe during pregnancy.

12) Grapes

Grapes are not recommended for women pregnant in the first trimester. The acids in the grapes can raise body temperature, causing complexities during pregnancy. It also causes stomach-related problems.

13) Street Food

Among the Indian foods to avoid during pregnancy, street food tops the list. One should control the excessive cravings for these types of foods during pregnancy. A pregnant woman's body is vulnerable, and hence they need to be careful about what they eat.

14) Organ Meat

Organ meat is full of rich nutrients and proteins. But a bad diet can affect the health of both mother and child. Consumption of organ meat during pregnancy can cause liver toxicity and defects in the baby. They are on the list of foods to avoid when pregnant first trimester.

15) Animal Liver

Animal liver, otherwise, is nutritious and rich in iron. However, it can contain high toxins, especially if obtained from an infected animal. Children and infants are particularly sensitive to these toxins since they can harm the nervous system and cause brain damage.

16) Sesame Seeds

You might be surprised to learn that dry sesame seeds were used to stimulate abortion in the early period. Ingestion of sesame seeds causes the ovum to be ejected from the uterus. During the first three to four months of pregnancy, all pregnant women should avoid eating sesame seeds. In fact, even raisins aren't very safe. They can, however, have almonds, groundnuts, walnuts, and other such nuts.

17) Papaya

An abortion can be induced by papaya. Consuming papaya during pregnancy, therefore, is dangerous. Primain - a chemical in papaya that is responsible for uterine contractions - is present in raw papaya. Primain strongly inhibits fetal growth. The consumption of raw papaya during pregnancy is strictly prohibited.

18) Caffeine

Although caffeine is abundantly present in most of the things we consume, pregnant women need to stay two steps away from it. Not only coffee but some popular soft drinks and certain varieties of green tea also contain caffeine. Ensure that you are consuming any of these during pregnancy.

Still have doubts regarding pregnancy? Book a Free Doctor Consult with Be Bodywise & speak to an expert from the comforts of your home, hassle-free!

Vegetables to Avoid During Pregnancy

1. Aloe Vera

Although aloe vera has numerous skin benefits, it is harmful to consume during pregnancy. Aloe vera contains anthraquinones, a laxative that can cause bleeding and miscarriage.

2. Eggplant

The eggplant, also known as brinjal, is one of the most common vegetables eaten in Indian households. Amenorrhoea and premenstrual disorders can be treated with eggplant. If you have had any complications in the past with brinjal, your gynecologist may strictly prohibit its consumption during pregnancy.

3. Drumsticks

Despite being rich in iron and vitamin, drumsticks contain alpha-sitosterol, which hurts a baby's development and growth. Consuming drumsticks during pregnancy is therefore harmful.

4. Green Sprouts

Despite having high protein content, Green sprouts have a lot of harmful bacteria present in them like salmonella. Eating raw green sprouts can lead to infections like e-coli and much more. Nine of these are safe for pregnant women, whether mung, chickpeas, alfa-alfa or moth sprouts.

5. Radish

Uncooked or raw radish is not safe when consumed during pregnancy. Raw radish is difficult to digest and also leads to gastrointestinal issues due to a lot of harmful germs present on its surface. If cooked, pregnant women can consume radish once in a while.

Foods to Avoid in the First Month of Pregnancy

Here are a few things to avoid in early pregnancy:

1. Soft Cheese

The bacteria found in soft cheese can cause food poisoning since the cheese is made from unpasteurised milk. Therefore, avoiding soft cheese while pregnant is a good idea.

2. Packaged and Processed Foods

Juice, microwave meals, cakes, biscuits, condensed milk, and other processed foods often contain preservatives and empty calories. They may also contain bacteria that cause food poisoning.

3. Caffeine

An excess of caffeine can cause sleeplessness, irritability, and nervousness in early pregnancy. Miscarriage risk is also increased.

4. Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol can cause severe birth defects in a developing foetus.

5. Sugary Foods

To support the growth of the baby, pregnant women need 300 additional calories every day. Overindulging in sweets, however, causes weight gain and gestational diabetes.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy: First Trimester

‌Your pregnancy's first trimester is basically the first 3 months of that period. During this time, your body undergoes a lot of changes because your baby is slowly starting to grow and take form in your womb. During pregnancy, things can get difficult for moms-to-be. Here are a few food items to avoid during the first trimester to avoid pregnancy complications:

1. Raw or Undercooked Meat and Seafood

Uncooked meat or seafood contain many harmful bacterias that cause nasty infections and even food poisoning. Such infections can easily pass on to the baby during pregnancy. Consuming undercooked seafood or meat can increase the risk of listeria infections, toxoplasmosis or salmonella.

2. Undercooked or Raw Eggs

Undercooked or raw eggs contain a germ called salmonella. You must avoid eating any food containing undercooked or raw eggs.

Avoid eating these foods:‌

  • Raw cake batter
  • Raw cookie dough or batter
  • Soft or mushy scrambled eggs

3. Unpasteurized Milk Or Dairy

‌Before consumption, milk is always pasteurized and heated to kill bacteria and germs. This also improves its shelf life. Milk that is unpasteurized or other dairy products such as cheese made from unpasteurized milk can contain bacteria such as listeria. Having unpasteurized milk causes dangerous sicknesses like food poisoning or even listeriosis. These conditions can severely affect you and even your baby. In fact, sometimes, these conditions can lead to a miscarriage or stillbirth.

4. Raw Sprouts

‌Raw sprouts and beans contain a lot of harmful bacteria inside. These are quite difficult to wash away. Hence cooking or boiling them is the best way to kill these germs. Avoiding raw sprouts can help pregnant women prevent nasty bacterial infections. If you're fond of eating deli sandwiches or other packed foods, make sure that they don't have raw sprouts in them. However, Sprouts are excellent sources of proteins. So thoroughly washing and cooking the sprouts can destroy the infection-causing germs, and you can consume them guilt-free.

Still have doubts regarding pregnancy? Book a Free Doctor Consult with Be Bodywise & speak to an expert from the comforts of your home, hassle-free!

Things to Avoid in Early Pregnancy

During the early stages of pregnancy, there are several things one should avoid in order to stay healthy and to be able to protect the baby. Many lifestyle habits need to be stopped or avoided during pregnancy, such as drinking, smoking, gaining a lot of weight, or consuming too much caffeine. Even eating certain foods such as undercooked meat, fish or eggs, raw sprouts, etc. Here are some foods to avoid during the first month of pregnancy:

1. Avoid Cigarettes and E-cigarettes

A pregnant woman should quit smoking at once because smoking has a lot of harmful effects on the baby. This habit can lead to stillbirth and miscarriage as smoking increases heart rate and increases blood pressure too.

2. Avoid Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol is a strict no-no during pregnancy. Even the slightest amount of alcohol can cause miscarriage, birth defects, and even stillbirth. It can also cause intellectual and behavioral disabilities such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).

3. Avoid Excessive Caffeine

Consuming caffeine up to 200 mg or approximately 2 cups of coffee) is alright. But any amount more than that is severely harmful. Caffeine can cross through the placenta and severely affect a baby’s heart rate

4. Avoid Hot Baths

A pregnant woman should avoid hot tubs, saunas, whirlpools, or steam rooms at all costs. These practices can put a pregnant woman at risk of dehydration, overheating, and even fainting.


It is essential to consult your doctor during pregnancy to acquire knowledge about the foods to avoid when pregnant and the consumption of different food items to ensure the health of both you and your baby.

Eat Healthy and Stay Healthy!

Also Read: Guava in Pregnancy: Benefits, Side Effects and More


What Food can Kill a Baby When Pregnant?

Certain food items like pineapple, alcohol, meat, raw food, unpasteurized food, etc., can kill a baby when pregnant if consumed carelessly.

What Vegetables Should be Avoided during Pregnancy?

Eggplant, radish, clover, and mung beans are among the few vegetables which should be avoided during pregnancy.

Which Fruits Should be Avoided during Pregnancy?

Pineapple and grapes are some fruits to be avoided. Raw papaya during pregnancy should also be avoided.

Is Banana Good for Pregnancy?

Yes, they are a good source of potassium and Vitamin B12.

Can Lemon stop Pregnancy?

Lemons are used as prevalent methods of birth control. Naturally, this is not suitable for pregnant women.

What Food can Abort a Month Pregnancy?

Raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, and sprouted potatoes can abort a month pregnancy. Click here to know about foods that can abort a month-long pregnancy.

Is Ginger good for pregnancy?

No, it can cause nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.

Is Mango Good for Pregnancy?

Yes, Mangoes indeed are a great addition to anyone's pregnancy diet. However, you must eat them in moderation and combine them with a variety of other nutritious fruits.

Can We Eat Pineapple During Pregnancy?

Pineapple isn't that safe a choice when it comes to being eaten while you're pregnant. It has bromelain that harms the cervix and can affect the fetus's health.

Can We Eat Black Grapes in Pregnancy?

No. Since black grapes contain many resveratrol compounds present in their skin, they are toxic and can be harmful to pregnant women. Also, a pregnant woman's digestive system is quite weak, and fruits like black grapes are slightly difficult to digest. Hence consuming black grapes in pregnancy is not advisable.

Can We Eat Walnut in Pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat walnut in pregnancy. Nuts are indeed a great source of nutrition during your pregnancy. Be any of the three trimesters, nuts are beneficial all the time. Walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts are all loaded with nutrients and are beneficial during pregnancy.

Can We Eat Strawberries During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat Strawberries during pregnancy. It is a fruit containing a good amount of vitamin C and folic acid, which are essential, especially during early pregnancy, particularly to protect the fetus against neural tube defects.

Can We Eat Ajinomoto in Pregnancy?

No, Although Ajinomoto is a staple ingredient in Chinese and Indian street food, it is not healthy. It's because Ajinomoto contains monosodium glutamate, which interferes with brain development during pregnancy.

Can We Eat Sesame Seeds During Pregnancy?

No, the consumption of sesame seeds causes the ovum to be ejected from the uterus. Hence sesame seeds are quite harmful to be eaten while pregnant.

Can We Eat Corn Flour in Pregnancy?

This is an odd food choice that isn't the healthiest food ingredient anyway. However, there is no sufficient scientific evidence to show any harmful effects of cornflour. If eaten in moderation, it won't cause any specific harm to the pregnancy.


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