Congratulations. You and/or your partner just found out you're going to have a child. Within nine months, there's going to a wonderful bundle of joy in your arms and visions of a happy future with your family. However, those nine months in between can be filled with some trying times for the both of you; in addition to hormones and an ever-changing body to accommodate the needs of your little one, there are several precautions of which you need to be aware. You have to alter your sleeping position, make sure you get enough sleep, and follow a relatively strict diet to ensure the good health of your baby, not to mention giving up smoking and drinking.
While in some instances the foods that are listed as dangerous for pregnant women can be eaten in moderation, there are also some foods that could severely impact the health of your baby, which is why it's important to educate yourself on what you should and shouldn't eat during pregnancy. Foods you might have once enjoyed like deli meats and sushi should, for the most part, be avoided at all costs, although you can get your sushi fix as long as the roll doesn't include raw fish. That's why it's also important to know every ingredient that is in the dishes you eat. Unless you specifically ask at some restaurants, you might accidentally come across an ingredient that might be harmful to your baby, so the best course of action is to eat more home-cooked meals.
20 Unappealing And Healthy: Lentil Meatballs
Although it's OK to eat junk in moderation, eating healthy is something we all should be doing on a consistent basis. However, it's even more important when you're pregnant. That's why you may have to swap out ground beef and pork for lentils when making home-cooked meatballs for dinner.
Pregnant women require a high amount of the B-vitamin folate (also known as folic acid as a supplement) and lentils are rich in it as well as high in vitamin B6, iron, and protein, all of which are beneficial to your baby. You can make this dish in about 30 minutes with other ingredients such as a shallot, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, spices, and panko bread crumbs.
19 Delicious And Dangerous: Shrimp And Brie Linguine
Shrimp. Brie. Linguine. Those are three of the most beautiful words to some, but if you're pregnant, you're probably better off not indulging in what might sound like the most delicious recipe of all-time. This particular recipe involves eight ounces of Brie cheese and one pound of peeled shrimp. Other ingredients that aren't so harmful include Kalamata olives, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and spices.
The shrimp is a only a little problematic as it contains lower levels of mercury compared to some seafood, but Brie can be particularly dangerous as, like other soft cheeses, it contains high levels of Listeria to which pregnant women are more susceptible.
18 Unappealing And Healthy: Savory Oat Porridge With Greens And Egg
Unlike the previous dish, there's no words in the title of this one that will make your mouth water. We all know the health benefits of greens, eggs, and oats, but there's no universe that exists in which the majority of people would seek out such a dish - there's a reason McDonald's doesn't offer a McOatsN'Egg with Greens.
Still, if you're looking to provide all the vital nutrients for your baby, it makes plenty of sense to start your day off with this dish. We wouldn't suggest eating it every day, however, as an overindulgence on oats in your first trimester can cause indigestion and diarrhea.
17 Delicious And Dangerous: Grilled Swordfish With Lemon and Basil
Remember when we mentioned high levels of mercury can have a negative impact on your baby's health? Well, this grilled swordfish dish is one you're going to want to avoid, which shouldn't be a problem if you're surviving on an average budget, because who even knows where to buy swordfish anyway?
If you're one of the lucky few that does, you'll have to do without it for nine months as it's one of the worst types of seafood to eat if you're pregnant due to its high mercury concentration. High levels of mercury consumption during pregnancy has been linked to brain damage and developmental delays in newborns.
16 Unappealing And Healthy: Quinoa With Shrimp, Tomato, And Avocado
Just because you can't eat the shrimp and brie dish doesn't mean you can't enjoy shrimp at all. When cooked, shrimp is far less harmful than if eaten cold or raw, and the other ingredients in this dish provide a wealth of benefits for both you and your baby.
Quinoa isn't just a trendy grain enjoyed by Millennials. It's actually a complete protein regarded as a super food for its comprehensive benefits. It's particularly great during pregnancy as it's a great source of calcium, iron, and vitamins B and E. Moreover, it's a source of folic acid, which helps cells grow. Avocados have similar benefits and are even great for newborns.
15 Delicious And Dangerous: Southern Fried Oysters
For the sake of simplicity, it's best to avoid anything fried during your pregnancy, although that's a lot to ask. You're probably going to give in to the odd deep fried pickles or fried chicken, but you should definitely avoid these southern fried oysters at all costs. For starters, fried foods aren't healthy for anyone to eat let alone pregnant women.
Moreover, oysters are just about the worst food you can deep fry if you're pregnant. Like other seafood, oysters are risky due to its mercury levels and, while they can be safely consumed, they have to be both fresh and cooked thoroughly; undercooking them can lead to illness and serious complications with your baby.
14 Unappealing And Healthy: Spicy Red Pasta With Lentils
Eating spicy foods during pregnancy depends on your tolerance. Research has shown that babies will not be harmed by even the hottest of peppers or sauces, but it may affect you more than usual during pregnancy. For instance, constantly eating spicy foods might lead to more heartburn or make morning sickness worse.
That said, if you need your fix, you might actually enjoy this spicy red pasta with lentils dish. Pasta is certainly an acceptable dish when pregnant and lentils are packed with the B vitamin folate. They also contain high levels of iron, vitamin B6, and protein. And if spicy isn't your thing, you can simply leave out the red chili flakes for which this recipe calls.
13 Delicious And Dangerous: Creamy Chicken And Pasta
While this dish sounds harmless at first glance, it can be potentially dangerous depending on the canned soup used. Beyond that, it contains pasta, fresh vegetables, and chicken breast, all of which can even be beneficial to you and your baby's health, but it's best to be overly cautious instead of willing to make exceptions.
All canned food, for that matter, contains an epoxy liner with the endocrine-disruptor BPA, which has been linked to problems in children regarding reproductive systems, behavior, and brain development. Cans that contain soups and pastas have been found to have a particularly high amount of BPA that can potentially contaminate the food product.
12 Unappealing And Healthy: Hot Quinoa Burger
There's few things as good as a perfectly-cooked burger fresh off the grill and, fortunately, you can still eat those hamburgers in the summer if you're pregnant. However, there's an even healthier alternative that you should consider if you're concerned at all about the health of your baby.
As previously mentioned, quinoa is a superfood that has more benefits during pregnancy than practically every other grain. A whole burger made of quinoa is the perfect antidote to ensuring the health of your baby and giving you all the nutrients you require. This recipe also includes spinach and bread crumbs as well as a homemade hot sauce for added flavor.
11 Delicious And Dangerous: Chicken Fettuccine With Mushroom Brie
There's nothing wrong with eating chicken fettuccine when pregnant and, while it might not be the healthiest meal, it can even provide some nutritional value to you and your baby. That said, as delicious as this dish sounds, it's best to avoid the chicken fettuccine with mushroom Brie at all costs.
Not only have we already discussed the harmful effects of eating plenty of soft cheeses like Brie, this dish also includes two full cups of a dry white wine, which is obviously bad for your baby. You can make the dish without the wine and Brie, but would it even be worth it? Wait until you give birth and then have a loved one cook this up as your hospital homecoming meal.
10 Unappealing And Healthy: Steamed Cod With Spring Veggies
If you haven't noticed by now, seafood is fairly hit or miss in regard to how safe it is to consume during pregnancy, so it's generally best to avoid most types. Salmon and cod, however, are both rich in minerals and essential fatty acids that support the healthy development of cognitive functions and vision.
Yet, cod becomes less healthy and beneficial when it is deep fried as most people often prefer, so that's why in order to gain the complete health benefits it's best to eat this steamed cod and spring vegetables dish. It's certainly not as appetizing, but your baby will be better off for it.
9 Delicious And Dangerous: Spinach And Feta Burger With Garlic Aioli
A general rule of thumb concerning burgers is the less appetizing it sounds the better it is for the health of your baby. That's why this burger, even with the word spinach in its name, is one you should avoid at all costs if you're pregnant. Sure, spinach is a pregnancy superfood that you should eat regularly, but feta is one of those soft cheeses that may contain harmful Listeria.
This heart-healthy burger is definitely a viable option for someone on a diet or trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but that doesn't mean it's OK to eat when pregnant. Instead, opt for the hot quinoa burger previously mentioned.
8 Unappealing And Healthy: Blood Orange Sumac Chicken Tabbouleh
There are fewer dishes more perfectly suited for pregnant women than this blood orange sumac chicken tabbouleh. It contains a variety of food items, all of which are beneficial to your own health and support the development of your baby's cognitive functions. And, if we're being honest, it really doesn't even sound all that unappealing, unless of course you're used to eating fast food.
In addition to the chicken, greens, and orange, the best part about this dish for pregnant women is its use of bulgur wheat which, like quinoa, is a superfood that is jam-packed with nutrients that will benefit your baby's growth and development.
7 Delicious And Dangerous: Bacon And Sausage Stuffing
Forget pregnant women, this bacon and sausage stuffing isn't healthy for anyone and is likely a heart attack waiting to happen for those with issues relating to heart health. There's nothing about stuffing on its own that is unhealthy for pregnant women - in fact, feel free to indulge in it during the holiday season - but adding so much cooked meat and fats can make it dangerous.
Bacon, in particular, needs to be cooked thoroughly for women to safely enjoy when pregnant and, even then, isn't regarded for its health benefits. If not cooked enough as is suggested in this recipe, it can lead to illness and nausea.
6 Unappealing And Healthy: Creamy And Zesty Spinach Soup
As previously mentioned, canned soups aren't exactly something you should regularly incorporate into your pregnancy diet. However, soups in general can bring about plenty of benefits during pregnancy, which is why you should definitely consider making your own.
This creamy and zesty spinach soup is a perfect soup to eat as often as you wish, if you can stomach it that is. It might not look all that appealing, but given that its main ingredient is spinach it boasts plenty of folate which, again, is essential during pregnancy. Spinach is also high in vitamin C, which can improve your weakening immune system.
5 Delicious And Dangerous: Homemade Pizza With Deli Meat
Beyond raw or uncooked fish and of course alcohol, there's one thing that you really should avoid at all costs if you're pregnant: deli meat. Unfortunately, this might mean cutting back on pizza or at least altering the toppings that you normally use.
Although it might not rival the taste of pizza cooked in industrial pizza ovens, making pizza at home is a fun activity and allows you to truly customize it the way you like. But the next time you do so, skip the deli meat pepperoni and salami and maybe go for barbecue chicken or vegetarian. That's because deli meat, like soft cheeses, may contain harmful listeria bacteria.
4 Unappealing And Healthy: Tofu, Broccoli, And Snap Pea Stir Fry
Women who aren't already vegans or who don't maintain what is considered a healthy diet might find it hard to eat this dish, but your baby will be happy you did, because it's rich in a lot of the essential nutrients and vitamins he or she needs to support the healthy development of cognitive functions.
Tofu, in particular, is high in iron, protein, and a viable source of unsaturated fats, the latter of which is particularly vital during pregnancy. Broccoli and snap peas have obvious benefits as healthy greens, but the beauty of this recipe is you can substitute either for more favorable vegetables or add others if you choose.
3 Delicious And Dangerous: Taipei Oyster Po'Boy
There's literally thousands of food variations we could highlight that look and sound delicious yet are drastically unhealthy for pregnant women, but the Taipei Po'Boy is one that stands out above the rest. Even those who aren't pregnant should probably avoid it after trying it once - it does look incredible after all.
As previously mentioned, fried food isn't exactly great to begin with and even less so when it's oysters as they could have high levels of mercury. The recipe also includes capers, which have good health benefits in moderation but over-consumption can contribute to a variety of pregnancy complications.
2 Unappealing And Healthy: Green Soup
We told you not all soups are bad - just store-bought canned soups. This soup, however, is not exactly one that is going to have your mouth watering nor is it one that you might willingly eat. If we're being honest, it's the most unappetizing dish on this list. Yet, it's also probably the best to eat if you're pregnant.
This particular recipe includes four cups of tightly-packed greens such as kale, Swiss chard, or spinach as well as two cups of broccoli florets, zucchini, or baby bok choy, all of which are considered pregnancy superfoods. You can also add in white beans or cooked quinoa for added protein.
1 Delicious And Dangerous: Most Sushi Rolls
Sushi is a polarizing food as it seems half of the world's population despises it and the other half could eat it for every meal - there's no in-between. So, if you're pregnant, hopefully you fall into the former category because most sushi rolls will be off limit during the nine months in which you're carrying your baby.
In particular, you shouldn't eat sushi with raw fish, which is most of the delicious rolls, as it could contain high levels of mercury. The good news is that you can still somewhat receive your sushi fix through vegetable rolls. Yam and avocado rolls are even considered good for your baby's health.