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    18 Foods That Can Cause Miscarriage: A Guide to Avoiding Harmful Foods


    18 Foods That Can Cause Miscarriage: A Guide to Avoiding Harmful Foods

    Updated on 2 April 2024

    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    The thing most women dread and never want to experience during pregnancy is miscarriage. As soon as a woman finds out that she’s pregnant, she’s always on an alert for things to avoid that may cause a miscarriage. Among this extensive list are foods that can cause miscarriage. But before you begin to skip eating foods rumoured to cause miscarriage, it’s important to separate myths from facts and know which food can cause miscarriage.

    From exotic fruits to common kitchen ingredients, this article will shed light on 18 foods that have been linked to miscarriage and guide you on which ones to avoid completely and which ones to eat in moderation.

    18 Foods That Can Cause Miscarriage

    There are numerous foods that may look as if they mean no harm in pregnancy but in truth might cause more harm than good to you and your baby. So, here is a list of foods that cause abortion or miscarriage and must only be consumed if recommended by your doctor:

    1. Pineapple

    If you love pineapples, we have some bad news for you. Unfortunately, pineapple is among the common culprits of miscarriage as it contains bromelain, which can loosen the uterine muscles and induce early labor. So, strike off pineapple juice and pineapple during pregnancy unless and until recommended by your doctor.

    2. Unpasteurized Milk

    When it comes to dairy products it’s better to be cautious, especially unpasteurized dairy products such as milk, mozzarella or feta cheese as they contain dangerous bacteria, listeria, that can be harmful for the unborn baby. It can lead to food poisoning and severe complications for both the expecting mother and her fetus. So, it’s recommended to always consume pasteurized dairy products only during pregnancy.

    3. Canned Seafood

    Just as unpasteurized dairy products are riddled with listeria, canned seafood contains harmful bacteria as well. So, if you’re thinking which food can cause miscarriage, then be sure to include canned seafoods in your list. Additionally, avoid consuming seafood with high mercury like swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, shark and crab as it can cause several complications, including fetal brain damage, delayed development etc.

    4. Sprouted Potatoes

    Potatoes that have sprouted can pose a threat to expecting and breastfeeding mothers due to a toxin, solanin, found in high concentrations in green sprouts. It can be detrimental to the fetus’ growth and may even lead to miscarriage. So, it’s best to avoid sprouting or sprouted potatoes during pregnancy.

    5. Animal Liver

    Otherwise, a powerhouse of nutrients, animal liver can be toxic and dangerous, especially if coming from infected animals. Additionally, it is packed with vitamin A and consuming it in excess may lead to complications such as spina bifida, abnormalities of the urinary tract and hydrocephalus. So, make sure to avoid animal liver during pregnancy to reduce the chances of miscarriage and other complications.

    6. Papaya

    Many expecting women wonder can papaya cause miscarriage in early pregnancy. Well, unripe papaya (one that’s green in colour) contains enzymes that can induce uterine contractions, which may even lead to a miscarriage. Although, you may consume papaya in moderation if your dietician or gynecologist recommends it.

    7. Drumsticks

    Drumsticks or moringa can be the favourite of many and is even rich in potassium, vitamin C, iron, calcium and vitamins. However, due to the presence of alpha-sitosterol in drumsticks, it is regarded among the foods that cause miscarriage. The reaction of alpha-sitosterol can be understood as the same reaction that estrogen (female hormone) causes. Both of these can lead to smoothening of uterine muscles, increasing the chances of miscarriages. Consequently, it's best to eat miscarriage foods like drumsticks in moderation or as directed by your dietician.

    8. Aloe Vera

    Aloe Vera is not just great for your skin and hair but also for your digestive system. However, surprisingly, aloe vera fails to work its magic on pregnant women as it could result in pelvic haemorrhage that could eventually result in a miscarriage. Hence, it is recommended that you either consume aloe vera moderately or as directed by your doctor during the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy. This is one of the foods that cause miscarriage in second trimester and must be avoided.

    9. Raw Eggs

    Eggs, which are considered a good source of protein, can actually hurt a pregnant woman if they are eaten raw. Therefore, mayonnaise, soufflés, and mousses made with raw eggs should be avoided. Food illness and even miscarriage are all possible side effects of ingesting raw or undercooked eggs because of the salmonella bacteria that reside in them. On the other hand, cooked eggs are okay to eat while pregnant.

    10. Crabs

    There is no doubt about the fact that crabs are a great source of calcium. However, one cannot deny the presence of high levels of cholesterol in crabs. As a result, the consumption of crabs can shrink your uterus and eventually make way for internal bleeding and miscarriage. Therefore, the best way is to avoid altogether consuming crabs during pregnancy.

    11. Peach

    Pregnant women should avoid eating peaches or eat them in moderation since they can increase the risk of bleeding. This delicious fruit's hairy shell is especially hazardous. It is possible to suffer severe repercussions such as miscarriage as a result of the burning and itchy sensation in the throat.

    12. Caffeine

    There is no concrete study or research that bans caffeine intake completely. However, you should consume caffeine as moderately as possible. If caffeine becomes an addiction, it can be really harmful to your baby and even result in an underweight baby or a miscarriage.

    13. Herbs

    Most experts recommend not to take herbs while you're pregnant. Herbs containing steroids can hurt the baby's growth while in the womb. A herb called Centella could do bad things to the liver, which could cause jaundice and damage the baby's brain. Dong Quai has stuff in it that can cause miscarriage or premature birth. Hence, it's best to avoid these foods linked to miscarriage unless recommended by your doctor.

    14. Processed Meat

    Processed meat could also be one of those foods that cause abortion during pregnancy. When pregnant women consume processed meats such as stuffed meat, minced meat, deli meat, sausages, salami, pate, and pepperoni, it could be detrimental to their health. Even generally, it's recommended to avoid eating processed meat.

    15. Unwashed and Unpeeled Vegetables

    Pregnant women should eat a diet rich in green leafy vegetables. Toxoplasma gondii, a common parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, can be found in raw or unwashed vegetables. It is possible for an infected pregnant lady to transmit her illness to her unborn child. Soaking veggies in clean saltwater and washing them under running water before eating is therefore essential. Make sure the used cutlery is cleaned and sanitised as well.

    16. Alcohol

    Getting pregnant is a clear indication for women who consume alcohol to stop it completely. In addition to harming the fetus' brain development, alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Furthermore, even a minuscule amount can cause birth problems such as facial deformities, heart defects, and intellectual difficulties in the child.

    17. Spices

    There is no doubt that adding spices to a dish enhances its flavour. However, pregnant women should not overindulge in spices like asafoetida, garlic, fenugreek, angelica, and peppermint. These spices can cause contractions, premature labor, and miscarriage in the uterus. Certain spices can also result in blood thinning and may start bleeding as well. So, eat them in moderation or as directed by your doctor.

    18. Sesame Seeds

    When it comes to foods that cause miscarriage, sesame seeds should not be consumed in excess by pregnant women. This is because the combination of honey and sesame seeds can cause miscarriage. However, black sesame seeds can be taken in the final weeks of pregnancy since they aid in a more natural delivery.


    1. Can watermelon cause miscarriage?

    There is no scientific evidence to suggest that watermelon can cause a miscarriage. Watermelon is a nutritious fruit that is generally safe to consume during pregnancy, as long as it is washed thoroughly before consumption.

    2. Can cinnamon cause a miscarriage?

    Although cinnamon is among the foods linked to miscarriage, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it can cause a miscarriage. However, it's always important to consult with a doctor for personalized advice on what foods or substances to avoid during pregnancy.

    3. Does spicy food cause miscarriage?

    No, there is no scientific evidence to support the belief that spicy food causes miscarriage. This is a common myth that has been debunked. Eating spicy food during pregnancy is generally safe as long as it is consumed in moderation. However, it is important to note that some women may experience side effects such as heartburn and indigestion from consuming spicy food.


    When it comes to foods that can cause miscarriage, it’s recommended that all pregnant women practice caution. Instead of giving in to myths or hearsay, it’s better to consult your gynecologist or dietician about which food can cause miscarriage. There’s no denying that some foods and herbs carry potential risks to pregnancy but the key to a healthy pregnancy lies in moderation and informed decision-making. So, put your thinking hat on and make healthy choices for you and your growing baby.


    1. Debosree Ghosh. (2019). Forbidden Foods for Healthy Pregnancy.

    2. Elisabetta Di Cintio, Fabio Parazzini, Liliane Chatenoud, Matteo Surace, Guido Benzi, Giovanni Zanconato, Carlo La Vecchia. (2001). Dietary factors and risk of spontaneous abortion. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

    3. Gaskins AJ, Rich-Edwards JW, Hauser R, Williams PL, Gillman MW, Penzias A, Missmer SA, Chavarro JE. (2014). Prepregnancy dietary patterns and risk of pregnancy loss. NCBI


    Foods That Can Cause Miscarriage in Bengali

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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