To the Chinese, being pregnant means a lot to the ancestry. All of a sudden, the moms-to-be become the center of attention in any family gatherings. Everyone will tell the expectant mothers what she can / should eat. At the same time, advices were given as to what NOT to eat. Different food is recommended mostly based on different culture. I would like to talk about my own experience, which is based on a Chinese culture.
First and foremost, I would like to remind all of you that a well-balanced diet is very important to the expectant mothers in any culture. This would include meat, vegetable, seafood, and fruits. Most of you already knew the good and bad of these food, so I am not going to repeat what others are talking about. Instead, I will talk about things that Chinese expectant mothers were told not to eat (and I think I have tried ALL of them).
To start with, I have to give all of you some simple background on Chinese medicine, more specifically, food from a Chinese medicine standpoint. To the Chinese, foods are considered cold, hot, or neutral. The cold food will help you to recover from hot symptoms, such as eating cold food when your body is overheated; and vice versa. This way, our bodies are kept in a delicate balance from a Chinese medicine perspective. In this light, there are certain foods that the expectant mothers should stay away from.
Banana and other fruits
Chinese expectant mothers are forbidden to eat bananas. We were told that it is a ‘cold’ food, and will easily cause miscarriage. Well, I can tell you that it is not true. Banana is rich in potassium, which is good for the babies; and is a good source of energy for the fatigued expectant mother. The fact that banana is considered a laxative maybe viewed as something that can cause miscarriage. But honey! They are two different passages. The same goes with watermelon. Don’t worry about eating bananas or watermelon, as long as you don’t eat too much.
The other fruit that I was told not to eat was Lychee! To a certain extent, it is true. Lychee is considered a ‘hot’ fruit, eating too much of it is not good for anyone. But people were scared that eating too much of it would cause the babies to have scaly skins, like those of lychees. Well, I don’t know if this is true or not. But I did have a few and my boys are fine! One thing that I can confirm is that it is a really hot fruit and eating too much of it did give me acne! To the Chinese, ‘you are what you eat.’ So, Chinese would stay away from food that they are wary of the unknown consequences, such as lychee and meat of snake, as both of these have scaly skins.
In any case, just keep in mind that too much of any good things will never do anyone any good! So long that you eat a bit of everything, you are all in good shape1
In my next blog entry, I will talk about other foods that I was told to stay away from simply because I was a Chinese!