It’s common knowledge that a pregnant woman should avoid alcohol and smoking to ensure that the unborn fetus is healthy and develops properly. But now, experts are including rice and soda into the mix. So, if you’re planning on getting pregnant soon, you’re probably want to know why soda and rice are foods to avoid.

Soda is being scrutinized for several reasons. According to a 2010 study that followed nearly 60,000 Danish women, it was found that there’s an association between drinking “artificially sweetened soft drinks and preterm delivery.”

What’s more, due to the studies examining the relationship between soda and asthma and overweight children, Harvard Medical School professor and researcher, Emily Oken, suggests that it certainly can’t harm women (And unborn fetuses) if they drink less soda.

Along with soda, researchers are suggesting that women avoid rice, too. This recommendation may seem strange, considering that rice is an ancient grain and staple in the modern kitchen.

However, the problem doesn’t seem to be the rice itself. The problem lies in the soil and water which rice crops absorb. Due to toxic run off, rice can now contain arsenic, which can harm fetuses and their development.

Therefore, even if the mother can eat this rice safely, the small amount of arsenic present in the grain can cause complications for babies as they’re more susceptible to these pollutants.

Does this mean you have to boycott rice while you’re pregnant? Not necessarily, but do look for high quality rice, and only choose to consume small amounts of it.

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