Needless to say, pregnancy is a time to celebrate. It is a natural and beautiful thing, and it usually means a big life change for the mother and family. Plus, the physical process of pregnancy can strain a woman, so she needs all the positivity she can get from the people around her. That being said, celebrating pregnancy is about more than throwing a baby shower; it is also about taking steps to carefully plan a healthy diet.

Part of creating a healthy diet is understanding what is good for the body and what is good for the body specifically during pregnancy. You are no longer just eating for your own development: now you are eating for the fetus’s development, which requires different nutritional standards. Foods women are encouraged to eat more of when pregnant, for example, are apples and nuts. One food women are definitely not encouraged to eat more is liver. In fact, most sources will strongly discourage any liver consumption whatsoever.

Liver packs plenty of good health components, such as protein, iron, and vitamin A – all of which work wonders for the body – especially vitamin A for healthy development of the baby. However, hearing that vitamin A helps babies develop is not a free pass to large helpings of it. In fact, large quantities of it can cause distorted development. Thus, it is when intake is REGULATED that vitamin A can work its magic.

This is what makes eating liver dangerous for pregnant women: it is the food with the highest amounts of vitamin A. The body naturally needs vitamin A, but when it gets more than it needs – as it surely will get from eating liver – it stores it in the fetus and can begin to cause damage. Among complications that can result from oversupplying vitamin A are nervous system underdevelopment and respiration troubles. Such complications can lead to permanent physical damage for the child or death.

So, how do you get the necessary amount of vitamin A without going overboard? As is true with dieting in general, veggies swoop in to save the day. Stock up on carrots and broccoli instead of indulging in liver. Not only will you get a healthier supply of vitamin A: you will also feel more confident in your diet with the vast other health benefits to vegetables. Regulating vitamin intake should also prompt you to be careful of supplements: look for ones specific to pregnant women.