Healthy eating during pregnancy is key to a healthy mother and baby. A nutritious diet loaded with vegetables, fruits, dairy and poultry is needed to give your baby the essential minerals for healthy growth.
Eating right will ensure a fit pregnancy and easy weight loss after that.
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life. To ensure that your baby is healthy and shows normal growth you need a plan for healthy eating during pregnancy.
In fact, nutritious and tasty diet is synonymous with pregnancy. Every mother-to-be chooses the best pregnancy diet for herself.
You already know that you eat and drink during pregnancy is your baby’s main source of nourishment.
So, experts recommend that soon-to-be-mothers should choose a variety of healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients for baby’s growth and development.
Essential minerals for healthy pregnancy
Since there is a need for healthy eating during pregnancy, as an expecting mother you need take in calcium, folic acid, iron and protein than a regular woman.
1. Folic Acid
Wondering why pregnant women need folic acid. Known by different names like folic acid and folate, vitamin B is very essential for would be mothers.
Folic acid is highly crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord, known as neural tube defects. Best food sources: Leafy green vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals, breads and pastas, beans and citrus fruits.
Calcium helps in the formation of baby’s bones and teeth. If a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, the mineral will be drawn from the mother’s bones and given to the baby to meet the extra demands of pregnancy.
Best food sources: Milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified juices and foods, salmon with bones, some leafy greens (kale).
Pregnant women need 27 milligrams of iron a day, which is double the amount needed by women who are not expecting. Additional amounts of the mineral are needed to make more blood to supply the baby with oxygen.
Getting too little iron during pregnancy can lead to anemia, a condition resulting in fatigue and an increased risk of infections. Best food sources: Meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereal.
Protein acts as a builder nutrient because it helps to build important organs in the baby, such as the brain and heart. Best food sources: Meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts, tofu.
Diet elements for healthy eating during pregnancy
When you are looking for healthy eating during pregnancy, you need to have a very balanced diet. Ensure to add these following foods on a regular basis
1. Fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals. For healthy eating during pregnancy you should focus on eating fruits and vegetables, particularly during the second and third trimesters.
2. Whole Grains
These foods are an important source of energy in the diet and they also provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins.
At least half of a pregnant woman’s carbohydrate choices each day should come from whole grains such as oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or breads and brown rice.
Food sources such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good dietary sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D.
Lack of fiber gives pain and an uneasy feeling. Constipation is caused due to lack of fiber, which can lead to piles if not attended.
So ensure that for healthy eating during pregnancy you load up on fibre through beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, french beans, green peas, peaches, pineapple, berries.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important for the growth of lungs, heart, kidney, eyes, bones, the nervous system, prevents infection and fight fat metabolism. Vitamin A also helps in post partum issue repair.
Best food sources: Carrots, sweet potato, dark green veggies, dried apricots, papaya, tomatoes and peaches.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in fighting infection, repair tissue, healing wounds, bone growth and improvement in absorption of iron. Best sources of vitamin C: Orange juice, kiwi, grapefruit juice, strawberries, cabbage, sweet potato, baked potato with skin and raspberries.
Did You Know?
Lack of Vitamin C results in impaired mental development.
6. Vitamin D
Vitamin D maintains the proportions of calcium and phosphorus. Best food sources: Fish, cereal, egg yolk and sunlight.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
Here is a list of foods to be avoided during pregnancy.
Alcohol in the mother’s blood can pass directly to the baby through the umbilical cord thus alcohol is avoided during pregnancy.
Heavy use of alcohol during pregnancy has been linked with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, a group of conditions that can include physical problems, as well as learning and behavioral difficulties in babies and children.
Seafood with high levels of mercury should be avoided during pregnancy.
Methyl mercury is a toxic chemical that can pass through the placenta and can be harmful to an unborn baby’s developing brain, kidneys and nervous system.Seafood also puts you in the danger of allergies.
3. Unpasteurized Food
Pregnant women are at high risk for getting sick from two different types of food poisoning,listeriosis, caused by the Listeria bacteria, and toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite.Many unpasteurized food causes food poisoning in pregnant women.
Listeria infection may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and illness or death in newborns.
For all you beautiful women who are soon going to be mom, must have understood that maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important. During this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
In fact, you may need three – fifty to five – hundred extra calories each day during the second and third trimesters. A diet that lacks key nutrients may negatively affect the baby’s development. So simply, choose a healthy, nutritious foods that will ensure the health of you and your baby.
1. What is a healthy diet during pregnancy?
Healthy diet during pregnancy should include foods that give you iron, folic acid, and essential vitamins for a healthy baby.
2. What kinds of foods should I eat during pregnancy?
Load up on fresh fruits and salads with interesting dressing. Also eat good carbs and cereals that are fibre rich and give you energy. Dairy is a must to meet your calcium needs as well.
3. Is it safe to eat seafood during pregnancy?
You can eat sweet water or river water fish which is a good source of protein and omega 3. However avoid seafood like prawns, lobsters because of mercury toxicity. They also cause allergies in many.
For more information on health, nutrition and fitness, talk to our Nutritionist today. The first consultation is on us!