During pregnancy, proper nourishment is vital for both the mother and the developing baby. What a pregnant woman eats or drinks during this phase, caters to her baby’s nourishment. A diet lacking the necessary nutrition can impact both the mother and the baby’s development. Hence, it is very important to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy.
Foods to Eat When You are Pregnant
Choosing a healthy and nutritious diet will keep both you and your baby healthy throughout pregnancy. Additionally, it also helps you lose pregnancy weight after delivery. Listed below are some healthy foods to eat when you are pregnant.
1) Dairy Products
Calcium and protein are an absolute must during pregnancy. Fortunately, dairy products have just the right quantity of calcium and protein that is required during pregnancy. Dairy is also rich in B-vitamins and other minerals like zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. Additionally, dairy products also contain probiotic or good bacteria that ensure good digestion during pregnancy.
Every doctor recommends eating fish during pregnancy, owing to its high omega-3 fatty acid content. The long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA is a critical requirement for the mother as it improves bone health for the mother and aids in brain development of the fetus. Fishes that are recommended during pregnancy is Salmon and Mackerel.
3) Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables contain almost all of the nutrients a pregnant woman needs. Vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are rich in Vitamin A, C, K, potassium, folate, calcium, iron, and high fiber. Additionally, green leafy vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants that help build the immune system of both the mother and the developing fetus.
4) Folic acid
Folic acid is one of the most critical nutrients for both the mother and the fetus. This is a nutrient that prevents neural tube defects in the baby’s brain and spine. Doctors generally prescribe 400 to 600mg folic acid supplements during pregnancy. Other sources of folic acid include beans, green leafy vegetables, fish, citrus fruits, fortified cereals, and beans.
5) Lean Meat
Pregnant women are generally advised to consume a lot of lean meat like chicken, pork, and beef during pregnancy. This is mainly due to the high quantities of iron, protein, B-vitamins, and choline. Iron ensures delivery of oxygen to all parts of the body and makes sure the fetus also gets enough oxygen through the placenta. Other nutrients like choline and B-vitamins are also critical in pregnancy.
An egg a day keeps the doctor away. Eggs are wholesome foods that contain all the nutrients required for a pregnant mother. Eggs are rich in calcium, protein, and healthy fats that help improve the overall health of the mother and the developing baby.
Not many women are aware of the hidden benefits of berries during pregnancy. Berries are rich in healthy carbs, plant compounds, fiber, Vitamin C, and water. These nutrients play an important role in developing the immune function. Additionally, berries have a low glycemic index that prevents spikes in blood sugar levels of the mother.
8) Whole grains
As pregnancy progresses, there is an increased requirement of calories. Whole grains help meet the increased demands of energy during the later stages of pregnancy. Whole grains are rich in plant compounds, vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. Some of the best sources of whole grains include quinoa and oats.
Foods to Avoid when you are Pregnant
As much as it is important to know what to eat during pregnancy, it is also important to know what to avoid. Listed below are foods to avoid when you are pregnant
1) Unpasteurized food
Unpasteurized food often falls prey to a bacteria called Listeria bacteria that cause food poisoning. Pregnant women who consume unpasteurized food are at a high risk of developing this infection, which can be harmful to the mother and the baby. Some of the unpasteurized foods include raw milk, raw cheese, cold meat and store-bought ready-made salads.
2) Raw Meat
Raw meat is a strict no for pregnant women. The meat is generally infected by E.coli bacteria and cause food poisoning and other digestive related issues. An infected mother can transmit this infection and cause permanent mental disability in the fetus. Undercooked or raw eggs, raw fish like sushi, undercooked shellfish like mussels, and raw poultry are some examples of raw meat.
Alcohol in the mother’s blood is known to pass through the umbilical cord directly to the baby. It’s consumption can cause convulsions in the baby and cause permanent mental defects during development. It can also impair the physical development and cause behavioral issues with babies after they are born. Hence, it is strictly recommended not to consume alcohol during pregnancy.
4) Junk food
If you are craving for French fries, ice-creams, chocolates, and shakes, it is time to put an end to it now. Junk food only adds on to unhealthy calories and weight gain during pregnancy. It adds no nutritional value to the mother and baby.
You need to remember that what you eat passes on to your baby as well. Keeping a right watch on your nutrition will keep both you and your baby healthy. If you are pregnant and looking out for some pregnancy nutrition advice, you can follow the above-mentioned tips. Incorporating a balanced nutritional plan during pregnancy will keep complications at bay.