You might have heard all would-be mothers being advised to eat for two; and rightly so. Healthy eating in pregnancy is important since the mother's health is fundamentally linked to the child's health. Food labels will tell you the kind of nutrients present in foods you eat. The US government has published the dietary guidelines for recommended daily allowance of nutrients which are higher when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, a woman needs to consume 300 calories more than usual and these calories must come from various nutritional food sources.
Healthy Eating in Pregnancy: Getting the essential nutrients
When you are pregnant, what you eat provides the sustenance for your baby. It is necessary to consume foods that will give you the proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, calcium and iron, nutrients that are vital for the baby's growth. Proteins promote cell growth and blood production while carbohydrates provide the daily energy requirements. Calcium is needed for the development of bones and the teeth as well as for nerve function. Iron is essential to produce red blood cells. Vitamin A helps develop the eyesight and also promotes healthy skin. Vitamin C helps with healthy bones, teeth and gums; it also assists in iron absorption in the body. Green leafy vegetables, healthy vegetarian recipes, peas, beans, nuts and dark yellow fruits provide the folic acid essential to prevent neural tube defects during the initial stages of pregnancy.
Healthy Eating in Pregnancy: Healthy eating food
Fish, poultry, lean meat, tofu, peanut butter and egg whites provide proteins while wholegrain cereals, brown rice, pasta and potatoes will provide the carbohydrates that the body needs. Fruits and vegetables in the expecting mother's diet provide the fiber as well as vitamins that are essential for the baby's development. Spinach, lean red meat, pumpkin, collard, kale and turnip greens are a good source of iron. Calcium required for development of strong bones and teeth can be obtained from milk, cheese, yoghurt, spinach and sardines. Fish like salmon, tuna and trout are rich sources of Omega-3 fats so make sure to include them in your healthy eating plan at least 2-3 times a week.
Healthy Eating in Pregnancy: Foods and drinks to avoid
During pregnancy, consumption of alcohol is not recommended. You might also want to limit your intake of caffeine, although one or two small cups of coffee per day may not be harmful. When it comes to food, steer clear of unpasteurized cheeses, milk, foods containing raw eggs, undercooked fish, shellfish or meats and fish like shark, swordfish and king mackerel which are high in mercury.
Healthy Eating in Pregnancy to manage some problem
Pregnant women often suffer from constipation, usually due to the prenatal supplementary medication they are required to take. To combat this problem it is advisable to consume more fiber in your healthy diet plan. You can get the right quantity of fiber from fresh leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts, wholegrain cereals, healthy salad dressing and breads. Another important fact to remember is to drink plenty of water each day. Water helps to soften the stools and also move the food through the digestive tract.
If you feel nauseated during your pregnancy, eat small quantities of bland food items like toast or crackers through the day. You could also try sucking hard candy to prevent the nausea. Sometimes foods like cauliflower, spinach or fried foods may cause heartburn. If you experience heartburn or gas during your pregnancy, plan your healthy eating diets so as to avoid these foods.
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