Without any doubt, healthy nutrition is important to lead a disease-free life, but, its value is increased when you’re pregnant or planning for a pregnancy. If you eat healthy food in its right amount and right timing, it would be more beneficial for your baby’s growth and development.
Though you don’t need any specific diet plan during pregnancy, but, what you are required is to have smart choices of the food to supply sufficient amount of nutrition to your baby.
Your doctor may suggest you some precautionary measures and effective advice to ensure your pregnancy is healthy, but you should also keep an eye on what are you eating and on what timing.
To-be-moms often neglect the importance of nutrition and eat whatever they offered to, but hey, be aware of the food that you’re about to chew. Since you’re supplying nutrition to your baby, you should make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet.
You may feel hungrier than usual, but it doesn’t mean that you should start snacking double. Even, if you’re expecting twins or triplets, never eat food for two or three.
The overview of different nutrients required in pregnancy
Several foods are very good for your health as well as your baby’s. Along with the organic food, your doctor may advise you supplements in order to complete the nutrient’s ratio. Following is the complete list of the essential nutrients and minerals that you surely need in your daily routine.
Water in pregnancy
By drinking the recommended amount of water, you can prevent constipation, excessive swelling, urinary tract or bladder infections, and hemorrhoids. If you’re drinking less water, it can increase the risk of premature or early labor. About 2.4 liters of water is recommended by the Institute of Medicine.
Protein in pregnancy
Protein constitutes the building block of most of your as well as your baby’s cells. During second and third trimester, it’s important to get enough protein. Because your baby is growing faster and your breasts and other organs are getting bigger to meet the needs of a growing baby, you need more protein to compete with the body’s need.
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, poultry, and nuts are rich in proteins. Meat is also a good source of protein. Choose lean meat and wash it thoroughly. Remove its skin and cook in less oil. Have two portions of fish in a week. Prefer salmon, and sardines. King mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish should not be eaten, because they’ve high methyl mercury content that could damage brain growth among fetuses and young children.
A pregnant woman should take 40 grams to 70 grams of protein every day. If you’re experiencing weight loss, frequent infections, muscle fatigue along with severe fluid retention, then, it could be the sign of protein deficiency. Don’t ignore these symptoms and fix an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Carbohydrate in pregnancy
Carbohydrates are the major source of energy. Including bread, potatoes, and breakfast cereals, yams, noodles, oats, pasta, rice, and cornmeal are the foods rich in carbohydrates.
Instead of white varieties of carbohydrate, choose the whole grain foods. These starchy foods are not only high in the carbohydrates, in fact; they also contain the calcium, vitamin B, and iron.
Eat plenty fruits and vegetables as well.
As the fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, it can be helpful in resolving constipation. You should take at least four to five small portions of the fruits and vegetables in a day. Make sure that you should wash them properly. Avoid using the canned fruits and vegetables.
Dairy in pregnancy
Milk, cheese, and other dairy products play a significant role in providing the high amount of calcium and other minerals to your baby.
Fats in pregnancy
Needless to mention that all the pastries, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks, oils, chocolate, crisps and cream are the fatty foods. If you’re a fatty-food-lover, then, just limit the amount that you’re taking. Frequent uptake of sugary foods can lead to tooth decay. Also, if you won’t cut down the calorie of the fatty food, you can gain more weight. Eating the high amount of saturated fats (poultry, pork, lamb, butter etc) can contribute to the fatty deposition in the bloodstreams, followed by any cardiac disease in future.
So, just say no to saturated fats from today!
Minerals in pregnancy
Vitamin A and beta-carotene can help in the growth of the teeth and bones. You can get Vitamin A and beta carotene from milk, eggs, liver, carrots, spinach, and broccoli.
By regular intake of the milk and other dairy products, the Vitamin D levels will be boosted and makes your bones and teeth stronger.
Vitamin E ensures the development of the red blood cells and muscles. Nuts, fortified cereals, and vegetable oils are the great sources of Vitamin E. healthy immune system can be build, if you take the Vitamin C in your diet. Strawberries, bell peppers, tomato, and other citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C.
Folic acid helps to support the placenta and reduces the chances of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Eat oranges, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, and beans to get the right count of folic acid.
Iron is as much important as other minerals. It helps in the production of hemoglobin. Also, it prevents anemia, low birth weight and premature labor. Dried beans, spinach, beef, pork, dried beans, and oatmeal are the sources of iron.
However, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin are other important minerals that shouldn’t be neglected. It helps in regulation of nervous system, maintenance of eyesight and healthy skin and maintenance of nerves. The above-listed foods are also packed with almost all the nutrients.
Don’ts of healthy nutrition during pregnancy
Try as much as you can to avoid the following measures,
1. Give up the cocktails and alcohol. It can cause physical difficulties, learning difficulties and emotional problems in the baby.
2. Limit caffeine intake. Get less than 200 mg of caffeine per day. Because some studies revealed that the miscarriages and premature deliveries have a strong link with the increased caffeine uptake.
3. Avoid dieting. It could be harmful to your baby due to the fewer nutrients consumption.
4. Don’t eat raw seafood, unpasteurized food, soft cheese, Mexican cheese, raw or undercooked meat and poultry.
5. Don’t gain more weight. If you’re feeling that your weight is increasing. Ask your doctor immediately.
Dos of healthy nutrition during pregnancy
1. Take a prenatal vitamin, especially folic acid.
2. Eat small meals frequently. Snacking on the healthy salads, nuts could be more beneficial.
3. Load up 5 big nutrients, including folate, calcium, iron, fiber, and zinc.
4. Get enough amount of fluid
5. Consume the organic food
Eating right isn’t much difficult during pregnancy. All you need to do is to monitor the eating patterns and food that you’re eating. So, hopefully, you’ll keep the above listed important points in your mind while eating or drinking. Just remember! Your health is
Dr. Anna Roslyakova, a trustworthy expat doctor in Phnom Penh Cambodia, is a qualified and certified obstetrician-gynecologist. She offers a professional, yet personalized approach to gynecology, obstetrics and general women’s health through her own clinic.