Having a healthy diet during pregnancy is vital. In fact, if you don’t follow a certain dietary plan then you might have to face some dire consequences. Healthy eating is important not only for the mother but also for the development of the fetus. It is pertinent to note that during pregnancy, the body requires additional energy than usual. For example, if the daily requirement for a healthy non-pregnant woman is 2000 calories, it would be different for a pregnant mother. Nutritionists would argue that in the later stages, a pregnant woman would need about 500 extra calories than usual. Either way, it is crucial that during pregnancy, a healthy dietary plan is strictly observed. Failing to do so can impede the growth of the baby.
Foods to eat during pregnancy
Like with normal cases, some foods are surely much healthier than others. During pregnancy, keeping a balance in the number of minerals and vitamins taken is important. Actually, you would be required to eat food that contains these two essential nutrients.
A pregnant woman who does not pay attention to her eating habits is putting herself and the baby at a great risk. While the fetus may face delayed or stunted growth, there are other complications that can result. According to a research finding, poor eating habits increase the chances of gestational diabetes. Interestingly, there are added advantages of following a proper dietary plan. One great advantage is that such a plan will help shed off pregnancy weight once the baby has been delivered.
This article is a detailed guide to the food items that a pregnant woman should be eating. It will highlight the advantages that can be entailed from these very foods. Although, it is always better to seek advice from a professional nutritionist or gynaecologist.
Milk, yoghurt and other dairy products
Do not ever sideline dairy products from your pregnancy diet! You actually need an extra amount of proteins and calcium to promote the growth of the baby. By consuming dairy products, you receive two high-quality types of protein. At the same time, the products are also known to be rich in Vitamin B, phosphorus and magnesium.
Nutritionists would draw particular attention towards yoghurt. This food item on average has more calcium per gram than any other dairy item. In addition, it is known to contain probiotic bacteria which is also known as the “friendly bacteria.” Probiotic bacteria are useful for aiding in the digestive process and overcoming a lot of related problems. Even for pregnant women who are lactose intolerant, yoghurt is considered to be the best among all dairy products.
In short, do not exclude dairy products from your diet. For the sake of proper fetus growth, always include a considerable portion in your pregnancy diet plan.
Legumes are often assumed to be just consisting of lentils. This is a big misconception as legumes include peanuts, beans, soybeans and chickpeas.
Legumes are considered to be among the healthiest food items that are present. This is because they are loaded with almost all nutrients the body needs. They provide with a good amount of fiber, protein, iron and calcium. Interesting enough, these are all the nutrients which a pregnant woman requires.
Among these nutrients is folate, that belongs to the category of Vitamin B. Folate will be needed in excessive amount during the first trimester. You can get the required amount of this compound from legumes. They provide with more than 50% of the daily required amount.
A detailed study was conducted to inquire the reasons for babies born with low weight. One of the explanations that were put forward was that pregnant women do not get the needed amount of folate. A deficiency of this item was also linked with a number of infections and complications that could affect the child later in life.
Thereby, to cover up for the deficient amount of folate, one way to do so is by including legumes in your daily diet. Fortunately, legumes are also low in calories. This now should not worry women who fear of putting on extra weight during the entire pregnancy episode.
One other dietary element that should be included in the pregnancy diet is sweet potato. The reason is that this food item contains beta-carotene in high amount. What this compound does is that it converts into Vitamin A which is vital during the pregnancy time period. Vitamin A, though may have a variety of other purposes, must be included in the diet for the following reasons.
- It helps in the growth and reproduction of cells and tissues
- It aids healthy fetal development
On a normal basis, a healthy non-pregnant woman would require about 800IU of Vitamin A. This amount will increase by almost 30% during pregnancy.
There is one other thing to account for as well. Although, there are a variety of sources from which you can obtain Vitamin A. These sources can be generalized into ones you obtain from animal and the ones you obtain from plants. Nutritionists would strongly raise the proposition that animal source of Vitamin A should be strictly avoided. If the pregnant woman takes it in excessive amount then that can increase toxicity in the body.
In addition, sweet potatoes are also loaded with fiber. One of the common complaints during pregnancy is the digestion problem and constipation. By eating sweet potatoes in a good amount, you may be able to overcome the problem to a large extent. Fiber content present will decrease blood sugar spike and provide bulk to the faeces. Thereby, protecting from the problem of constipation.
Fish Liver Oil
The field of medical science reveals hidden benefits of certain food items of which fish liver oil is one. If you now come across fish liver oil supplements frequently that’s because the item is known to cure a number of complications. The oil is mostly extracted from codfish and contains a healthy amount of omega 3 fatty acids. The fetus in the development stage needs this nutrient for proper brain and cognition development.
In addition, the amount of Vitamin D present in fish liver oil can also not be sidelined. If a pregnant woman doesn’t take the required Vitamin D amount, then she increases the chances of preeclampsia disease. This illness results in raised blood pressure level and swelling of hands. The symptoms can be difficult to deal with times.
Moreover, obtaining Vitamin D from Fish Liver Oil is important for the absorption of calcium.
The calcium you receive from dairy products is of no use until it is backed by a sufficient amount of Vitamin D. The vitamin generally aids in the absorption of calcium in the bloodstream.
The point is that a pregnant woman needs both a good amount of Vitamin D and calcium in her diet. Failure to do so can be consequential at times.