Recommended Diet during Pregnancy

Role of Balanced Diet During Pregnancy: There are a lot of instructions that a pregnant woman needs to follow and of course intake of nutritious food has a major importance during pregnancy. A balanced diet is very important when a woman is pregnant because she has to meet her unborn baby’s need and also her own requirements.


First Trimester-The Most Crucial Phase: First three months of pregnancy is very important because most of the mental and physical growth of the baby is taking place at this time. The primary organs of a baby, both internal and external and the nervous system form within this period. So, a mother should start eating from beginning itself, if she is having discomforts with nausea or vomiting. The last three months is also very important for the growth of the baby, there will be a rapid growth at this time. A balanced and nutritious diet is very important for the birth of a healthy baby.


Nutrition During Pregnancy: The diet during pregnancy should contain all the nutritious elements such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. There are five basic food groups and the diet should contain variety of food from this group. Fresh vegetables and fruits, grain products like cereals or bread, fish, meat, or other protein alternatives, milk, and dairy products which provide a nutritious diet. Avoid spicy foods, canned foods, tea, coffee, and hot chocolates. Also avoid sugar items such as cookies, candies, cakes, colas, and minimize the salt intake.


Calorie Intake and Weight Gain: Eat different types of food but in a controlled way because too much of weight gain by intake of excessive food is also harmful. Try to take three meals a day or six small meals if you are having problems of nausea or vomiting. For a healthy pregnancy a total of 2200-2800 calories of food is essential. Other than the natural diet, add prenatal vitamins, mainly calcium, iron, and folic acid to the diet which is very essential. These are the general things prescribed by the doctors.


Essential Nutrients During Pregnancy: There are some essential nutrients which a pregnant woman should take.


Folic Acid During Pregnancy: The first one of them is folic acid. It is the most vital nutrient a pregnant woman should take. This helps the development of the baby’s nervous system in the first few weeks. Folic acid is in the category of B vitamin which helps to control neural tube defects such as the defect of brain, spine or their coverings and other defect like congenital heart disease and cleft lip. A pregnant woman should take at least 4 milligram of folic acid every day during the first three months of pregnancy period which helps to reduce the risk of these defects. Folic acid is found in liver, beans, yeast, citrus fruits, fortified cereals and bread, and in leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Try to eat vegetables raw or steamed because folic acid is easily lost while cooking.


Iron Intake During Pregnancy: Iron is the next essential nutrients. Iron helps to increase hemoglobin production for you and your baby. It also helps in the development of teeth and bones. Deficiency of Iron can cause a disease called anemia. We know that if we have anemia doctors usually prescribe iron supplements to take once or twice daily. Anemia can be prevented by taking iron-rich foods like dates, raisins, potatoes, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, iron-fortified cereals, and whole-grain breads.


Calcium During Pregnancy: Calcium is also an essential nutrient for the healthy growth of a baby. It is essential for the development of teeth and bones, which starts to develop from the 8th week. A woman should take double the quantity of calcium normally. Around three servings of milk, cheese, or yogurt is essential to meet the calcium needs of an expecting mother. Other than diary products, good sources of calcium include leafy, green vegetables. A woman should take an average of 800-1200 mg of calcium daily during the time of pregnancy which is needed for breast feeding.



Proteins During Pregnancy: Proteins are also an essential factor and you should try to take variety of protein foods. For the proper utilization of protein vitamin B6 is needed. Meat, fish, peas, nuts, beans, dairy foods and eggs all contain protein. An important factor to note is that animal source contains high fats, so try to limit that.


Vitamin C During Pregnancy: Vitamin C is essential because it helps to build a strong placenta, which enables your body to resist from infection and helps the absorption of iron. Vitamin C is found in fresh vegetables and fruit and vitamin supply is needed daily because it cannot be restored in the body. Most of vitamin C is lost by cooking and prolonged storage, so eat steamed green vegetables or eat them raw.


Fibers During Pregnancy: Fiber is also an essential nutrient and you should take it as a regular part of your daily diet. Problems like piles are common in pregnancy and fibers helps to prevent it. Fiber is present in vegetables and fruits, nuts, brown rice, cereals including oats, peas, beans and pulses.

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