Pregnancy is a beautiful time since you’re preparing to embrace motherhood. Obviously, you are excited to bring a new life into this world. But it’s also a time when you should take care of every little thing that you do to keep your baby healthy. One such thing is pregnancy nutrition.
During this time, what you eat will determine if you and your baby stay healthy. Eating healthy and nutritious food will help you enjoy a risk-free pregnancy.
Let’s take a look at what foods you should eat and what you should avoid at this crucial time of your life.
[A] The Importance Of Good Nutrition In Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your body needs both macro and micronutrients in the right quantity.
- You must ensure that your food has a sufficient quantity of carbohydrates. Carbs provide energy to your body and also make you feel full. You’ll find carbs in whole grains, some fruits, and vegetables. However, when opting for fruits, make sure you don’t eat Papaya.
- Eat enough protein so that you’re able to help your baby develop tissues.
- Fat is essential for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. You should try to include good sources of fat in your diet like nuts, avocado, etc.
There are some micronutrients that you shouldn’t skip during your pregnancy.
- You must consume folic acids so that your child doesn’t develop any birth defects. In fact, it would be best if you start consuming folic acid supplements even before you get pregnant.
- Consume foods rich in iron to prevent anaemia in your child.
- Finally, you should also consider eating foods rich in calcium for stronger bones and teeth for both you and the baby.
[B]. Foods To Eat
Now that you know what your body needs, let’s take a look at the pregnancy nutrition that’s the best for you.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables are a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals. Spinach, broccoli, and kale are some leafy greens that you can consume. They contain folate which is essential in developing a baby’s neural tube.
Eating leafy greens also ensures that you don’t suffer from common pregnancy problems like constipation.
2. Citrus Fruits
Apart from other vitamins, your body also needs the right amount of vitamin C during pregnancy. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based sources and supports the strengthening of your immune system.
So, you must include citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, etc., in your diet.
3. Lean Proteins
Chicken, turkey, and fish are rich in lean protein. These foods act as a building block for your child’s overall development. Proteins help in increasing the blood supply in your body and also support breast tissue growth.
Lentils, beans, and chickpeas are superfoods that a pregnant woman should include in her diet. These foods are rich in proteins, fibre, and many nutrients like folate, iron, and potassium.
When you’re pregnant, your blood sugar level can often fluctuate. However, if you consume legumes, they’ll help you maintain normal blood sugar levels. Legumes also aid digestion during this time.
Dairy is a source of calcium and vitamin D which helps you and your baby have strong bones. Yogurt, curd, milk, cheese, etc., are some dairy sources that are rich in vitamin D and calcium. These foods also help you have strong teeth and a smooth digestive process.
6. Whole Grains
Finally, whole grains are also a healthy part of pregnancy nutrition. Bread, whole wheat, oats, etc., provide your body with sustained energy.
During your pregnancy, you might often feel tired and exhausted. These foods give you the energy to tackle your fatigue. When you consume whole grains, you also feel full for a long time and you avoid indulging in overeating. Here are 6 proven ways to overcome fatigue.
[C] Foods To Avoid
Let’s also take a look at the foods you must avoid during your pregnancy.
1. Raw Seafood
Raw Seafood can often contain harmful bacteria and parasites. These bacteria and parasites are harmful to your baby’s health and might also cause you several illnesses. So, it’s best that you avoid raw seafood during your pregnancy.
2. High-Mercury Fish
Fish like sharks, swordfish, and king mackerel are high in mercury. They’re not nutritious for you during pregnancy because mercury is very toxic. It puts your baby at the risk of developing neurological disorders.
If you want to consume fish, make sure you go for the ones with less mercury content.
3. Unpasteurized Dairy
Unpasteurized dairy often contains harmful bacteria like Listeria. This bacteria can be harmful to your child’s health. So, you should try to stick to pasteurized dairy.
Your pregnancy is a truly precious and transformative time for you. Nutrition plays a big role in helping you go through this time without any health complications. It also ensures that you and your baby get the best for growth and development.
It’s your responsibility to make the right nutritional choices during pregnancy. You must eat all the foods that help your baby grow better. Make sure that you stay away from those foods that are detrimental to your child’s development.