A Guide to Proper Nutrition in Pregnancy
Nutrition in pregnancy should be taken very seriously. If you are pregnant, it means that you are eating for two people, namely, yourself and your baby. Your baby gets nourishment from what you eat. This means that if you are malnourished, your baby will be malnourished. So, it is important that you make healthy choices. Your dietary plan should comprise healthy foods such as vegetable, fruits, whole grains products, lean meats, low fat dairy, protein, grains and the likes. Pregnancy is not a time to consume plenty of sweets, treats and junk foods. It is a time to consume varieties of food rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
The importance of healthy dieting during pregnancy
The importance of good nutrition in pregnancy cannot be overemphasised. Feeding well during pregnancy enhances the health of the foetus. The chances of your baby having certain chronic conditions later in life may be reduced if you are well nourished during pregnancy. Medical experts have discovered through studies that proper nutrition in pregnancy enhances the general well being of the baby in the womb, during childbirth and later in life. There is never a time in your life that you need nutrient-dense foods than during pregnancy. Eating well helps you and your baby to be healthy.
Important vitamins and minerals required during pregnancy
Here are some vitamins and minerals that you will require most during pregnancy.
- Calcium helps you to develop strong teeth and bones. It also enhances blood cloth and improves heart rate and functions of the nerves.
- Folic acid increases the volume of your blood during pregnancy. You should take about 400 micrograms of folic acid during pregnancy.
- Vitamin A is highly needed by pregnant women. You should consume about 770 micrograms of it every day. The rich sources of vitamin A include leafy green vegetables, milk, sweet potatoes, carrot and liver.
- Iron which is an important component of red blood cells helps pregnant women to build resistance to disease and stress. It also helps them to deal with depression, irritability, weakness and tiredness.
- Protein is very important in the body. Pregnant women should consume foods rich in protein in order to get extra protein for the unborn baby to have normal growth.
Nutritional tips during pregnancy
Here are some nutritional tips that you should follow during pregnancy:
- Eat a balance diet always. Snack on fruits and vegetables in order to get enough vitamins and minerals. They are rich natural sources of these important foods nutrients.
- Reduce the intake of salty and processed foods. Salty foods increase fluid retention in the body and they can increase the blood pressure.
- Don’t be on diet in order to reduce weight. In fact, weight gain is encouraged during pregnancy. Therefore, dieting during pregnancy is not advised. You should avoid it because it is not good for your health and the health of your baby. However, you should try to maintain the recommended weight gain.
- Reduce the intake of caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine is not good to the health of your baby. You should also avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverage. Studies have linked it with premature delivery. It can also cause foetal alcohol syndrome and low birth weight babies.
- Take multivitamins to add to what you obtain from your diet.