When a female is expecting, loads of questions hover over her mind about the perfect pregnancy diet. She gets too many suggestions regarding the pregnancy diet from doctors, friends, and relatives which leaves her confused.
The reality is – The ideal nutritious diet during pregnancy, not merely guarantees the birth of a healthy child, but also reduces any major complications during the childbirth and is a gift of well-being to the newborn for life. An expecting mother has the complete health of an infant based on her own health, diet, and lifestyle.
Healthy and good nutrition mean, secure and healthful results of pregnancy, both for the mother and her newborn. The perfect pregnancy diet also helps the mother and the baby to cherish the benefits of breastfeeding later.
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Since good nutrition is essential, certain foods along with the normal diet, aid in fulfilling the excess needs of nutrition during pregnancy.
Essential nutrients for pregnancy diet:
For a healthy pregnancy diet, there is no magic formula, plenty of fruits, whole grain, lean protein or vegetables etc. can do the trick. But there are few nutrients that should be at top priority for a pregnant woman pregnant women such as:
- Folic acid and folate which helps in preventing birth defects. Around four hundred to a thousand micrograms of folic acid or folate is needed. Some of the good sources of it are leafy green vegetables or citrus fruits etc.
- Calcium which holds significance in strengthening bones and teeth of you and your baby and also helps in muscular, nervous and circulatory systems to work normally. Dairy products form a great source of calcium
- Protein, one of the most important nutrient is required to promote growth of your baby during pregnancy. Fish or meat products are a great source of protein
- Iron is required to prevent iron deficiency which can cause premature birth etc.
What should you eat or tips if you’re struggling with morning sickness and nausea?
- Eat toasts, cereals or any dry fruits before getting up from bed
- Cheese, lean meat, and other high protein foods before bedtime can be of great help
- Instead of only three meals, have a meal in every two to three hours
- Greasy, spicy or oily foods should be avoided
- Eat food with normal temperature
Best Drinks for pregnant women
- Milk (low fat) – As to support the baby’s growth of bones and teeth around 1000 milligrams of calcium is needed, and milk is a great source of calcium.
- Smoothies made with fruits and vegetables – To meet your nutritional needs (essential for the well being of the child as well) and keeping you hydrated at the same time, smoothies are a great option.
Worst drinks for pregnant women
- Juices which are unpasteurized – Pregnant women should steer clear of unpasteurized juices as it can induce illness- causing bacteria.
- Alcohol – No level of alcohol is safe for consumption during pregnancy due to which it has to be avoided completely instead of limiting.
Tips for the perfect pregnancy diet
Drinking water is crucial for everyone and especially the nursing and pregnant mothers. Water is the best beverage choice without consuming calories and sugars.
It helps in dealing with bloating and constipation, morning sickness, and nausea. It keeps the pregnant lady away from UTI. Above all, water helps to relieve stress by keeping you hydrated.
2. Green Leafy Veggies
Green leafy vegetables, particularly spinach, is a great source of Folic acid. Folic acid is essential for the brain growth of the fetus. Additionally, it protects babies from neural tube disorders. Use it as a topping for any dish by simply washing and chopping it over.
Green leafy vegetables, particularly dark green ones such as bathua, chulai, sarson, chana saag, and berry leaves are full of iron and vitamin A (necessary for the infant’s vision and eye health). More than ordinary RDA (required daily allowance) of iron is necessary during pregnancy to satisfy the development demands of the fetus and maternal cells.
Thus, do include green leafy veggies, at least three times per week to receive plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Saute them, boil-blend and utilize to knead a dough, add to pancake batter or curd, or easily make an appetizing salad or sandwich of those.
3. Milk and milk products, buttermilk
Adequate calcium consumption during pregnancy is vital to reduce the risk of hypertension. It’s needed for healthy development of the bones, teeth and the whole skeletal structure of the developing fetus.
To avoid bone-related diseases in future it’s also quite essential for the mother’s well-being. In case an expecting mother is not taking enough calcium, then her very own bones are demineralized and will be not able to satisfy the developing fetus’s needs.
During hot summers a probiotic drink like buttermilk keeps you hydrated. It also helps in managing acidity and nausea problems which are commonly faced during pregnancy.
4. Black Chickpeas (Kala Chana)/ Green Gram (Whole Moong Dal)
These are the best vegetarian source of protein, iron, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. Black chickpeas are the nutritional supplement for the development of the fetus. You can add freshly chopped vegetables to the boiled chickpeas (avoid raw sprouts).
Moong supplies high protein, calcium, phosphorus, folate, thiamine, vitamin B12 and iron – all significant nutrients needed for the perfect pregnancy diet. It also supplies fiber that prevents constipation, a frequent criticism in pregnancy. Include them in your everyday diet as curries, salads or as sandwich/chapatti stuffing.
5. Eggs, Poultry, and Meat
Avoid raw or uncooked meat during pregnancy. Meat/poultry is full of animal protein which aids in muscle and cell growth in the infant. Possessing sufficient quantity of nourishment, through diet, may also help an expectant mother struggle with pregnancy caused exhaustion. Opt for lean meat since it is the best source of high-quality protein sans fats.
For an expecting mother of non-vegetarian food customs, these would be the best sources of proteins. Eggs have the best protein in accordance with the body’s requirements. They’re rich sources of minerals and vitamins, particularly folic acid, choline, and iron. These help to maintain the amniotic membranes powerful and assist in preventing birth defects in the infant.
6. Iodized Salt
Iodine is needed for physical and psychological development of the fetus. To avoid mental retardation (cretinism) in the growing fetus, iodine is must to include in the perfect pregnancy diet.
The simplest way to acquire iodine in the diet is by way of using iodized salt. But the excess of everything is bad, so use in moderation to prevent blood pressure issues.
7. Wheat Germ
It is the best source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B6, magnesium, and copper. It has lots of vitamin E, and likewise some quantities of folic acid and calcium. The roasted wheat germ can be added to the salads, curries or chapatis.
Zinc is necessary during pregnancy for a fetal cellular division and protein synthesis. Deficiency of zinc can result in very low birth weight and poor birth outcomes. This leaves wheat germ the best source of nourishment needed by the expecting mother.
Orange is a fantastic source of thiamine and potassium and an excellent source of dietary fiber.
This fruit is full of vitamin C and folic acid. It aids in the growth of the tissues and cells and aids in raising the absorption of iron.
9. Coconut Water
It is an age-old natural, tropical refreshing drink. It is a great way to add additional fluids to the pregnant body.
Coconut water is considered to be the best source of essential nutrients required during pregnancy. It contains chlorides, calcium, riboflavin, electrolytes, vitamin C, and magnesium. Exhaustion and dehydration can easily be replenished by consuming coconut water.
This watery fruit isn’t simply a fantastic supply of electrolyte, for example, potassium but is low in cholesterol, sodium, and aids in relieving the signs of preeclampsia (hypertension and oedema) a complication during pregnancy.
It reduces swelling, eases heartburn and also prevents third-trimester muscle cramps. The high water content (92%) and the fruit sugars help in relieving dehydration and morning sickness.
Broccoli is packed with nutrients which are essential for a healthy pregnancy such as folate and calcium. As it is filled with vitamin C, it will also be for iron absorbency when eaten with foods which are rich in iron.
Oatmeal can become a great source for controlling your cholesterol level or keeping you full for a longer period of time
Basil is a superfood when it comes to pregnancy,, it is filled with iron, calcium, vitamin A, dietary fibre, Vitamin k, Vitamin B6, magnesium etc and is really crucial in fetal cell growth and division
Have more tips to add to the perfect pregnancy diet that worked wonders for you? Please share with us in the comments section.
Wish you a very Happy Pregnancy and Parenting!
Disclaimer: The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Results may vary from person to person.