As soon as you know your pregnancy test is positive, you start worrying about a healthy, nutritious, and well-balanced pregnancy diet. After all, whatever you consume during pregnancy directly affects your health as well as the growth and development of your newborn baby.
Therefore, you need to be very clear about what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy. If you’re in confusion, here are some tips about a healthy pregnancy diet, including what a pregnant woman should eat and whatnot, and why.
What to Eat During Pregnancy?
Here are some super nutritious food options you can try during pregnancy to hit your nutrient goals:
1.Fruit and vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, so include them as much as possible in your pregnancy diet. Choose seasonal, locally grown, organic fruit and vegetables and consume at least six servings a day. Add green leafy vegetables, watermelon, bananas, oranges, and apples to your diet.
2.Beans and pulses
Beans and pulses are rich in proteins and fibers and are a great source of essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy, including calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and folic acid. Add sprouts and beans to your noodles, salads, and soups to prevent painful pregnancy symptoms like constipation and hemorrhoids.
Whole grains are a dependable energy source for pregnant women as they are packed with an array of nutrients, like fiber, iron, vitamin B and E, zinc, selenium, magnesium. Add whole grains to your pregnancy diet, like quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, bread, and whole-wheat pasta.
4.Milk and other dairy products
Particularly when you’re in the last stage of your pregnancy, aim for at least four servings of dairy products a day, such as a slice of cottage cheese, milk, buttermilk, and yogurt. As they contain high amounts of calcium, all these dairy foods play a vital role in strengthening your child’s teeth and bones.
5.Dark leafy greens
Adding dark leafy green vegetables, such as mint, romaine, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, to your pregnancy diet minimizes the chance of having an infant with a neural tube defect. That’s because they are an excellent source of vitamins, folates, and other nutrients like calcium and iron.
Every pregnant woman should include dried apricots in her pregnancy diet as they are rich in vitamin A, fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, and folic acid. They boost your immunity and protect you from thyroid and other diseases related to the kidney during pregnancy.
Avocados contain a high level of monounsaturated fatty acids and are rich in vitamin K, B, E, C, copper, fiber, and potassium. Since they contain more potassium than bananas, avocados may help relieve leg cramps during pregnancy.
Pregnant women need to stay well-hydrated all the time because blood volume increases by about 45% during Germination. Aim to drink about 2.5 liters of water daily. You can also get water from other resources, such as fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee, and juices.
What to Avoid During Pregnancy?
To stay safe, consider avoiding these foods throughout your pregnancy:
Avoid eating luncheon meats, sandwich bars, hot dogs, cold cuts, and other deli meats like bologna, ham, turkey breast, and salami. These may contain listeria – a bacteria that lead to premature birth or miscarriage. Instead, you should prefer sandwiches made at home with fully-cooked fresh meat.
2.Pre-prepared or Pre-packaged Salads
Pre-packaged, pre-prepared, and store-bought deli salads, including seafood salad, ham salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad, may contain Listeria blamed for premature labor, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Instead, you should prefer freshly prepared salads at home.
3.Anything spicy or salty
A high salt intake during pregnancy may lead to more water retention in your body, eventually increasing swelling and blood pressure. So eat salty foods in moderation. Apart from that, you should also limit your sugary foods intake as they will only accumulate in your body, making you gain weight unnecessarily.
Avoid all types of pate, be it vegetable, meat-based, or refrigerated, as they increase your risk of catching listeria infection.
5.Empty calorie foods
Empty calorie foods, such as candy, chips, biscuits, cookies, and cakes, should be kept to a minimum. Most of these foods are high in fat and sugar, have little to no nutrients, and disrupt healthy weight gain in pregnancy.
Avoid eating liver or liver products, such as liver sausage or liver pâté. The reason – they often contain high amounts of vitamin A, which is not good for your baby’s health in pregnancy.
Energy drinks are not recommended for pregnant women as they often contain high levels of caffeine and other ingredients prohibited during pregnancy. Some of the best alternatives to energy drinks are ginger root tea, green tea, fresh juice, and smoothies.
8.Foods with soil on them
Food poisoning is common, but minimizing the risk in your hands. Don’t forget to wash vegetables, fruit, and salads to remove all traces of soil and visible dirt before you consume them.
9.Supplements containing vitamin A
Avoid taking fish liver oil supplements, high-dose multivitamin supplements, or any supplements that contain vitamin A. Consuming large amounts of vitamin A can prove harmful to your unborn baby.
10.Soft mold-ripened cheese
Avoid Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and similar cheese as it increases your risk of listeria infection that can potentially cause complications to the pregnant woman and her baby.
11.Cold cured meats
Pregnant women should not consume smoked fish and cold cured meats, including chorizo, pepperoni, parma ham, and salami. These foods harbor listeria or the Toxoplasma parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.
Eat Healthily and Flaunt Your Bump in Style
Pregnancy is not only about eating healthy but also staying comfortable all the time. Apart from sticking to a healthy, nutritious diet, you should also consider buying expecting mom clothes that you can wear throughout your pregnancy and even beyond.
There is a wide range of maternity wear available out there to help you look stylish without sacrificing your comfort during pregnancy. These include nursing-friendly maternity kaftans, dresses, nightwear, loungewear, yoga wear, stretchable pregnancy leggings, jeans, pants, and more. All you need to shop smartly and choose the right maternity wear as per your comfort requirements.