A woman after conception is bombarded with advice from friends and family which is at most times confusing and can be contradictory.
The old adage of “A pregnant woman must start eating for two”, is no longer true.
A pregnancy nutrition plan should provide all the essential nutrients required for the growth of the unborn baby but need not necessarily be double in quantity.
To put all the confusion regarding the best diet during pregnancy, this article talks about the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman.
A pregnant woman has increased protein requirements. She must eat at least three servings of protein every day during the second and third trimester. She can do this by including the following protein foods in her diet: milk and dairy, eggs, lean meats, legumes and pulses, nuts, etc.
An additional 300 kcals per day are required during the second and third trimester to support a baby’s growth during pregnancy. A woman should choose healthy foods instead of calorie dense foods like sweets, fried foods, etc. to ensure that along with calories, her diet is rich in nutrients. She can do this by choosing foods like: whole grains, pseudo grains like quinoa and millets, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc.
Vitamins & Minerals: All doctors recommend that a pregnant woman must take a multivitamin supplement in addition to a balanced diet, to ensure that she gets enough folic acid, iron and calcium for her baby’s growth. Deficiency of any of these can lead to birth defects in the baby.
During pregnancy, the requirement of folic acid is 600-800 micrograms. Foods that are a rich source of folic acid include: nuts, egg yolk,dark green leafy vegetables, strawberries, etc.
Twenty seven milligrams of iron is required on a daily basis during pregnancy. Food sources of iron include: lean meats and poultry, dried fruits, beans and pulses, seeds like chia and flaxseeds, dark green leafy vegetables.
Calcium requirements during pregnancy are 1200 mgs. Pregnant women should include foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, etc. in their diets.
Eight to ten glasses of fluids daily should be consumed during pregnancy.
The pregnancy nutrition plan mentioned in this article is simple and easy to understand. By following this guideline, you can be on your way to a healthy pregnancy.