Pregnancy diet: foods to eat and avoid
A healthy pregnancy diet is essential for both mom and baby because what you eat and drink during your pregnancy is your little one’s primary source of nutrition. A pregnant woman’s diet includes a variety of foods and beverages to provide the essential nutrients that her baby requires for growth and development.
Here are a few tips that will guide you on what to eat and what to avoid to stay healthy throughout this beautiful journey.
What foods should you eat during pregnancy?
1. Vitamin C – Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli, promote baby growth and iron absorption.
2. Iron-rich foods – Iron-rich foods like beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables, meat, and nuts & seeds, all help the mother’s body produce more blood for both mom and baby.
3. Calcium-rich foods – Calcium-rich foods such as pasteurized dairy products (yogurt, cow’s milk, and hard cheeses), as well as almonds, broccoli, and garbanzo beans, will aid in bone health and tooth development.
4. Omega-3s – Foods like oily fish, nuts like walnuts and seeds like flax, are some examples.
5. Protein – Protein is essential for your baby’s growth throughout pregnancy. Lean meat and eggs are great sources of protein. Other options include beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
6. Water – When you’re pregnant, your body requires more water than usual to form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, build new tissue, transport nutrients, improve digestion, and flush out wastes and toxins.
What foods should you avoid during pregnancy?
1. Unpasteurized dairy products – Avoid unpasteurized dairy products (soft cheeses and milk) and refrigerate ready-to-eat meats such as deli meat. These foods may contain bacteria that cause the foodborne illness listeriosis, which can cause flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhea, miscarriage, stillbirth, and preterm labor.
2. Raw seafood – Consuming raw seafood, such as sushi or raw oysters, raises the risk of salmonella, a foodborne illness that can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, and diarrhea in pregnant women, as well as intrauterine sepsis in babies.
3. High-mercury fish – High mercury fish such as swordfish, orange roughy, and marlin can harm the mother’s nervous system and cause brain damage or hearing and vision problems in the baby.
4. Alcohol – During pregnancy, alcohol should be avoided. Alcohol has been shown to harm a baby’s growth and development.
5. Caffeine – If you consume too much caffeine during pregnancy, there’s an increased risk of abortion, fetal development problems, and low birth weight. Consuming more than 300 milligrams (mg) per day may hurt embryonic development. Caffeine can be found in a variety of foods and beverages other than coffee. Sodas, energy drinks, chocolate, and teas are some instances. A safe limit is 200-300mg per day.
6. Smoking – Smoking doubles the crisis of abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and delivery. This can put both you and your baby in trouble.
7. Processed foods – Consuming processed foods during pregnancy can increase your risk of gaining too much weight, developing gestational diabetes, and preclempsia.
8. Artificial Sweeteners – it is best to avoid artificial sweeteners while pregnant and stick to jaggery, palm sugar., coconut sugar, etc.
Keeping track of what you eat and how it affects your baby’s health will help you stay away from diseases in the long run. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.