It is vitally crucial in maintaining a stable and healthy diet during your days of pregnancy. During these nine months, your body needs additional minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. As a matter of fact, your body will require an extra intake of approximately 350-500 calories during your second and third trimesters.
A mother’s diet that lacks the essential nutrients will invariably negatively affect the development of the baby. Unsatisfactory eating habits and abnormal weight gain may also potentially increase the risk of diabetes type-II, pregnancy or birth complications. Put it quite simply, eating healthy and nutritious foods will ultimately help you better maintain your health and more importantly your child’s.
Conversely, it will make it easier for you (the mother) to lose weight after your pregnancy. Thus, bearing this in mind, here are some food items you should eat to maintain a healthy pregnancy diet: (Information Credit – Getsavvi)
- You Should Consume More Dairy Products – It is essential to consume more dairy products which help in your intake of protein and calcium to meet the gradually growing dietary needs of the foetus. It has been said that dairy products generally contain two types of high-grade protein: whey and casein. Dairy is stated to be the best source of calcium which provides high amounts of vitamin-B, zinc and phosphorous. Alternatively, yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is particularly useful for women who are pregnant. Yogurt contains more calcium than any other comparable dairy product. Some varieties of Greek yogurt also contain helpful pro-biotic bacteria, which is said to help digestive health. Pro-elements are necessary and indeed vital during pregnancy as it helps in reducing the potential risk of medical complications like diabetes, allergies, and preeclampsia.
- Consume More Salmon – Women are advised to consume Salmon during their months of pregnancy because Salmon is rich in fatty acids like Omega-3. Furthermore, most individuals including pregnant women aren’t getting the requisite amounts of Omega-3 from their daily diets. It is of note that, Omega-3 acids are critical during pregnancy, with emphasis on the fatty acids called EPA and DHA. These critical components are found in seafood and help strengthen the foetus’s brain and eyes. However, with all its benefits, pregnant women are advised to restrict their seafood intake to a maximum of two days per week due to their mercury and other associated contaminants found intrinsically and due to external sources in fatty fish. Surprisingly, some pregnant women decide to quit seafood altogether in the months of their pregnancy. This is not advisable since various doctors have stated that women who consume 2-3 meals of fish per week achieve the desired amount of omega-3 intake and as a consequence of which, increase their levels of vital DHA and EPA.
- Eat More Green And Leafy Vegetables – It is advisable to consume broccoli and other green vegetables like kale because it contains many of the extremely important nutrients women who are pregnant need to consume. These nutrients include fibre, vitamins A, K, C, and potassium. Moreover, green leafy vegetables are found to be rich antioxidants. They are also stated to contain important plant compounds which invariably benefit our digestion system and immune mechanisms – inside our body. Due to the high fibre content in the leafy vegetables, it may also help prevent constipation, a common problem among pregnant women.
- Consume More Foods With Whole Grains – Eating more whole grain foods will help in meeting the requisite amount of calorie intake a pregnant woman needs to meet, specifically during the 2nd and the 3rd Contrary to refined grains, whole grains are filled with fibre, vitamins, and compounds of plants. Quinoa and oats are also stated to contain a great degree of protein, which is vital during pregnancy. Furthermore, whole grains are said to be filled with vitamins-B and magnesium.
- Increase Your Daily Consumption Of Water – Water is a vital element to consume, not only for pregnant women but the population-at-large. During the months of pregnancy, the blood volume of pregnant women increases by over 1.5 litres. Hence, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. The foetus, generally, gets everything it needs; however, if you don’t watch the intake of your water, you might face the risk of dehydration. The common symptoms of mild dehydration are mild headaches, depressed mood, and reduced memory.
Moreover, increasing your water intake may help resolve constipation and reduce the risk of infections occurring in your urinary tract. Doctors generally recommend drinking approximately 2 litres of waters on a given day, but these specifications vary from an individual to another. As an estimate, 1-2 litres are a bare requirement to consume. You’ll also have to factor that the sources of water are much beyond drinking it; it can also come from fruits, vegetables and even foods and beverages.
In conclusion, pregnant women must maintain a particular set of guidelines vis-à-vis their diets to not only maintain their health but most importantly that of their unborn child. The aforementioned guidelines should act as your starting point and a rigorous implementation of the same will help better your life towards a more joyous and safe one.