The health of the unborn child directly depends on the quality and quantity of food eaten during pregnancy. With this in mind, many expectant mothers are trying to make dramatic changes in their lifestyle and nutrition. And all would be fine, that’s just in the pursuit of perfection, they often go to extremes. Leading pediatricians and nutritionists tell in their publications about how to avoid fatal mistakes, maintain excellent health and make an invaluable contribution to the health of the baby simply by adjusting your diet.
Pregnancy and nutrition
It is not at all necessary for a pregnant woman to radically change everything, especially when it comes to nutrition. The main thing is to analyze your diet and make sure that during the period of bearing a child, a sufficient amount of all the necessary vitamins and minerals is supplied to her body.
Along with this, it is important to take care of the amount eaten. Of course, it is now important to eat for two. However, this does not mean at all that you need to overeat. Better to just have regular meals. Ideally, it should be three meals a day, with two to three snacks between each meal. You need to eat in small portions. Less is better, but more often.
Diets during pregnancy
For many women, pregnancy is accompanied by significant weight gain. It can depress or spoil your mood. But worst of all, when it encourages action. And the expectant mother, instead of enjoying life and adding additional trace elements in the form of cottage cheese, vegetables and fruits, which the future child needs, to her diet, limits herself to food, and sometimes even goes on a diet. A lot has been written about How long harm this can bring to both. Therefore, it is wiser to mention how to avoid this.
According to experts, it is enough to adhere to simple rules:
- 1 Eat fractionally. You can eat up to 8 times a day. The main thing is that the food is healthy and natural with the maximum amount of vegetables and fruits and the minimum amount of fat and simple carbohydrates. The latter are found mainly in flour and sweet.
- 2 Rationally use the energy that the body receives with food. One of the main reasons for weight gain is an unreasonable increase in the number of kilocalories, which, in fact, are units of energy, already in the first weeks of pregnancy. Doctors’ recommendations regarding the amount of calories consumed are based on the woman’s age, lifestyle, and health status. Some doctors say that in the first 6 months, the fetus does not need additional energy. A woman needs to increase the amount of energy consumed by 200 kilocalories only in the last 3 months. Others insist that in the first trimester, the expectant mother is better off consuming 200 calories more than usual. And in the second and third – by 300. Which of them to believe – it is up to her to decide. The main thing to remember is that 200 kilocalories is an extra slice of cheese on a sandwich, 1 sausage eaten, 500 g of carrots or broccoli, 2 small apples, 30 g of nuts or a glass of milk, but no more.
- 3 There is only when there is a feeling of hunger.
- 4 Remove junk food from your diet(1, 2).
Beneficial substances during pregnancy
The diet of a pregnant woman should be as varied and balanced as possible. It must necessarily contain:
- Protein. The amino acids it contains are building blocks for the body of the unborn baby. It can come from meat and fish foods, eggs, legumes or nuts.
- Complex carbohydrates. Unlike simple ones, they provide the body with the necessary amount of energy and fiber, which improves digestion. They are found in grains and vegetables.
- Fats. They should make up no more than 30% of the total calorie intake. According to research conducted by scientists from Illinois and published in the journal Psychology, “Excessively fatty foods during pregnancy can cause diabetes in a child.” This is explained by changes that occur at the genetic level. However, it is still not worth reducing the amount of fat consumed to a minimum. After all, they are a source of energy and promote the synthesis of vitamins A, D, E, K. The best source of fats is vegetable oils, seeds and nuts.
- Cellulose. It allows you to prevent constipation in your mother and protect her from obesity. It is found in cereals, vegetables and fruits.
- Calcium. It is the main building material for a child’s teeth and bones. It is found mainly in dairy foods, broccoli, cauliflower. They need to be consumed regularly throughout the entire period of pregnancy. This will form and strengthen the baby’s skeletal system without harm to the health of his mother.
- Iron. Once in the body, it allows you to maintain an optimal level of hemoglobin, which contributes to the transport of oxygen to organs and tissues. The best sources of iron are dried apricots, egg yolk, oatmeal, salmon, spinach, broccoli, etc.
- Vitamin C. It is an antioxidant that helps boost immunity. In addition, it promotes the production of collagen, a substance that is responsible for the development of the child’s bone and circulatory system. It is found in citrus fruits, grapes, various types of cabbage, rose hips, etc.
- Folic acid. It prevents birth defects of the brain and even premature birth. It is found in broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits and peanuts. It is better to consume these foods from the first days of pregnancy.
- Vitamin A. It is responsible for the health of the skin, bones and vision of the unborn baby and is found in dairy foods, peaches, and dark green vegetables.
- Vitamin D. It is essential for the development of bones, teeth and muscles in a child. You can enrich your body with it by eating fish, egg yolks, or just walking in the warm sunlight.
- Zinc. It is responsible for the normal growth and development of the fetus. Found in meats, fish, seafood, ginger, onions, eggs, and more.
Top 14 foods for pregnancy
Water. It is responsible for the formation of new cells and the development of the circulatory system, relieves constipation and perfectly cleanses the body. To relieve toxicosis, you can add a few drops of lemon juice to it. You can replace it with any fruit juices, milk, fruit drink or compote.
Oatmeal. It contains folic acid, fiber, vitamins A, B, E, calcium. Its regular use is the key to the health of the mother and the future baby.
Broccoli is a source of calcium, fiber, folate, vitamin C and antioxidants. It contributes to the normal development of the nervous system and enhances immunity.
Bananas – They are rich in potassium, which is essential for the normal functioning of the heart. Studies have shown that consuming them regularly can prevent fatigue and nausea in pregnant women.
Lean meat. It provides the body with protein and iron, and also prevents the development of anemia.
Curd is a source of protein and calcium.
Citrus. They contain vitamin C, folic acid, fiber and about 90% liquid.
Nuts. They contain healthy fats and many vitamins and minerals. However, you need to use them carefully, as these foods can cause allergies.
Dried fruits. Together with nuts, they are a hearty and healthy snack, as they contain a maximum of useful substances.
Yogurt. A source of calcium, which also helps to improve digestion.
Salmon. It contains omega-3 fatty acids. They contribute to the production of vitamins A and E, minimize the risk of developing prenatal depression, and are responsible for the development of the brain and the formation of the baby’s organs of vision.
Avocado. It is rich in vitamins B, C, folate and potassium.
Seafood. According to research by scientists from the UK and Brazil, published in the journal PLoS ONE, “they contain substances that prevent the appearance of irritability in pregnant women by 53%.”
Carrot. It contains vitamin A, which is responsible for the development of the organs of vision, bones and skin.
Harmful foods during pregnancy
- Alcoholic drinks. They can provoke delays in the development of the baby.
- Caffeinated drinks. They can provoke premature birth.
- Raw eggs. They can cause salmonella infections.
- Blue cheeses such as Brie and Camembert. They may contain listeria, bacteria that cause food poisoning.
- Flour foods and sweets. They contain a lot of sugar and fat, and therefore can cause obesity in pregnant women.
When planning your diet, remember that pregnancy is the best time for any woman. And only in her power to do everything in order to fully enjoy her!