Diet During Pregnancy – Foods To Eat And Avoid

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The most beautiful relation a female can ever have is with her children. And the base of mother and child relation is built during pregnancy. This relation is strong when diet during pregnancy is balanced because what the woman eats or drinks, during pregnancy, becomes the source of nutrition for the growing fetus. And to maintain that balance in diet, the female should know what foods to eat and what foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Foods to eat

It is better to know the nutrients rather than searching for the foods to eat, during pregnancy. Because at the back-end, it is always the nutrient that undergoes the process to provide nourishment and care to both; the mother and the child. And, doing so will also provide the mother a variety of foods to opt for during pregnancy. Here are a few nutrients which have distinctive importance, and are strongly recommended during pregnancy.

1.    Folic Acid/Folate

Folic acid is among the highly recommended nutrients to eat, during pregnancy, as it is not only needed for the mother but is also required for the normal growth and development of the baby. Folic acid helps in lowering the risk of neural tube defects in newly born babies, and therefore foods rich in folic acid (i.e., green leafy vegetables, legumes, meat, beans, etc.) should be a constant factor in the daily diet during pregnancy.

(Although liver meat is a highly rich source of this nutrient but should be avoided as it contains too high vitamin A to be safe for the growing baby.)

2.    Iron

During pregnancy, a female would need almost a double (27 mg) of the normal value of dietary iron. Why the need for this increment occurs? It occurs so that the volume of blood in the mother’s body becomes high enough to carry the oxygen, not only to her body parts but to the baby, as well. Therefore, it is encouraged to eat iron-rich foods during pregnancy. Foods like meat, beans, and iron-fortified cereals are excellent sources of iron.

3.    Omega Fatty Acids

Foods rich in omega fatty acids (fish, nuts, seeds, and their oils) are recommended because these are the nutrients that are needed for the normal development of the eyes and brain in a fetus. Moreover, these fatty acids also help keep the digestive system of the mother in shape. But wait! Like folate, omega fatty acids also have some food sources (tuna, mackerel, etc.) which should be avoided during pregnancy due to their content of mercury.

4.    Potassium

Potassium is the most underrated nutrient considered during pregnancy. The highest risk of having a stillbirth is associated with increased blood pressure in the female. And, this is where potassium is found helpful as it supports normal blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and letting the blood flow, smoothly. Bananas, avocados, and legumes are considered rich-food sources of potassium.

Foods to avoid

Although during pregnancy it is said that a female should eat anything, she wants to, but some limitations should be followed, and some foods should be avoided. To make it simple, we’ll briefly describe those foods.

    Foods that are rich in caffeine, sodium, and other stimulants are recommended to avoid during pregnancy, as these may cause an abnormal rise in blood pressure.

    Foods that are highly processed are also asked to avoid as these can cause stomach issues like bloating and constipation.

    Foods that are rich in saturated fat or trans-fat should be avoided as well because these foods lead to disturbed and abnormal blood pressure, during pregnancy.

What role do supplements play during pregnancy?

Different changes in the body, during pregnancy, can lead to a suppressed appetite and deficiency of vital nutrients. In this case, diet becomes an incomplete source for that deficient nutrient and can be replaced with the use of good quality food supplements.

1.    Folic Acid

This food supplement is enriched with a sufficient amount of folic acid that when taken with a balanced diet, a female can easily reach up to the recommended value during pregnancy. This way the female stays active and the baby stays safe from the risk of neural tube defects.

2.    Fero

Fero is a highly useful supplement during pregnancy as it contains Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin C, all the nutrients helpful in fulfilling the blood requirement during pregnancy. In this way, the mother’s body can easily transport all the nutrients into the growing fetus through a smooth and improved blood flow.

3.    Omega 3 Fish Oil

This oil-form supplement is a great source of healthy omega fatty acids (EPA & DHA) which help in managing blood pressure, balancing lipid profile, reducing inflammation, improving the development of the fetus, and carrying a healthy status throughout the pregnancy.

References:

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246404

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-foods-to-eat-when-pregnant

    https://www.livescience.com/45090-pregnancy-diet.html

    https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/foods-to-avoid/

 

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