Healthy eating during pregnancy must be considered a very important task. When you are to become a mother, you must eat for the nourishment of both you and your baby. Tips during pregnancy: follow a proper diet and ensure you obtain the necessary nutrients and minerals.
It may be difficult to know what and how to eat during pregnancy. There’s a common saying, when you’re pregnant, that you should “eat for two”. This is right in the sense of you eating what will be of nutritional benefit to you and your unborn child. Some people, though, think you should double your food intake, but this isn’t true. Your body needs the right amount of nutrients and minerals and you should ensure they’re present in your food.
FIVE HEALTHY EATING TIPS DURING PREGNANCY
1. STAY HYDRATED
One of the most important things you should know it that, during pregnancy, your body fluid should increase. This can be achieved simply by drinking enough water daily. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) were asked “how much water should be taken during pregnancy daily?”. The answer was that it is recommended that you should drink 8-12 cups.
Staying hydrated has a lot of benefits for both the mother and foetus. Some of the benefits include: aiding the circulation of nutrients throughout the body, aiding waste elimination, forming amniotic fluid, promoting healthier skin, and easing constipation and swelling.
2. CHOOSE NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS
When considering what to eat, you should include food rich in vitamins and minerals. An article published in the US Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines for Americans recommends a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. This should consist of lean meats and vegetable protein which can be found in beans and lentils. It recommends plant-based fats that are found in nuts, seed avocado, and olive oil. Other recommendations are whole grains and dairy products such as yoghurt, kefir, cheese, and milk (or a calcium and vitamin D fortified alternative).
3. EAT PROTEIN
Protein is the building block of every cell in your body and extends to that of your unborn baby’s body too. Protein needs to increase by about 25 grams a day during pregnancy. Here are some protein rich foods: beans (about 8 – 10 grams per cup), beef ( 7 grams per ounce), chicken (8 grams per ounce), eggs (6 grams per large egg), fish (6 grams per ounce), Greek yoghurt (plain) (20 grams per cup), lentils (cooked) (18 grams per cup), walnuts (4 grams per 1/4 cup).
Your body and that of your baby need protein to grow healthily and repair worn-out tissue. Providing your body with enough protein will not only keep you healthy but your baby too, right through the nine months of pregnancy.
4. PRENATAL VITAMINS
Vitamins and minerals play an important role in all of the functions of your body. Eating healthy foods and taking prenatal vitamins every day should supply all the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins help you get extra iron, folate/folic acids, and other essential minerals the body needs, and “the body” means both your body and that of your unborn baby. They are not meant to replace the essential nutrients obtained from your food. Rather, they are intended to fill in the gaps and support your increased nutrient needs while assisting you with consistent nutrient intake. You must always consult your healthcare provider or your maternity clinic for recommendations. Be aware that some prenatal vitamins may not include all the nutrients you need.
5. STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINATED DRINKS
You probably consumed a lot of coffee and caffeinated drinks before you became pregnant. Maybe you hope to continue now that you are pregnant. Well, I’m afraid you’ll have to give them up, if not for your sake but for the sake of your baby. According to a journal published online on May 8 2020 in the National Library of Medicine, caffeine can cross the placenta into the amniotic fluid and foetus. This can result in adverse pregnancy outcomes. The American Pregnancy Association and March of Dimes recommend that a pregnant woman should not take more than 200mg of caffeine per day, which is around 355 milliliters of coffee. It is, however, advised to avoid it totally throughout all the stages of pregnancy.
Alcoholic beverages should be excluded too. They contain ethyl alcohol or ethanol, an intoxicating ingredient and a central nervous system depressant which can cross the placenta. Therefore, since there is no safe amount of alcohol, a pregnant woman is advised to avoid drinking it during her pregnancy.
Aim to stay hydrated and don’t forget to address any special dietary concerns you have. Being mindful that what you are eating and drinking should provide the ideal nutrients to support a healthy pregnancy.
You may also like to read our recent article; How To Obtain And Maintain A Flat Tummy With Good Nutrition And Exercises