Eating a healthy and balanced diet is a must for good health and it is all the more essential for a woman who is pregnant. The health of your baby depends on what you eat. If you are well nourished, your baby is also well nourished. A healthy and proper diet helps in the proper development of the fetus.
A balanced diet is one that contains foods in an appropriate quantity from all food groups. So you must aim to incorporate the suggested nutrients:
Fats: The fat deposits at the time of pregnancy in the mother’s body are later utilized during lactation. Although the calorie requirement depends from person to person, doctors usually recommend an extra intake of 300 calories per day.
Protein: This is one of the most important nutrients for the body. Pregnant women should consume 60 grams of protein per day. This helps the fetus to develop rapidly during the later phase of pregnancy.
Iron: The requirement for iron increases during pregnancy. A pregnant woman must take 30 mg of iron per day. Some iron rich foods are lean red meat, poultry, fish, whole-grain breads, and dried fruits.
Calcium: 1,000 mg a day of calcium is a must for a pregnant woman. In case you are not able to get it through your diet then taking a calcium supplement is a good option. Calcium needs are particularly high during pregnancy as it is vital for teeth and bone formation of the fetus.
Water: Pregnant women are more prone to constipation, urinary tract or bladder infections. Drinking at least eight- glasses of water every day will prevent these problems. Moreover lack of water can lead to early or premature birth. Avoid coffee, teas with caffeine and soft drinks.
Foods To Be Avoided During Pregnancy
Caffeine: Consumption of Caffeine can cause miscarriage as it increases the heart rate, blood pressure and sweat production. Intake of caffeine can also hamper the proper growth of the fetus. Hence, even beverages like coffee, colas, hot chocolate, chocolate and various nuts should be avoided during pregnancy.
Alcohol: drinking is not only harmful for the health of the mother but can also have ill effects on the fetus. Drinking can cause a condition known as FAS or fetal alcohol syndrome. It can also cause learning disabilities, low body weight, eye sight problems and other deformities in the baby.
Fish, Meat And Poultry: You should not eat uncooked meats, seafood and poultry. High level of mercury in sea food can delay the growth of the brain of the infant.
Fats, sweets and oils only provide flavor to the food but has no nutritional value so, use them less. Eating a balanced diet will ensure fewer problems during labor and pregnancy.