There are certain nutrients and vitamins that support a healthy pregnancy and the growth of your unborn baby while there are also certain foods that you are recommended to avoid before giving birth. Do you know which foods are healthy and which ones to stay away from while expecting? Read here to give your little ones the best chance of a healthy start with a good pregnancy diet.
What to eat during pregnancy and what are the nutrients I need?
During your pregnancy, your baby needs a few extra nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to grow healthy. During your second and third trimester, you will also need extra 350-500 calories to support the new life inside you. Make sure you drink plenty of water, add calcium and protein-rich foods and get plenty of pregnancy important vitamins and minerals such as Omega 3 fish oils and folic acids which support the healthy growth of the fetus and lower the risk of birth defects and syndromes.
In which foods do I find these nutrients?
Many essential heart-healthy foods are also a great source of vitamins and minerals for your pregnancy. Oily fish such as salmon is full of Omega 3 while pasteurized milk yogurt will deliver both calcium and protein. Add more legumes like beans or peas to increase fiber and folate in your daily diet. Dark leafy greens are an excellent source of many vitamins, potassium, and iron while berries are full of Vitamin C which helps the body absorb much-needed iron.
Which foods are not recommended during pregnancy and why?
There are certain foods that doctors recommend you abstain from during your pregnancy. Such foods include certain cheeses, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk and milk products, pate, liver, Vitamin A, raw and undercooked meat, and fish high in mercury such as tuna and swordfish, raw shellfish, and of course, alcohol and caffeine. You also need to be careful with raw fruits and vegetables as traces of soil can contain toxoplasma, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. When cooking and eating out during pregnancy, avoid street stalls and places that might not use fresh, high-quality ingredients to avoid food poisoning.
Why can’t I eat cheese during pregnancy?
Is it recommended to completely stop consuming mold-ripened cheeses such as brie, camembert, and blue-veined cheeses such as gorgonzola and Roquefort cheeses while pregnant? Such cheeses might contain listeria bacteria that cause listeriosis. Although such an infection is rare, even in its mild form, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or illness in a newborn baby. Other types of cheese are still safe to consume as part of a balanced diet during pregnancy.
What should I eat for a healthy pregnancy?
It is important to balance the amount of food you eat during your pregnancy as being pregnant is not an excuse to eat for two. A heart-healthy diet is suitable to be consumed during pregnancy, as long as you follow common sense in terms of washing, cooking through, and pasteurizing, to mention a few. Drinking plenty of water is also very important as many expecting moms get constipated during pregnancy.
How do I know I’m gaining the right weight during pregnancy?
The biggest weight gain should occur during the end of your pregnancy, not at the beginning. As a matter of fact, many women lose weight in the first trimester due to morning sickness. If you are consuming more than 500 extra calories a day, you might be eating too much, which might make it more difficult to lose the baby weight later. Chart your progress in a pregnancy app to have a better reference point and discuss it with your healthcare provider who can advise you further.
Are there foods or tips on eating during pregnancy that will make it easier to lose weight afterward?
Yes, there are! Don’t view pregnancy as an excuse to “eat for two” and don’t give in to cravings for sugar and high-fat foods. Instead, eat smaller portions more frequently and track your weight with a pregnancy app and a smart scale such as QardioBase that also allows to you add pictures to your measurements. Having a visual point of reference is helpful to see the gradual gain in your weight as your body changes.
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