Written by: Nutrition & Lifestyle

What to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy

During pregnancy, some foods are beneficial in improving the health and safety of the mother and the foetus. Although most women feel more hungry during pregnancy, it is advisable not to eat for two but to take a varied balanced diet with all the nutrients. This is helpful as it enables both the baby and the mother to grow and remain healthy.

Eating double the amount a person used to take before pregnancy might lead to the excessive weight of the baby leading to complications.

Fruits and vegetables are a source of vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, calcium, magnesium among others. Therefore, including fruits and vegetables in the diet of the pregnant woman is worthwhile.

Eating a minimum of five varieties of fruits and vegetables is recommended by nutritionists. They can be fresh, juiced, dried, and frozen. The vegetables also contain fiber that prevents constipation during digestion. Green vegetables such as kale, spinach contain low levels of calories and are rich in minerals.

They also have mineral E, C, K, A, calcium, iron and folate acids. The minerals are needed in the formation of the baby’s bones. Pregnant women aged 19 and over require an approximate of 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily.

The other healthy foods which are recommended for pregnant women are taking adequate proteins such as fish, lean, chicken and eggs.

Taking two types of fish such as oily fish per week improves the growth of the baby’s brain but some types of fish like shark and swordfish are not recommended since they contain high levels of mercury.

Additionally, soy products, beans, legumes, and nuts, and butter have sufficient amounts of proteins. The proteins are nutrients and help in the development of the brain and the heart of the baby.

Research has also shown that consuming fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of excessive weight loss and less rates of inflammation. Moreso, incorporating nuts and seeds in your diet ensures you have adequate seeds and minerals during pregnancy and folate. However, substituting some animal proteins like meat, with vegetable protein such as beans is considered highly beneficial. Another diet that should be included in pregnant women is a food rich in carbohydrates that include potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body.

On the other hand, avoid foods with much sugar and salt during pregnancy.

Also, if you are pregnant keep away from salads and uncooked vegetables. When preparing raw chicken and poultry ensure they do not touch other foods and maintain the knife and plates clean.

Additionally, unpasteurized cow’s milk, or sheep’s milk, goats’ milk should be used by pregnant women unless it is boiled extensively. Further, raw eggs should be avoided because they contain Salmonella that causes vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever and nausea. Most of the foods that have raw eggs include poached eggs, Salad dressings, Hollandaise sauce as well as lightly scrambled eggs. The soft blue cheeses like Danish blue, unless they are cooked properly. Pregnant women are also advised to reduce their consumption of caffeine substances since it is absorbed quickly in the body when passed to the foetus, it could adversely affect them because they do not have the adequate enzyme required to break down caffeine. The pregnant women are also advised to stop the consumption of alcohol as it may lead to miscarriage or cause the stunted growth of the foetus brain.

Pregnant women should eat a variety of foods that make a balanced diet. It is recommendable for the diet to include proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. They must keep high levels of hygiene and avoid raw meat and as well as processed foods which may lead to increased weight. The unpasteurized milk and cheese should be avoided because they might be contaminated with bacterias such as listeria hence harming the unborn baby.

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