Pregnancy Diet | Essential Nutrients and Foods to Avoid

Pregnancy Diet – Overview

A good diet is essential to living a healthy lifestyle at any time, but it’s much more crucial if you’re expecting or planning a pregnancy. A healthy pregnancy diet will improve the growth and development of your unborn child.

While you don’t need to follow a specific diet, it’s still vital to eat a variety of meals every day to ensure that you and your kid are getting the proper amount of nutrients.

The best way to ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals you need is to consume whole meals, but when you’re pregnant, you also need to take a folic acid supplement.

Essential Nutrients During Pregnancy

  • For healthy bones and teeth, both you and your infant need calcium. Additionally, calcium promotes the healthy operation of the neurological, muscular, and circulatory systems. You may need 1,000-1300 milligrams (mg) a day.
  • Vitamin D. helps strengthen your baby’s bones and teeth by working with calcium. Milk, orange, and Fatty fish are rich in Vit. D.
  • folic acid & Folate. Folate is a B vitamin that aids in preventing significant issues with the growing brain and spinal cord (neural tube defects). Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate that is present in vitamins and foods that have been fortified. It has been demonstrated that taking folic acid supplements can lower your baby’s chance of being born too soon and with low birth weight.
  • It’s essential to enhance growth. You need 1gram per Kg a day, and you find protein in foods such as beans, seeds, nuts, seafood, meat, Poultry, and egg.
  • Iron is utilized by the human body to generate hemoglobin. Red blood cells include a protein called hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the body’s tissues. You require double the amount of iron during pregnancy compared with non-pregnant women. Your body needs this iron to produce more blood so that your unborn child can receive oxygen.

You could get iron deficiency anemia if your iron levels are insufficient or if you don’t take iron during pregnancy. You could start experiencing headaches or exhaustion if you have severe iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy. You need 27 milligrams a day. Iron is available in vegetables, meats, and fish.

My Drinks During Pregnancy

Water and milk are the safest to consume during pregnancy. The current body of research backs up the advice to abstain from alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. A baby’s growth can be harmed by even minute levels, which could have permanent consequences.

Drinking milk and water when pregnant is seen as safe. little amounts of soda, low-sugar soft drinks, soda, and mineral water are all acceptable beverages.

Caffeine in tiny levels is also regarded to be harmless in tea and coffee. It is deemed safe for a mother and her unborn child to consume up to 200 mg/day while pregnant and breastfeeding.

The following list of foods and beverages have roughly the following levels of caffeine:

  • 1 cup of instant coffee has 60 mg.
  • 100 milligrams per shot of espresso
  • Plunger coffee, 1 cup, 80 mg
  • 30mg in 1 cup of tea.
  • Coca-Cola 375 ml can, 49 milligrams
  • 80 milligrams of energy drink in a 250 ml can.
  • 20mg milk chocolate bar, 100g

Is There Any Food Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

Some foods should be avoided during pregnancy because they may contain certain bacteria or parasites. Listeria, salmonella, or toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy can result in serious difficulties for the unborn child and raise the possibility of miscarriage.

Fish such as shark, broadbill/swordfish or marlin, orange, and catfish all have high mercury concentrations. During pregnancy, it’s critical to choose your fish carefully.

Additionally, dates and the proper storage of food are very important. The safest course of action is to avoid food if you have any doubts about its safety.

There are also some specific foods to avoid while pregnant. The March of Dimes says these foods are not safe to eat during pregnancy:

  • Raw fish, especially shellfish.
  • Soft-scrambled eggs and foods made with raw or lightly cooked eggs.
  • Unpasteurized juices.
  • Raw sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts.
  • Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, Queso Blanco, queso fresco and Panela.
  • Unpasteurized milk and any foods made from it.
  • Herbal supplements and teas.

Are pickles and ice cream part of a good pregnancy diet? Maybe not; many pregnant women experience cravings but maintaining a balanced diet while pregnant is more important than ever. So eat healthily and do not skip meals. And a little ice cream is fine – with or without pickles.

Now some may be worried about getting too overweight. It is quite normal to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.

How To Prepare Food Safely?

Toxoplasma (a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis and harm your unborn child) may be present in the soil, so wash fruit, vegetables, and salads thoroughly to get rid of any residues of dirt.

To prevent food poisoning, always wash your hands after handling raw foods (poultry, meat, eggs, fish, shellfish, and raw vegetables).

There is a chance of contamination if raw foods and ready-to-eat items are not stored separately.

For raw meats, use a different knife and cutting board.

Prepared meals should be heated through to a steaming hot state; meals with chicken require this step to be taken extra seriously.

You also need to make sure that some foods, such as burgers, sausages, eggs, poultry,  and whole cuts of meat like lamb, calf, and beef are cooked very thoroughly until steaming all the way through.

References

https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/have-a-healthy-diet/

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/healthy-diet-during-pregnancy

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/

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