During pregnancy, a lot of things need to be taken care of, one of which includes the diet of the pregnant woman. As known to all, during pregnancy, a baby derives its nutrition from the mother. Thus, it becomes essential that the diet of a pregnant woman is laden with all the vital nutrients to benefit both the mother and the child. Here is a quick guide emphasizing on the foods that a woman should eat more during her pregnancy.
Fruits and Vegetables:
The importance of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy requires no special mention. Dark green leafy vegetables, the black-eyed peas, asparagus, legumes, the black beans, avocados, pears are a rich source of folic acid which plays a pivotal role to keep the incidences of the neural tube defects at bay. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, grapefruits, oranges, cherries, are all packed with Vitamin C (essential for healthy bone growth, tissue growth, better absorption of iron, to name a few) and thus should be a part of the pregnancy diet.
Some of the other healthy fruits necessary during pregnancy include banana (rich in potassium), apples (rich in vitamins A, D, C, and E), apricots (a rich source of iron, potassium, beta-carotene, calcium, and a host of vitamins), to name a few. Keeping the body well hydrated is vital during pregnancy. In addition to water, watermelon goes a long way to keep the body hydrated.
The vegetables that can do a pregnant woman a world of good includes Butternut squash (vitamin E), sweet potatoes and carrot (beta-carotene), turnips, peas (laden with fiber), French beans (green).
Most of the women suffer from constipation, anemia or iron deficiency during pregnancy. Whole grains such as Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, brown bread are an excellent source of iron, dietary fibers, and vitamins (especially Vitamin B) and work wonders to alleviate the incidences of anemia and constipation.
The importance of milk and other dairy products during pregnancy is immense. In addition to being laden with calcium, the dairy products such as cheese, yogurt are also a rich source of Vitamin D and proteins necessary for the healthy growth and development of the baby.
As already mentioned, protein plays a pivotal role in the overall development of the baby sans any complications. Foods such as lean meat, eggs, fish (avoid the ones that come with a high mercury content), dried beans, nuts, peas, are protein-rich and thus should be consumed during the pregnancy.
Some of the other healthy foods for pregnant women include fortified cereals, coconut water, dry fruits (dried apricots, prunes, walnuts, almonds, raisins, dried dates), berries (Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries), fish liver oil.
In spite of its health benefits, it is best to eat the dried fruits and berries in moderation (not more than one serving per day).
Some general dietary tips to be followed during pregnancy
- While vegetables, meat, and poultry are healthy foods, ensure that they are well-cooked. The raw or half-cooked vegetables and meat can do the body more harm than good during pregnancy.
- To take care of heartburns, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), and related digestive problems avoid overeating. Have small meals at regular intervals of time.
- Do not lie in a bed immediately after a meal. Sit for at least 10 minutes minutes and allow the food to settle.
- Cold, stale, spicy, processed, and fast foods are a big No. So are the caffeinated drinks and beverages.
- Drink water and other healthy fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration.