The kind of food you eat, the weight you gain, and the other healthy things that you do during your pregnancy directly affect the health of your baby. However, among the healthy pregnancy tips that you can follow, understanding the relationship between pregnancy and diet is most effective in ensuring that your baby undergoes normal development and growth. Eating a variety of healthy foods is extremely important, especially during the first few months of the pregnancy. On average, pregnant women need an additional 300 calories to their normal caloric intake to sustain the needs of the baby’s growth in the womb. With a well-balanced diet, you can ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Pregnancy and Nutrition
The need to increase caloric intake does not only mean increase in food intake. It needs to be sourced from a variety of food. Getting all the essential food nutrients, especially iron, folic acid, B vitamins and other vitamins and minerals will only be possible if pregnancy diet includes dairy products, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, healthy fats and carbohydrates. The diet must be 10 percent protein, 35 percent fat and 55 percent carbohydrates.
What kind of foods must be eaten?
Healthy sources of protein include meat, cooked eggs, beans, and pasteurized dairy products. Fishes and sea foods are great sources of essential food nutrients but their consumption must be limited for they might be contaminated with toxic algae and mercury. Healthy fats and oils may be sourced from nuts, olives and some dairy products. Great sources of carbohydrates include whole wheat bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, corn, oats and whole grain cereals.
Healthy pregnancy and diet is all about food servings and food diet. A well-balanced daily meal should have five to six servings of whole grains, noodles or pasta, corn and other good sources of carbohydrates. It should include three to four servings of green leafy vegetables; one serving is equivalent to ½ cup cooked vegetables. Two daily servings of fruit should give enough vitamins and minerals that should strengthen the defense against illnesses and fiber to relieve and prevent constipation. Four to five servings of cooked meat, poultry, beans, nuts, tofu or eggs and other protein-rich foods should cover the daily protein requirement. Lastly, include one glass of milk or one serving of pasteurized milk products. Sugary,fatty and oily foods must be taken in moderation.
Pregnancy and Diet Supplements
A well-balanced diet delivers the crucial inputs needed to guarantee healthy or risk-free pregnancy. However, when the nutrients sourced from food is not enough, nutrition experts recommend taking dietary supplements to prevent mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Deficiencies in the intake of iron, folic acid, B vitamins and calcium pose serious health risks for both mother and baby. Iron is crucial to brain development, folic acid aids cell division, B vitamins are important in the processing and absorption of protein and calcium is important in ensuring normal bone and muscle development. Including these in the daily diet leads the way to natural, risk-free and uncomplicated childbirth. However, you need to consult your doctor before including food supplements in your pregnancy and diet regiment.
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