A healthy and safe pregnancy for the mother and child depends on the dietary intake of the mother. Malnourishment of the mothers has not only physical but neurological effects. It will be detrimental to the physical and the mental growth of the baby and can lead to birth anomalies and degenerative diseases
A well balanced diet is advised during pregnancy. The would-be mother should not be overweight or underweight. Care should be taken to avoid any vitamin or mineral deficiency. Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Zinc and Iron supplements need to be taken in regular doses during pregnancy.
Tips for diet during pregnancy
Must-have diet during pregnancy
Diet should include ample amounts of cereals, legumes, spinach, leafy vegetables milk and milk products, fruits, dried fruits and nuts. Non-vegetarians can include poultry, fish, eggs and moderate amount of red meat which are rich sources of protein in their diet. It is beat to avoid seafood as it can often lead to stomach upsets, allergies and even botulism.
Vegetarians should include soya in their diet to get the necessary amount of protein. Protein is essential for the all round growth Folic acid is essential for the spinal and the brain growth of the foetus. Foods like legumes, spinach, leafy vegetables and citrus foods are rich in folic acid. Iron is essential for the development of red blood cells in the mother and baby.
Deficiency in Iron will lead to anemia and heavy blood loss during delivery. Green leafy vegetables, beans, fortified cereal and liver is a good source of iron. Calcium is essential for the bone development in the baby and to prevent osteoporosis in the mother. Milk and milk products are rich in calcium.
Fiber is necessary to provide the necessary nutrient supply and to keep off hunger pangs. Fiber reduces the risk of constipation in pregnant women. Whole grain cereals, oat bran, vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber. Increase your liquid intake during pregnancy. Consume buttermilk, tender coconut water along with plain water to add nutrients and also to beat monotony.
Avoid too much consumption of tea and coffee. It is best to stay off soda and carbonated drinks also. Many women have the tendency to develop diabetes during pregnancy, so better to stay off high sugary drinks. Almonds and walnuts are the best nuts for pregnant women. They do not have high fat content and are full of essential nutrients. Figs are good to avoid constipation and dried dates helps in haemoglobin production.
Foods to avoid
Avoid junk foods as they have preservatives in them. They might also lead to weight gain and bloating. Canned foods are also full of preservatives and high in salt content. They can even lead to food poisoning. Greasy and spicy foods also better be avoided as they can lead to diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
Many women suffer from morning sickness and it may cause loss of nutrients. So, eat small and frequent meals. Drink lots of fluids and fix up meals that are suitable for you and in convenient timings. This will help to avoid nutrient loss and keep off hunger pangs.