Balanced Diet for Healthy Pregnancy

Posted by saranya23jan on Tue, May 25, 2021  
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Balanced Diet for Healthy Pregnancy

 

Why balanced diet is essential for healthy pregnancy?

 For optimal growth and development, both the mother and the baby need proper nutrition during pregnancy. A well-balanced meal with macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) provide enough nutrition for a healthy pregnancy. The soon-to-be mother needs to understand what foods to eat and which foods to avoid. Eating well does not imply overeating but eating wisely. 

 A pregnant woman can eat as much as she needs at regular intervals. Underweight pregnant women should gain weight for a healthier pregnancy, while overweight pregnant women should lose weight. 

 Since food affects both the mother and the infant, it is best to seek medical advice before adopting a diet plan. This article provides in detail information about the food and its benefits for a pregnant woman. 

List of Essential Nutrients

It is important to understand which foods include these essential nutrients and add them to your regular diet chart.

  • Proteins
  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Calcium

Folate and Folic acid

It protects against neural birth problems, as well as abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. Folate is a B vitamin, and folic acid is its synthetic form. Since getting the appropriate amount from food is difficult, women trying to conceive are given 400 mg of folic acid per day as a supplement. Supplementing with folic acid lowers the risk of having a premature infant. 

Citrus fruits, spinach, peanuts, dark yellow fruits, and fortified cereals are rich in folic acid.

Proteins

Proteins are essential for the fetus' healthy development. According to recent research, pregnant women need 70 to 100 grams of protein. During pregnancy, a well-balanced protein diet is beneficial to the baby's health.

Eggs, nuts, peas, dried beans, soy products, and broccoli are protein-rich diets.

Iron

Iron is a necessary mineral to produce red blood cells that transport oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. Insufficient iron content in pregnant women causes anemia. Iron deficiency could result in premature birth and a baby with low birth weight. 

Addition of Vitamin C in the diet of pregnant women aids iron absorption. An oral iron tablet helps pregnant women with iron deficiency. Take the tablet one hour before a meal with orange juice for the best result.

Avoid tea, coffee, and calcium-rich foods when taking an iron tablet because they can minimize iron absorption. Beans, lentils, spinach, fortified cereals, red meat, and whole grains are high in iron.

Calcium 

Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. A pregnant woman above the age of 19 needs more than 1000mg of calcium per day. Calcium also aids the proper functioning of the circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems. 

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium. Broccoli, green vegetables, salmon, cereals, and fruit juices are calcium-rich foods.

Vitamin A  

Vitamin A is good for vision and gives expectant mothers glowing skin. Vitamin A is abundant in carrots, dark leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant

Vitamin C is essential for the healthy gums, teeth, bones, and iron absorption of a pregnant woman. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Vitamin B6 

Vitamin B6 helps for the efficient functioning of the brain. Lack of Vitamin B6 may lead to depression. Vitamin B6 is abundant in pork, bananas, and whole-grain cereals.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

This vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin. It plays a significant role normal functioning of the nervous system, where it is involved in the metabolism of cells in the human body. Fish, fish, poultry, and milk are rich sources of Vitamin B12.

Vitamin D

Supplement your diet chart with vitamin-rich foods to help build healthy bones and teeth. It is essential for calcium absorption. Fortified milk, dairy products, cereals are rich in Vitamin D.

Food to avoid during pregnancy

Pregnant women should avoid the foods mentioned below for the sake of both mother and child's health. It is a vital thing to keep in mind if you want to have a healthy pregnancy. 

During pregnancy, it is not advisable to drink alcoholic drinks. Do not consume caffeine more than 200mg a day. 

Before using any herbal products, consult your doctor because some could be toxic to the fetus. Stop intake of unpasteurized cheese, unpasteurized milk, raw eggs, and raw meat. Fish is the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the heart. Avoid mercury-rich fish such as shark and tuna steak.

If you have eaten these foods before, don't be concerned. If you are worried, you should seek medical advice. Pregnant women should include fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains, and dairy products in their diet chart.

Healthy food helps the mother improve her physical wellbeing and encourages a healthy mind filled with positivity. The baby would be safe and happy if the mother is healthy. 

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