Pregnancy is one of the most momentous periods of a woman’s life that needs special attention and care. Everything that you do has to be done with care for the fetus as well as your body. One of the many things that you need to do when pregnant is eat right. If you have been having poor and unhealthy diet all the while until you discovered you are pregnant, it is time to completely switch to a healthy diet. For starters, it is important to know that a pregnant woman needs iron and folic acid in access. Also, the right pregnancy diet is not about how much you eat, but what you eat. Eat a variety of food items from different food groups every day.
- Milk and Dairy Products – Include skimmed milk, buttermilk, yoghurt and paneer in your diet. These are high in protein, calorie and Vitamin B-12 content. Ensure that you talk to your doctor about what you should eat, especially if you are lactose intolerant.
- Cereals, Daals, Whole Grains, Nuts and Pulses – Cereals are a good source of protein. If you are a vegetarian, you will need 45 grams of nuts and 2/3 of a cup of legumes for protein every day. One egg, ¼ cup of legumes or 14 grams of nuts is considered to be equivalent to about 28 grams of fish, poultry or meat.
- Vegetables and Fruits – Vegetables and fruits provide minerals, vitamins and fibre to the body.
- Meat, Poultry and Fish – These are sources of concentrated proteins.
- Fluids – Drink as much water as possible as that helps to detox the body. Most diseases are waterborne and therefore, it is important to ensure that the water is clean and filtered. Try to carry your own water bottle when you are out of home. Drink fresh fruit juices. Go easy on packaged fruit juices as they have a high content of sugar in them.
- Oils and Fats – Butter, ghee, oil and coconut milk have a high concentration of saturated fats, which is unhealthy for the body. Avoid dalda and vanaspati as they are bad for health. A good source of fat is vegetable oil as it contains unsaturated fats.
- How Much Should a Pregnant Woman Eat? – Although, a lot of people will advice you to eat for two, you don’t really have to unless you are underweight or weak and need more calories. An average woman does not need extra calories in the first 6 months of pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, her body makes use of the energy and nutrients more than usually. Therefore, even in the last few weeks of pregnancy, a woman will only have to increase the calorie intake by 200. You can add calories into your diet by:
- 2 rotis without ghee,
- Two bananas,
- One masala dosa or
- 2 scrambled eggs.
The amount of food you eat during pregnancy will depend on your appetite during the period, which will keep fluctuating. Considering that pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the health, it may be difficult to eat in the beginning of pregnancy. If your appetite is weak, eat fewer, but frequent meals throughout the day. Your appetite may return during the middle of pregnancy as you may start feeling hungry. Your appetite will increase by the end of the pregnancy term. If you suffer from heartburn, acidity and feeling full after eating, you will find it helpful to eat frequent smaller meals.
Common Foods to Avoid
All types of food give some amount of nutrient to the body though some of them can pose to threaten the health of the mother and the baby. Avoid foods such as raw or uncooked meat, alcoholic drinks, caffeinated drinks, unpasteurized milk etc.
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