Keeping healthy during pregnancy is very important, and nutrition plays a big role. Here are 7 tips to help mothers have a healthy diet during pregnancy:
1. Increase your calorie intake
Women need to increase their calorie intake during pregnancy. While calorie needs will vary person to person, it is recommended for pregnant women to increase calorie intake by an additional 300 to 350 calories per day.
2. Eat healthy fats
Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Eating good sources of fat can help to ensure proper development of the baby. Healthy sources of fat include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, sardines)
3. Eat protein-rich foods
Consuming enough protein is important during pregnancy. Protein-rich foods can help provide the baby with essential amino acids for growing and developing. Protein-rich foods include:
- Meat (e.g. chicken, steak)
- Seafood (e.g. salmon, tuna, shrimp)
- Beans and lentils
- Nut butters
4. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Women should strive to eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the baby’s healthy growth, development and overall health.
5. Increase your intake of folate
Folate is an essential nutrient during pregnancy. It is important for the baby’s neural development, and you should try to get between 600 and 800 micrograms per day. Good sources of folate include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Fortified bread and cereals
- Fortified juices
6. Drink plenty of fluids
Drinking enough water during pregnancy helps to reduce the risk of certain pregnancy complications. Women should aim to drink 8 to 12 glasses per day.
7. Limit your caffeine intake
Too much caffeine can interfere with the baby’s health and development. Therefore, women should limit their caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams per day. Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and tea, should be kept to a minimum.
These 7 diet tips can help to ensure a healthy and happy pregnancy. Eating nutritious, whole foods and getting the right amount of nutrition is essential for both mother and the baby.
What are the best foods to eat during pregnancy?
1. Lean Protein: Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and tofu are great sources of protein.
2. Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and veggies are packed with essential vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal.
3. Whole Grains: Whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas are high in fiber and essential nutrients for baby’s development.
4. Dairy Products: Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium and other essential vitamins for you and baby.
5. Legumes: Beans, peas, and lentils are loaded with fiber and protein.
6. Fortified Foods: Certain foods like orange juice, cereals, and breads are fortified with extra nutrients like iron and folic acid, which are especially important during pregnancy.
7. Healthy Fats: It’s important to get healthy fats like those found in nuts and avocados during pregnancy. Healthy fats help with brain development and can help keep you full longer.
What foods should be avoided during pregnancy?
Most doctors recommend avoiding foods that have a greater risk of containing bacteria, such as unpasteurized cheese, raw meat, sushi, unpasteurized milk, and lunch meats. Additionally, pregnant women should reduce their intake of certain fish like swordfish, shark, and king mackerel, as well as caffeine, alcohol, and certain other beverages.
What vegetables should not be eaten during pregnancy?
That depends on the individual pregnant woman’s health and the stage of her pregnancy. Generally speaking, some vegetables that should be avoided during pregnancy include: raw potatoes, raw sprouts, spinach, turnips, collards, and certain types of squash. It is best to talk to your doctor about the types of vegetables you should and shouldn’t be eating.
What vegetables should pregnant women avoid eating?
Pregnant women should avoid certain vegetables that have not been cooked thoroughly (particularly mushrooms, sprouts, including bean sprouts, and alfalfa). Raw vegetables may contain bacteria, such as listeria, that can be harmful to the unborn baby. Pregnant women should also avoid any vegetables that have been processed or pickled, as these can contain harmful additives. Additionally, pregnant women should limit their leafy green vegetable intake, especially raw spinach and Swiss chard, due to their high levels of nitrates and oxalates.
What types of vegetables are safe for pregnant women to eat?
Pregnant women should aim to eat a variety of vegetables during pregnancy. Examples of vegetables that are considered safe and healthy to eat include bell peppers, dark leafy greens (like spinach and kale), broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Eating a variety of vegetables is a great way to get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants crucial for both mother and baby.