Eating well is very important in order to lead a healthy lifestyle especially during pregnancy.
What you eat affects the growth and development of the baby making it essential to do some modifications to your diet.
Here are seven tips to get you started.
- Don’t skip your nutrient-rich breakfast.
Try to focus on adding whole grains and cooked cereals to breakfast, especially those rich in Vitamin B and Calcium.
To get more nutrients add colourful fresh and dried fruits and low-fat dairy products like yogurt. If you are suffering from heartburn
or morning sickness, try to eat small nibbles for an extended time rather than eat the whole meal all at once. No matter what, don’t skip that breakfast!
- Drink enough fluids.
It is important to consume enough liquids during pregnancy to supply for the expanding blood volume and to prevent constipation.
Make sure to always have that bottle of water next to you and drink in between meals and snacks. Natural juices and low-fat milk also help in providing the body with the required fluids.
- Consume more iron-rich foods
Blood volume increases during pregnancy which demands more iron for maintaining normal oxygen flow to the baby and the mother.
Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in pregnant women especially in the last trimester and might lead to premature birth.
To prevent deficiency, eat more protein-rich food like lean red meat, chicken, fish, dried fruits, and green leafy vegetables.
To increase absorption of iron from vegetables, add a squeeze of lemon or drink citrus juice.
- Reduce caffeine-rich drinks, carbonated drinks and soft cheeses.
Studies have shown that the consuming large amounts of caffeinated drinks is related to an increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature delivery.
Soft and unpasteurized cheese can be a great risk for causing bacterial infection in pregnant women; thus inducing miscarriages, high fevers, and other pregnancy complications.
- Cut off uncooked meat and fish completely.
Sushi lovers might have to be extra patient with cutting off their favourite food but raw meat and fish contain bacteria that cause a great risk for infection.
Semi-cooked meat and fish liked smoked salmon are also not recommended.
- Eat 2 meals a week of seafood.
The fats in fish like omega-3 are essential for brain and vision development in babies. Omega-3s also help in preventing premature birth, allergies and asthma later in life.
However, it is important to prevent food high in the toxic metal, Mercury, which causes serious nervous problems. Avoid eating seafood high in Mercury like tuna, mackerel, and swordfish.
- Always go for a balanced diet.
Pregnancy is not the right time to experiment with fad diets like low-carb diets and combined food diets. Stick instead to a variable balanced diet recommended for a normal healthy development for the baby with no diet-related pregnancy complications. Always remember that bad eating habits might show adverse health complications later in life.