Foods To Eat When Pregnant & A Healthy Pregnancy Diet
One common mistake that pregnant women commit is overeating. While it is true that they are eating for two, it does not necessarily mean that they need to double their caloric and nutrient intake to ensure a healthy pregnancy diet. Knowing the foods to eat when pregnant can help you avoid getting carried away by the phrase “eating for two”. Keep in mind that a pregnant woman only needs an extra 200 to 300 calories in her daily recommended nutrient allowance to ensure healthy pregnancy. Eating more than what is needed results in excessive weight gain which can lead to a multitude of pregnancy complications. Hence, you need to keep a close watch on your portion sizes and overall caloric intake to maintain a healthy pregnancy diet.
To a pregnant woman, it is extremely important to understand the foods to eat when pregnant. While good foods hold the key to proper nourishment for the mother and baby, other kinds of foods contains elements that can potentially harm a growing fetus. Vegetables, whole grains and fruits are the main focus of a healthy pregnancy diet. A healthy pregnancy diet will influence your baby’s growth, brain development and risk of birth defects. It also guarantees a strong immune system for you to combat all forms of pathogens, keeping you from succumbing to illnesses that might interfere with your baby’s overall well-being.
A healthy pregnancy diet recommends getting enough vitamins, minerals, folic acid and fiber in your diet. You can meet that by eating a variety of foods such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, lentils, nuts, whole-wheat breads, cereals and pastas, lean cooked meat and poultry, pasteurized milk and milk products and healthy oils like olive and sunflower oil. More importantly, a healthy pregnancy diet should provide enough folic acid, calcium, iron and protein, which are all crucial to healthy pregnancy.
In addition to compiling a list of healthy foods to eat when pregnant, a healthy pregnancy diet also involves healthy eating habits. First, you need to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water or liquid daily. Eating fiber-rich foods like whole-grain breads and all-bran cereals should prevent constipation, which is a common complaint among pregnant women. Eating several small meals a day is recommended rather than three big meals. This will ensure a steady flow of essential nutrients to the developing fetus. If you happen to be a caffeine or alcohol lover please try and refrain during your pregnancy as both these vices are known to cause birth defects and developmental problems. Also, avoid eating fruits or any food that is not properly washed as you might ingest toxic residues from its pesticides or fertilizers. Lastly, never eat uncooked foods or meat like pates, deli meats, sushi or uncooked sea foods as these foods can harbour vicious bacteria and other forms of pathogens that might compromise you and your baby’s health.