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The key to a healthy pregnancy is without a doubt a healthy lifestyle and a nutritious diet that allows for proper growth and development of the baby. This is crucial in making sure that her body is healthy and ready to welcome the ongoing changes. You have to be ready to fine-tune your eating habits, so that not just you but your baby receives adequate nutrients as well.
When we talk about a diet which is healthy we arent talking about restricting calories rather striking the perfect balance in your diet. Consumption of a variety of food groups is critical. The right balance of carbohydrates and fats, proteins and vitamins, breads and dairy products is an absolute must. In the following section we talk how a healthy diet directly reflects on a healthy pregnancy.
Its a common myth that during pregnancy a woman has to eat for two. This is far from the truth. The fact is that during pregnancy you do require an increased calorie intake which translates to just a few extra calories a day. Weight gain during pregnancy varies due to multiple factors, the most important being pre-pregnancy weight. It is recommended that an overweight woman gains less weight and an underweight woman gains more.It is absolutely critical that you consume more iron during pregnancy as it will ensure both you and the baby receive an adequate oxygen supply
A sensitive palate
Accepting the perfect pregnancy diet may be a little difficult for those of you who face a problem of smell aversions. Almost 75% of the women deal with changes affecting their senses during this time. But on the bright side these smell/food sensitivities and the morning sickness usually only lasts till the second trimester and after that you can really start enjoying your pregnancy diet.
Slave to the crave
Its not uncommon to hear women having the weirdest of cravings during pregnancy even though you try sincerely to stick to your diet plan. While there are various factors contributing to what really drives these cravings, the most common belief is that it is a cry from the body about what it needs. Furthermore if you arent craving for a harmful substance or junk food, we would say to go for it as your body has an innate wisdom during this time.
Nutrient variety is essential for healthy pregnancy
When you are pregnant it is of the utmost importance that you consume a wide variety of foods to ensure that all the required nutrients are available for the babys development and your well-being. During this time it is imperative that you consume real, fresh food and give these nutrients the top priority.
Essential Nutrients for both Mother and Baby during Pregnancy
- Calcium (dark and leafy greens, dairy and fish bones)
- DHA(oily fish)
- Choline(non-GMO sunflower lecithin, fish eggs and chicken eggs)
- Iodine(cod, baked potatoes with skin, shrimp, sea vegetables)
- Iron (liver and red meat)
- Magnesium(avocados, brown rice and leafy greens)
- Potassium(bananas and coconut water)
- Vitamin C( kiwis, tomatoes and green peppers)
- Vitamin A( liver, orange vegetables for beta carotene, cod liver oil)
- High quality fat(organic butter, coconut oil, nuts & seeds)
- High quality protein (legumes, cheese and pastured meats and poultry)
The above-mentioned nutrients are highly essential for the health of mom and growth of the baby.
Types of Foodto avoid during Pregnancy: What not to Consume?
- Raw shellfish/fish
- Raw or undercooked poultry or meat
- Raw sprouts
- Unpasteurized juices
- Raw dairy
Understanding what your body is telling you
The best pregnancy diets at the end of the day isnt about limiting the number of calories but understanding what your body really needs during this time. If we are truly honest about our bodys promptings then we will realize that it never really craves for junk food.
Sample Diet for Pregnancy
We have created a sample menu which will give you a rough idea about what you should have during the length of day that would be considered a healthy pregnancy diet. Three small and balanced meals and three light snacks in the span of day is the perfect example of a healthy diet; not just for you but for your baby as well. This kind of diet will ensure that all your babys nutrient needs are adequately taken care of.
Breakfast: banana, 1 slice whole wheat toast, oatmeal cereal, 1 cup skim milk, 2 tsp jam.
Snack: grapes, 1 cup yogurt
Lunch: cheese sandwich with whole wheat bread, small packet of baked potato chips, 1 cup skim milk, turkey, pears
Snack: Raw vegetable salad and low-calorie dip
Dinner: 4 ounces of chicken, 1 cup vegetables, 1 cup skim milk, and 1 cup
Snack: low-fat frozen yogurt and fresh fruit
We conclude by stating that if the above guidelines for a pregnancy diet are strictly adhered to then you can rest assured that having a healthy pregnancy will be a walk in the park.It will provide you the required strength and nutrients. It will ensure proper growth & development ofthe happy and healthy baby that is soon going to arrive as well.
Authors Bio –Dr. Mitravinda is a Nutritionist at DietChart with a doctoral degree in Food Science and Nutrition. She is a teacher, researcher and an author. Her passion for the subject prompted her to start writing blogs on various nutrition-related topics such as diet chart for weight loss, diet chart for weight loss in 7 days, How to remove dark circles in 2 days etc. Through her blogs, she wishes to help people gain a deeper understanding about the relationship between food, nutrition, lifestyle and health.