Every woman should have a healthy diet during her pregnancy. You may be thinking or wondering “Why do I need a diet during pregnancy if need to gain weight?”
Well, this is not like all the other diets where you need to cut down on your calories to try and lose weight. However, this is more of a healthy diet to keep you and your baby healthy.
You must remember that whatever you eat, will also affect your baby’s health. Please Do not try to lose weight on a diet while you are pregnant as it is not healthy at all. Your baby and you will need a lot of minerals, folic acid, important vitamins, and iron. Most weight losing diets restrict those things that you and your baby will need.
Diets that should be avoided is South Beach, Raw Food Diet, The Zone and Atkins. The kind of diet that we are talking about is one that fine-tunes you’re eating habits to make sure that you get enough of everything you need. Your baby’s development and growth is very important. Thus, when it comes to eating, healthy is the only option.
To get all the nutrients that you and your baby will need, you will have to get in food from all the different food groups. The different food groups are bread and grains, dairy products, protein sources, fruits, and vegetables. You need to get an extra 300 calories in a day.
The Food Groups
In general, a person should eat healthy, it is very important that you try to get something in of all the food groups. Yet, you and your baby will need a lot of nutrients throughout your pregnancy. So, here are the different food groups and suggestions of how to have a healthy pregnancy diet.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of the nutrients that you will need during your pregnancy. For example, they contain Folic Acid and Vitamin C. If you are pregnant you need about 70 mg of vitamin C daily, at the least.
There are a few different fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C such as honeydew, grapefruit, and oranges in the fruits group, plus, Tomatoes. You also need to eat brussel sprouts, spinach, cauliflower and broccoli in the vegetable group.
You also want to prevent tube defects, so, you will only need about 0.4 mg of Folic Acid per day. Vegetables that have dark green leaves have Folic Acid inside them. These are vegetables like veal, lima beans/black beans, legumes, and black-eyed peas. A pregnant woman should have 4 or more servings of vegetables and 2 to 4 servings fruit a day.
Bread and Grains
A pregnant woman needs essential carbohydrates for her main energy source, this can be found in bread and grains. Grain products and grain enriched products will provide the important nutrients like Fiber, Vitamin B, Iron and a little bit of protein.
Additionally, you will also be able to get Folic Acid in from fortified cereal and bread. Your servings will all depend on your dietary needs and your weight. You will need to get in at least 6 to 11 servings of grain/bread daily. Serving should be in OZ.
There are a couple of food types that contain protein. Beans, fish, eggs, poultry and all meats contain protein. Most of these will also contain the vitamin B and iron that you will need.
Your baby requires a lot of protein to develop, he or she will need a lot more protein through the second and third trimesters. The iron that you take in will help carry oxygen to your baby and iron helps to give your muscles oxygen.
These are also known to in avoiding symptoms such as weakness, irritability, depression, and fatigue. You will need about 27 mg of protein a day. Eating liver, turkey, lamb, beef, veal or chicken are all good options.
Fish has a lot of good nutrition in them for pregnant woman, but you should try and avoid fish that has a lot of mercury in them. You must have at least 3 servings of protein daily.
You will at least need about a 1000 mg of calcium daily if you are pregnant. Calcium is required for a lot of things in a person’s body. Calcium assists with normal blood clotting, muscle and nerve functions, plus, building strong bones and teeth. Your baby is constantly growing inside you and he or she will need a lot of calcium to help with their growth.
What happens in your body when pregnant? The body uses the calcium out of your bones to give to your baby while growing. So, you will need to replace the calcium that is taken away. There are many different issues that can be caused if you do not consume enough calcium. Issues such as osteoporosis can occur.
There are many different foods that can supply you with calcium. Foods like yogurt, cream soups, puddings, cheese, and milk provides good calcium. There is some other food that also contains calcium and they are beans, dried peas, seafood and some green vegetables. Will need to consume at least 4 servings daily of dairy or calcium-rich products.
A Balance of Nutrition
There are times that you will not be able to get in all the things that you need as a pregnant woman. Thus, you will need to take Prenatal Vitamins daily to fill in the gaps you may miss. If possible, or when planning a baby, it is best to start with prenatal vitamins three months before conceiving.