Pregnancy is one of the most nutritionally demanding times in a woman’s life. Although it’s a normal physiological process, it is a time when the nutritional needs of the mother & the foetus are to be met through careful food choices.
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A pregnant woman needs to ensure that her diet provides enough nutrients and energy for her baby to develop and grow properly and also to make sure that her body is healthy enough to deal with the changes that are occurring.
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For a healthy pregnancy, the mother's diet needs to be balanced and nutritious - this involves the right balance of:
A pregnant woman’s diet may be impacted by ethical beliefs, religious requirements or health. However, this does not mean she should eat for two, i.e. her calorie consumption does not double, and it just goes up.
Foods to be included & excluded during pregnancy
Foods to INCLUDE :
Walnuts/Almonds- As a source of good fat, DHA and Omega 3 fatty acid
Green leafy vegetables-Includes vitamins like A, K, folate-Potent source of iron, a crucial nutrient
Yogurt-Has more calcium than milk & a good source of protein. Yogurt is also rich probiotics which help to increase gut microbial
Nuts-Full of important minerals makes them a filling on-the-go snack
Fluids/Water-Build new cells, deliver nutrients, flush toxins, relieves constipation. Helps to increase the metabolism as well
Whole Grains- Good source of folic acid and Fiber, keeps a watch on weight
Milk & milk products- Calcium- For strong bones, teeth, normal blood clotting, muscle & nerve function.
Beans/Sprouts- A good source of protein. Also a good source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Lean Meat- A high protein food, excellent option for iron
Foods to EXCLUDE:
Caffeine -Tea, Coffee, Aerated beverages-may lead to miscarriage or severe growth retardation
Sea Food-Tuna, Mackerel, Sear fish-mercury present in them is neurotoxic & might impede the foetal brain.
Unpasteurized dairy foods- Soft cheese/Feta cheese-Highly prone to bacterial infections like listeriosis, toxoplasmosis
Alcohol- To be avoided in any amount as it puts the foetus at risk for foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and associated developmental problems.
Raw/Undercooked/Runny eggs- Salmonella poisoning causing vomiting & diarrhoea leading to early labour & dehydration.
Liver- Contains dangerously high amounts of vit-A linked to higher birth defects in the foetus.
Processed /Raw Meat- Cold cuts & Hot dogs-causes foodborne illness-listeriosis
Unpasteurized Milk- Carries a host of bacteria like Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella.
Sushi & Oysters- Have a higher risk of listeria contamination
So, a healthy & well-balanced diet proves to be beneficial for a lifetime. Happy Pregnancy!
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