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:
- Carbohydrates and
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||Foods to EXCLUDE|
|Walnuts/Almonds– As a source of good fat, DHA and Omega 3 fatty acid||Caffeine -Tea, Coffee, Aerated beverages-may lead to miscarriage or severe growth retardation|
|Green leafy vegetables-Includes vitamins like A, K, folate-Potent source of iron, a crucial nutrient||Sea Food-Tuna, Mackerel, Sear fish-mercury present in them is neurotoxic & might impede the foetal brain.|
|Yogurt-Has more calcium than milk & a good source of protein.
Yogurt is also rich probiotics which help to increase gut microbial
|Unpasteurized dairy foods– Soft cheese/Feta cheese-Highly prone to bacterial infections like listeriosis, toxoplasmosis|
|Nuts-Full of important minerals makes them a filling on-the-go snack||Alcohol– To be avoided in any amount as it puts the foetus at risk for foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and associated developmental problems.|
|Fluids/Water-Build new cells, deliver nutrients, flush toxins, relieves constipation.
Helps to increase the metabolism as well
|Raw/Undercooked/Runny eggs– Salmonella poisoning causing vomiting & diarrhoea leading to early labour & dehydration.|
|Whole Grains– Good source of folic acid and Fibre, keeps a watch on weight||Liver– Contains dangerously high amounts of vit-A linked to higher birth defects in the foetus.|
|Milk & milk products– Calcium- For strong bones, teeth, normal blood clotting, muscle & nerve function.||Processed /Raw Meat– Cold cuts & Hot dogs-causes foodborne illness-listeriosis|
|Beans/Sprouts– A good source of protein.
Also a good source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
|Unpasteurized Milk– Carries a host of bacteria like Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella.|
|Lean Meat– A high protein food, excellent option for iron||Sushi & Oysters– Have a higher risk of listeria contamination|
So, a healthy & well-balanced diet proves to be beneficial for a lifetime.