From the first days after you found out you are pregnant, you start concerning about anything you do because you want your baby in your womb to grow healthy and to have a trouble-free pregnancy. One of the most important factors contributing to the development of a healthy baby is undoubted, the future mother diet, that’s why this article comes into your help offering you some advice on what to eat during pregnancy.
1. What to eat during pregnancy.
Eating healthy is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time of your life, but becomes vital when you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant in the near future. A healthy diet during pregnancy is essential for the healthy development of your baby and, moreover, maintain you in great shape, both during pregnancy and even after you gave birth.
You should know that during pregnancy you will not be forced to eat strange foods or to change your eating habits very much, as long as they are not totally unhealthy. You will not have to learn special or complicated recipes. You will not be forced to eat foods you do not like. Important is to have a complete and balanced diet, in order to ensure the necessary amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for your baby’s development and also for your own body.
So, what to eat during pregnancy is all about keeping a balanced healthy diet. Let’s see next what you should eat and how much you should eat.
2. Fruits and vegetables in the diet of the pregnant woman.
During pregnancy, it is very important to eat enough fruits and vegetables because they are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. In addition, most fruits and vegetables contain fibers, which are very important for proper digestion and preventing constipation.
Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They can be frozen or dehydrated but is recommended to choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whether you eat raw or cooked. Prepare the vegetables boiling them in water and do not cook them too much. Try to eat as many raw vegetables as possible. Eat meat and fish, but don’t forget to cook the meat and fish very well to keep you safe from dangerous bacteria. Try to include in your daily diet foods from each group of foods.
3. Carbohydrates in the diet during pregnancy.
Carbohydrates are chains of small amounts of sugar being the main source of energy in the body. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex:
- Simple carbohydrates are quickly assimilated by the body and are the fastest energy source.
- Complex carbohydrates are carbohydrates with a slower release so the energy conferred by these will be felt way after ingestion.
Besides the fact that foods rich in carbohydrates are an important source of vitamins and fibers, and they are very nourishing, they don’t contain many calories. Foods high in carbohydrates are mainly foods with a high content of starch. In this category are included bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta and noodles, corn products, beans, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. You should know that foods containing carbohydrates should be part of every meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
4. Proteins in the diet of the pregnant woman.
Protein is the main component of organs, muscles, cells, and almost all body fluids. Proteins are essential in everyone’s diet, as it provides numerous functions in the human body:
- Have a structural role in bones, muscles, skin, hair, nails, and cell membranes
- Are the only source of nitrogen in the body
- Help in many physiological functions being part in the composition of hormones and receptors
- Help to maintain a role in clotting
- Are a secondary energy source
Sources of protein include meat, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and dairy products. Remember that you must include proteins in your daily to be healthy. What to eat during pregnancy when it comes to proteins is not as difficult:
- Opt for lean beef, poultry or eggs. Use a minimal amount of fat or oil in the preparation process.
- Make sure that the meat or the eggs are well-cooked.
- Try to eat two servings of fish each week, of which at least one has to be a fish such as salmon, tuna, or sardines, which contain high levels of healthy fats (Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9 and so forth).
5. Dairy in the diet during pregnancy.
Dairy nutritional properties are important for pregnant women because they contain calcium and other nutrients that the baby needs during its intrauterine development. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese should not miss from your daily menu. Whenever you have the possibility choose milk with a low-fat content. During pregnancy, nutritional experts recommend about 2 or 3 servings of dairy per day.
6. About foods rich in sugars and fats during pregnancy.
Maybe you think these foods rich in sugar or fats are totally prohibited during pregnancy, but you should know that they can not be avoided completely and that shouldn’t be completely cut off. If you limit the amount of these foods and you will not abuse of them, you won’t affect your health or your baby’s development.
You should know that the foods and beverages high in sugars contain more calories without having a nutritional value and can contribute to weight gain, obesity and promote tooth decay. Foods that are rich in unhealthy fats contain many calories and promotes rapid weight gain and are generally unhealthy. Excessive consumption of saturated fats can increase blood cholesterol and increase the risk of developing heart diseases. Try to minimize consumption of saturated fats and include foods rich in unsaturated fats. In the category of foods rich in sugar or unhealthy fats are included:
- butter, margarine, creams
- salad dressings
- wafers and biscuits
- ice cream
- soft drinks
7. Healthy Snacks during pregnancy.
If you get hungry between meals, try not to eat snacks that are too high in fats or sugar, such as crackers, pretzels, or chocolates. What to eat during pregnancy when it comes to healthy snacks:
- sandwiches with cheese, lean ham, tuna, salmon or sardines, and lettuce
- vegetables such as carrots, bell pepper or cucumber
- low-fat yogurt or cheese
- hummus with bread
- dried apricots, figs and prunes
- vegetable soup
- unsweetened cereal with milk
- unsweetened fruit juices
- fresh fruits
- baked potatoes
8. Conclusions on what to eat during pregnancy and other pieces of advice.
You can eat almost anything you want that you know for sure is natural, without additives or preservatives, and that you know is not containing high levels of sugar or saturated fats (unhealthy fats). Remember that what you eat during pregnancy is also ‘eaten’ by the baby in your womb, so, if you have a balanced diet that contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals you’ll helping your baby to normally develop and you’ll also maintain yourself healthy and happy.
What to eat during pregnancy is important, of course, but is not the only thing you should take care of. If you’re a smoker, then quit smoking at least during your pregnancy. Also, give up on coffee and other energizers, and also on alcohol. Don’t do any hard physical activity, and try not to stress up no matter the reasons. Everything you do, besides what you eat during pregnancy, it affects your baby, too. Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!