The Importance Of Diet During Pregnancy

Most people know that once a woman becomes pregnant, certain foods should be avoided. For example, eating cold cuts or drinking hibiscus tea are usually considered unsafe because of a heightened risk of listeria crossing the placenta, or the risk of stimulating menstruation during pregnancy. But, while many people know what foods to avoid, not everyone is aware of which items should be incorporated to benefit both mom and baby. So, pregnant women should consider incorporating the following healthy foods into a daily diet.

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1. Fatty fish for omega-3s

Pregnant women are cautioned to limit the amount of fish consumed. But the directive is intended to warn women away from mercury-rich fish. Fatty fish like salmon and canned tuna are considered safe when eaten in moderation. These fish are rich in omega-3s, an essential fatty acid that boosts baby’s brain and eye health.

2. Spinach to boost iron

Pregnant women are more at risk for nutrient deficiencies since the body is trying to support two people simultaneously. In particular, low iron or iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy can be common. But incorporating a half-cup of spinach, either raw or cooked, can help improve iron stores.

3. Increase dairy intake

Most people know that dairy foods are an important source of calcium. But the food group is also important for potassium as well as vitamins A and D. While traditional options include fat-free or low-fat yogurt and milk, people who can’t eat dairy can also opt for soymilk as a healthy alternative.

4. Adding more protein

Since pregnancy results in rapid growth for the baby, consuming foods that support fetal developmental stages is important. Protein in particular is important for building the body’s systems like muscles, the digestive system, and more. Pregnant women should aim to consume at least 60 grams of protein a day. Both animal and plant proteins can be consumed to meet this goal.

5. Fiber to stay regular

Pregnancy comes with many interesting side effects, including reduced or uncomfortable bowel movements. To avoid constipation, pregnant women are encouraged to eat enough fiber. Consider incorporating whole-grain foods like brown rice, beans, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Along with boosting fiber content, these foods also help people stay fuller longer.

6. Vitamin C to boost iron absorption

Most people associate citrus fruit with vitamin C. But what many individuals don’t know is that vitamin C is a vital nutrient that helps the body absorb iron. So, focus on adding not just citrus, but also broccoli and tomatoes to a daily diet.

Eating healthy for two

Pregnancy is an exciting yet challenging time in a woman’s life. While the period represents a changing life stage, the process also requires that a woman be mindful of activities and diet. Eating healthy isn’t just to promote the baby’s health, but to ensure that the mom is doing well also. When in doubt, consider speaking with a physician or registered dietitian to determine a healthy meal plan to follow throughout pregnancy.

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