Pregnancy can be challenging period for women. Aside from dealing with the physiological and psychological tasks of expecting a child, a pregnant woman has to maintain adequate nutrition for her and her forthcoming newborn to be healthy. The following are nutritional tips pregnant women have to take into account.
According to NHS, eating a handful of fruits and vegetables is essential during pregnancy, since these kind of foods provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which the body needs. Vitamins and minerals are vital to the body’s overall cellular and tissue function while fiber acts as a sweep that removes harmful toxins, chemicals, and other substances from the body. In addition, fiber also aids in the digestive process, which prevents constipation. As per NHS, a pregnant woman should eat at least five portions of different kinds of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. While these foods can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned, fresh food should always be washed thoroughly to prevent diseases.
Carbohydrates are also vital components of nutrition during pregnancy. With glucose as building blocks, carbohydrates provide long-lasting energy to a pregnant woman and to the growing baby, indirectly, however. According to Pampers, there was no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for complex carbohydrates in pregnant women. But then, most nutritionists claim that a pregnant woman should consume up to about 60 percent of her total daily calories. Known sources of complex carbohydrates include cereals, pasta, dried beans and peas, potatoes, whole-grain bread, and vegetables. According to Pampers, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates, so they could serve as snacks. Also, expecting mothers can also have vegetables stir-fried, microwaved, or steamed, so they would not lose their vitamins and minerals.
Protein is another important nutritional component during pregnancy. This nutrient is made up of amino acids, which help build the cells of the body of both the mother and the baby. According to Baby Center, it was important to consume protein during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, since these are the periods of faster growth for the baby. The publication added that these trimesters were when the mother’s breasts and reproductive system were getting larger to put up the needs of the growing baby. The average protein need of pregnant women is about 70 grams (g) per day, as per Baby center. As per the publication, 70 grams of protein can be covered by drinking two glasses of milk, eating five ounces of chicken breast, and consuming two cups of yogurt. Other excellent sources of protein include lean meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, cheese, tofu, beans, and yogurt.
Dairy products can also be taken by pregnant women. According to Not on a Diet, dairy products benefit pregnant women, since these are rich in vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus. Dairy products, such as milk, provide these nutrients, which aid in the formation of bones. Aside from helping the mother support her weight by strengthening her bones, vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus, also contribute to the proper development of bones and cartilage in the growing baby. The daily requirement for calcium during the entire pregnancy period is about 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day, according to Not on a Diet. This entails that a cup of eight ounces of milk would give an estimated 300 mg while a cup of low fat yogurt yields approximately 450 mg. In addition, dairy products like milk and yogurt also provide fluids to the body, which increases blood supply, energy, and the daily well-being of pregnant women.
Overall, healthy eating entails consuming a well-balanced meal and not removing one’s favorites from the meals. While a pregnant woman may think that she has to satisfy her cravings, it is still important to comply with the natal visits for medical advice.