Pregnancy and diet
Healthy Pregnancy Diet Plan
Eating a balanced healthy diet is equally important for people of all age and all sex. A proper diet is what revives our vital body signs and provides us with all the necessary types of nutrients in the correct amount for our body to remain fit and for all our organs to work properly. For pregnant women, a balanced diet is of utmost importance, as it needs to be sufficient for both the mother and the baby growing inside her.
During the time of pregnancy, the mother’s body needs almost 300 to 500 extra calories each day to maintain the growing needs of herself and her baby. A balanced diet during pregnancy also helps to quickly reduce extra body fat after delivery.
Foods that should be taken during pregnancy
- Dairy products are probably one of the most important things that need to be taken to provide the extra calcium and protein, as they are very vital during this time for the developing foetus. Casein and whey are the two types of dairy protein and they provide zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins. Intake of probiotic supplements might also reduce allergies and vaginal infections.
- Legumes like peas, soybeans, lentils are a rich source of protein, calcium, fiber, and iron, which is all that body needs during this time. Legumes contain folate which is very essential for the baby growing inside.
- Vitamin A is extremely essential for the differentiation of cells and tissues in our body. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A.
- Though it is advised to reduce the intake of a large amount of seafood, yet salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids which have a high amount of necessary vitamin D.
- Eggs are considered the ultimate solution food as it contains more or less all nutrients necessary for the body during this time. Egg has choline which helps is the brain development of the child .It is one of the best pregnancy foods.
- Broccoli, lean meat, fish liver oil, berries, whole grains like oats and quinoa, avocados, dried fruits are certainly other very necessary food items that should be properly incorporated in the diet of the pregnant women for her to get all the essential nutrients needed at this time.
Foods that should be avoided during pregnancy
- Seafood is not advised to be taken during pregnancy because it contains mercury. As it is a highly toxic element, it can cause great harm to the foetus like swordfish, tuna or mackerel.
- Raw and processed meat greatly increases the chances of infections from bacteria which is fatal for the foetus. Hot dogs or deli meat should also be avoided.
- Raw eggs can contain salmonella which is infectious for the mother and child. Eating a large amount of animal-based vitamin A food is not recommended during pregnancy as it may contain a high level of copper which is very harmful to the baby.
- Caffeine generally gets absorbed very quickly and can pass inside the placenta which when reaches the foetus, can hamper its growth and increase risk during delivery.
- Raw sprouts like alfalfa and radish are very harmful during this time as they might contain salmonella, which becomes quite impossible to wash off. Due to the fatal risk that salmonella brings, raw sprouts are greatly harmful.
Raw milk and unpasteurised cheese are again very harmful during pregnancy as they might contain bacteria like campylobacter or E.Coli.
Hence, a proper diet is essential during pregnancy as each and every food has its own nutrition value as well as side effects, which might become harmful. So it is always advisable to get a proper diet chart and follow it during pregnancy to help the mother remain healthy and the baby develops faster.
Authored By Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Medical disclaimer: For information purposes only