Nutrition during pregnancy is a whole different ball game; you’re eating for two people, and what you eat affects the health and well-being of both. This is why you must follow guidelines to ensure you get the best nutrition possible while pregnant. Are there any restrictions while pregnant? What is the best pregnancy diet? Some of these questions will be addressed below:
What Are a Pregnant Woman’s Nutritional Requirements?
Although the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman differ from those of a non-pregnant woman, the underlying principles remain the same: plenty of whole foods, plenty of liquids, a good balance of starch and protein, and, of course, a limited intake of processed foods.
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Food to include during pregnancy
Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables should be consumed in large quantities, both cooked and raw, such as salads, but raw in moderation.
Starch: To be included on the plate alongside other foods; best consumed whole grain and with skin (like baked potato with skin).
Proteins: Consume in moderation in the form of beans, pulses, fish, eggs, lean meat, tofu, paneer, and so on, depending on whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
Dairy: In moderation, dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese can be consumed. Calcium-enriched dairy alternatives are a good option for those who do not consume dairy.
Processed foods: Processed foods should be kept to a bare minimum, which includes all packaged goodies, high-fat foods, and foods containing refined sugar.
foods to avoid during pregnancy
There are also foods that you must avoid during pregnancy, which fall under the category of “what not to eat while pregnant.”
- Unpasteurised milk and foods made with unpasteurised milk, including most soft cheeses such as feta and cream cheese.
- Cocktail sausages, hot dogs, salami, and pepperoni are examples of processed meats.
- Seafood, eggs, and meat, both raw and undercooked.
- Kebabs and marinated tikkas that have been refrigerated and are ready to cook
- Smoked seafood that has been refrigerated, such as smoked salmon.
Do’s during pregnancy
Here are some guidelines to be followed during pregnancy:
Consume The Rainbow
It’s critical to eat a well-balanced diet while pregnant, and one of the best ways to do so is to look at your plate and ask yourself: am I eating the rainbow? Our Indian diets are dominated by brown and white foods such as white rice, dal, and roti. Do you get enough greens? Are you eating beta-carotene-rich foods like carrots? Do you get iron from vegetables like beets?
Include the five essential nutrients during pregnancy: folate, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin D.
As part of pregnancy nutrition, certain nutrients must be increased in your diet. Folate, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin D are all included. Folic acid should be consumed at a daily rate of 400 micrograms.
The daily iron requirement is 27 milligrams. The recommended daily calcium intake is 1,000 milligrams. Zinc requirements for pregnant women are set at 15 milligrams per day, while Vitamin D requirements are set at 600 international units (IU) per day.
Consume a Variety of Fibre-Rich Foods
Fibre is necessary for good health and digestion. It is considered as the most important part of the nutrition during pregnancy, when women may suffer from bloating and constipation.
Fibre-rich foods also keep you fuller for longer, as opposed to refined carbohydrates, which are usually devoid of fibre. Pregnant women should aim for 25-35 milligrams per day as part of their pregnancy nutrition.
Consume plenty of fluids.
“Eight glasses of water per day is a requirement for all of us on a regular basis.”
And fluids should not be neglected while pregnant. Increased fluid intake is required during pregnancy to support foetal circulation, amniotic fluid development, and increased blood volume. It is suggested that pregnant women drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.
Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of the nutrition during pregnancy for your baby’s development and a necessary component of pregnancy nutrition. A diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids promotes your baby’s brain development and neurological functions before birth, as well as better vision, memory, and linguistic skills in childhood. It also improves mood and may lower the risk of postpartum depression in mothers.
Don’ts during pregnancy
Here we have mentioned some guidelines to avoid during pregnancy:
Don’t Excessively Use “Eating for Two”
Yes, you have a growing baby inside you, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat for two. Your baby requires nutrient-dense foods rather than an abundance of food. Weight gain should be proportional to your height and pre-pregnancy weight; packing on too many kilos is not recommended.
Don’t Ignore Safe Food Handling
During pregnancy, you should be extra cautious with your food and nutrition, and follow the wash-clean-cook-chill method. Wash all produce thoroughly after purchase, thoroughly clean produce and utensils before cooking, thoroughly cook all ingredients to kill bacteria, and store all perishable items in the refrigerator once cooked.
Don’t go too long between meals.
Nutrition during pregnancy also entails eating frequently or “grazing,” which ensures that your baby gets enough nutrients throughout the day. This stabilizes your blood sugar levels and keeps you from “crashing” or becoming lightheaded. To keep your body going, try to eat several small meals throughout the day. And never, ever skip a meal or wait several hours between meals.
To Avoid Cravings, Avoid Junk Food.
Pregnancy is a time when your body is changing, and you may experience strange cravings that you haven’t experienced before. This is sometimes an indication that a woman is deficient in a specific nutrient. Cravings can be useful in this context, but don’t use them as an excuse to eat junk and consume empty calories. Consult your doctor if you have a specific food craving.
Don’t Consume Alcohol
Most people are aware of this, but we’ll reiterate: avoid alcohol during those nine months. Alcohol is dangerous because it can harm the developing fetus, causing long-term medical problems and birth defects.