Maintaining healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a time when a woman's body needs good nutrition and enough of it for the growth and development of both the mother and the baby. Morning sickness in the early months of pregnancy may make it difficult to start the intake of prenatal vitamins, but to prevent unnecessary weight gain pregnant women should stick to a balanced diet to avoid health complications later on.

Here are some recommendations to help prepare a diet chart for your pregnancy.

1. Choose foods high in fibre that are enriched such as cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables.

2. Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron daily.

3. Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy.

4. Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

5. Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas).

6. Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.

7. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet while pregnant. You should take a prenatal vitamin supplement to make sure you are consistently getting enough vitamins and minerals every day. Your doctor can recommend an over-the-counter brand or prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you.

8. Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe. Know that excessive vitamin A intake (>10,000 IU/day) may be associated with foetal malformations.

9. Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Use fats and sweets sparingly.

10. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Avoid alcohol, undercooked food and quit smoking.

11. Pregnant women should avoid swordfish, mackerel and tilefish since these may contain high levels of mercury.

It is always recommended to eat enough and balanced food to gain weight at the recommended rate. During pregnancy the pregnant women's body begins to undergo sudden and rapid changes thus it is advised to eat enough for the two.

Pregnancybooksandvideos provides good pregnancy books, pregnancy gifts and pregnancy videos online guiding the expecting parents through various facts of pregnancy.

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