10 tips To Eat Healthy in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most significant phases of a woman’s life. Most mothers claim that despite the physical inconveniences associated with it, pregnancy makes it to their best lifetime memories. Now, talking about the challenges of pregnancy, the first hurdle is the change in the nutritional requirements of the mother’s body. Her body now has to support two lives instead of one and as a result, it demands more fuel in the form of food.
Now, certain pregnancy myths state that a woman who is carrying should eat food for two. Merely doubling the food intake will result in unnecessary weight gain making pregnancy tougher than what it normally is. It also increases the risk of medical conditions like gestational diabetes, heart disease, High blood pressure, and low birth weight.
To do away with all of these and ensure that your unborn child gets all the nutrients that he or she needs from you, here are 10 healthy eating tips.
1. Do not skip breakfast
In the first trimester, morning sickness makes it difficult for many women to have a nutritional breakfast. As this is the first food of the day, skipping this will make you feel worse and is bad for the baby. Try to have a whole wheat toast if you feel nauseous. Towards the later stages of pregnancy, when your morning sickness would have subsided, try to go for fortified cereals. These are loaded in nutrients and are a good way to start your day. You may also choose to team the cereals with some fruits.
2. Stay hydrated
When you are pregnant, the blood volume in your body increases by 1.5 liters. This makes it all the way more important for you to stay hydrated. Many pregnant women tend to drink less water because of the discomforts associated with frequent urination in pregnancy. However, lack of water consumption results in anxiety, tiredness, headache and may make one more prone to mood swings. The occurrence of urinary tract infection (UTI) and constipation is common among pregnant women. Sufficient fluid intake helps to bring down the discomforts associated with these conditions.
3. Consume fresh fruit juice
To meet the body’s increased fluid needs, you need to consume a good quantity of fresh fruit juice as well. Try to go for seasonal citrus fruits that are loaded with Vitamin C. Orange, mosambi, lemon, etc. are good options. Ideally, a pregnant woman should have 1-2 glasses of such fruit juices daily.
4. Choose high fiber food
Food that is rich in fiber not only keeps your system clean but is also beneficial for the baby. This would include green leafy vegetables, whole grains, carrots, and beans. Fruits like melon and banana are also loaded with fiber. Try switching to brown rice or oatmeal.
5. High protein diet
The baby needs protein to grow and for that, you will have to increase your intake of food that is rich in it. This would include eggs, meat, and fish. While eating fish make sure you avoid see fish that has high mercury content. Similarly, with meat, you must avoid the liver. Vegetarians can meet their daily protein requirements by consuming beans, nuts, and pulses daily.
6. Dairy products
You must indulge in the consumption of milk and milk products throughout the pregnancy. This would include ghee, butter, cheese, paneer, and yogurt. If possible, go for dairy varieties that have reduced fat content. Women who are Lactose Intolerant may choose to opt for tofu and soy milk instead.
7. Keep away from uncooked fish and Meat
As a pregnant woman, you must ensure that everything that you eat is properly cooked. Keep away from pink meat when you are indulging in sausages, pork or burgers. Uncooked fish, like in sushi, is equally dangerous for the unborn baby. Make sure that your egg is also well cooked and the yolk is not a liquid or semi-solid state.
8. Increase your iron intake
Folic acid is one of the most important nutrients for a pregnant woman as they help in preventing birth defects. The iron intake of a woman must be increased right from the time when she is trying to conceive to when she is lactating. Iron is found in all types of beans, spinach, pomegranate, tofu, and lentils. Make sure that you consume sufficient quantities of these regularly. In the case of high-risk pregnancies that may not be enough and you may need to take iron and folic acid tablets separately. This is also true in the case of women who are anemic during their pregnancy.
This is one aspect of your diet that you need to be especially careful about. The reason for this is the fact that most of the unhealthy carbohydrates, trans fats and Cholesterol make their way to the body through the snacks. Make sure that you avoid all forms of junk food. Try to substitute those with salads (loaded with lettuce, carrot, and cucumber), dry fruits like apricots, figs or cashews, fresh fruits or soups. YOU may also go for whole-grain crackers, flavored yogurt or dahi. As far as possible, try to avoid deep-fried food as those may cause indigestion in pregnant women.
10. Limit your caffeine intake
Almost every pregnant woman is aware of the fact that she should not be consuming alcohol during this stage. However, not many people know that caffeine is equally bad. Do not consume more than a cup of tea or coffee in a day. In case you have to, make sure that the same is decaffeinated. Also, substitute your soda with water.