A healthy diet during pregnancy contains much the same balance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as a healthy diet in general.
Each and every month of pregnancy is marked by certain physical changes. These changes can lead to certain side effects but can be avoided with necessary changes in diet and exercise. Healthy eating is of prime importance during pregnancy. But what you eat is more important than simply adding calories to your plate. Often, women miss on essential nutrients which contributes towards maternal and fetal well-being. While it is true that you should eat a balanced diet and include foods from all food groups to ensure proper growth and development of the fetus, try not to miss on the following nutrients and include them in your diet one way or the other. Here are the list of your eight must-have essentials of pregnancy diet:
Vegetarian Diets for During Pregnancy:
Calcium is needed for you to have strong bones and teeth. It also helps in facilitating muscle contraction and nerve function. Milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach, sardines, salmon are some of the calcium-rich foods you must add to your Pregnancy diet plan in the first trimester.
It helps to up the hemoglobin levels in you and in organ and cell development of your baby. ‘Remember you need to keep your iron levels up as you are now responsible for your baby’s health and development. Have plenty of dark green veggies like spinach, fenugreek, broccoli, dates, raisins, figs, beetroots and apples. ‘Never have iron and calcium-rich foods together as calcium many interface with absorption of iron,’ cautions Deepshika. For instance, avoid broccoli salad with curd or milk with a spinach toast. Know why you should have your iron pills with a glass of orange juice.
Vegetables provide many nutrients: calories, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. Eat three or more servings daily of green and yellow vegetables, which contain significant amounts of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, fiber, Vitamin E, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B6, calcium, and trace minerals. Four additional servings per day should come from fruits and other (non-green/yellow) vegetables. These provide fiber, vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.
You and your baby need those hearty grains. Therefore, carbs are important in helping you maintain your energy production. Foods like breads, rice, potatoes are some of the foods to add to your pregnancy diet plan.
Fluids are an important part of a healthy diet. At least 64 ounces (eight glasses) should be consumed per day, and more is better, preferably 80 ounces; don’t count caffeinated drinks, which act as diuretics. Water also reduces your chance of constipation and the subsequent hemorrhoids that can develop from straining during defecation. The increased flow of urine also reduces your risk of developing a urinary tract infection, which can be dangerous for you and your baby.
One of the essentials to add to your pregnancy diet plan is protien which helps in cell and muscle development in both you and your baby. Eggs and chicken are the best source of protein that you can consume.
Folic acid is essential for fetal brain and spine development. ‘Often women are prescribed pills as doctors believe one might not include enough of it in the diet and hamper fetal well-being,’ informs Deepshika. Though you shouldn’t miss out on your pills, you can supplement them by having tofu or soya paneer, dark green veggies like spinach and fenugreek, bottle gourd, muskmelon, peanuts and peanut butter.
Water plays a very important role in the nutrition of the pregnant woman, especially with regard to the increasing volume of blood circulation. Water carries the essential nutrients to the fetus. For the mother, it aids chewing and swallowing, prevents constipation, and reduces urinary tract infections. Drinking enough water will prevent the mother from dehydrating.