The most important favor you can do for your future child is to eat a diet that is healthy, well-balanced, and composed of the freshest ingredients possible during your pregnancy. Eating a good diet is a balance. To be at your healthiest, your diet needs to include appropriate amounts of foods from the different food groups. Getting proper nutrition ensures that you and your baby are getting all the essential nutrients that your body needs for optimal health and well-being. Your organs development and function, your reproduction, your growth, body maintenance, optimum activity level, resistance to infection, disease, and your body’s ability to repair itself and respond to injury are all affected by your diet. While pregnancy is a normal condition for the female body, it is very stressful, and your nutritional needs will all increase to meet the needs of the baby growing inside of you. All the essential nutrients your body needs are:
If you are pregnant, you will need to eat a well-balanced, high-quality diet that includes between 80 and 100 grams of protein, salt, and water, as well as calories from all the food groups. The government’s food pyramid provides a good example of a well-balanced diet. However, if you are pregnant, you will need more protein and more calories in general. A sample diet for one day of pregnancy is as follows:
- Dairy: Eat two to three servings of dairy per day (milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese)
- Fruit: three servings of fruit per day
- Green Vegetables: two servings of green vegetables, one serving of a yellow vegetable
- Protein: two or three servings of meat, fish, nuts, tofu, or legumes.
- Salt: To taste
- Water: six to eight glasses of filtered, clean water each day
- Whole Grains: Three servings of whole grain bread, cereals, or high-complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, potatoes, beans, lentils, and peas are all complex carbs. These types of carbs, along with fruits and vegetables, are high in fiber and will help your digestive system process all those extra calories easily. It is important to remember that simple carbs are to be avoided. They are low in fiber and softer in texture. White bread, white rice, baked goods, candy, and sweeteners are simple carbs. They are dangerous for you and your child because they are too easily digested and too rapidly absorbed. A spike in your blood sugar, a quick boost in energy, and a much smaller amount of healthful nutrients are delivered to you and your baby. Simple carbs can lead to tooth decay, constipation, obesity, diabetes, and some cancers.
Preeclampsia, a condition that results from pregnancy. High blood pressure characterizes this condition, along with your body retaining fluids, and proteinuria (a presence of abnormal amounts of protein in your urine). Getting enough protein in your pregnancy diet can prevent diseases of pregnancy like preeclampsia. Enough calcium also helps reduce the incidence of preeclampsia. Folic acid (one of the B vitamins) helps prevent neural tube birth defects like spina bifida. Four hundred micrograms per day is the recommended amount
Even though oils and fats are not a food group on their own, they do provide your body with important nutrients. Your body uses the fats that you eat during your pregnancy to build many of the fetal organs as well as your placenta. The fats and oils in your pregnancy diet should come from plant sources. Limit or eliminate your consumption of solid fats that come from animal sources. These fats are solid at room temperature, as opposed to plant based oils that are liquid at room temperature.
These fats can be difficult to eliminate because they are so ubiquitous in our Western diet. However, vegetable oils have been part of human culture for millennia, longer than animal fats have been around. Many can also be burned as fuel as a substitute for petroleum fuels. They can also be used to finish wood, paint with oils, and to moisturize and treat your skin. There are many different and exciting types of edible oils that are delicious and good for you and your baby’s development are:
- Coconut Oil
- Corn Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Olive Oil
- Palm Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Sunflower Oil
You and your pregnancy doctor can make sure you have a diet and menu plan to support the organs, tissues, functioning, and development of you and your baby.
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