During pregnancy, the focus should not be only on how much you are eating. It is even more important to focus on what you are eating. The mother’s body needs a minimum of 300 extra calories in a day, particular during the later stages of pregnancy as the baby grows rapidly during this time. It is important that the calories come from healthy and nutritious food so that the baby grows and develops properly.
Eating proper diet during pregnancy would make sure that their pregnancy is an enjoyable and healthy period. The perfect diet for pregnant women must contain carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins and minerals in the right amounts along with plenty of water.
Intake of proteins in appropriate amounts is necessary for proper growth of the cells as well as in production of blood in the body. Food products rich in proteins include peanuts, lean meat, fish, poultry, pulses, tofu and egg white.
Food containing carbohydrates is important for providing the energy needed by the body. Rice, cereals, fruits, vegetables, bread and pasta are some sources of carbohydrates.
Calcium rich food is absolutely necessary for pregnant women as it helps in the development of strong teeth and bones. It also aids proper nerve functioning as well as muscle contraction. The mother must take abundant calcium as the baby requires calcium is large quantities. Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, sardine and spinach.
Iron intake is required for the production of RBCs or Red Blood Cells in the body. Eat whole grain breads, cereals, spinach and lean red meat to supply enough iron to the body.
Vitamin B6 rich food such as whole grain cereals, gram, bananas and pork helps in RBC formation as well as aid the right use of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Folic acid helps in the production of proteins and blood as well as in enzyme production. It also helps in preventing defects in the neural tube which can occur during early stage of pregnancy. Due to this, folic acid is required in large amounts during pregnancy. Good sources include green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, nuts and dark yellow fruits.
Food That Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
Smoking and alcohol should be completely avoided during pregnancy. Caffeine consumption should also be avoided as much as possible as they can lead to miscarriages. Food containing raw eggs, unpasteurized milk and cheese and apple juice should not be taken. Uncooked or processed meat or fish should be avoided. Besides this, some kinds of fish like shark, tilefish, king mackerel and swordfish are a complete no-no.
So eat healthy, both during as well as after pregnancy, so that both you and your infant stays healthy.