Pregnancy diet plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
A balanced pregnancy diet ensures an optimum supply of nourishment that is required for the development of the fetus from the mother’s body.
Healthy weight gain during pregnancy is very important and it can be achieved with pregnancy diet.
Remember that during pregnancy each and every bite counts. Your eating habits affect your unborn child.
It is found from a recent research that the diet and nutrition of the mother during pregnancy influences not only on physical development but also on intelligence as well as mental ability of the child.
So, the pregnancy diet that you are following should include lots of protein, calcium, vitamins (vitamins B12, B6), iron, zinc, folic acid, minerals, fatty acids and essential calories that are required for your body to help develop your baby in a proper way.
For maintaining a healthy pregnancy, you (as a pregnant woman) should follow a pregnancy diet, eat regularly on timely basis and watch your weight gain constantly. Remember that the weight gain during pregnancy should be around 10-13 kg if you have a healthy weight before conception.
As the stage of your pregnancy increases, you need to include more proteins in your pregnancy diet. Also, increase your intake of calories more than your normal diet.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, increase 100 kilocalories in your pregnancy diet. Increase it by 300 kilocalories in the second trimester and 300 kcal in the third trimester.
It is important to include a wide variety of foods in the pregnancy diet to meet the nutritional needs of the mother as well as the baby.
The pregnancy diet must contain healthy, high fiber foods such as porridge (minerals and natural fiber), and dairy products rich-in calcium such as milk, curd, buttermilk, cheese and paneer.
Also include vegetables such as carrot and tomatoes that are rich-in carotene; Fruits like apples and oranges that contain high levels of vitamin B complex. Include beans, nuts, pastas, rice, bread, citrus fruits and leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli that contains folic acid.
Vitamin and mineral rich foods such as walnuts, almonds and raisins should increase in your pregnancy diet. Increase iron rich foods such as brown rice, jaggery, meat, fish, poultry, dried fruits, whole-grain breads, and iron-fortified cereals.
Foods high in protein like sprouts; lentils and pulses are essential in the pregnancy diet. Also, include very little amounts of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
In addition to the pregnancy diet, it is also essential to take prenatal vitamin supplement on daily basis during pregnancy because the nutrients (folic acid, iron and calcium) that are essential for you and your baby during pregnancy will not get adequately from pregnancy diet.
Folic acid reduces the risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects. During pregnancy, it is highly recommended to take prenatal vitamins that contain 1000 micrograms of folic acid. It is also recommended to take 30 mgs of iron and 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium every day.