Good nutrition during pregnancy

Nutrition during Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, you must have a balanced diet for you and your baby.This article will help you out, how to make healthy food choices at each mealtime.

Food Groups

1. Grains – Bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereal and tortillas.
2. Fruits- Always prefer fresh fruit. But frozen, canned fruit can be taken depending upon the availability of fruits.
3. Vegetables – vegetables can be raw, cooked, frozen, or canned.
4. Protein Foods- It includes meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds.
5. Dairy – Milk and milk products like cheese, yoghurt.
6. Fat & Oil- Prefer fat and oil from a plant source and limit solid fat from animal sources. The fat that you eat provide energy and help build many fetal organs and the placenta.

Are Vitamins and Minerals important?
Vitamins and minerals play vital roles in all of your body function. If you’re pregnant, your body needs more folic acid and iron. You should start taking folic acid before and during pregnancy.

Role of Folic Acid & Iron during Pregnancy

Folic acid is a vitamin B that is important for pregnant women. You need 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during pregnancy. Folic acid is necessary to prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine called Neural Tube Defects. You should take 600 micrograms of folic acid from all sources as per dietary guidelines. It is observed that the pregnant women don’t get the required amount of folic acid from food only.

Iron helps to make a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your organs and tissues. During pregnancy, you need extra iron for your baby. This extra iron helps your body to make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby. According to dietary guidelines, Its recommended to have at least 27mg/daily. You can get it by having iron-rich foods, including lean red meat, poultry, fish, dried beans & peas.

Vitamin C helps the absorption process of iron in your body. So it’s recommended to have iron-rich foods along with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes.

Role of calcium &Vitamin D in pregnancy

Calcium and Vitamin D also play a crucial role during pregnancy and your baby’s growth. Calcium is used to build your baby’s bones and teeth. All pregnant women should get 1000 mg of calcium daily. If you’re young mother having age between 14-18 years should get 1,300 mg daily. Good Calcium sources are milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt. Broccoli; dark, leafy green vegetables are also good sources of calcium.

Vitamin D helps calcium to absorb better in baby’s bones and tooth development. Vitamin D is essential for healthy skin and eyesight. All pregnant women need 600 international units of vitamin D a day. Exposure to early sunlight produces vitamin D in the skin. Other sources include milk fortified with vitamin D and fatty fish such as salmon.

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