Knowing that they are bringing a new life into the world is the best feeling a couple can ever have. But along with this great news comes great responsibility. A pregnant woman has to take a lot of things into consideration, to ensure that no complications occur during childbirth. One of these considerations is her food habits.
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During pregnancy, the baby’s health depends entirely on what the soon-to-be-mother eats. Unhealthy foods can wreak havoc on both the woman’s health and the fetus’. A pregnant woman needs roughly 300 extra calories a day, which should come from nutritional foods, and not from empty sugar and salty foods that have almost no nutritional value.
Hence, a change in food habits is essential for a pregnant woman, to secure both her health and the health of her child. Read on to learn what changes need to be made.
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Food habits that should be avoided during pregnancy:
Avoid Processed foods
Processed foods contain a high amount of salt and sugar, and provide almost zero nutritional value. Taking in these foods will only disrupt your bodily functions, and adversely affect the baby in the womb. Some of the processed foods you should avoid include processed meats, sausages, packed fast foods etc.
Unpasteurized dairy products
Dairy products that are not further processed can prove detrimental to you and your baby during pregnancy. They cause a disease known as listeriosis, which can curb the growth of the baby. Thus, avoid unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses.
Unusual food cravings
Many of you may have heard of women who crave for ice creams and corn starch during their pregnancy periods. This condition is known as pica. If you are having more cravings than usual, consult your healthcare provider.
Foods that should be a part of every pregnant woman’s diet:
For pregnant women, it is recommended to increase your protein and calcium intake to meet the needs of the developing fetus. Dairy products contain two very high-quality proteins – casein and whey. They also provide the body with vitamin B, magnesium, zinc etc. Greek yogurt is arguably the best dairy option for pregnant women.
The family of legumes includes chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts, lentils, beans, peas etc. They are excellent plant-based nutritious sources, which provide fiber, iron, protein and vitamin B9, which the body needs during pregnancy. They are high in fiber, which means that their absorption by the body will be slower, and not result in an insulin spike.
Salmon is known as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. A majority of pregnant women do not get enough omega-3 in their diet, due to which complications occur during childbirth. DHA and EPA are long chained fatty acids that are essential during pregnancy.
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Eggs contain almost every high-quality protein, which is needed for pregnant women to give birth to a healthy baby. A whole egg contains almost 78 calories, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. In addition, they are a great source of choline, which is essential for brain development and is also vital for pregnant women.
Lean meat is a great source of high-quality protein and iron. Since the volume of blood constantly increases in pregnant women, they need a great amount of iron in their diet. Beef, pork, and chicken are considered to be high-quality nutritious foods, ideal for a pregnant woman.
They are packed with healthy carbohydrates, water, vitamin C and plant compounds. They also have a relatively low glycaemic index, and does will not cause a rise in sugar levels for pregnant women.
If you make all the aforementioned changes to your food habits, your chances of delivering a healthy baby will greatly increase, without a shadow of a doubt.
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