A healthy diet is very important during pregnancy because during this period the pregnant woman’s body needs more nutrients from vitamins and minerals and approximately 300 to 350 additional calories per day during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Also, the diet that a pregnant woman consumes, which lacks essential nutrients, can negatively affect the development of the child, and in our article we will highlight the importance of the pregnant woman’s diet and the nutrients that she needs during this period to pass through the safety and health of her and her fetus, so come with us.
A balanced and healthy diet for a pregnant woman
Pregnancy is one of the most important stages in every woman’s life, as a pregnant woman must follow a proper diet during pregnancy to be able to meet all her needs and the needs of her fetus because what a woman eats during pregnancy is the main source of nutrition, so experts advise the pregnant mother to choose a variety of foods. A healthy beverage to provide nutrients important for growth and development.
Poor eating habits and weight gain may increase the risk of gestational diabetes and unpleasant labor complications, and simply choosing healthy and nutritious foods will help ensure your health and the health of your baby while you are pregnant.
Weight gain during pregnancy is normal, but it is important to gain weight in a healthy way, and this is beneficial for you, your baby, and your health after birth.
Based on this talk, come with us and learn with us about the important types of foods that a pregnant woman should eat during pregnancy as a good start to a healthy, well-nourished pregnancy:
During pregnancy, a pregnant woman needs more protein and calcium to meet the needs of the developing fetus.
Dairy products contain a variety of high-quality proteins and are the best source of the important calcium, as they provide high amounts of phosphorous, various B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
Calcium is a mineral used in building bones and teeth. If a pregnant woman does not get enough calcium, many minerals, especially calcium, are absorbed from the mother’s bone savings and given to the fetus, causing her to lack many minerals and nutrients, so many dairy products are rich in this element. Important, vitamin D and other nutrients that work with calcium to repair the bones and teeth of children.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is especially beneficial for pregnant women, as this type of yogurt contains more calcium than other types of dairy products.
Some types of yogurt also contain beneficial probiotic bacteria that contribute to digestive health.
Taking probiotics during pregnancy reduces the risk of complications such as high blood pressure as well as protein in the urine, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections and allergies.
This group of foods includes lentils, peas, beans, peas, soybeans, and peanuts.
Legumes are an excellent plant source that is rich in dietary fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9), calcium, and everything the body needs most during pregnancy.
Folic acid, which is one of the B vitamins called (B9), which is present in legumes in large quantities is very important for the health of the pregnant woman and the fetus, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, however, most pregnant women do not get enough folic acid, which is linked to this deficiency. The vitamin increases the risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight.
Also, insufficient folate intake makes a child more vulnerable to infections and diseases later in life and during the growth period.
A cup of lentils, peas, or beans may provide 65-90% of a pregnant woman’s daily needs of these important elements, in addition to that, legumes generally contain a high percentage of dietary fiber that helps with easy digestion and promotes intestinal transit and a pregnant woman not to be constipated. The varieties are also rich in iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Sweet potatoes are a very rich source of beta-carotene, which is a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in the body.Vitamin A is known to be essential for growth as well as for further cell-tissue separation and is especially important for a healthy fetus.
Pregnant women are generally advised to increase their vitamin A intake by 10-40% and at the same time they are advised to avoid consuming large amounts of animal sources of vitamin A which can lead to toxicity if consumed in excessive quantities.
Therefore, beta-carotene is a very important source of vitamin A for pregnant women, and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, as about 100-150 grams of sweet baked potatoes meet all the daily requirements of this important compound.
In addition, sweet potatoes contain dietary fiber that increases the feeling of satiety, lowers blood sugar, improves the health of the digestive system and its ability to move, and prevents constipation.
Salmon is a very rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids.
But most people, especially pregnant women, do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet as consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is essential during pregnancy, especially long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
These fatty acids are found in large quantities in seafood and help form the brain and eyes of a fetus, however pregnant women are generally advised to limit their seafood consumption to more than twice a week because fatty fish contains mercury and other pollutants that can cause toxicity.
Awareness of this can push some pregnant women to avoid all seafood and thus limit the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, but pregnant women must eat seafood from once to twice a week for the benefit.
Salmon is also one of the few natural sources of vitamin D that is often not found in diets but is essential for many body building processes, including bone health, immune system function and thyroid health.
Eggs are a very healthy food because they contain almost all the nutrients that the body needs, as a large egg contains 77 calories in addition to high-quality fats and proteins, and it contains many vitamins and minerals.
Eggs are an excellent source of choline, and choline is essential for many processes in the body, including brain development and health, and an American dietary survey found that more than 90% of people consume less than the recommended amount of choline and this deficiency and decrease in choline intake during pregnancy may result. It increases the risk of neural tube defects and may lead to decreased brain function in the child.
Eggs also contain protein. More protein is needed during pregnancy because it is considered a “nutrient for building the body” and helps build important organs in the baby such as the brain and heart.
One whole egg unit contains about 113 mg of choline which provides about 25% of the recommended daily allowance for pregnant women.
Broccoli and dark leafy vegetables:
Broccoli and dark green vegetables like kale and spinach contain many nutrients that pregnant women need. They include dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.
In addition, broccoli and green vegetables are rich in antioxidants, and they also contain plant compounds that are beneficial for the immune system and improve digestive functions due to their high content of dietary fiber.
Lack of iron absorption during pregnancy can lead to anemia, a condition that leads to fatigue and an increased risk of infection, as dark vegetables are one of the elements that fill the deficiency of iron and at the same time increase a good source of vitamin C.
This vegetable can also help prevent constipation, which is the most common problem for many pregnant women.
Consuming leafy and green vegetables is also associated with a reduced risk of low birth weight babies.
Beef and poultry are excellent sources of high-quality protein, plus, beef is rich in iron, choline, and other B vitamins, all of which are necessary in greater amounts during pregnancy.
Iron is an essential mineral that red blood cells use as part of hemoglobin and plays an important role in transporting oxygen to all cells of the body. Pregnant women need more iron because their blood volume is increasing, and this is especially important in the third period of pregnancy where low levels can result. Iron in the beginning and middle of pregnancy leads to anemia and iron deficiency, which doubles the risk of premature labor and low birth weight, especially when pregnant women hate eating meat.
However, eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits such as oranges or lemons, or even green peppers, can help increase iron absorption from meals and fill a deficiency in this important ingredient.
Fish liver oil:
Fish liver oil is derived from the livers of fatty fish, most often cod.
It is a very rich oil in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are essential for the development of the brain and eyes of the fetus.
Fish liver oil also contains a lot of vitamin D, which unfortunately not many people get, and this oil is very beneficial for people who do not regularly eat seafood or omega-3 supplements or vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy, in addition to high protein in the urine, and this is a potentially dangerous complication associated with swollen hands and feet when pregnant.
Consuming fish liver oil in early pregnancy results in weight-related births and reduces the risk of disease throughout the baby’s life.
One serving or one tablespoon of fish liver oil provides the recommended daily intake of omega-3, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
However, it is not recommended to consume more than one serving or more than one tablespoon of fish liver oil per day because excessive intake of vitamin A can be dangerous for the fetus, and excessive consumption of omega-3 fatty acids also weakens the blood.
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Berries contain water, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, plant compounds and vitamin C that helps the body absorb iron.
Vitamin C is also important for skin health and immune system function. The berries also lower blood sugar levels.
Berries can be a great snack because they contain water and fiber, as they are nutritious and delicious, yet low in calories.
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Eating whole grains fully meets the body’s need for extra calories during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, unlike refined grains, whole grains contain dietary fiber, vitamins and plant compounds.
Additionally, whole grains are generally rich in B vitamins, fiber, magnesium, and all of these nutrients that pregnant women often lack in diet.
Whole grains are an important source of energy in the diet and also provide iron and B vitamins.
Oats and quinoa also contain relatively good amounts of protein which is essential during pregnancy.
Have a cup of orange juice and wholegrain flakes for breakfast.
Avocados are a fruit that is not used to eating in many countries, but it contains a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, and this fruit also contains a high proportion of fiber and an ample amount of B complex vitamins (especially folic acid or vitamin B9), vitamin K and vitamin E Vitamin C, potassium and copper are therefore a great choice for pregnant women.
The healthy fats in this fruit help form the skin, brain, and various tissues of the fetus.
The folic acid (vitamin B9) in avocados helps prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.
Potassium can also help relieve leg muscle cramps, which is a side effect of pregnancy for some women.
Dried fruits are generally rich in calories, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
A handful of dried fruits contains the same amount of nutrients as only fresh fruit without water and much smaller, so one unit of dried fruit can provide a large percentage of the recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron and potassium.
Dried fruits are also natural laxatives and can be very helpful in reducing constipation, which is a complication for a pregnant woman.
However, dried fruits also contain large amounts of natural sugars.
Dried prunes are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and sorbitol (an artificial sugar produced from the low-calorie regular glucose sugar that breaks down slowly in the body).
Rich in dietary fiber, potassium, iron and plant compounds, regular consumption of dates in the third trimester helps in facilitating cervical dilatation and thus reducing labor pains.
The volume of blood during pregnancy increases to more than 1.5 liters so it is always important to have enough water to compensate.
Usually the fetus gets everything it needs, but if a pregnant woman does not pay attention to the amount of water she takes in, she may become dehydrated.
In addition, increasing your water intake may help relieve constipation and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, which are common during pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration include mild headache, anxiety, fatigue, bad mood and memory loss. Many doctors recommend that pregnant women drink about 2 liters of water per day, but the amount you really need varies from person to person.
It is estimated that each person should drink about 1-2 liters of water per day, but keep in mind that you also get your water from other foods and drinks like fruits, vegetables, coffee, and tea. As a general rule, you should drink water when you are thirsty, and drink until your thirst is completely quenched.
What a pregnant woman eats during pregnancy affects her energy and health and may also directly affect the health and development of her fetus.
Because the need for calories and nutrients increases during this period, choosing and consuming healthy and nutritious foods is of particular importance as well.
Banned food for pregnant women
- A pregnant woman should limit consuming white tuna because it is high in mercury and you should not consume more than 6 ounces per week because mercury metal can be harmful to a developing baby’s brain (mercury is a toxic chemical that can pass through the placenta and can be harmful to the development of The fetus, brain, kidneys and nervous system).
- A pregnant woman should also limit seafood such as swordfish and sharks, and mackerel, which are high in mercury during pregnancy.
- Caffeine: Reduce your caffeine intake during pregnancy. Consuming less than 200 mg of caffeine per day in a cup of coffee is generally considered safe during pregnancy, and moderate consumption of caffeine during pregnancy does not appear to contribute to miscarriage or premature labor.
- Alcohol: Avoid alcohol during pregnancy because alcohol can reach the mother’s blood directly to the baby through the umbilical cord. Alcohol abuse during pregnancy has been linked to a child’s alcohol disorder, a group of conditions that can include physical, educational, and behavioral problems in children.
- Reducing the consumption of foods that are not pasteurized or made from raw milk because they can lead to infection with Listeria, an infection caused by parasites that can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, disease or death in infants, and to avoid infection with Listeria, the following foods should be avoided during pregnancy period:
- Hot dogs, beef and cold cuts.
- Ready salads like fish salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, and seafood salad.
- Frozen and unpasteurized meat.
- Frozen meat.
- Raw meat: as the mother can transmit toxoplasma infection to her child, which may cause problems such as blindness and mental retardation in life.
- A pregnant woman should also avoid the following foods during pregnancy to prevent toxoplasmosis:
- Raw and uncooked meat.
- Raw fish is like sushi.
- Raw oysters.
- Certain foods may increase the risk of food poisoning during pregnancy, including diseases caused by salmonella and Escherichia coli:
- Raw and undercooked eggs.
- Foods that contain raw eggs such as raw biscuit dough or cake mix, chocolate mousse, homemade ice cream, and homemade sauce.
- Raw and undercooked sprouts, such as alfalfa.
- Unpasteurized juice or vinegar.