A pregnant women needs more nutrients than others so as to fulfill requirements of a growing baby. Though, eating for two is a myth....you are required to eat just a little more than your usual, not double. The pregnancy diet should include these -
Folic AcidFolic acid or Folate prevents any birth defects in the baby's spine and brain. It is difficult to get the recommended amount from diet alone, so supplements are needed. The required amount of Folic acid during pregnancy is about 600 mg/day. The main natural source of folate are leafy green vegetables.
Calcium is the required to build bones and teeth of a baby. A pregnant women needs about 1000 mg of calcium a day. The main source of calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese, fish.
IronDeficiency of this mineral causes anaemia, resulting in fatigue and infections. The daily iron requirement for a pregnant woman is 27 mg/ day. The major sources of iron are meat, fish, poultry, fortified cereals and beans. For better absorption of iron, vitamin C should be included in the diet.
ProteinsProteins are the building blocks of a baby's body. The body requires more protein to build important organs like brain and heart. Eggs, meat, fish, nuts are abundant sources of protein.
What To Eat
During pregnancy special attention should be paid to a women's diet. It should include the five food groups :
whole grains are not just important source energy in the diet but are also abundant in fiber, iron and vitamins. Examples of whole grains are wheat atta, brown rice, oatmeal, millet, barley etc.
A pregnant women should include good source of protein like eggs, fish, milk, cheese etc, to support baby's growth.
Fruits And VegetablesFruits and Vegetables are store houses of vitamins and minerals. A pregnant women must have atleast 2-3 serving of each in a day. Try to include different coloured fruits and veggies for optimum effect.
Dairy products are abundant in protein, calcium and vitamin D. Aim to have atleast 3-4 serving of dairy such as milk, curd, cheese, paneer etc each day.
Water - As a mom-to-be, it is essential to drink enough water. Water can help prevent constipation, UTI and hemorrhoids. Aim to drink 12-14 glasses of water every day.
What Not To Eat
Raw EggsAs they may be contaminated with salmonella, a bacteria causing fever,vomiting and diarrhea.
SushiIt is not considered safe as it includes uncooked fish, which may contain illness inducing parasites.
Unpasteurized JuicesStay away from juice sold at stands as it may not have undergone pasteurization, making it unsafe because of contamination.
CaffieneLimit your coffee intake to 2 cups a day.
AlcoholAlcohol should be avoided.
Along with these diet guidelines, try to include 30 min. of light exercise. Stay calm, meditate and enjoy.