When you’re pregnant, you have to eat more to help the development of your baby . However, this does not mean you can eat whatever you want. Pregnant women should eat foods that are rich in nutrients such as protein, calcium, folic acid and iron.
Since you’re eating for two, you need more calories per day. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA) pregnant women should consume an average of 2500 to 2700 calories per day, or about 300 calories more a day than non-pregnant-women. If you are plan to breastfeeding your baby will need even more calories per day.
The best way to get to know you and your baby’s nutritional needs is to eat a variety of nutritious foods. By eating a variety of foods from the five food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat and beans) will ensure your baby grow healthy and normal, both physically and mentally.
calcium is very important for all women, especially pregnant women. This helps keep bones healthy and strong. During third trimester of pregnancy your baby needs a lot of calcium as they begin to develop and strengthen bones. If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, calcium your baby needs will be taken from your bones, that put you at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. To avoid the risk of osteoporosis later in life, be sure to get enough calcium in your diet.
The recommended daily calcium intake during pregnancy is 1000 mg to 1300 mg per day. Two cups of low-fat milk must meet their daily needs. Other sources of calcium include soy milk, yogurt, orange juice, cereals, dried beans, nuts, tofu and leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli. If you can not get your calcium needs through diet, taking calcium supplements.
During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to supply red blood cells, both you and your baby. The growing baby also stores iron for use after birth. This increases the need for iron for pregnant women.
The recommended daily iron intake during pregnancy is 27 mg per day. Iron is necessary to decrease after birth, but women who are breastfeeding still need about 10 mg per day.
Iron is available in fish, red meat, poultry, eggs, whole grain products, beans, nuts, nuts and green leafy vegetables. Iron in the egg and plant sources is not as readily absorbed as iron from animal sources. However, you can increase iron absorption by eating foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus and orange juice. We also need to watch out for coffee, tea and colas, as they can reduce the body’s absorption of iron. Folate or Folic acid is a B vitamin that is required to build protein tissue. All pregnant women need adequate intake of folic acid, because it helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
The Public Health Service US and March of Dimes recommends that pregnant women should consume 600 mcg of folic acid every day during the first three months of pregnancy. If you have a family history of neural tube defects, you may need more folate. Your doctor will prescribe a prenatal vitamin that contains the right amount of folic acid.
is also important eat food that are naturally rich in folic acid. folate-rich foods include eggs, breads, legumes, grains, nuts, orange juice and leafy green vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach and salad greens). Check the Nutrition Facts panel on the package to find out the amount of folic acid is present.
Proteins are found in many foods. It helps maintain muscle, blood supply and tissues of the baby. Pregnant women should take about 70 grams of protein per day. Foods like fish, lean meat, poultry, dairy products and nuts are good sources of protein.
Vegetarians can meet their protein needs by eating soy products like soy beans, tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu. Soy protein-rich foods are the only source of complete protein for vegans and therefore are an important part of the diet-to-be mom. Other vegetarian protein-rich foods include nuts, hummus and beans (chickpeas, white beans, red beans, etc.).
carbohydrates and fats
Carbohydrates and fat are important nutrients for pregnant women. They provide the energy needed for daily activities. Most importantly, these nutrients appropriate for infant development are needed.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommend that 20 to 35 percent of daily calories should come from fat, found mostly in butter, cooking oils and dairy products and 45 to 65 percent of daily calories should be derived from the group of carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, corn and potatoes).
Read also: Do’s and Don’ts of pregnancy