Since the mother is the sole source of nutrition for the fetus (baby) growing in her womb, her eating pattern and habit is going to significantly affect the growth, health and well-being of her unborn baby. As such, it is for this very reason why all expecting females are suggested to have proper healthy nutrition during pregnancy. With so much rapid changes going on inside the pregnant mother’s body, she needs to take adequate amount of nutrition to help her system successfully cope with the changes.
It is common knowledge now that poor / improper diet taken by pregnant mothers can adversely affect her pregnancy and lead to conditions like anaemia, pre-eclampsia, mood swings, fatigue, leg cramps, constipation and so on. It is equally true that that deficit of specific minerals like zinc in the body is found to be at times responsible for instigating premature labor. As long as there is not any family history of medical illnesses, consuming the correct type of food guarantees that a pregnant woman delivers a healthy baby.
A List of What to Eat during Pregnancy
Note that it is always a good idea to consult a dietitian about how much, when to eat and other aspects related to a pregnant woman’s diet beforehand.
- Three helpings of first class proteins
- Two helpings of vitamin C foods
- Four helpings of calcium-rich foods (four during pregnancy and five during lactation)
- Three helpings of fresh leafy vegetables / fruits
- Half serving of other fruits and vegetables
- Four to five helpings of whole grain and complex carbohydrates
- Two helpings of iron-rich foods
- Eight to10 glasses of water
- Vitamin and Folic Acid supplements based on your doctor's recommendation
Examples of Food that Contain Elements of the Above-Mentioned Balanced Pregnancy Diet
- Proteins like paneer, cheese, curd, milk, peas, all types of beans, dals and nuts. Non Vegetarians can also have meats like beef, pork, poultry, lamb, fish and eggs.
- Carbohydrates - cereals, rice, potatoes, pastas, sugar, breads.
- Fat - milk, cream, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, etc.
- Vitamin A - fish oils, egg yolk, milk, cheese, butter, margarine, fruits such as bananas, peaches and apricots, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, beetroots, etc.
- Vitamin B1 - all types of nuts, beans, peas, wheat, crude rice, soya bean, yeast, eggs, liver, kidneys, brain, heart, etc.
- Vitamin B2 – Meats of all kind. Fish, nuts, milk, cheese, cream, yeast, whole wheat, peas and beans are rich source of Vitamin B2.
- Iron – meats of all types. Also eggs, spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli.
- Calcium - Milk and its various products such as cheese, butter, cream, etc. Further spinach, broccoli, nuts, eggs, fish are also rich source of calcium.
- Folic Acid – Eat green vegetables for this. Iron capsules are also consumed by many pregnant mothers.
- Minerals - beans, wheat products, manganese peas, vegetables, etc. are good source of this.