Are you now eating for two? If you are, then the days of putting anything into your body without consideration are gone, at least during your pregnancy. Nutrition is very important to help your baby develop in a healthy way.
Learning proper pregnancy nutrition is often a life-changer for many women when it comes to diet. Eating healthy during pregnancy is really not that different from eating healthy when you are not pregnant, but the truth is that most women start to really pay attention to what is healthy and what is not once they become pregnant.
Healthy Food For Pregnant Women
Even though a healthy diet should already be a part of your lifestyle, what to eat when pregnant is essential. Popcorn for breakfast, lunch, and supper is not going to cut it anymore. You need a healthy pregnancy diet high in protein, iron, and calcium to give your baby the building blocks it requires.
It is also important to watch your calories. Even though you are eating for two, you are not eating for two adults! You are eating for yourself and a very small baby. This means that you only need to increase your calories by 300 calories per day. This will give you all the nutrition you require and help you avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy.
It is important to allow yourself the pleasure of eating food that you crave, as it will help alleviate stress, and could possibly help you obtain minerals that your body needs. Often cravings are the body’s desire for something it is lacking. But, remember that if you are eating the food you crave, then you still have to take into account the calories in the food.
Ensure that you also get lots of water! Many women do not drink enough water when they are thinking about what to eat when pregnant, so the fact that we need even more water during pregnancy may be hard for you to suddenly intake. However, remembering that water is vital in maintaining a healthy body for you and your baby, and helps to produce healthy breast milk, should have you drinking up.
What to Avoid for Good Pregnancy Nutrition
Do not eat raw food such as eggs, fish, soft unpasteurized cheeses (or milk) and deli meats. They can contain potential parasites and bacteria that can be harmful the baby.
Avoid anything containing mercury such as canned tuna, king mackerel and swordfish. Some people will tell you that small amounts are okay, but mercury accumulates in the body, no matter how small the portions you put in are, and it accumulates in the fetus at higher levels than in the mother. It can cause damage to your baby’s brain and affect their sense of sight and hearing. It can also do damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and lungs.
Avoid artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame completely while pregnant. Aspartame has been known to cause brain damage among other things in adults, and babies are more susceptible to the chemical found in most diet foods and drinks. You do not want to risk causing your baby brain damage for a zero-calorie substance. Instead of eating chemically made food, stick to all natural choices. For example, use honey to sweeten your drinks or dates to sweeten your food.
Caffeine has been linked to miscarriage as well as other problems with the baby’s development. Tea, coffee, and caffeinated soft drinks should be avoided as part of a healthy pregnancy. Some doctors will tell you that limiting caffeine to 200 mg a day; however, a miscarriage cannot be undone, so it is better to exclude it from your diet completely for the safety of your baby.
Avoid alcohol such as wine, beer or hard liquor. Alcohol robs your child of oxygen that they need to develop which can cause developmental issues. Again, there is no way to undo the damage alcohol has on your baby, so avoiding alcohol completely is a wise choice during pregnancy.
In the end, what to eat when pregnant is much the same as a healthy nutritional diet plan when you are not pregnant. Increasing the iron, protein, and calcium in your diet will help your baby receive the vital nutrients that it needs to grow healthy and strong. Avoiding foods such as raw food and food that contains mercury, artificial ingredients, caffeine, and alcohol can help you avoid doing damage to your baby.
More Pregnancy Nutrition Ideas:
A common saying that a woman is eating for two while pregnant implies that a mother should consume twice as much during pregnancy.… Continue Reading….