Foods to Consume During Pregnancy and the Ones to Avoid
Food to eat during pregnancy
- The first 2-3 weeks of pregnancy are somewhat tricky in terms of appropriate food choice, however, some general rules, such as the mandatory provision of vitamin B, are still applied throughout the whole pregnancy term. The vitamin B can be obtained via either vitamin supplements or cereals. The daily norm is around 300-350 mg, so you should plan accordingly not to overdo it.
- Baby’s muscles are being formed out of protein so it’s important to keep in mind that increased protein consumption is required at all times. The daily norm of extra protein is around 11-12 grams and there are few convenient sources to cover these needs but one type of foods does stand out – legumes. Beans added to the main course not only provide the protein but also some other essential components like fiber. So it’s a good thing to include these in your pregnancy food plan.
- Out of all foods, not a single one has received as much hate as broccoli did. Yet everyone admits that broccoli was and still is a super pack of nutrients. Antioxidants contained in broccoli will help you fight nauseous feeling as well as general malaise. It also contributes to the digestion of iron-rich foods, such as pumpkin or tofu.
- One of the obvious pregnancy-safe food choices would be milk, yet you should remember about fats contained in milk as well as in the majority of the dairy products. Nonfat milk is a perfect choice to cater to the needs of your body without overloading it with fat. Calcium absorption is usually enhanced during pregnancy so your daily intake of milk should be around 3 glasses.
- The well-roundedness of bananas remains so even during the pregnancy period. The usual weariness or even nauseous feeling is best remedied by bananas as they’re both easily digested and provide the body with a lot of energy in a short amount of time. Therefore bananas are a must in your pregnancy food shopping list.
- The pregnancy fatigue is one of the most unpleasant things that come with pregnancy as it often hits you hard. You can’t totally overcome it but reducing its effects is possible with iron-rich foods. Red blood cells in your body use iron to transport oxygen. Naturally, your body mass increase calls for an increased iron consumption in order to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Iron absorption is generally provided by vitamin C, so be sure to have citrus fruits or broccoli with meat. The top choice here is lean meat – chicken, rabbit or turkey meats stand out as low-fat meats which are also rich in proteins.
- The controversy persists on cheeses for pregnant women – on the one hand, mozzarella has all the calcium you need – up to 210 mg per ounce. On the other hand, though, soft cheeses contain dangerous bacteria which are normally harmless to adults but can have ill effects on the baby. It’s usually a good thing to check whether the milk used during cheese production was pasteurized or not. The former is okay, the latter is a no-no.
- Meat-averse women usually choose eggs over meat because they are more nutritionally balanced. The nutrients contained have a little bit of everything so ultimately eggs are never a bad choice. Boiled eggs can also be served with almost any other type of food that’s why they are often included in pregnancy food recipes.
- Oatmeals are great to start your day with. While being literally stuffed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, oats are very low on calories. Moreover, they are able to decrease cholesterol levels improving the blood flow which will be felt by you as well as the baby. Canada HealthCare Mall concluded that the plain kind of oatmeals – the one with no sugar – is the healthiest during pregnancies. You can still sweeten it up with some less sucrose-intensive additives, such as maple syrup. Oatmeals in the morning are great because of its slow digestion which results in your sense of fullness being extended for an hour or two.
- Dark leafy greens are generally suggested to all broccoli-haters as a viable alternative. All the same nutrients of broccoli (calcium, vitamin C, fiber, and folate) are contained in spinach and kale. Your blood flow is also improved by regular consumption of leafy greens alongside with sugar levels which are usually somewhat off the norm during pregnancies.
- There’s a healthier version of the white bread – whole grain bread boasts iron and zinc as well as lots of fiber being part of it. These perks are not simply dismissed, especially during pregnancy when every benefit is doubled in terms of health value. The majority of pregnancy food guides start off by introducing this type of bread to the diet. So swapping for this bread is easy and advantageous in all cases.
- Oranges are your best source of vitamin C. During pregnancies you are especially vulnerable to all kinds of diseases as your immune system is weakened. Vitamin C is able to protect your cells from external threats. Orange juice is also very good for kidneys which take an additional strain during pregnancies.
- As was mentioned earlier you should be extremely careful with fats in your diet. Saturated fats are a huge no-no, however, your daily intake of fats should still be appropriate for a healthy development of your baby. So a few spoons of nuts every day are usually enough to ensure that your need for fats is covered. It might seem overly cautious but it should be kept in mind that nuts are extremely rich in fats, so the miniscule proportions of intake are well-justified.
- If you are following vegetarian diet then you are probably familiar with soy foods and the nutrients they provide. It is perfectly reasonable not to disrupt your diet during pregnancy but it is generally advised to consult your doctor about a proper diet. Canada HealthCare Mall experts also suggest composing your very own food plan in order to check whether your protein needs are covered.
- With a few exceptions, dried fruits are high-energy low-fat snacks and they might be of great help during pregnancies. Finding the ones with no additives allows you to enjoy all benefits of these foods densely packed with fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Dried fruits are good to have around as they contribute to fighting the pregnancy fatigue with packs of calories they contain.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
The main concerns during pregnancies are bacteria and highly toxic substances which pregnant women are especially susceptible to. The following foods should be avoided at all times in order to ensure mother and baby’s healthy wellbeing.
- Because of the widespread water pollution, some fish accumulate large quantities of mercury inside of them. Big species which have a long lifespan, as well as predatory lifestyle, are more inclined to have this highly toxic substance in their tissues. So tuna, swordfish, marlin, and shark are off-limits for pregnant women. However, fish, in general, should not be avoided but only certain species as fatty acids contained in fish are essential for fetal development.
- Raw, smoked and undercooked fish is also included in the risk category as it usually hosts a number of harmful bacteria. One particular type, Listeria, should be specifically pointed out as a huge threat to an unborn baby. It happens because the infection might not be detectable in mother’s body and develop directly in baby’s which may result in miscarriage or even stillbirth.
- Same goes for raw, processed and undercooked meat – the risk of infection from bacteria or parasites simply isn’t worth taking. Cut meat, like minced meat, poultry or burgers, isn’t safe to consume during pregnancies when undercooked. Deli meat, lunch meat, and hot dogs are usually infected during storage and, although healthy adult might not suffer from any disease after eating these, your weakened immune system might not be able to handle the bacteria.
- It should be obvious by now that raw and undercooked foods are to be banned from your diet. Pregnancy food guidelines might have some minor differences among them but all of them are united in the certainty of this notion. And even the ultimate healthy food, eggs, can easily backfire with salmonella infection if they are lightly scrambled or are part of some homemade foods such as mayonnaise or ice cream. Pasteurized eggs are sure to contain no harmful microorganisms in them so many experts from Canada HealthCare Mall conclude that pasteurized products should be consumed throughout the whole nine-month period just to be on the safe side.
- Organ meat is an ambiguous part in the pregnancy food checklist. Types of organ meat, like sweetbread, tripe, and heart meat are both tasty and good for health while the liver is widely referred to as nature’s multivitamin. The main drawback is that all of them are rich in vitamin A and increased levels of it in blood cause liver intoxication and even birth defects. But if you limit organ meat consumption to no more than once a week it shouldn’t be a problem.
- Clinics always warn their patients not to fall victim of “vegetable fallacy” as we are always told of only positive effects of vegetables on our body. And even though it is true in most cases there are a few exceptions such as clover or alfalfa. In fact, all raw sprouts pose danger to the fetal development as their seeds tend to contain Salmonella colonies, thus making them impossible to wash off. The rule of thumb here is to eat only cooked sprouts.
- As was mentioned earlier, pasteurized food is an optimal choice for pregnant women as it minimizes the infection threat without causing it to lose nutritive value. So as long as juices and milk consumed had previously undergone pasteurization process, you are good. Same goes for soft cheeses, like brie or Neufchâtel, the milk used in their production must be pasteurized.
- It probably goes without saying that future moms should completely refrain from drinking alcohol. The case with alcohol is the same as with mercury – ethanol contained in alcoholic beverages is harmful, regardless of an intake amount. So it’d better be avoided altogether as ignoring these precautions might result in baby’s mental impairment.
- Even under normal circumstances junk food isn’t exactly healthy, so there should be no surprise that pregnancy only amplifies ill effects borne by burgers, French fries, soda and all other junk food items. Canada HealthCare Mall experts also warn against consuming this type of food as it might make your unborn baby overweight and trigger obesity later in life.