Pregnancy is a special and joyous time for mothers-to-be. Many women become more conscious of healthy eating during pregnancy in order to ensure their baby’s nutrition and well-being. It is important to eat nutrient-rich foods in order to provide the necessary minerals and vitamins for a healthy development of your fetus. Eating a balanced diet with adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals can help meet baby’s nutritional needs and sustain you through the different phases of pregnancy.
Protein is an essential part of the diet as it helps build and repair body tissues. Sources of protein include lean meats like chicken, beef, and turkey; fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut; beans; and eggs. Carbohydrates provide energy and fiber which is important for your baby’s digestion. Whole grains such as oats, wheat, and brown rice are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates that are low in fat and contain vital vitamins and minerals.
Fats are important for the development of cell membranes, insulation of nerve cells, and for storage of energy for later use. Additionally, some of the vitamins, like A, D, E, and K require fat for proper absorption. Good sources of fat include fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, and avocados. Vitamin and mineral rich foods should also be a part of your diet. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains are great sources of vitamins and minerals.
It is important to not forget to stay hydrated and to take prenatal vitamins prescribed by your healthcare provider. Soft drinks should be avoided as they are high in sugar and have little nutritional value. Herbal teas and water are the best choices for hydration.
By incorporating a variety of nutritious foods in your diet during pregnancy, you can provide your baby with the nutrition he/she needs to develop properly and have a healthy start in life. Taking extra care of yourself during this period will help ensure you are both happy and healthy.