Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg after it is released from the ovary during ovulation. The fertilized egg then travels down into the uterus, where implantation occurs. A successful implantation results in pregnancy.
On average, a full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. There are many factors that can affect a pregnancy. Women who receive an early diagnosis and prenatal care are more likely to experience a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby.
Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important during this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Pregnant Woman may need 350–500 extra calories each day during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, A diet that lacks key nutrients may negatively affect the baby’s development.
Poor eating habits and excess weight gain may also increase the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth complications.
Put simply, choosing healthy, nutritious foods will help ensure the health of you and your baby.
During pregnancy, you need to consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of the growing fetus.
Dairy products contain two types of high quality protein, casein and whey. Dairy is the best dietary source of calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, various B-vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
People who are lactose intolerant may also be able to tolerate yogurt, especially probiotic yogurt.
Taking probiotic supplements during pregnancy may reduce the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes, vaginal infections and allergies.
Dairy products, especially yogurt, are a great choice for pregnant women. Dairy products help meet increased protein and calcium needs. Probiotics may also help reduce the risk of complications.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which the body transforms into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for the growth and differentiation of cells in the growing fetus.
Legumes are great sources of folate, fiber and many other nutrients. Folate is a very important nutrient during pregnancy, and may reduce the risk of some birth defects and diseases.
Salmon contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are important for brain and eye development in the growing baby. Salmon is also a natural source of vitamin D.
Whole eggs are incredibly nutritious and a great way to increase overall nutrient intake. They also contain choline, an essential nutrient for brain health and development.
Broccoli and leafy greens contain most of the nutrients that pregnant women need. They are also rich in fiber, which may help prevent or treat constipation.
Lean meat is a good source of high-quality protein. Beef and pork are also rich in iron, choline and B-vitamins, all of which are important nutrients during pregnancy.
A single serving of fish liver oil provides more than the required amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin A. Fish liver oil may be particularly important for women who don’t eat seafood.
Avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, folate and potassium. They may help improve fetal health and relieve the leg cramps that are common in pregnant women.
Berries contain water, carbs, vitamin C, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and plant compounds. They may help pregnant women increase their nutrient and water intake.
Whole grains are high in fiber and nutrients, including the antioxidant vitamin E and the mineral selenium. They also contain phytonutrients – plant compounds that protect cells. Sample different kinds, from barley and buckwheat to oats and spelt.
Whole grains are packed with fiber, vitamins and plant compounds. They are also rich in B-vitamins, fiber and magnesium, all of which pregnant women need.
Dried fruit may be highly beneficial for pregnant women, since they are small and nutrient-dense. Just make sure to limit your portions and avoid the candied varieties.
Drinking water is important because of the increased blood volume during pregnancy. Adequate hydration may also help prevent constipation and urinary tract infections.
Walnuts are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3s. They’re also a good source of protein and fiber. Grab a handful of walnuts for an on-the-run snack or toss some into a salad.
Bananas are rich in potassium and offer quick energy to fight off pregnancy fatigue.
Are you confused about what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy?