Can the importance of a good diet ever be overstated? The answer is a resounding no. However, while you can get away with an iffy diet at different points in your life, pregnancy is one period when your diet game has to be top level. While you don’t exactly eat for two when you are pregnant, you certainly eat to nourish for two viz. you and your unborn child. That is why your diet needs to have just the right balance of nutrients.
These seven pregnancy diet tips are geared towards shaping yours as well as your unborn baby’s health.
- Eat Colorful Fruits & Vegetables
Colorful fruits and vegetables are not only a sight for sore eyes but also bring benefits to your body. Their vivid colors indicate the presence of a variety of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients, which are instrumental for the proper development of the fetus. For instance, red-colored fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants while blue colored ones have ample amounts of anthocyanins and proanthocyanins. Other colors of fruits and veggies you should consume during pregnancy include green, blue/purple, orange, white and yellow.
If you are looking for a simple vegetarian source of proteins, look no further than the various beans. Proteins are rightly called the building blocks of life. They are important for the physical as well as mental development of your unborn child. Beans are rich in proteins, in addition to iron, potassium, magnesium, folic acid and numerous essential fatty acids. Each of those nutrients is vital to the health of your pregnancy.
- Whole Grains
A fixture in any pregnancy diet chart, whole grains do a wonderful job of fulfilling the extra calorie requirements that come with pregnancy. This is especially apparent in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Whole grains are rich in fiber, which makes you feel satiated sooner. Moreover, it also helps add bulk to your stools which makes them easier to pass. This negates constipation, which is a common problem that afflicts pregnant women. Whole grains are also excellent if you are diabetic as they help keep your blood sugar in control. This is thanks to their low glycemic index (GI). This further helps in managing your weight. Excess weight is not only among the leading infertility causes in India but also poses a risk to your pregnancy.
- Leafy Greens
Leafy greens always find a place in pregnancy diet tips, and with good reason. Leafy greens like kale, broccoli, spinach, fenugreek etc. are rich sources of essential nutrients for both mother and child. They contain lots of fiber, calcium, iron, folate, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. These nutrients aid and develop the digestive system, immunity, and eyesight, among others.
Not all types of fish are suitable for consumption during pregnancy. Salmon however, is highly recommended as it’s a prolific source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients go a long way in aiding the fetus’ cognitive and visual development. At the same it, they also lower the risk of preeclampsia, a condition where the blood pressure goes up while the body goes into water retention mode.
- Dairy Products
A diet with lots of calcium is advisable if you are an expecting mother. Calcium not only helps fortify your bone health but also plays an important role in ensuring proper teeth and bone development of your baby. And when it comes to calcium, there is no looking past dairy products. A healthy dose of milk, yogurt, paneer (cottage cheese) and curd nourishes you and your unborn child with lots of calcium and protein.
Want one good first time pregnancy advice? Drink lots of water. The most important function of water is to keep you hydrated. This is important because, during pregnancy, the overall volume of blood increases by up to 1.5 liters. Inadequate water levels can cause dizziness, indigestion, constipation, dryness and low energy levels.
Although by no means comprehensive, these pregnancy diet tips go a long way in keeping you nourished throughout your pregnancy. These nine months see your body go through a lot of changes, with not all of them being pleasant. These diet tips help you deal with those changes while also ensuring your fetus develops and grows into a healthy baby.