If you talk to any pregnant woman about eating for two, she’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s not as much fun as it seems and it’s not all about eating heaps of ice cream and brownies! Nausea and vomiting at commonplace when eating for one, let alone two, so pregnancy restrictions can make eating healthily a potential minefield (which tuna is the safe tuna again?). Elements of the dietary advice surrounding pregnancy diets are certain, others are educated guesses and some are pretty controversial. Everyone can agree that erring on the side of caution is the way to go.
Below are some good basic dietary diet tips for pregnant women that will help keep you and your baby safe and healthy.
Increase Your Omega-3 Intake
Seafood that is fished in cold water such as salmon, lake trout and sardines are excellent sources of Omega-3s including one of the most important ones for a growing fetus called DHA. Fish oil supplements containing DHA are useful during pregnancy but have side effects for some people, such as burping or nausea, which pregnant women already may suffer from.
Avoid High-Mercury Fish
This can become an issue for some mothers, because avoiding all fish during pregnancy is a bad idea (see above). Regarding seafood in a pregnancy diet, it’s all about being selective: avoid predator fish like tilefish, swordfish, King mackerel and shark and limit albacore tuna.
Eat Those Tasty Gats!
Make sure to get a good supply of fats from a healthy supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially those such as docosahexaenoic, which can influence the formation of structures of the nervous system and retina of newborn infants, also useful in lubricating and improving ease of labor. Getting that fish in can really help with this, as well as other sources of polyunsaturated fats.
Stock Up on Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables offer huge benefits during a healthy pregnancy. Fruits are an important source of vitamins and minerals. They provide antioxidants, especially Vitamin C and B-Carotenes, which are essential during pregnancy. Legumes such as Navy beans, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas are all good sources of iron, folate, calcium, and zinc. Sweet potatoes get their orange color from carotenoids, plant pigments that are converted toVitamin A in our bodies. Although consuming too much “pre-made” Vitamin A can be dangerous, carotenoids are a different sort. They convert toVitamin A only as needed, so there’s no need to restrict your consumption of them. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of Vitamin C, folate, and fiber.
Avoid Too Much Vitamin A
During pregnancy the consumption of liver a food rich in Vitamin A can be risky to pregnant women. Similarly, excessive amounts of meat and eggs can be an issue. Be wary but not over sensitive and it should be fine.
Munch Those Nuts!
Nuts and legumes are vital sources of zinc and magnesium, minerals often in short supply in most people. A lack of these has been associated with an increased risk of hypertension and other problems of gestation.
Drink Plenty of Water
Fairly simple, this one: keep hydrated so that you have higher energy levels and better blood flow to your baby. Simple and easy! Drink 2 – 2 1/2 liters of water per day, avoiding sugared waters and fizzy drinks. You know the ones I mean.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Cultural differences are huge in this regard but it is becoming increasingly well-known that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is damaging to mother and baby alike. There is potential for passing on addiction, as well as fetal alcohol syndrome, poor development of the fetus and organ inadequacy/failures. Basically, it’s not worth the risk.
2014 @Hillary Sepulveda