Pregnancy is a very important phase of your life. Every passing week brings you closer to your bundle of joy. As your baby grows, his needs for nutrition also increase. Therefore, it becomes very important to take care of your diet and eating routine. Here is a list of Do’s & Don’ts for a healthy pregnancy diet. You must always consult your doctor or your diet consultant before making any changes to your diet
Include different types of fruits in your diet
A platter full of fruits will help you & your baby consume all the important nutrients. At the same time it will introduce your baby to a variety of tastes. You may avoid the fruits that make you feel sick. Blueberries and carrots are rich sources of antioxidants and should constitute a part of your healthy diet.
Go for organic and locally grown fruits & vegetables as much as possible
During the development of your baby’s immune system it is very important to not expose your body to pesticides or harmful chemicals. Prenatal exposure to pesticide can result in immune dysfunctions. Research suggests that pesticides in water can lead to premature births and even birth defects. The highest concentration of pesticides is found in fruits & vegetables with thin skins. Eating organic fruits and vegetables reduces the chances of exposure harmful chemicals and helps keep your baby safe.
Have foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 is very crucial for your baby’s brain and neurological development before birth. Having Omega-3 is likely to give your baby better vision, memory and intellectual capacity during early childhood. Not only this, it may also reduce your risk of post-partum depression. Fatty fish is the only reliable source of two very important Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. It is important to consume at least 300 milligrams of DHA in your daily diet. Flaxseed oil, walnuts and Omega-3-fortified eggs are good sources of ALA, which may be converted to DHA and EPA in the body.
Choosing the fish is very tricky because it should be high in Omega 3s and should not have high Mercury content. Mercury can be very harmful to baby’s nervous system. It is advisable to avoid Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel and Tile fish. The wild Alaskan Salmon (fresh, frozen or canned), Atlantic Mackerel, Herring, Sardines and Anchovies are believed to be good for pregnant woman.
Have “Double Duty” Foods
Yogurt, peanut butter, chicken, eggs and dairy products, are high in protein, calcium and iron. Some other nutrient-dense foods like orange juice offer folate and Vitamin C. They also help you absorb iron from foods such as fibre-rich black beans and spinach. Whole grains are filled with fibre, B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
DON’T eat like there is no tomorrow
Half of all women gain too much weight during pregnancy. This increases the risk of their babies having obesity later in life. Eat until you feel satisfied. If you are facing problems in exercising diet discipline, consult a dietician.
DON’T over eat polished carbs
Limit the consumption of white things and choose unpolished grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread. White bread, white rice, sweets and sodas rush into your bloodstream and disturb your blood glucose levels. These spikes may result in chubbier babies, and they are at a higher risk of being obese as they grow up.
DON’T eat raw food
It is advisable to not eat raw or under cooked meat, poultry, seafood or eggs to avoid harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria. Make sure that the food you store in your refrigerator is below 4 degree Celsius to stop bacteria from growing.
DON’T take large gaps between meals
Do not go without having food for more than 3 hours. Eating small meals at regular intervals keeps your blood sugar levels stable and keeps pumping a steady stream of nutrients to your baby. Small meals at regular intervals also reduce the chances of heartburn.
Don’t dehydrate yourself
During pregnancy, it is difficult to keep yourself hydrated as most of the fluids you consume go from your blood vessels to your tissues. When the fluid levels in your body are low, the body makes a hormone that simulates contractions. Keeping yourself hydrated is essential for preventing preterm labour. Staying hydrated also helps prevent headaches, kidney stones and dizziness. If your urine colour is clear or light yellow it means you are hydrated.