Pregnant women require adequate amount of nutrition for the development of the various organs of the unborn baby. Additionally, pregnant women undergo hormonal changes which make them sensitive to the smell of certain food products in the first three months. Women can include a number of different types of food items to meet the nutrition requirements. They should also be careful to include certain food items each day. Women should take food rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and folic acid, and avoid intake of saturated fats to stay healthy and deliver a healthy baby. Some of the foods which should be included are –
Women should take cereals every day in food as it contains minerals, vitamin B, carbohydrates and calcium which are needed for getting energy to do everyday tasks. It also provides nutrients to the fetus. Whole grain breads can be taken instead of using refined grain breads. Whole grain products contains adequate amount for fiber which reduces the formation of plaque in the blood vessels and regulates blood pressure.
2. Dairy Products
Women should include a good amount of dairy products to get adequate amount of proteins and minerals. You can take yoghurt each day in your diet. Proteins are essential for growth of new tissues and for repairing broken tissues. It is needed for formation of muscles, tissues, and also for the transportation of oxygen to the fetus. Dairy products also contain calcium which is required for the development of bones. Soy milk contains adequate amount of vitamin D and it can be included in the diet.
3. Fruits and Juices
Orange juice is recommended during pregnancy because it provides a good amount of vitamin C required for increasing the immunity of the body. It is needed for fighting infections too. Fruits such as bananas and apples should be taken between meals or after a meal to get adequate amount of minerals, vitamins and fibers. Intake of food rich in iron helps in preventing anemia. Moreover, fruit salad can be taken each day along the diet to increase the content of fibers in diet as fiber helps in increasing the metabolic rate and immunity.
Green leafy vegetable such as spinach is rich in iron. Iron is needed for the formation of hemoglobin in human body. Hemoglobin transports oxygen to the body cells and provides energy. Pregnant women should take vegetables to meet the mineral requirements.
Fish is considered effective in providing proteins and it also contains a fair amount of omega-3 fatty acids, but you should be careful to not to take fishes which contain high quantities of mercury or lead. Pregnant women should also reduce intake of high fats mostly found in animal meat, as it can raise the saturated fat levels in the body.
Pulses such as kidney beans contain folic acid and Vitamin B which is required for the development of the nervous system in the baby. Pulses also contain a substantial amount of proteins and hence should be included in diet.