Foods and Diet Plans For Pregnancy
You are eating for two now, and it important that your body gets all the nutrients to support your body and your new growing baby during this time. Pregnancy diet plans should include a well balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of fiber, protein, and lots of liquids. A big part of eating healthy while you are pregnant involves being aware of foods that may harm your developing baby; stay away from these foods during this time, and make sure that the foods you eat are from reliable distributors.
Dairy products are a big source of protein for pregnant women, but they have additional nutritional value as well. Cheese, eggs, yogurt, and milk products will supply your body with the extra calcium, vitamins, and fat that you will need during this time. Eggs are loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and choline; yogurt actually has higher levels of calcium than milk, and yogurt contains high amounts of zinc, protein, and B vitamins. Cheese is loaded with protein, fat, calcium, vitamin B12, and carbohydrates. Fortified milk contains high amounts of calcium, Vitamin D, and protein.
All dairy products that are eaten during a pregnancy must be pasteurized; non-pasteurized dairy products can contain harmful bacteria that may harm your baby and cause miscarriage. Stay away from soft cheeses such as Brie, Feta, and Mexican style cheeses unless you know for sure that they have been pasteurized. Eggs need to be thoroughly cooked as well. While dairy products will help your body to meet the extra nutritional demands that arise from pregnancy, they should not make up the bulk of your diet.
Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should make up a large part of your healthy pregnancy diet. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. They are also a healthy snack for mothers with upset stomachs, and these foods can help to calm food cravings and overeating. Some of the more important fruits and vegetables to eat while you are pregnant include sweet potatoes, broccoli, berries, and green leafy vegetables.
Sweet potatoes contain high levels of carbohydrates, fiber, folate, and Vitamin C. Broccoli contains high amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, folate, and calcium. All types of berries contain high levels of carbohydrates, fiber, folate, and high concentrations of antioxidants. Green leafy vegetables are loaded with fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while you are pregnant will help you to avoid some common health problems associated with pregnancy including constipation, low blood sugar, fluctuating blood sugar, fatigue, and irritability. Always wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before you eat them; organic sources may not contain pesticide residue, but organic fruits and vegetables need to be washed well too.
Legumes And Lean Meats
Legumes and lean meats are also important components of a healthy pregnancy diet plan. Legumes such as lentils, black beans, soybeans, chickpeas, and peanuts contain high amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, iron, folate, calcium, zinc, and protein; vegetarian mothers can rely heavily on legumes to replace protein that comes from meat sources, though they need to monitor their diet more closely to make sure they are getting all the protein and fats that is needed for a pregnancy diet.
Lean meats contain loads of protein, but they also contain plenty of B vitamins, zinc, and iron. Any meat that is eaten during pregnancy needs to be completely cooked; no rare or even medium rare meats should be eaten while you are pregnant; pates, deli meats, and meat spreads must be avoided as well as they can contain the harmful bacteria Listeria.
Whole grains that are high in fiber should also form a large part of your healthy pregnancy diet plan. Whole grain foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pastas and rice contain high amounts of iron, zinc, B vitamins, and folic acid in addition to fiber. Whole grains will also help to keep your bowels regular during your pregnancy.
Seafood And Pregnancy Diets
There is no doubt that seafood contains high amounts of omega fatty acids that can support a healthy pregnancy diet. Unfortunately seafood also contains high levels of mercury and other pollutants that are now found in our oceans and waterways. Fish such as King Mackerel, Tilefish, Shark, and Swordfish need to be avoided completely; raw fish and seafood items such as oysters, clams, and sushi also need to be avoided.
Smoked fish products may contain the bacteria Listeria, so be sure to stay away from these foods during your pregnancy as well. Small amounts of tuna can be eaten, but the guidelines and recommendations for eating tuna during pregnancies keep changing; it is best to talk with your obstetrician for his or her recommendations. More and more women are completely avoiding seafood all together during the time of their pregnancy.
Additional Recommendations For A Healthy Pregnancy Diet Plan
Now that you are eating for two you may be tempted to splurge on all sorts of goodies, but it is important that you restrain yourself. A treat now and then is fine, but eating too many sweets and junk food during pregnancy can lead to obesity, gestational diabetes, fluctuating blood sugar levels, and nutritional deficiencies.
Additional foods and drinks that you may have enjoyed before, like coffee and alcohol, need to be avoided completely. Exposure to alcohol can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and may hurt the development of the baby. Caffeine has been linked with miscarriage in the first trimester, and it is also a diuretic. Drinking plenty of fluids is important during pregnancy, but these fluids should not contain caffeine; milk, water, and fruit juices are the best liquids to drink during pregnancy.