During pregnancy, a balanced diet is one of the most important indicators of a healthy lifestyle. Eating for two unlike you see in movies with guilt binge eating is far from what you should be doing. Eating for two in reality should mean that you are making healthy choices for you and your unborn child and your food should reflect that. It's important to eat a lot of vegetables to prevent iron deficiency anemia, lean proteins to promote growth, whole grains to prevent birth defects, healthy fats for healthy bones and a lot of fruits for vitamin A & D.
Folic Acid is another very important nutrient you’ll need during pregnancy. Folic acid is used to make the extra blood your body needs during pregnancy. The remarkable nutrient can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects which are birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Neural tube defects can cause different degrees of paralysis, incontinence and intellectual disability. The US Preventative Task Force recommends that all women of childbearing age should consume 400 - 800 micrograms (0.4 – 0.8 milligrams) of folic acid a day. A bowl of fortified cereal in morning is a good source of folic acid. Beans, greens like spinach and pumpkin leafs, pasta, citrus fruits such as orange juice, rice and bread are all great sources of Folic Acid you can incorporate into your nutrition plan to help you maintain the right amount of Folic Acid needed for a healthy development of your unborn child.
Here is what your nutrition plan should contain during pregnancy
1. Fruits: Mangoes, bananas, oranges, and red or pink grapefruit (for potassium)
2. Vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, greens like spinach, pumpkin and jute. Peppers (said to help with nausea) tomatoes and (for vitamin A and potassium)
3. Dairy: fat-free or low-fat yogurt, skim or 1% milk, soy milk (for calcium, potassium, vitamins A and D)
4. Grains: Ready-to-eat cereals/cooked cereals, brown beans (for iron and folic acid)
5. Proteins: Chicken, fish (salmon, trout, and sardines) beans, peanut butter, lamb.
Here are the types of food to avoid
1. Smoked fish
2. Raw and undercooked seafood, eggs and meat.
4. Any kind of alcoholic beverage
5. Unpasteurized milk and foods made with unpasteurized milk (soft cheeses,
6. Unwashed vegetables & fruits
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