Why a Good Diet Is Important During Pregnancy
Now that you are pregnant, you may have been reminded that you are now consuming food for two people instead of just herself. Although it is true that you now need more nutrition compared to your pre-pregnancy days, this doesn’t mean that you should be eating just about anything. It’s recommended to have a good and balanced diet that prioritises your health and optimises your bodily functions to accommodate the healthy growth of your baby. By now, you would have understood that having a good diet is important for your pregnancy, but why exactly is that? Let’s dive right into the specific reasons!
Prevent Congenital Disabilities
The health of your baby depends on the food you consume. During pregnancy, you need high quantities of vitamin C and folic acid. You will get these from fruits and vegetables. Folic acid will promote the development of a healthy fetus and prevent any neural tube defects.
Your sources of folic acid will include green leafy vegetables, legumes and some black beans. Vitamin C will help you fight infections; you wouldn’t want to keep taking medication during pregnancy. It will also help prevent mental impairment and help your unborn baby to develop well. Additionally, Vitamin C will facilitate the absorption of iron. Take four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits or more to get all the nutrients from them.
Increased Caloric Needs
Pregnancy is a gruelling journey. The nine months will take a toll on you. Feeding well and getting adequate nutrients is essential for the journey. You need the calories to support the pregnancy and carry on with your regular activities. As the pregnancy advances, you are likely to feel tired and weak
Take your carbs especially from whole grains. Talk to your nutritionist to get advice on your daily caloric requirements depending on your weight.
As the fetus grows, your bones tend to weaken. The unborn child requires high levels of calcium for proper bone formation. Therefore, the fetus draws all the calcium needed no matter how little is in your system, and this leaves you exposed and with little calcium for your bones.
This may lead to back pains and leg cramps as the pregnancy advances. Apart from the bones, calcium is also essential for normal blood clotting, nerve and muscle function. You will require a healthy serving of calcium daily to meet these needs. Sources of calcium include green vegetables, cheese, milk, yoghurt, dried peas and seafood.
Proper Cell Development
A diet filled with proteins will help your developing baby to build cells and their soft tissues. For your baby to form nails, hair, bones and other essential organs, she requires high levels of protein. During the second trimester, you will require high levels of protein since this is the stage when your baby is growing fast. Your body needs to adjust and accommodate the growing baby. Your breasts are preparing to form milk in preparation for breastfeeding. Get your protein sources from foods such as lean meat, poultry, and fish.
5 Best Food To Eat For A Healthy Pregnancy
Now that you understand the importance of having a healthy diet for you and your growing baby, let’s look at some of the best food to have during pregnancy and why:
Avocados is packed with a healthy fat called monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as high in B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C. In particular, its healthy fats, folate and potassium benefits your pregnancy the most. Your baby needs healthy fats to build skin, brain, and tissues. Meanwhile, folate helps to prevent neural tube defects and developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine. As for potassium, it helps to relieve leg cramps, which is a common pregnancy discomfort for most mothers.
- Lean Meat
During pregnancy, your body needs higher amounts of iron and protein. Lean meat like chicken, lean beef, and lean pork are great sources of high-quality protein and iron. Protein is essential for your little on to develop tissues, especially brain tissues. It also helps your breast and womb tissues to grow during pregnancy. Meanwhile, iron in lean meat is especially important for you during your third trimester to supply oxygen throughout your body by developing red blood cells.
Some of the best berries to have during pregnancy are goji berries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. You can eat berries on its own, sprinkle on top of your yogurt, or make smoothies with berries. Being low in calories, berries are also packed with goodness like vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy carbs to boost you and your baby’s health during pregnancy. Other than berries, a similar option is fresh red dates. Having red dates pregnancy gives you energy while giving you lower increase in blood sugar levels in your body.
- Dark Leafy Greens
Having vegetables in your diet is now more important than ever. Aside from all its vitamins and minerals, dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and kai lan are packed with fiber to help you fight against pregnancy constipation. Furthermore, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, having vegetables has also been linked to a lower risk of low birth weight.
As little as it may seem, an egg contains a tiny amount of almost all your daily essential nutrients. Eggs contain high quality protein and various vitamins and minerals. Most importantly, eggs are excellent sources of choline, which plays a crucial role in your baby’s brain development and helps minimise the risk of brain and spine development abnormalities.We hope this guide has given you a better idea about the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy.
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