With all the excitement and delight associated with motherhood, it is very important for all would-be mothers to have a correct diet plan for themselves.
During this period, the expecting mothers must have an optimal health with right amount of nutrition, as advised by the doctors. Health experts generally call it a “balanced diet” which comprises of the food that would help the mothers to have a sound health during pregnancy and also for the baby to grow up to a healthy child.
To start with, plan out a diet for yourself under the guidance of your doctor and stick to it. Be aware of the additional calories, energy, vitamins, proteins you need. Both quantity and quality of the food intake should be kept into account. One should discard unhealthy eating habits like consumption of junk foods, uncooked or raw meats, refrigerated, processed or smoked foods, stimulants like caffeine etc.
A variety of foods selected from the five basic food groups- proteins, fats, carbohydrate, vitamins and mineral is the best way to keep it simple and trouble-free. Fresh fruits, vegetable, whole grain products, milk and dairy products are the best sources of the above mentioned food groups.
Some of the essential nutrients during pregnancy
Folic acid helps to insure proper formation of brain and spinal cord of the baby. Excellent sources of folic acid are beans, broccoli, spinach, breakfast cereals, chickpeas, lentils, oatmeal.
Iron is essential to make haemoglobin in your baby’s system and it also helps in building bones and teeth. Right intake of iron also prevents anaemia. The best iron-rich foods are green leafy vegetables, raisins, meats etc. Doctors can also advice you to take iron pills according to your nutrition requirements.
Vitamin C helps to strengthen your immunity and develop a strong placenta. A regular intake of the vitamin helps to prevent several infections. Citrus fruits and leafy vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C.
For strong bones and healthy teeth and to grow healthy heart and muscles, calcium plays a vital role. Milk and dairy products are rich in calcium. One should have recommended daily amount of calcium for a better health.
Fish, meats, dairy products, beans and pulses are high in protein. Try to eat variety of these protein rich foods.
You should also have a right amount of fibre in your diet as it helps to prevent constipation during pregnancy. Fibre rich foods include fruits and vegetables, oats, beans, pulses etc.
Plenty of water helps to keep you well hydrated and prevent problems like constipation, urinary tract infections etc.