Healthy Diet And Nutrition

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Healthy Diet And Nutrition

Pregnant healthy diet and nutrition

During your pregnancy you need more of many important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than you did before pregnancy. Your baby gets all the nutrients that he/she needs to develop if you eat healthy and nutritious food. It will help a lot if you know what foods to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy. Also, learn how to keep your food safe.

Keep Your Food Safe

Here is how to clean, handle, cook, and store food properly to prevent foodborne illnesses:

  • Wash produce before eating.
  • Wash cooking utensils with hot, soapy water.
  • Wash hands with soap after touching soil or raw meat.
  • Keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood from touching other foods or surfaces.
  • Cook meat completely.

Eat Healthy Foods

The following is the list of foods recommended by nutrition experts and doctors for pregnant women:

Fruits:  Pregnant women should eat the following fruits filled with fiber vitamins, and minerals. They can eat these fruits fresh, frozen, canned, or dried:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melon
  • Mangoes
  • Prunes
  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Oranges
  • Red or pink grapefruit
  • 100% prune juice
  • 100% orange juice

If you choose canned vegetables, make sure to look for “low-sodium” or “no-salt-added” on the label.

Vegetables:  Pregnant women should eat the following vegetables filled with fiber vitamins, and minerals. They can eat these vegetables fresh, frozen, canned, or dried:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Cooked greens, such as kale, collards, turnip greens, and beet greens
  • Winter squash
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauces
  • Red sweet peppers

If you choose canned vegetables, make sure to look for “low-sodium” or “no-salt-added” on the label.

Dairy:  Pregnant women should consume the following dairy foods, which are good sources of calcium, potassium, protein, and vitamin D.

  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
  • Fat-free milk.
  • Low-fat milk.
  • Calcium-fortified soymilk.

Make sure that your dairy foods are fortified with vitamins A and D.

Whole Grains:  Pregnant women should eat foods made of whole grains. Whole grains are an important source of energy in the diet. They should consume ready-to-eat cooked cereals, which provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins. These should include:

  • Whole wheat pasta or breads
  • Brown rice
  • Fortified ready-to-eat cereals
  • Fortified cooked cereals

Make sure to look for cereals that are fortified with iron and folic acid.

Proteins:  Pregnant women should eat foods that are source of proteins to support the baby’s growth. They should eat the following protein-rich foods:

  • Beans and peas (such as pinto beans, soybeans, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, and chickpeas) pot of beans
  • Nuts and seeds (such as sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, and peanut butter)
  • Lean beef, lamb, and pork
  • Oysters, mussels, and crab
  • Salmon, trout, herring, sardines, and Pollock

Avoid Eating Unhealthy Foods

Pregnant women should avoid eating the following foods:

  • Refrigerated smoked seafood like whitefish, salmon, and mackerel.
  • Refrigerated meat spreads.
  • Unpasteurized milk or juices.
  • Hot dogs or deli meats unless steaming hot.
  • Store-made salads, such as chicken, egg, or tuna salad.
  • Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as unpasteurized feta, Brie, queso fresco, queso blanco, and blue cheeses.
  • Fish with high mercury levels, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish (golden or white snapper).
  • More than 6 ounces per week of white (albacore) tuna.
  • All herbs and plants used as medicines or otherwise without your doctor’s okay.
  • Raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean)

Water & Fluids

A pregnant woman’s body needs more water and other fluids than before getting pregnant. You need more water and other fluids, such as juices, tea, coffee, and soft drinks, to stay hydrated and support the life inside you. Water helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, excessive swelling, and urinary tract or bladder infections. Not getting enough water can lead to premature or early labor.

Normally your body gets the water it needs through the fluids you drink and the foods you eat. How much fluid you need to drink each day depends on your activity level, the weather, and your body size. Doctors and nutrition experts recommend that a pregnant woman should drink about 10 cups of fluids daily.

Special Dietary Needs

If you have any following conditions, talk to your doctor about your special dietary needs. You doctor will recommend suitable changes to your diet to manage them:

  • Diabetes: Your doctor will review your meal plan and insulin needs to manage your diabetes.
  • Lactose intolerance: Your doctor will suggest about low-lactose or reduced-lactose products and calcium supplements to ensure you are getting the calcium you need.
  • Vegetarian: Your doctor will ensure that you are getting enough protein, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
  • PKU (phenylketoruria): Your doctor will take steps to keep good control of phenylalanine levels in your diet.

Vitamins And Mineral Supplements

In addition to eating healthy foods, pregnant women should take prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement every day to make sure you are getting enough of the nutrients your baby needs. Request your doctor to make sure you should be getting the following amounts of vitamins and minerals each day:

  • Folic acid: 400 to 800 micrograms (0.4 to 0.8 mg) daily.
  • Iron: 27 milligrams (mg) daily
  • Calcium: 1,000 milligrams (mg) daily
  • Vitamin A: 770 micrograms (mcg) daily
  • Vitamin B12: 2.6 micrograms (mcg) daily
  • Vitamin D: 600 international units (IU) daily

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