What foods you should eat if you are a pregnant women. Know details on safe foods during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Foods to Eat
What are the foods a pregnant women can eat? Following is a list of pregnancy foods to eat.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, and legumes. They provide vitamins, minerals and fibre.
- Eat wholemeal bread and whole grain cereals.
- Iron is essential for adequate blood supply to the growing baby and the placenta. The iron and other nutrients in the diet are very important for pregnant women as the drop in hemoglobin could lead to weakness. While the hemoglobin bounces back after pregnancy, some complications could cause delays. For your iron requirement, eat iron rich foods for pregnant woman such as green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, and nuts are good.
You may need to take iron and folic acid supplements regularly. Consult your Doctor before starting any iron supplement.
The following foods can boost your hemoglobin:
- Veggies: Beetroot is the best natural food to boost blood count. Other vegetables that make red blood cells are spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, green peas, turnip, sweet potato,kidney beans, lima beans, collards, etc.
- Fruits: Raisins, prunes, dried figs, apricots, apples, grapes and watermelons
- Nuts: almonds
- Wholegrain Breads, Pasta and Cereals
- Red meat: contain heme iron that is well absorbed. eat only in limited portion.
- For your requirement of Vitamin C, include citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, Indian gooseberry, lime and grapefruit and potatoes in your diet. They help absorb iron.
- You are responsible for the supply of calcium to your baby inside that is necessary for baby's healthy bones. Depending on your age, you may include 1000 mg - 100 mg of calcium and 200IU of Vitamin D in your diet. Dairy products, bread, nuts, fish, and green vegetables are rich in calcium. Milk, cheese and yogurt (all low-fat or skim varieties) contain calcium and other nutrients needed for your baby's growth. High calcium foods
- The pregnancy diet should include proteins like paneer, cereals, lentils, dals, fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, etc.
- Eat Brussels sprouts to meet out the need of folic acid. A cup of Brussels sprouts supplies 93.6 mg of folic acid and Vitamin K. Brussels sprouts recipe
- Eat cumin as it is believed to increase lactation and reduce nausea in pregnancy.
Food Cravings during Pregnancy
Many women have cravings for certain foods or feel changes to certain food taste and smell during their pregnancy. These are very normal, lasting for a short period. These may be due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy.
Some of the items of craving are sweets, pickles, tamarind (imli), clay, ice, toothpaste, etc. The cravings for a food may not be due to your lack of certain vitamin or mineral in your body. how to stop food craving
List of Harmful Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
There are certain foods that you should avoid if you are a pregnant women. You should know the risky, dangerous and unsafe foods that should be avoided during pregnancy.
Following is a checklist of foods to avoid During pregnancy
- Cut down fatty foods.
- Avoid drinks like coffee, tea, coca colas and other drinks with caffeine. Too much caffeine may affect the growth of baby during pregnancy and at birth.
Caffeine & Pregnancy
Pregnant women who consume caffeine (from tea, cola, chocolate and some prescription drugs) even about a cup of coffee daily are at higher risk of giving birth to an underweight baby, according to the research findings published in the British Medical Journal in November 2008.
The researchers further found that pregnant women who drink two or more cups of coffee a day are at twice the risk of having a miscarriage as those women who do not take caffeine.
Advice: Reduce caffeine intake before conception and throughout pregnancy. The best advice was to limit caffeine consumption to below 100 milligrams a day, there is no lower limit for which there is no effect,
- Avoid Vitamin A supplements as too much may harm your baby growing inside.
- Avoid white breads and foods prepared with white flour (maida).
- Avoid too much sugar and foods containing sugars.
Artificially sweetened diet soft drinks linked to premature births
Those who consum four servings a day are 78% more likely to have their baby prematurely - before 37 weeks' gestation, according to the research conducted by Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen and published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010.
- Nutmeg spice in large quantity to pregnant women may result in miscarriage.
- Although there is no scientific evidence, some people believe that because pineapple and raw papaya contain enzymes, so they can induce abortion.
- Avoid high-mercury sea-foods such as fish, especially Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel and Tilefish. Raw fish and seafood may contain Listeria, a bacteria that can cause food poisoning and miscarriage or premature birth.
- Avoid raw or smoked or frozen seafood such as oysters, sushi, sashimi, smoked oysters and smoked salmon. But canned seafood is safe to eat.
- Soft cheeses like ricotta without heating or uncooked.
- Avoid raw meat such as seafood, sushi, uncooked beef, raw eggs or poultry as these may be contaminated by toxoplasmosis, coliform bacteria and salmonella.
- Pre-cooked meat dishes without further heating.
- Salads, readymade or pre-packed.
- Ready-cooked cold meat including chicken.
- You should not smoke.
- Always consult your doctor about the safety of any drugs you take when pregnant.
Preterm Births & Oral Health
Researchers in the United States have found in 2009 that brushing your teeth properly and maintaining proper oral hygiene reduces the chance of early labour by a large extent. The researchers discovered that bacteria usually found in the mouth could be responsible for up to 80% of early preterm labours.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, Pregnant women who have gum disease (periodontal disease) may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small?
The Daily Telegraph in November 2008 reported that women who come into excessive contact with certain hairspray products during the first three months of pregnancy increased the chances of having a child with a genital defect, if a boy.
Microwaves Harmful During Pregnancy
A microwave oven can be harmful to your unborn child, because they emit electromagnetic radiation which could harm embryos and could lead to cell death, malnourished babies, infertility, damaged DNA and even miscarriages, according to Dr Shivani Sachdev Gaur of Phoenix hospital.
A pregnant woman should therefore not stand near a microwave oven closer than 12 cm or 5 inch, especially if it is old and damaged.
A survey conducted in 2009 indicated that in USA over 56 per cent microwave ovens two years or older leaked levels of radiation 10 per cent higher than the FDA's safety standards.
Morning Sickness and Nausea During Pregnancy
In the beginning of the pregnancy, you may have morning sickness with vomiting, headache and dizziness. This can prevent you from getting adequate nutrients for you and your baby.
- Eat small meals several times a day.
- Drink fluids between meals, total 8 to 10 glasses daily to avoid dehydration. Morning sickness is the signal of dehydration. When the mother is not drinking enough water, she is dehydrating the baby and herself.
Alcohol Drinking During Pregnancy
Pregnant mothers who indulge in alcohol consumption during pregnancy can disrupt their children''s sleep for years afterwards, researchers say as reported in August issue of the journal SLEEP. According to Dr. Katri of the department of Psychology at the University of Helsinki, Finland, even low levels of weekly prenatal exposure to alcohol have adverse effects on sleep quantity and quality during childhood.
- Try cold dishes.
- Try a few mint essence drops (Pudinhara) in water 2-3 times.
- Drink a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon juice of curry leaves or curry patta with 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Check up with your doctor.
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