Nutrition In Pregnancy

First of all let me answer this very often asked question: “I’m pregnant, do I need to eat by 2?”. Well the answer is absolutely NO! when you are pregnant, you do need to eat more than you normally do but not by 2. About 300-500 extra calories a day is enough to give your body and your baby the right nutrition.

Your body becomes more efficient during pregnancy and is able to absorb more of the nutrients you eat. So consuming twice as much doesn’t double your chances of having a healthier baby! instead, it’s likely to mean excessive weight gain for you.

I have also hear other people saying this to other pregnant ladies: “Eat whatever you want!, this is your time to enjoy yourself”… If someone says something like that to you run as fast as you can! (if you are pregnant you probably won’t get very far though- lol) But let me tell you this: is all the opposite! This is not your time to eat whatever you want! this is the time where you should eat HEALTHIER THAN EVER! your body requires a lot of nutrients to grow a healthy baby! And most importantly to give your baby the right nourishment to have a healthy life!

First things first: Folic Acid




If you’re pregnant or might become pregnant, you need folic acid (vitamin B9) for a number of compelling reasons.
Folic acid helps prevent serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain. Neural tube defects occur at a very early stage of development, before many women even know they’re pregnant.
Your body needs folic acid to make normal red blood cells and prevent a type of anemia. Folic acid is also essential for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA, our genetic map and a basic building block of cells. So getting enough folic acid is particularly important for the rapid cell growth of the placenta and your developing baby.
Taking only foods is not enough. You need proper supplementation. But you can also eat foods that are rich in naturally occurring folate including lentils, beans, peas, dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and asparagus.
Start by eating small and often meals!

This is very helpful at every stage of the pregnancy! It helps at the first trimester because if you get very nauseous, having big meals can be very unpleasant. And it helps at the end of the pregnancy as you tummy starts to grown, there is little room for too much food so having 6 small meals a day is definitely something that helped me.


Cut down on caffeine




This not only includes coffee, it also include other drinks that might be high in caffeine such as teas and fizzy drinks. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t  enjoy 1 or 2 cup of coffee a day. But if you drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee and tea and few glasses of fizzy drink then you have to cut those down.

Morning sickness:




If I am honest with you on my both pregnancies it wasn’t only morning when I was sick, it was a 24 hour thing. I used to get up at 2 am to get sick. I was really bad.

Try to work out which foods suit you and which make you feel better.  Things that worked on me included:  plain biscuits, crackers, grapes and plain vanilla ice-cream. Of course different things might work on you so found what makes you feel better and stick to those! Ginger tea is famously good to work on nauseousness although it never worked on me I have heard it does in other ladies, so it is worth trying it!

Vitamins you need:




– Calcium: Sesame seeds,dairy 
– Choline: Egg, pork and cod
– Copper: Cashews, kidney beans
– Folic Acid: lentils, boccoli, asparagus
– Iodine: Cod, greek yogurt, potato
– Iron: Spinach, beef, lentils
– Magnesium: Pumpking seeds, spinach, brown pasta, dark chocolate
– Manganese: Brown rice, oats, pineapple
– Panthotenic acid: Avocado, eggs, nuts
– Phosphorous: salmon, black beans
– Potassium: potatoes, dried aprocts
– Rivofamin: Yogurt, mushrooms, ricotta cheese
– Thiamine: Pork, spinach, peas
– Vitamin A: Sweet potato, carrots
– Vitamin B6: Banana, chickpeas, chicken
– Vitamin C: oranges, red pepper, strawberries
– Vitamin D: Salmon, mushrooms and take some natural light
– Zinc: Tofu and yogurt



Portions:




– Fruits: 3 to 4 servings of fruit a day should be enough to keep your energy levels up, sugar cravings down and good amount of vitamins on you. Avoid fruit juices and go for whole fruits instead. One serving equals one medium piece of fruit such as one apple, one orange, 1  banana; 1 cup of chopped fruits such as grapes, strawberries, berries, etc.

– Vegetables: They are the most important part of your diet a lot of vitamins and minerals come from them and they help other minerals such as calcium be absorbed better. Try to include the whole rainbow in a day: dark green (broccoli, kale, spinach), orange (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash), yellow (corn, yellow peppers), and red (tomatoes, red peppers), etc

– Dairy: 3 servings a day. Dairy foods provide the calcium that your baby needs to grow and that you need to keep your bones strong. To get sufficient calcium, drink milk and eat yogurt and cheese. To save on calories and saturated fat, choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant and can’t digest milk, choose lactose-free milk products, calcium-fortified foods, and beverages such as calcium-fortified soymilk. One serving equals 1 cup of milk or yogurt, about 30- 40 grams ounces of natural cheese such as cheddar or mozzarella.

– Proteins: 2-3 servings a day. Select lean meats, poultry, fish, and eggs prepared with minimal amounts of fat. Beans (pinto, kidney, black) are also a good source of protein, as are lentils, chickpeas, nuts, and seeds. One serving equals 2-3 ounces of cooked meat, poultry, or fish; 1 cup of cooked beans; 2 eggs; 2 tablespoons of peanut butter; or 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) of nuts.

– Grains: Whole grain breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta provide fiber, which is very important during pregnancy. Eating a variety of fiber-containing foods helps maintain proper bowel function and can reduce your chances of developing constipation and hemorrhoids. As often as possible, select whole grain foods over those made with white flour. For example, eat whole wheat bread rather than white bread. Aim for 3 or 4 servings a day.  One serving equals 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal (about 1 cup of most cereals), or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta.

– Good fats: Aim for 3 servings of fat a day. This fats include: Good fats such as coconut oil, butter, nuts, seeds and avocado. Studies suggest that the development of the baby’s nervous system may be boosted by omega 3 fatty acids, the richest source of which is found in fatty fish. Avoid fish that are high in mercury and opt instead for salmon and anchovies, which are good, safe sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Wild salmon is very rich in omega 3. Other sources include omega 3-enriched eggs, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, and omega 3 supplements and prenatal vitamins containing omega 3 fatty acids. One serving includes: 1 handful of mixed seeds, 1/4 cup of nuts, 1/2 avocado, 1 tablespoons of oils or nut butter and 90 grams of salmon

Example:




Breakfast

Two eggs scrambled with mushrooms and red pepper, using 1 teaspoon canola oil
One slice of whole wheat toast 
1 cup greek yogurt + 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries
Snack
One large apple + almond butter or a fruit smoothie (include spinach, milk and 2 pieces max of fruit)
Lunch
2 baked potatoes topped with 3/4 cup chili with beans and 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese,
1 cup spinach salad with 1 tablespoon dried cranberries and 2 tablespoons light salad dressing. 25 grams of dark chocolate

Snack
1 or 2 carrots sliced + Hummus
3 cups light popcorn (includes 1 teaspoon oil to cook them with)
Dinner
1/2 sliced tomato and 1/4 of an avocado, sliced
4 ounces grilled salmon
1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
1/2 cup green beans, cooked
+ Piece of fruit for dessert
Snack
Healthy baked treat, Slice of wholemeal bread with cottage cheese and honey, Rice cake with nut butter, dates, nuts, seeds or a fruit smoothie


Things to avoid:



– Smoking
– Drinking alcohol
– Raw seafood
– unpasteurized produce such as soft cheeses
– pate
– raw and undercooked meat and poultry

    5 thoughts on “Nutrition In Pregnancy

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