By Dr V. H. Shruthi
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist
Published on 26/09/2022
A nutritious diet is essential during pregnancy for both mother and the child. It will help a woman to meet the increased physical demands of pregnancy while also assisting the development of the fetus. The pregnancy foods to eat should include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. However, certain foods and beverages can harm a pregnant woman's and her unborn baby's health.
Let us learn more about foods to eat and avoid for a healthy pregnancy.
Foods to eat
1. Dairy goods:
The consumption of dairy products is essential during pregnancy, and dairy products are ideal sources of calcium, protein, Vitamin D, phosphorus, and other vitamins and minerals. Consuming dairy products during pregnancy is good for strong bones and teeth. Calcium helps in the healthy functioning of the circulatory, muscular and nervous systems. To keep your baby healthy, drink at least one glass of milk daily and consume more greek yogurt, paneer, and ghee.
Many people consider eggs superfoods because they are high in vitamin B including Biotin or Vitamin B7, Vitamin A and D, proteins, choline, and minerals. Eggs are essential as they support your baby's brain development and help prevent neural tube defects. They help boost the energy and are needed for the baby's healthy growth.
Bananas are high in folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6 are high in antioxidants and aid in energy production. They are super healthy foods for pregnant women having Anemia and increase the hemoglobin levels.
Bananas are rich in fiber content and help in digestion. The fiber can help to give you regular bowel movements and avoid constipation, which is common during pregnancy. If you have allergies or diabetes, consult a dietician or a doctor before eating bananas during pregnancy.
4. Sweet potatoes:
Sweet potatoes have high contents of beta-carotene, converted into vitamin A in the body and required for cell and tissue growth. They contain starch, magnesium, potassium, calcium, fiber, etc., essential for a baby's development. They contain fiber which prevents constipation in a pregnant woman. Sweet potatoes are a delicious and healthy treat; however, ensure you do not eat them in excess and follow a balanced diet.
Legumes are high in plant-based fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, folate, calcium, and iron, all essential for a pregnant mother. Getting enough folate will ensure your baby is born healthy and protected against many diseases and infections. Legumes also provide fiber, which can help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids in pregnant women. Lentils, soybeans, peas, beans, chickpeas, and peanuts are all examples of legumes.
Nuts are delicious and high in healthy fats, making them an excellent choice for snacking during pregnancy. They contain brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, fiber, and other essential nutrients necessary for the baby's development. It is observed that pregnant women who eat nuts during early pregnancy (first trimester) have children with good IQ, memory, and concentration. Don't forget to eat nuts in moderation; consuming excess amounts can lead to pregnancy complications.
7. Leafy vegetables:
Dark green vegetables are high in nutrients, and we all know that they can help protect the body from a variety of diseases. Green vegetables are very beneficial to your pregnancy diet because they are high in antioxidants, calcium, protein, fiber, folate, vitamins including A, B6, C, and K and potassium. They boost hemoglobin supply, healthy bones, and prevent skin problems.
8. Orange juice:
Orange juice is good for the health of the pregnant mother and the unborn baby in the womb, and it is high in folate, potassium, and vitamin C and prevents neural tube defects in the baby. Orange juice contains vitamin C, which improves your baby's ability to absorb iron in the body. So, drink one glass of orange juice every day.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
Avoid the following foods to help prevent illnesses and other complications during pregnancy:
1. Avoid eating unpasteurized foods
Many low-fat dairy products, including skim milk, mozzarella cheese, and cottage cheese, can be a nutritious addition to your diet. Avoid consuming unpasteurized foods, as these products may cause foodborne illness.
2. Avoid consuming raw fruits and vegetables
Wash all raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove harmful bacteria and dirt. Raw sprouts, radish, and beans should be avoided during pregnancy because they may contain disease-causing bacteria. Make sure to cook the sprouts thoroughly.
3. Avoid consuming too much caffeine
Caffeine can cross the placenta, but the effects on your baby are unknown. To be safe, your doctor may advise you to avoid or limit the consumption of caffeine in your diet during pregnancy.
4. Avoid drinking alcohol
Avoid alcohol consumption because it negatively affects pregnancy and increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Drinking alcohol can lead to a syndrome known as fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause facial deformities and intellectual disability.
5. Avoid eating raw meat, poultry, or eggs.
Don't eat undercooked food. Bacterial food poisoning is more likely during pregnancy, and can lead to adverse effects. Food poisoning rarely affects the baby.
Pregnancy is a crucial phase in every woman's life, so a healthy diet is essential for the pregnant mother and the growing fetus in the womb. Consult your gynecologist and dietician before consuming any foods or drinks during the pregnancy period.Book an appointment with our top Gynecologists to have a healthy and memorable pregnancy.