While many women are turning to herbs and supplements to use during pregnancy for a healthy baby, it is advisable to invest in good nutrition instead. With the right nutrition, your baby can access all the vitamins and minerals it needs with no need for supplementation.
However, concentrating on good nutrition doesn't mean that you should eat in excess. This is the mistake made by many women. They over eat claiming that they are eating for two. This is a misconception; at most you should only have an additional 300 calories a day to cater for your growing baby.
Your nutrition must be composed of healthy wholesome foods. Avoid processed foods as they will affect you blood sugar levels which will cause certain complications during your pregnancy. Your focus should be on foods capable of keeping your blood sugar levels balanced at all times. This means your diet should be composed of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins. Drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated, to detoxify the system and prevent constipation.
In your diet ensure that these nutrients are catered to;
- Folic acid: This helps to prevent certain birth defects.
- Iron: This will ensure that the fetus is constantly supplied with blood and that you do not suffer from anemia during the pregnancy.
- Calcium: This is important for the formation of healthy bones in the baby.
Proteins are essential when it comes to the healthy development of the baby. Proteins are the building blocks of the human body so without them the baby will not be healthy and neither will you. Choose lean protein from poultry, fish and beef. You can also take vegetable protein from beans, peas and nuts.
Avoid raw fish and certain fish such as mackerel, white snapper and others known to contain high levels of mercury. If you can’t be sure of the fish you are taking, stick to eating poultry and beef. To cater for a good supply of calcium ensure that you take low fat dairy products such as hard cheese, cream cheese, yoghurt and low fat milk..
The grain should be full of fiber that will help you avoid constipation. This can be accessed from whole grains and cereals, whole grain bread and pasta among others. Fruits and vegetables should be taken frequently but avoid sugary or starchy fruits and vegetables that can be high in calories. Your vegetables can be eaten raw or lightly cooked to maintain their vitamin content.
Fats and sugars should be minimized or avoided completely. In addition, any stimulating drinks such as coffee and tea should be kept at a minimum. Sodas and sugary juices are also to be avoided. You better drink fresh vegetable or fruit juices, as they are easily absorbed by the body and do not have added preservatives.
Make sure that you have small portions of food throughout the day composed of these healthy foods. Portioning will ensure that you do not over eat. The benefit is that you will not gain too much weight. This will help you get a safe delivery and have few complications throughout your pregnancy.