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5 Most Essential Nutrients And Dietary Guidelines For Expectant Mothers

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By Author: Emma Brown
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As you know, during pregnancy, your body goes through a lot. There are a lot
of changes that happen inside the body, like hormonal and, obviously,
physical changes. To keep your baby and yourself charged, you will need to
take good care of yourself and have good nutritious food from various
sources.


Eating a healthy and balanced diet will make you feel good and will give
your baby everything it needs. The food you intake is the source through
which your baby gets all the nutrition, so it is important that you take all
the nutrition you can.


But it is not difficult to follow all the

pregnancy guidelines

. You will get some delicious options as well. Even if you are getting some
weird cravings, you can just spice things up with a healthy version of it.


Increased nutrients


It is needless to mention, that your body will require some more nutrients
during pregnancy. You ...
... have to feed the other person growing inside you. But
it is not entirely correct that you are eating for two. But you will need a
lot of macronutrients and micronutrients to support your baby and, of
course, yourself.


What are the most essential nutrients that your body needs during pregnancy?


Eat a lot of variety to get the required nutrients for you and the baby. It
will not be very different from the regular eating plan, just a little bit
amplified. Just follow your regular diet throughout your first trimester and
then increase your daily calorie intake by 350, and when you reach your
second trimester, increase it by 450.


It is best to avoid junk food, like soda and chips, as they do not add to
the nutritional value. It is best to add a lot of fruits and lean proteins
to your diet, like lentils, chicken, fish, and vegetables. But I am not
asking you to leave out all your favorites, just have a balanced diet and
include some vitamins and minerals along with it.


Protein


Protein is required during pregnancy for the baby’s proper growth in tissues
as well as organs. It is needed for

brain development

as well. During this time, the tissues in the uterus and breast also grow,
and protein plays an important role in that. Protein also maintains a
healthy blood supply and also regulates good circulation.


The body requires about 70 to 100 g of protein per day. But this depends on
the weight of the expecting mother and also in which trimester you are. It
is best to consult a doctor and dietician.


Some good protein sources are:




Pork and lean beef




Salmon




Peanut butter




Chicken




Beans




Cottage cheese




Nuts


Calcium


Calcium is responsible for building the baby’s bones and also regulates the
use of fluids in the body. During pregnancy, a woman needs at least 1,000 mg
of calcium. It is best if they take that in two settings of 500 mg each in a
day. Most women need some additional calcium along with prenatal vitamins.


Some good calcium sources are:




Cheese




Milk




Yogurt




Seafood and low-mercury fish, like catfish, canned tuna, shrimp and
salmon.




Calcium-set tofu




Dark green, leafy vegetables


Folate


Folate or folic acid plays a very important role in lowering the risk of
getting neural tube defects. These are some of the major birth defects that
affect the baby’s spinal cord and brain and cause anencephaly and spina
bifida. During pregnancy, a woman needs 600 to 800 mcg of folic acid a day.


Some good folic acid sources are:




Lentils and dried beans




Eggs




Nuts




Liver




Leafy, dark green vegetables




Peanut butter


Iron


Iron never works alone; it works with potassium, sodium, and water and
increases blood flow. This ensures that the mother and baby are getting
enough oxygen. During pregnancy, a woman requires at least 27 mg of iron in
a day, and it is best if you take it along with some vitamin C to increase
the level of absorption.


Some good sources of iron are:




Leafy, dark green vegetables




Eggs




Poultry and lean beef




Cereals or enriched breads


Other considerations


Other nutrients are necessary for keeping you healthy during the pregnancy
period, like B vitamins, chlorine, and salt. Apart from eating a healthy
diet, it is also important to keep the baby hydrated. A pregnant woman needs
at least 8 glasses of water every day, along with prenatal vitamins. It is
not always possible to get the right amount of nutrients through food, so
take supplements to keep yourself healthy.


Guidelines for Safe Food Handling




Wash and rinse all the raw products thoroughly under running water
before you start the cooking process.




Keep all the equipment clean, and wash your hands before you start
preparing the food.




If you are cooking poultry, pork, or beef, make sure that the food
is cooked thoroughly, and check with a thermometer if the internal
temperature is okay.


Ensure that your diet is balanced and you have a nutritious diet while you
are pregnant to keep your baby and yourself healthy. Just like you follow a
PCOS diet plan,
think of this time like that, and cut down the consumption of fast food or
processed food. Include whole foods in your diet and limit the consumption
of food that does not have any nutritional value.






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