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Pregnancy Diet: What to Eat and What Not to Eat

A pregnant woman always needs to take extra care on the diet due to a very simple reason – the nutrients are also being supplied to the baby. If mothers are lacking the essential nutrients, the development of the baby may be affected as well. The excess weight gain would also increase the risk of birth complications. Hence, consuming the proper nutritious food would more likely ensure a healthy mom and baby!

Food you should eat during pregnancy

1.    Fruit and Vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables are the all-time food that would never go wrong. They can be dried, frozen, fresh or juice. However, fresh and frozen fruits would have a higher level of vitamins and nutrients. For example, berries are packed with vitamin C which is important for immune function. Dried fruits actually have the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruits but without all the water they originally have. On the other hand, dark green vegetables also contain many nutrients that a pregnant woman needs. For example, spinach and kale are rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, fibre, and potassium.

2.    Fibre

Pregnant women are more likely to experience constipation. You are highly encouraged to consume fibre to prevent it. The foods that are generally rich in fibre are wholegrains. Unlike refined grains, whole grains are packed with vitamin B and plant compound. Quinoa and oats are also rich in protein. Other foods that are rich in fibre that you can consider to eat during pregnancy are whole grain pasta, wholegrain bread, wild rice, beans, fruits and vegetables.

3.    Protein

The good sources of protein - lean meats, eggs, and fish are particularly important for pregnant women. Lean meat like beef, pork, and chicken also provides high-quality protein. Egg contains almost every nutrient you need, including protein, fats, vitamin and minerals. Another important source that we can get from eggs is chlorine. It is essential for the brain development of the fetus.

What about if you are vegan? You can consider tofu, soy products, seeds, nuts, beans, quinoa and legumes as great sources of protein.

4.    Fats

Healthy fats, also called monounsaturated fats, are needed during pregnancy. A high-fat diet may inherit future diabetes in babies. Hence, it is better that fats do not exceed 30% of your pregnancy diet. Foods high in monounsaturated fats include peanut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil and avocado. Avocados are also high in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, copper and fibre. The healthy fats consumed would benefit the building of the fetus’ brain, tissues, and skin.

5.    Iron

Pregnant mothers need more iron which is the main part of haemoglobin. Extra iron is needed during pregnancy as a mother would increase almost 50% of blood volume in her body which requires more iron to make sure there is adequate oxygen supply for both mother and baby. Some foods that are rich in iron are salmon, cooked oyster, egg yolk, and poultry. Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps to build the fetus’ brain and eyes.

 

Food you should avoid during pregnancy

1.    High Mercury Fish

You may have heard that pregnant women need to avoid eating fish that contain high levels of mercury. This is due to the fact that it can pass the placenta barrier and probably cause damage to the fetus. As a growing baby has a sensitive developing nervous system, it is necessary to avoid mercury consumption to prevent neurologic damage to the baby.

In case you are not certain about which fish is high in mercury, they include the Marlin, Swordfish, Shark, Yellowfin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, Tilefishes, Orange Roughy, and King Mackerel.

2.    Undercooked eggs

Another thing mommy should avoid is raw eggs or undercooked eggs. Once you feel like having an egg, make sure it is cooked until the yolk and white are solid. Undercooked eggs can be a source of salmonella, which is a common factor of food poisoning. It is unlikely to harm the baby, but mommy may have a fight with diarrhoea and vomiting. On top of that, do avoid foods that include raw eggs. For example, mousse and mayonnaise.

3.    Unpasteurized dairy product

In order to reduce the risk of food-borne illness, the next thing to avoid eating is unpasteurized dairy products which apply to goat milk and sheep milk. The same goes to soft cheese and unpasteurized milk as it may contain bacteria called listeria. It probably shows no symptoms to the mother, but it can jeopardize the pregnancy by perhaps triggering miscarriage or premature births.

4.    Excessive Vitamin A foods

We know that vitamin A is important for visual health. However, excessive consumption of Vitamin A during pregnancy would bring harm to the baby which may cause birth defects. What an expectant mom can do is to avoid eating liver or liver products. If you are deficient in vitamin A, it is best to seek a doctor and get their advice on supplementations. The safest way to do is to consult the professional one before taking any multivitamins.

Going through the pregnancy journey is not an easy job, but worth it when your little one gets the best and always stays healthy. After delivering your new-born, it’s time to take note of your post natal diet. Although there is still some food to avoid, there is also amazing food waiting for you!

Ever wondered how these 7 popular confinement food ingredients will help you recover after giving birth?

 

The above content is brought to you by Tian Wei Signature.

 

 

 

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