All You Need to About Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

Overview

At different stages of pregnancy, you can focus on certain groups of products that depend on your body’s needs.

More importantly, pregnant women need to understand that now is not the right time to lose weight or limit their weight gain.

Cutting down valuable nutrients like (iron, folic acid, omega-3, etc), vitamins, and minerals can adversely affect your baby’s development and health and also your health.

If you want a healthy pregnancy, include protein, cereals, legumes, valuable fats, vegetables, and fresh fruits in your daily diet plan that will give your child a good start in life.

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3 Common Pregnancy Myths

Myth 1: You Need to eat for both.

Fact: It is necessary to increase the supply of nutrients during pregnancy. But you only need an additional 300 kcal per day only during the second and third trimesters.

This figure depending upon lifestyle and physical activity.

It is important to eat quality products during pregnancy like the balance of nutrients(protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and trace elements), and not only on caloric value.

During pregnancy try to avoid “empty calories” in refined and fast foods.

Myth 2: During pregnancy little weight gain facilitate delivery.

Fact: During pregnancy, if the mother does not put on enough weight, it can pose risk for the baby like premature birth. The optimal weight gain is 18-30 lbs(8-14 kg), during gestation.

Myth3: A healthy pregnant women experience comfort during pregnancy.

Fact: Weaknesses, heartburn, back pain, nausea, and constipation common for pregnant women and it does not depend on their lifestyle.

To overcome these unpleasant symptoms eat a healthy diet, avoid excess sugar, and fats, drink plenty of water and do exercise.

Nutrition tips during every stage of pregnancy

First trimester

During the first trimester, the female body adopts its new state and creating a favorable environment for the development of the fetus.

During this period blood, nervous systems, and internal organs began to evolve.

During this period much more important to receive a sufficient amount of protein, minerals, vitamins (folic acid, calcium, zinc, selenium, & copper), and omega-3 fatty acid for proper development of the fetal system.

If you suffer from toxemia, morning sickness should go away at the beginning of the second trimester.

To ease your condition:

• Eat some dry bread and drink water before getting out of the bed

• Choose simple and warm dishes

• During daytime drink more water, also prepared dried fruit or rosehip drink

Second trimester

During the second trimester, the child began to grow actively, and their internal organs start to develop. And mother needs an additional 300 kcal per day.

During this period proteins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium are important for the development of the baby.

During this period many pregnant women suffer from constipation. To relieve it you need to eat more food rich in fiber like fresh vegetables, fruits, and cereals, greens. It should make up 2/3 of your daily diet.

During pregnancy, it is important to drink enough water and stay physically active. You should take daily at least 0.5-0.7(2-2.5l)

Pregnant women quite face heartburn. To cope with this unpleasant burning sensation divide your daily intake of food into small portions.

It is advisable to avoid salty and spicy food, sweets, and coffee. To relieve heartburn fresh carrots and alkaline minerals water can also help.

Better to eat stewed and vegetables. To prevent edema cut down on salt.

Third trimester

During this period the baby gains weight actively. After 32 weeks cut down on simple carbohydrates and animal fats.

It necessary to get enough:

• Calcium for the development of bones and nervous system of the fetus

• Vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids important for the development of your baby internal systems.

Checklist of essential nutrients during pregnancy

Protein

During pregnancy recommend 75-100 g of protein per day which contributes to the development of the fetal tissues and brain. And also necessary for your breast and uterine tissue to grow as well as increase the blood supply.

Pregnant women to get recommended amount of protein need to eat 2-3 servings of protein products of animal origin daily(1 serving is about 3 oz/85). It can be:

  • Meat: lean beef, pork, rabbit, lamb
  • Poultry: turkey meat, or chicken
  • Beef liver
  • Fish or seafood.

Try to eat various groups of fish if possible. You can also choose premium groups of species of the Northern seas like salmon, anchovies, mackerel, and herring.

It will provide you and your baby with native protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These are necessary for your child’s mental development.

During pregnancy, you should avoid fish containing high levels of mercury, such as tuna.

Vegetables rich in protein (1 serving is about 1/2 cup or 4.2 fl oz/125 ml):

  • Tofu
  • Legumes: white and red beans, chickpeas, or lentils
  • Snake bean.

Calcium

1000 mg calcium is required daily during pregnancy. Calcium helps build the bone system, future teeth, nervous system, heart, and muscles of your baby.

The microelements of cereals, legumes, and nuts are better absorbed if you soak them in warm water overnight. These will reduce the phytic acid content, which binds minerals in plant-based products and impedes their absorption in the intestine. A soaked phytase enzyme is produced that neutralizes phytic acid.

To get the recommended daily amount of calcium, you need to consume 3–4 servings of the following products (the size of one serving is in parentheses):

  • Milk (1 glass)
  • Yogurt (1 cup, or 8.5 fl oz/250 ml)
  • Cheese (about 40 g)
  • Eggs (1)
  • Sesame (1 tsp)
  • Tofu (1/2 cup, or 4.2 fl oz/125 ml)
  • Legumes: lentils, white beans, or chickpeas (1/2 cup)
  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashews, or Brazilian (⅓ cup, or 2.9 fl oz/85 ml). These need to be soaked before eating for 8–12 hours, which helps promotes the absorption of nutrients.                                     
  • Poultry or fish (3 oz/85 g)
  • Leafy greens 1 cup.

For calcium properly absorbed, you need vitamin D and magnesium. These you can get from pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, and pine nuts. It also needs to know that caffeine can cause the loss of calcium through the urine.

Iron

Iron during pregnancy helps to carry oxygen to your growing baby, as well as to your muscles, helping to fight unpleasant fatigue and irritability.

According to experts, a pregnant woman needs 27 mg of iron per day.

Some good examples of iron sources containing the daily requirement:

  • 2–3 servings of products of animal origin like meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. (1 serving is about 3 oz/85 g).
  • 3 servings of whole-grain bread. (1 serving is 1 slice)
  • 2–3 servings of green leafy vegetables (1 serving is 1 cup or 8.5 fl oz/250 ml): salad, cabbage spinach, arugula.

Folic acid

Folic acid plays a crucial role in fetal blood formation, and it is necessary for the normal development of the neural tube. During pregnancy, experts recommend 600–800 mcg of folic acid per day.

To meet the daily requirement:

  • Liver of beef(1 serving is about 3 oz/85 g)
  • )
  • Hole-grain bread-3 servings(1 serving is 1 slice)
  • Legumes- 2 portions (1 serving is 1/2 cup or 4.2 fl oz/125 ml).
  • 2 servings-dark green leafy vegetables (1 serving is 1 cup or 8.5 fl oz/250 ml

Vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C help to promote the healthy development of the teeth and bones of your baby. And boosting their metabolic processes.

According to experts, pregnant women at least 85 mg of vitamin C every day.

The daily requirement of vitamin C: contained 3 servings of fruit or vegetables (1 serving is 1/2 cup or 4.2 fl oz/125 ml):

  • Kiwi fruit
  • Strawberry
  • Lemon
  • Mango
  • Grapefruit
  • Melon
  • Pepper
  • Tomato
  • Potato
  • Leafy greens.

Fats and oils

Healthy fats and oils are crucial for the development of the nervous system of your baby the synthesis hormones and some enzymes as well as for the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins. Pregnant women can consume 6 tsp of fats and oils a day.

The healthy sources of fats and oils are:

  • Fatty fish
  • Olive, safflower oil
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Olives.
  • Avocado
  • Canola oil

One-day menu for an expectant mother (around 2000 kcal)

Breakfast

  • Two hard-boiled eggs
  • Whole-grain toast with cheese
  • A cup of tea.
  • Pepper, arugula, and avocado salad with olive oil, and lemon juice, and grated lemon peel — 1 cup

Snack (if you’re hungry)

  • Yogurt — 1 cup
  • Raspberry — 1/2 cup.

Lunch

  • Baked poultry — 3–4 oz (85–115 g)
  • Green beans and broccoli — 1 cup
  • Brown rice — 1 cup
  • Cucumber, green herb, and sesame seed salad with olive oil — 1 cup
  • Whole-grain bread — 1–2 slices
  • A cup of milk.

Snack

Carrot sticks with hummus — 1 cup.

Dinner

Baked trout — 3–4 oz (85–11 g)

 Salad made up of Leafy greens and tomato with olive oil — 1 cup

Lentils — 0.5–1 cup

Half a grapefruit.

Snack (if you hungry)

  • A slice of cheese (1–1.4 oz (30–40 g)
  • A cup of herbal tea.

Bottom line 

If you stick to a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy and just occasionally let yourself eat some refined dishes, it will do little harm.

Prepare healthy dishes with different consistencies, use various types of spices, and also ensure protein balance. 

Healthy nutritious diet plan during pregnancy

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