Pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant mothers. There are so many things to think about and prepare for, including what to eat.
What you eat during pregnancy is essential for your and your baby’s health. Eating various healthy foods helps ensure that you and your baby get the necessary nutrients. Meanwhile, there are also foods that you need to avoid for the meantime.
Here’s a quick guide on what and what not to eat when pregnant.
Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
Here are five foods to eat during pregnancy:
1. Folic Acid-Rich Foods
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin mainly found in leafy green vegetables and legumes. It is important for the development of the neural tube, which becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Good sources of folic acid include:
2. Iron-Rich Foods
Iron is a mineral that is important for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in a woman’s body increases, so she needs more iron.
Good sources of iron include:
- Lean red meat
3. Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium is a mineral that is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth. During pregnancy, calcium is also needed to develop the baby’s heart, nerves and muscles.
Good sources of calcium include:
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt
- Dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is important for developing the brain and eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, and certain plant oils, such as flaxseed oil.
5. Vitamin C-Rich Foods
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps the pregnant body absorb iron and maintain a healthy immune system. While you can get some vitamin C from food, you may need to take a supplement to get the recommended amount during pregnancy.
Food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli. You can also get vitamin C from fortified foods, such as some breakfast cereals and juices.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
There are certain foods that you should avoid during pregnancy, as they can pose a risk to you and your baby. These include:
1. Raw or Undercooked Meat, Poultry, and Fish
Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, and fish can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, leading to complications such as dehydration and toxemia.
2. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs can also contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. They can also increase the risk of salmonella and e.coli infection, which can be serious for both mother and baby.
3. Unpasteurized Dairy Products
Unpasteurized dairy products can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. These products can also increase the risk of listeria infection, which can be serious for both mother and baby.
Caffeine can be harmful to your baby’s developing nervous system. Limiting caffeine-containing foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks, is best.
Alcohol can pass from your bloodstream into your baby’s and can cause serious harm to their developing brain and other organs. It is best to avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy.
6. Mercury-Containing Fish
Mercury is a toxic metal that can harm both mother and baby. It is best to avoid fish with high mercury levels, such as sharks, swordfish, and marlin.
This one’s not a type of food, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. Tobacco smoke contains harmful chemicals that can pass from your lungs into your bloodstream and your baby’s. Tobacco smoke can cause serious health problems for both mother and baby, so it is best to avoid it altogether.
Eating the right foods will help you to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Avoiding the wrong foods will help you to prevent problems during pregnancy. Be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife about the best diet for you and your baby.
Looking for an easy and healthy way to enjoy great-tasting food in the comforts of your home? Prep’d Fresh has food delivery in Burlington. We specialize in delivering healthy and delicious meals right at your doorstep. Order from us today and enjoy a hassle-free meal that is good for you!