List Of Foods To Avoid And To Eat During Pregnancy
Being pregnant is a different experience for different Women. But the anxiety and fear factors are the same for almost every pregnant lady. Food and pregnancy have a direct relationship. When you are pregnant you need to eat healthy food to provide nutrition to yourself and your baby.
Pregnancy raises many questions about what to eat or what to avoid while being pregnant? In pregnancy, the body goes through major hormonal changes and you can have many different cravings but what to eat is an important question and Mothers-to-be should maintain a healthy diet throughout their pregnancy.
Pregnancy and cravings
When you become pregnant, your taste buds can literally sound stranger. You will develop cravings for food that you never liked or you may start hating your once favorite dish. Don’t worry, these are just hormones and will go away on their own when you will be done with your pregnancy.
Some women may crave for other uneatable substances like soil, chalk or paint. These are unhealthy cravings and point towards nutrition deficiency. You should consult with your doctor if you develop unhealthy cravings.
Food To Eat While Pregnant
Pregnant women must eat a healthy diet to ensure full nutrition intake for themselves and their babies.
Poor diet or unhealthy eating will result in a lack of nutrition. A pregnant woman must take a diet that includes
The growing fetus needs extra calcium and protein. The development of fetus and bones of babies need nutrition. Dairy products are a rich source of calcium and phosphorous. Other vitamins like vitamin B, magnesium and zinc are also present in dairy products.
Adding milk and yogurt in the diet of pregnant women is very beneficial for her health. Yogurt is richer in calcium than milk. Probiotics bacteria in yogurt are good for digestive health.
Sometimes, women may develop lactose intolerance but adding yogurt rather than milk can do wonders for them also. A woman must also include probiotic supplements in her diet to reduce the risks of gestational diabetes, vaginal infections, and allergies.
Rich in beta-carotene, potatoes are very healthy addition in pregnant women diet. Potatoes have vitamin A which is important for cell and tissue growth.
Pregnant women must increase the intake of vitamin A by 20% – 40% to ensure the healthy development of the fetus.
High levels of animal-based vitamin A can cause toxicity so beta- carotene which is plant-based vitamin A is a very good substitute for pregnant women. One 150-gram sweet potato fulfils the daily need for vitamin A.
Potatoes have high fibre content aids digestive health and reduces blood sugar.
Lentils, peas, and beans include in food group called legumes. They are a rich source of protein and fibres and also include calcium, iron, and folate(B 9) which are important for pregnant women.
Pregnant women should take folic supplements to achieve a daily recommended dose of folate. Not taking enough folate can cause low birth weight and neural tube defects in babies.
60-70% of folate can be taken from legume groups daily. Some lentils are also rich in iron, magnesium, and potassium.
One of the popular fish salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for pregnant women. But most women don’t get enough of omega 3 in their diet and salmon is the best offer for them.
Seafood has a high amount of omega 3 which helps in building the brain and eyes of the baby.
Seafood must be taken once or twice a week. It also helps in maintaining bone health and immune system
Eggs are regarded as a protein rich food. An egg has 77 calories and is loaded with minerals and vitamins.
Eggs have choline in them which is important for brain development and overall health. One egg contains 25% of the daily recommended dose of choline for pregnant women.
Dark green vegetables e.g. spinach and broccoli are rich in nutrients. They have fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, and potassium.
These leafy green vegetables are also rich in antioxidants and fibers. Fiber prevents constipation in pregnant women and also decreases the risk of low birth weight.
Another excellent protein source is meat, which is rich in nutrients like vitamin B, choline and iron.
Iron is used in red blood cells as a part of hemoglobin. In pregnancy, iron is important as blood volume increases and HB levels need to be maintained. Iron deficiency can cause anemia which can increase the risk of premature delivery. Eating red meat regularly keeps your iron levels normal.
Fish Liver Oil
Fish liver oil mostly made from the liver of codfish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are important for brain development.
This oil is also high in vitamin D. The only food source of vitamin D is fish and fish liver oil. Lowering vitamin D intake can cause preeclampsia in which hands and feet swell and protein start moving out from the body with urine along with high bp.
Eating fish liver oil keeps you healthy and reduce the risk of low birth weight and diseases in the baby. Consuming more than 1 tbsp of fish liver oil is not recommended as it can increase vitamin A which may be dangerous for the fetus.
Berries are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C not only helps your body to absorb iron but it is also essential for your skin health.
Due to the low glycemic index, berries don’t cause a rise in blood sugar. They are delicious, healthy and full of fiber. Berries can be a great snack for pregnant women.
Grains are full of fiber and vitamins. They are high in calorie count and can be a great addition in the diet to meet daily calorie requirement for pregnant women.
Some grains like oats are rich in protein. Whole grains are rich sources of vitamin B, magnesium and fiber.
Avocado is rich in mono-saturated fatty acids. They also contain substantial amounts of fiber, vitamins B, C, E, and K, copper, and potassium. Avocado is an exceptional fruit and a very healthy choice for pregnant women.
Potassium helps in relieving leg cramps which many pregnant women get in pregnancy. An avocado actually has more potassium than a banana, making them a smart choice.
These are high in calories and rich in fiber and vitamins. A fist full of dry fruit is enough for the daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals.
Some dry fruits also have natural sugar in them so try to substitute them with other ones. Dates and prunes are healthy choices.
Hydration is important in pregnancy otherwise you can become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause many complications like headaches, tiredness, memory reduction and even anxiety.
Other than hydration, water also helps in reducing the risk of constipation and UTI.
You can also take water in the form of juices, tea, fruits, and vegetables.
Can I Eat Shrimp While Pregnant?
Indeed you can. The fish that pregnant ladies ought to keep away from totally are the high-mercury ones, for example, shark, tilefish, swordfish and lord mackerel.
Shrimp is sheltered to eat on the grounds that it falls into the class of low-mercury fish, which additionally incorporates salmon, pollack, sardines and catfish. In any case, you should even now restrict your admission of these fish to close to 12 ounces for each week
Eating healthy food during pregnancy is important. You need to stay healthy and fit so that you can deliver and raise your child without getting health complications.
Foods are distributed in groups on the basis of their calorie count and daily recommendations. Your health factor also plays an important role in deciding which food you should take?
Listed below are a few foods that you may want to avoid during pregnancy for you and your baby’s health.
If you are a sushi lover then it is time to revise your food affection. Raw fish can contain many bacterias and viruses which can affect your health. You can get infection and this infection can pass to the unborn baby.
Pregnancy makes you 20 times more prone to getting infections. Raw fish can get bacteria from contaminated water, plants or even during smoking or drying process. Infections from raw fish can be severe and can lead to serious health complications.
High Mercury Fish
Contaminated water contains mercury and fishes can have that in their body. Although not all fishes have high mercury in their meat but certain types like shark or tuna can have comparatively larger amounts. Pregnant women should avoid and limit the consumption of such fish as mercury has a lot of adverse effects on health including a serious threat to the nervous and immune system.
Fishes that are not high in mercury are healthy and pregnant women can have 2-3 servings of them per week.
High mercury fish include:
Tuna (especially albacore tuna)
Processed Under Cooked Or Organ Meat
Although meat is a healthy diet and a great source of nutrients but consuming a large amount of animal-based vitamins is not good for health. It can increase your copper levels also.
Processed or undercook meat can cause infections. Meat must be cooked at high temperatures to ensure bacteria killing. Pregnant women are advised to look for their meat intake.
Eggs are good for health but raw eggs can contain salmonella which can cause infections. Infection from salmonella can cause fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
Pregnant women must eat well-cooked eggs.
Foods that commonly contain raw eggs include:
Lightly scrambled eggs
Homemade ice cream
Caffeine is found in a variety of drinks including – tea, coffee, and soft drinks. Pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake. Caffeine is quickly absorbed and passed to the placenta. High level of caffeine can restrict fetal growth and can cause low birth weight.
Raw sprouts can contain bacteria and can cause bacterial infections so they must be avoided by pregnant women. However, sprout is safe after they are well cooked.
Unwashed fruits or vegetables can have many bacteria on them. These bacteria can cause infections in pregnancy and defects later on. Always wash properly before consuming fruits or raw vegetables.
Pregnancy brings many cravings for taste buds and craving for junk is common. But remember that junk food is not a healthy option for you as it is high in calories count. Consuming junk food can cause weight gain without having any nutrition. Increased weight gain can cause diabetes and heart diseases.
Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese, And Fruit Juices
All the above-mentioned edibles contain bacteria that can be harmful to pregnant women. Pasteurization kills bacteria without affecting the nutrition value of food so it always consumes pasteurized milk and fruit juices in pregnancy.
Alcohol should be completely avoided by pregnant women. Intake of Alcohol increases the risk of miscarriage and cause deformities in fetus.
Under no circumstance is it safe to consume alcohol whilst pregnant. Pregnant women should completely avoid the use of alcohol.
Foods To Avoid In The First Month Of Pregnancy
Pregnancy needs care. Staying healthy during pregnancy is important for both mum and child’s health. Early pregnancy needs extra care as the body is undergoing hormonal changes that are new to mom herself.
Eating healthy in pregnancy does not only keeps you fit but also avoid many risks and complications during and after pregnancy.
Raw sprouts which can contain bacteria and viruses. Always cook them before eating.
Lean meat can increase animal-based vitamin A in your body and can cause vitamin A toxicity.
Caffeine intake must be limited in early pregnancy
High mercury fish is also not safe to consume in early pregnancy as it can cause damage to the fetus.
Papaya is not considered as “safe” fruit during pregnancy. It is said to have miscarriage properties.
Drum stick tree is known to have alpha- sitosterol with estrogen-like structure that can lead to miscarriage.
Raw eggs are not safe for pregnant women because they can contain bacteria.
Aloe Vera can cause pelvic hemorrhage that can lead to miscarriage so any edible that contains aloe vera or aloe vera juice must not be consumed by pregnant women.
Pineapple has bromelain in it which can soothe pelvic muscles causing miscarriage so pineapple must be avoided in early pregnancy.
How Many Calories To Eat While Pregnant?
Many women think that “eating double” is a pregnancy rule. But the myth must be solved. In reality, many women don’t know how much to eat while pregnant?
In pregnancy, you just need additional 250-300 calories to maintain your nutritional value of daily dose. Eating 1800 calories in a day during the first trimester of pregnancy is fine.
Try to take these extra calories from healthy food. Otherwise, you may get calorie count but it will not add up to the nutrition needed for your baby.
What Are The Best Foods To Eat While Pregnant?
The best food to eat while pregnant is healthy food. Avoid unprocessed, raw and unhealthy food. Try eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Take cooked seafood and meat twice a week. Add healthy snacks in your diet.
Too much sweet and sugary food or food that contains caffeine must be limited during pregnancy. Don’t take even a small amount of alcohol during pregnancy.