Nutritional needs during pregnancy
Nutritional needs during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very joyful feeling and congratulations if you are pregnant! To make this phase the most memorable one, you must be fit and consume a complete nutritional diet. Remember, you are now eating for your baby as well. During pregnancy, your body needs an increased amount of nutrients, as it undergoes numerous physical and hormonal changes. Good nourishment makes you and your little ones healthy. The crucial part of pregnancy is good nutrition because the only source of nutrient for the baby in your tummy (fetus) is the food that you eat. Below are the interesting and useful nutritional tips for you and your baby.

There is an ancient saying, “you must eat for two when you are pregnant”. Though it’s not entirely wrong, it actually makes sense. You do need more micronutrients and macronutrients to nourish yourself and your baby.

A simple way to get all the package of nutrients is through eating variety of food every day. Yours every meal should contain at least three types of food groups. Grains are amazing sources of energy; fresh fruits and colorful veggies have stores of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, etc.; calcium and vitamin D are ample in the dairy products.

Below are daily nutrients that boost up your body during the phase of pregnancy
  • Include proteins in your diet. This helps the fetus brain to grow and other tissues as well. The protein you took during pregnancy also aids in the growth of breast and uterine tissue.
  • Calcium helps in building your baby’s bones stronger and also helps in the regulation of body fluids.
  • Include iron-rich food in your diet. This aids in increasing your and your baby’s blood flow and oxygen supply.
  • Folic acid is like a “must and should” nutrient that needs to be included in your diet. It helps in reducing the risk of genetic defects in your baby such as neural tube defects.
Have a look at the best benefits of nutrients for you and your baby
Calcium benefits

For you: Show a positive impact on your bone density and helps in the prevention of gestational hypertension.

For your baby: builds and strengthens baby’s teeth and bones.

Requirement: 1,000 mg per day

Best sources: Plain yogurt, milk, orange juice, cottage cheese, and tofu.

 

Choline benefits

For you: Helps in maintaining normal blood pressure and in building the bones.

For your baby: It helps in reducing the risk of neural tube congenital defects such as spinal cord and brain defects. It also boosts your baby’s brain development.

Requirement: 450 mg per day

Best sources: Cooked egg, salmon, chicken, broccoli, cauliflower.

Folic acid benefits

For you: Folic acid is very important in your pregnancy. It helps in the preventing heart diseases, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease and some pregnancy-related complications.

For your baby: Helps in preventing premature deliveries and miscarriages. It protects your baby from birth defects.

Requirement: 600 mg per day

Best sources: Lentils, orange juice, broccoli, enriched white rice, and spinach.

 

Iodine benefits

For you: IODINE is very important not only in pregnancy but also for every individual. It maintains the health of your thyroid gland and prevents you from hypothyroidism.

For your baby: It helps your baby’s nervous system and brain to develop better and prevents your baby from stunted growth, mental disorders, deafness, and it also helps in the prevention of stillbirths and miscarriages.

Requirements: 250 mcg per day

Best sources: Plain curd, cow milk, beans, potatoes, turkey, cod.

 

Iron Benefits

For you: Iron is the best medicine for counteracting on anemia. It maintains your hemoglobin levels.

For your baby: It helps the baby to come out after the complete gestational period.

Requirement: 27 mg per day

Best sources: Cherries lean chicken meat, tender lamb, whole grains, canned white beans.

 

Potassium benefits

For you: It helps maintain your blood pressure, fluid balance, and boosts up your energy.

For your baby: It is useful for maintaining a regular heartbeat.

Requirement: 4,700 mg per day

Best sources: Spinach, lentils, white beans, raisins, broccoli, sweet potato, orange juice, yogurt.

 

Vitamin benefits for you in pregnancy
Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps in boosting the immunity and helps fight against the infections. It builds up protein for new cells in the body and is also useful in the formation of red blood cells. The best sources of vitamin B6 are baked potatoes, chicken breast, beef, etc.

Requirement: 1.9 mg per day

 

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B 12 is also called cyanocobalamin. It produces red blood cells and helps your body to utilize the stored fats and carbohydrates for energy production. The best sources of vitamin B12 are salmon, light tuna, beef, etc.

Requirement: 2.6 mcg

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a vital role in boosting up your immunity. It keeps the red blood cells and blood vessels healthy. The best sources of vitamin C are red tomatoes, grape juice, red pepper, strawberries, broccoli, etc.

Requirement: 85 mg per day

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium from the food, and it is very vital to building up your teeth and bone strength. The best sources of vitamin D are milk, fortified orange juice, egg.

Requirement: 600 IU per day

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is also called as riboflavin. It helps in the production of energy and makes use of the protein that is absorbed from your food. The best sources of riboflavin are yogurt, mushrooms, cottage cheese, milk, etc.

Requirement: 1.4 mg per day

 

Many women during their pregnancy are much concerned about getting stout. Gaining extra weight during pregnancy is not unusual, and it should not be a cause for concern. The extra calories you put on during your pregnancy provides nourishment to the baby. It is also useful for breast feeding once the baby is born. So, eat well, be good, go for regular gynecologist visits and let your baby be healthy.

Reference
  1. Pitkin RM Am J Clin Nutr. Folate and neural tube defect. 2007 Jan; 85(1): 285S-288S.

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