Foods to eat and avoid while pregnant

A healthy pregnancy requires eating a healthy and balanced diet that will promote your baby’s growth and development.Here we will discuss foods to eat and avoid while pregnant.

foods to eat and avoid while pregnant

FOODS TO EAT while pregnant

Dairy products:

Dairy products including milk, yogurt and cheese are the best dietary source of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc.

Protein:

Lean beef, pork and chicken are rich in iron, choline and other B vitamins and are excellent sources of high quality protein.

Whole grains and legumes:

Whole grains like oat meals, quinoa, brown rice and barley and legumes including lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin B, iron and magnesium.

Eggs:

Eggs are a great source of protein, fat, vitamins A, B ,D, E and K, minerals like calcium, phosphorus and zinc and choline, an important nutrient during pregnancy.

Fruits:

Fruits like strawberries, watermelon, apples, avocado, pomegranate, oranges and dried fruit like prunes and dates contain fibers, vitamins and antioxidants which are essential for baby’s growth.

Green leafy vegetables:

Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale are a great source of fiber, calcium, postassium, iron, folate and vitamins like A, C and K.

Water:

  • Staying hydrated is very essential in pregnancy as your blood volume increases.
  • Increasing your water intake help relieve constipation and reduce risk of urinary tract infections.Several fruits and beverages are also a good source of water.

FOODS TO AVOID while pregnant

Unpasteurised milk:

Unpasteurised milk and foods made with unpasteurised milk (soft cheeses including feta, cambebert) contains harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning and can be fatal to the foetus.

High mercury fish:

Avoid high mercury fish as it can be toxic to your nervous system, immune system and kidneys and can cause serious developmental problems in foetus.

Raw/Undercooked Eggs and Meats:

Eating raw or uncooked eggs and meats can increase your risk of infection from several bacteria like E.coli, listeria and salmonella which can lead to still birth or severe neurological illnesses in the foetus.

Packaged and processed junk foods:

Packaged and processed foods such as microwave-ready meals, juices, cakes, biscuits, condensed milk etc are generally low in nutrients and high in calories, sugar and added fats. While some weight gain is necessary during pregnancy, excess weight gain has been linked to many complications and diseases including gestational diabetes, pregnancy or birth complications.

Ripe or semi ripe papaya:

Raw or semi ripe papaya contains latex which can induce uterine contractions and can cause preterm labour or even miscarriage.

Alcohol:

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy should be avoided as it can negatively impact your baby’s brain development and increases the risk of miscarriage and still birth.

To keep yourself and your baby happy and healthy, eat a healthy diet with small meals at regular intervals, reduce stress, get some light exercise and stay hydrated.

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