Just the way a health insurance plan safeguards you from financial risks, following a good diet will safeguard you and your baby from pregnancy-related complications. Maintaining a good diet is essential during pregnancy as whatever you consume is the sole source of nourishment for the growing baby. During pregnancy, additional vitamins and nutrients are required to support the new life that is growing inside. Hence expectant moms need to extra careful about what they eat, as it has a direct effect on the baby. So here’s what an ideal pregnancy diet should include: –
Foods to Eat –
- Fruits and Vegetables
A pregnant women’s diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetable especially in the second and third trimester of the pregnancy. Fruits and vegetables are low in calorie but are rich in vitamins and minerals which are essential for the growth and development of the baby.
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2. Lean Protein
While protein is an important component of a pregnant women’s diet, care should be taken to include only lean protein sources. Lean protein is low in fat and provides essential nutrients for both the mother and the baby. Lean protein sources include beans, tofu, cheese, milk, nuts, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and seeds.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are among the most nutritious food available on the planet. Besides providing energy and fibre, whole grains are also a rich source of B vitamins. At least half of the intake of carbs during pregnancy should be from whole grain sources. Best sources of whole grains include oats, whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice etc.
At least 3 to 4 servings of dairy products are recommended for pregnant women on a daily basis. Dairy food such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are a great source of calcium and vitamin D.
Besides a healthy a balanced diet, pregnant women should also include pre-natal vitamin supplements such as folic acid and iron.
Foods to Avoid –
Alcohol should be strictly avoided during pregnancy as mother’s blood directly passes it on to the baby. Hence this can lead to serious complications. Furthermore, if any complications occur due to this reason, your family health plan will not cover the cost of any treatment.
2. Fatty Fish
While fatty fishes are a good source of several vitamins, they could be toxic as they may contain high levels of heavy metals such as mercury. Heavy metals can interfere with the development of brain, kidneys and nervous system in the unborn baby.
3. Unpasteurized Milk
Unpasteurized or raw milk may contain harmful bacteria which can lead to food poisoning.
4. Raw Meat
All types of rare, undercooked or raw meats and poultry should be avoided. Consuming such foods increases the risk of salmonella and E. coli infection.