Feeling hungry all the time? Or rather Hangry? Pregnancy is the time when all your controlled cravings kick in. Are you ready for a 9-month journey where you eat a balanced diet as well as satisfy all your cravings? The best foods for pregnancy are high in vitamins and minerals that play a key role in supporting your baby’s growth and development. They include:
- Folic acid. Getting at least 600 micrograms per day during pregnancy reduces the risk for neural tube defects.
- Iron. You need nearly twice as much iron during pregnancy, or 27 milligrams daily. The mineral is used to make more blood that carries oxygen to your baby.
- Calcium. Aim for 1,000 milligrams daily. Calcium is key to help your baby build strong bones, teeth, muscles and nerves.
- Vitamin D. It helps calcium do its job and keeps your immune system strong. You should get 600 IU daily.
- DHA. An omega-3 fatty acid, DHA plays a role in your baby’s brain and eye development. You need 200 to 300 milligrams per day.
- The mineral promotes your baby’s brain and nervous system development. You should get 290 micrograms daily.
Food to avoid in pregnancy: The following foods are best avoided during pregnancy:
- Mercury in some types of fish– shark, swordfish, and marlin should be avoided, or kept to an absolute minimum.
- Uncooked or partially cooked meat– this should be avoided, it should be cooked right through. Some bacteria and viruses can also cross the placenta and harm the baby.
- Raw eggs– including any foods with raw or partially cooked eggs in them. Eggs must be well cooked through to avoid salmonella infection.
- Uncooked or undercooked ready-prepared meals– it is crucial that ready-prepared meals are cooked through until they are piping hot.
- Soft ripened cheese– such as blue-veined cheese, Brie or Camembert. There is a risk of listeria infection. Listeria is a group of bacteria that can cause potentially fatal infections to pregnant women and their babies.
- Empty calorie foods– cakes, biscuits, cookies, chips and candy should be kept to a minimum. Many of these options are high in sugar and fat, have little nutritional content, and may undermine a pregnant woman’s efforts at maintaining a healthy body weight.
It is essential to keep track of food that goes in when you’re pregnant at all times. It doesn’t have to be eat for two but rather nutrition for two. It is suggested to avoid junk food and you can binge on some healthier choices.