First of all, congratulations, you are now pregnant, in a blessed state, and from now on you have to think and eat for two, at least from a nutrition point of view, and read quality, not quantity!
You are what you eat, and now this is very important since you surely want only the best for you and your baby.
Pay close attention to the next recommendable food list, and even closer attention to the list of food you should avoid in order for you and your baby to receive the proper and wanted nutrition, for proper growth and excellent health.
During your pregnancy, your body needs more additional nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. You need extra calories, from 350-500 each day and try and stick to this number, cause overweight should be strongly avoided in order avoiding conditions like gestational diabetes, and it will help you lose weight afterward easier.
FOOD TO EAT
1. Whole grain
Surely by now you know that you need a lot of folic acid and iron in your body, and whole grain and cereals are an excellent source of these two.
Honestly, use folic acid from supplements, because you cannot enter enough just by using a proper diet, take at least 600 micrograms a day. Whole grain also carries much of the daily recommended dose of fiber and vitamin B, also packed with magnesium. Eat oatmeal for breakfast, use whole grain bread for your sandwich and brown rice for dinner.
2. Dairy products
The source of much needed calcium (9) and protein for proper bone development of your baby, dairy products are now part of your daily diet. And not only calcium, dairy is rich with phosphorus, vitamin B, zinc, and magnesium.
It is highly recommendable to eat cheese and yogurt, since they are filled with probiotics, and are mainly safer than plain industrial milk, which can be filled with hormones and antibiotics.
Yogurt is also recommended for lactose intolerant and it carries more calcium than any other dairy product and can be easily mixed with number one and four of this list.
The main source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid, and also protein and vitamin b. Whether is farmed or wild salmon, it is still much lower in mercury than any other fish and can be used twice a week with no risk at all, cooked, grilled or broiled.
A great way to reach to the needed vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, and potassium, plus they are delicious, some sweet, some bitter, but healthy none the less. Also, a lot of berries, like aronia, are a rich source of antioxidants, which are much-needed for you and your baby.
Containing 77 calories, but also vitamins and minerals, be sure to take at least one every day, and make sure it is cooked well, don’t eat it undercooked or raw. Eggs are a great source of choline, a mineral needed for proper brain development of your baby. Eggs are also a good source of good cholesterol and healthy fat for you and your baby.
6. Lean Meat
Whether it is pork, beef or chicken, meat is the main source of protein for the both of you. Also, it also contains high doses of iron, above mentioned choline, and other vitamins. Since your blood volume is increased during pregnancy, you need all the iron you can get, and deliver the essential oxygen to all your blood cells.
For those who have aversion to meat (which is not strange during pregnancy), or vegetarian, be sure to take supplements, and always take it with vitamin C, for better absorption.
7. Fruits and Vegetables
Not a lot is needed said, both are a rich source of vitamin, folic acid, antioxidants, minerals, fiber, all that you need! Your diet should be focused on fruit and vegetables during the second and third trimesters.
Even better, use dried fruit (not candied) which is also high in calories, but also in the above mentioned, but lacks the water, and comes in smaller packages.
Also, avocado is a great source of fatty acids, prunes are filled with fiber, potassium, and iron, and don’t forget beans, cherries, tomatoes give you the needed lycopene, a natural antioxidant, grapes, as you can see the list is endless.
As your blood volume increases by up to 1,5 liters, you have to make sure you are hydrated, so make sure to take at least from 1-2 liters every day, and don’t forget, you also take water from fruit and vegetables raw or freshly squeezed, and also from tea or coffee.
FOOD TO AVOID
The other list, of food that should be avoided, is also big, and it is a list of food that should be avoided by everyone, especially pregnant women.
1. Shark, Swordfish, Tuna
As mentioned above, fish is healthy for everyone, but high mercury fish is strictly forbidden for pregnant women.
These fish are shark, swordfish, tuna, and any other white meat fish coming from suspicious water (industrial mainly).
Mercury is toxic to the nervous system, kidneys, enters the blood flow easily, and can reach your baby very fast.
2. Raw and Undercooked Meat
Since it can be a source of toxoplasma parasite, which can lead to Toxoplasmosis. It is a mild illness for the mother but can be a life threating illness for your baby. Raw meat can be a potential source of salmonella also, so even undercooked meat should be avoided.
- The same rule applies for raw and undercooked eggs, also for the same reasons.
- Salmonella can be present, so try and cook the eggs by yourself, avoid egg salad in restaurants, because there have been cases of undercooked eggs for better appearance.
Some fruits are recommended to be avoided, such as papaya, which is being used in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as provokers of early miscarriage, and also pineapple, which is rich with is rich in bromelain, which causes cervix softening.
Also, always carefully wash your fruits; even dip them in apple cider solution, to make sure all the bacteria are removed.
Other examples of food that should be avoided is just as any another healthy diet, not too many sugar, not too many fat, not too salty, and of course, needless to say, no cigarettes, no alcohol.
Ok, one glass of beer, or small glass of wine every now and then is even recommended by some doctors, and ease down on your caffeine.
Stick to this plan and your baby and you will be just fine, but just in case also consult your doctor, he or she might know another trick or two!