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The Importance of Good Nutrition During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when every decision regarding your health is more significant than usual because it is the first moment when you can ensure your child gets a good start in life. Your dietary choices in this period are exceptionally vital, as eating a nutritious diet can reduce the risk of many congenital disabilities.

So, besides using Aesop promo codes to address skin conditions during pregnancy, you might also want to review your nutritional status. The diet changes you make should be based on your individual circumstances, such as your weight and eating habits. The bottom line here is to satisfy the increased caloric needs without consuming unhealthy foods.

A well-balanced pregnancy diet allows you to lead a healthy lifestyle, providing good brain development and healthy birth weight. Eating pasteurized milk and cheese can protect you and your baby from a bacterial or parasitic infection. Similarly, eating enough iron is crucial for your baby's growth and brain development, while calcium can reduce the risk of preeclampsia.

Below, we outline the importance of good nutrition choices during pregnancy and the unique nutrition needs you need to address.

Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy

Good nutrition is essential for everyone, but it is especially vital during pregnancy. In this time, your body goes through a lot of changes. As a result, you need to take additional nutrients for the baby's growth and your own health.

The most critical part of nutrition is to support your growing baby with healthy foods during pregnancy. Nevertheless, you should be aware that some foods can increase the risk of congenital disabilities, while others can harm your health or affect your baby's development. As such, it is essential to choose wisely and avoid certain foods as much as possible during pregnancy.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Drinking heavily is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth.
  • Excessive sugar consumption can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and gestational diabetes. These conditions can cause complications for both mother and child, such as preeclampsia and preterm birth.
  • Too much salt during pregnancy can cause hypertension in the mother and growth problems for the fetus.
  • The use of recreational drugs during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight or even death in the baby.

Special Nutritional Needs

Here is a list of the key nutrients your body needs during pregnancy:

Folic Acid

Folic acid is an essential vitamin B necessary for developing the baby’s nervous system. It can help prevent neural tube defects that occur in the early stages of pregnancy. Foods high in folate (a form of folic acid) include leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fortified foods.

All women who plan to become pregnant should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Doing so can help prevent disabilities of the brain and spine.

A deficiency in folic acid can lead to a higher risk of having a child with spina bifida or anencephaly. Both these conditions are life-threatening, but they can be prevented by taking enough folic acid during the first three months of pregnancy.

Chicken Biryani with Cauliflower Rice

Iron

Your body needs more iron during pregnancy to support your and your baby’s growth. It is especially vital for developing your baby's brain and red blood cells. Pregnant women with anemia should take iron supplements.

You should aim to eat 27 mg of iron per day. Good sources of iron include lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, and iron-fortified foods.

Calcium

The importance of calcium as a nutrient during pregnancy cannot be emphasized enough. It is crucial for the development of your baby's teeth, bones, and muscles. Furthermore, calcium is vital for the formation of the placenta and your baby's brain development, especially in the last three months of pregnancy.

You should aim to get around 1,000 mg of calcium per day. To meet the recommended daily calcium intake, you can consume a list of calcium-rich foods, which includes dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese), dark leafy greens (collard greens, kale, spinach), breakfast cereals, tofu, salmon, figs, and almonds.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Its role during pregnancy is to strengthen your immune system and improve the absorption of calcium, which is vital for your baby's growth. It is also crucial for the development of your baby's bones and teeth.

Vitamin D’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 600 IU/day. However, some studies suggest that this amount might still be insufficient for most pregnant women. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fortified foods, and sunlight.

One Pan Salmon with Greens

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that your body cannot create by itself. They provide great benefits for both you and your baby, including improving your child’s brain development and reducing the risks of asthma, eczema, and allergies.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed oil, chia seeds, fatty fish, eggs, and walnuts. In addition to these food sources, you can also take an omega-3 supplement to help increase the amount of this nutrient in your body.

Zinc

One of the most important nutrients during pregnancy is zinc. It is an essential mineral that your body needs to keep a healthy immune system and maintain healthy cells.

Pregnant women ages 19 and older require 11 milligrams (mg) of zinc per day. The good news is that you can meet these recommendations by eating foods rich in zinc, such as red meat, poultry, and fish. Alternatively, you can also take zinc supplements, but make sure to consult your doctor before doing so.

Conclusion

Every choice you make during your pregnancy impacts the child's health and development. One of the crucial decisions is your diet, which can have a significant impact on your baby's health.

For this reason, you need to take good nutrition choices into focus during your pregnancy. Your pregnancy diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Remember that a balanced diet during pregnancy is the best way to provide your baby with a great start in life. It is essential to eat a variety of foods to ensure that you get all the nutrients you need. Besides, a good diet can help you avoid complications and make your pregnancy easier.

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