With each passing day, the world is becoming more health conscious. In your bid to stay fit, a healthy diet will play a very important role. And when you are carrying another life within you, the responsibility of taking care of yourself just doubles up. That’s because what you eat and drink also becomes a source of nourishment for the baby. While the ‘wise advice’ will keep flowing, here are some do’s and don’ts you should follow in your pregnancy diet to help you and your baby stay healthy.
Foods to eat during pregnancy
- Dairy Products
When it comes to food items to eat during pregnancy, dairy products often make it to the top of the list. They contain calcium, which is essential in your diet as it helps in the bone and teeth development of your little one . Try to include low-fat milk, paneer, yoghurt and a variety of cheddar and mozzarella cheese made from pasteurized milk.
- Food rich in Minerals
Minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, etc. are vital during pregnancy. Here is a list of food items that are rich in specific minerals:
Calcium: Green leafy vegetables, milk products, nuts
Iron: Dried fruits, whole grains, tofu
Iodine: Iodized salt, cheese, seafood
Magnesium: all types of beans, cashew nuts, broccoli, tofu
Phosphorus: Fish, meats
Zinc: Broccoli, lean meats, tomatoes
This small green veggie is packed with calcium and folate. It is a rich source of fibre and has disease-fighting antioxidants. When eaten with iron-rich foods like whole-wheat pasta or brown rice, broccoli helps your body absorb iron.
Rich in folate, vitamin C, potassium and fibre, berries should take a special place in the pregnancy diet chart as it is important for the developing foetus. And since there is a variety – blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries – including it in your pregnancy diet shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
- Pre-packaged and Canned Food
Since the freshness of the ingredients is uncertain, canned and pre-packaged foods should be avoided during pregnancy as much as possible. Moreover, the lining in cans often contains BPA which can affect the endocrine activity and harm the foetus .
- Caffeine and Aerated Drinks
Too much caffeine in a pregnant woman’s diet may lead to miscarriages or retardation of growth in the baby. Caffeine also slows down the absorption of iron in your body which may lead to anaemia.
- Unwashed Vegetables and Fruits
While fruits and vegetables should form a major part of a pregnant woman’s diet, they must be thoroughly washed to get them rid of pesticides which might be harmful to the foetus.
- Raw Seafood and Undercooked Meats
Certain seafood like shellfish, marlin, swordfish may contain methyl mercury which is dangerous for the development of a foetus’ brain. Also, if the meat is consumed without cooking it properly, it may contain infectious bacteria that can be harmful to the foetus.