During the nine months of pregnancy, the female body must provide the baby proteins, fats, sugars, vitamins and minerals. In short, all the nutrients and essential elements for a good fetus development. To achieve all this, pregnant women should have a rich and balanced diet since their energy needs and nutrients are greater during this period.
To promote normal growth of the baby, do not let you suffer from fatigue and energy losses, you will regain weight and figure after childbirth, it is imperative to eat well during pregnancy.
Eating well does not mean eating for two. Pregnancy is an opportunity to practice good eating habits.
How to eat during pregnancy?
The recommended nutrient intake vary with the level of physical activity of the mother but is generally between 2000 kcal in the first quarter and 2200 kcal in the second and third quarter. The pyramid must be constituted as follows: 15 – 20% protein, 30% fat and 55% carbohydrates. Nutrients intake below 1600 kcal a day can compromise fetal growth.
To meet their own nutritional needs and those of the baby, pregnant women should eat regularly to avoid energy slumps, they need 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day and consumption of variety of foods (vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives and meat).
Consumption of fruits and vegetables
These foods should be on the eating list of pregnant women because of their wealth of essential nutrients, such as minerals and vitamins. They are also full of fiber.
It is recommended to eat at least one dark green vegetable (broccoli, spinach, lettuce, green beans) and one orange vegetable (carrot, squash, sweet potatoes) per day. Cook them steamed, baked or stir in a little olive oil to better retain their nutritional value. Regarding fruits eat them row; do not take them as juices sold commercially. These contain a lot of sugar.
Consumption of cereals
High in fiber, vitamins and minerals enables cereals to provide energy and to aid digestion. For pregnant women, consumption of 200 g of whole grains a day is recommended (whole grains, like brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, pasta or cooked rice).
Consumption of small quantities of protein
Pregnant women should eat 2 servings of protein per day. It is recommended to take 150 g of animal protein (fish, seafood, poultry or lean meat) and 350 ml of cooked legumes or tofu, ½ cup shelled nuts and seeds or 4 eggs. These foods are rich in protein, iron and good fats. The fish is preferred, at least 2 times a week.
Consumption of vegetable oil and butter
When they start to grow, some pregnant women decide to stop eating fat. Yet, they are absolutely essential to the construction of the nervous system of their baby as well as the manufacture of membranes of its cells. The fetus needs all types of fats without exception. It is important to intake fat rich in unsaturated fatty acids including the famous omega-3 and to limit fat consumption rich in saturated fatty acids, for example found in butter or whole milk products.
Foods to avoid
Biscuits and pastries often contain large amounts of fat and sugar, and they are made from white flour. Pregnant women do not have to deprive themselves completely of pastries; they can consume it but in moderation. The same applies for meats that have high salt levels and high fat content.