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A healthy diet during pregnancy is important for both mom and baby because what a woman eats and drinks is her baby's main source of nutrition. Experts say that a pregnant woman should eat and drink various healthy foods and drinks to give her baby the important nutrients it needs to grow and develop.

There are many benefits of a nutritious maternal diet. We have some suggestions for a healthy diet during pregnancy, including what to eat, what not to eat, and why. Keep reading to learn about the nutritious foods to include in a maternal diet, essential nutrients for pregnancy diet, and foods not to include in a maternal diet. 

Nutritious Foods To Include In A Maternal Diet  

1. Fruits And Vegetables 

Consume a lot of fruit and vegetables since these foods are rich in fibre, which is beneficial to digestion and can help prevent constipation. Minerals and vitamins are also provided by fruit and vegetables. Consume at least five servings of different fruits and vegetables daily, whether fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juiced. These can come in any of several forms. Always make sure to thoroughly wash fresh fruit and vegetables. Find out how much of each fruit and vegetable constitutes a serving size. These are nutritious foods to include in a maternal diet.

Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits And Vegetables 

2. Protein 

Include protein-rich meals in your daily diet. It is one of the essential nutrients for a pregnancy diet. Select leaner cuts of meat, especially chicken, and ditch the fatty skin before cooking. Read the resources provided to learn more about the healthful ways to enjoy meat. Meats like lamb, beef and pork should be cooked until they are piping hot all the way through before serving. This includes chicken, burgers, and sausages. Make sure the meat is not pink and that the liquids are colourless.

Two servings of fish per week are recommended, with at least one of those servings coming from oily fish like salmon, sardines, or mackerel. These are among the nutritious foods to include in a maternal diet. Learn more about why eating fish and shellfish is good for you. Ensure you know all the nutritious foods to include in a maternal diet. Sharks, swordfish, and marlin are just some of the fish you should stay away from if you're pregnant or trying to conceive. More than two servings per week of oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring) is probably not a good idea during pregnancy due to the potential toxicity of these fish (toxins).

Relatable Read: Chicken Breast VS Chicken Legs

Protein
Protein

3. Carbs Or Starch 

In addition to supplying fuel, some vitamins, and fibre, meals high in starch can help you feel full despite low fat and calorie content. The following are some examples of foods that fall under this category: bread, potatoes, cereal, rice, pasta, noodles, corn, millet, oats, yams, and cornmeal. Oven chips are a healthier alternative to traditional potato chips because they contain less fat and salt.

You should get a little over a third of your daily calorie intake from foods and beverages like these. Instead of refined starchy foods (items made with white flour), choose options that are richer in fibre, such as whole-grain pasta, brown rice, or even just leaving the potato skins on. These are among the important nutritious foods to include in a maternal diet.

Carbs Or Starch
Carbs Or Starch

4. Fats And Sugar 

Consuming foods and drinks with a high sugar content, typically rich in calories, might contribute to weight gain. Consuming foods and beverages high in sugar might also contribute to tooth decay. Due to the high number of calories in fat, eating an excessive amount of meals that are high in fat or eating meals that are high in fat daily may induce weight gain. Consuming an excessive quantity of saturated fat can also lead to an increase in the amount of cholesterol that can be discovered in the blood, which boosts the chance of getting cardiovascular disease.

Recommended Read: Sugar Facts Everyone Should Know About

Fats And Sugar
Fats And Sugar

5. Dairy Products 

Consuming dairy products such as milk, cheese, fromage frais, and yoghurt while pregnant is vital since these foods provide calcium as well as other nutrients that are necessary for both you and your unborn child. Pick low-fat alternatives whenever you have the chance, such as skim, semi-skimmed, or 1% fat milk; yoghurt with less fat and sugar; and hard cheese with less fat.

Must Read: 5 Dairy Products To Have In Keto Diet

Dairy Products
Dairy Products

If you choose to consume soy beverages and yoghurt rather than dairy products, look for varieties that are low in sugar and contain extra calcium. Find out more about the health benefits of dairy products and other foods that can be substituted for dairy. When pregnant, you should avoid eating certain cheeses, such as cheese that has not been pasteurized. There are a lot of benefits of a nutritious maternal diet. These are important nutritious foods to include in a maternal diet. 

Foods Not To Include In Maternal Diet 

1. Steer clear of soft cheeses and milk

As well as ready-to-eat meats like deli meat and other ready-to-eat meats that have been chilled but not pasteurized. The bacteria that causes listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne infection that can be passed on through the consumption of contaminated goods. Fever, nausea, and diarrhoea are some of the symptoms of listeriosis, which can also lead to a stillbirth, early labour, or even a miscarriage in pregnant women

2. Salmonella

Salmonella is a foodborne illness that can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and even intrauterine sepsis in pregnant women and their unborn children if the pregnant women eat raw seafood like sushi or raw oysters. Salmonella can be spread from person to person through contaminated food or water. 

3. Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol is especially important during pregnancy. There is evidence that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can impair a child's growth and development. 

4. Botulism

The danger of botulism, a foodborne infection that can cause neuromuscular impairments in pregnant moms, increases when it can be damaged. 

5. Swordfish, Shark, Marlin

Swordfish, shark, orange roughy, marlin, and king mackerel all have high mercury content and should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent birth defects such as brain damage, hearing loss, and vision impairment. 

Takeaway

The nutrition of the mother is a key factor in how the baby grows and how the birth goes. It is an important public health risk factor that can be changed to prevent bad birth outcomes, especially in developing countries and people with low incomes. It was possible to find out that almost all randomized control trials and other observational studies done in different parts of the world showed that it is best for the mother to have good nutrition before and during pregnancy for a better outcome. Ensure you read about the above-mentioned nutritious foods in a maternal diet.

Also Read: Maternity Products To Make Your Pregnancy Comfortable