A healthy diet during pregnancy
Since a pregnant woman needs more vitamins, proteins and chemical elements than a woman who is not expecting, it is especially vital to have a healthy diet in pregnancy. Eating foods with more calcium, folic acid, iron and protein during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow. Eat a variety of different foods every day and make sure you get everything you need.
1- Folic acid:
Folic acid also is known folate is a man-made form of B vitamin and plays an important role in the production of red blood cells. It is also essential in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Women who are trying to have a baby take a daily vitamin supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid per day for at least one month before becoming pregnant. During pregnancy, they advise women to increase the amount of folic acid to 600 micrograms a day, an amount commonly found in a daily prenatal vitamin.
Food sources: leafy green vegetables fortified or enriched cereals, bread and pasta, beans, citrus fruits.
This chemical element is essential to build a baby’s bones and teeth. When a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, her body will do whatever to take care of the baby, including stealing. It actually takes calcium from the bones or teeth to give it to the baby. Pregnant women age 19 and over need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day; pregnant teens, ages 14 to 18, need 1,300 milligrams daily.
Food sources: milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified juices and foods, sardines or salmon with bones, some leafy greens like kale.
The body uses iron to make extra hemoglobin during pregnancy. It helps move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and the little one. Pregnant women need 27 milligrams of iron a day, which is double the amount needed by women who are not expecting.
Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereal.
Although the need for protein increases during pregnancy, most women don’t have problems getting enough protein-rich foods in their diets. Experts recommend 75 to 100 grams of protein per day. Protein positively affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain.
Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts, tofu.