Many people still think that pregnancy means eating for two. Although this is true to an extent, you don’t need to double up on the amount of food you eat. What is important is that you get extra nutrition from the types of foods that will benefit you and your growing baby. There are many ways you can fill your diet with extra nutrients without filling up on the wrong foods!
Pregnant women need lots of protein. The amino acids in protein form the building blocks of cells in the body, including baby’s. It is also necessary for brain growth. Protein is always important, but especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It is important to eat healthy proteins, such as lean red meat, fish, poultry, eggs and even tofu.
Iron is vital in preventing iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy. It helps to carry oxygen through the body and to the developing baby. You should be taking a pre-natal vitamin that contains iron. However, it is important to eat foods rich in iron as well. Examples of iron-rich foods are spinach, cabbage, broccoli and lean red meat.
During pregnancy be certain that you are eating a varied diet that includes all the food groups. Sure, you may feel like eating mostly fruit one particular day, but try not to eliminate whole groups. Your diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy products. Use low-fat varieties whenever possible. Don’t avoid fats, either. Fats are important for you and the baby, so use good fats in moderation, such as olive, canola oil and avocados.
Ask your doctor about a good pre-natal vitamin during pregnancy. These vitamins are necessary because they will fill in the gaps with nutrients you may not get enough of, such as iron and folic acid. Pre-natal vitamins are also good to take after the birth of the baby during the months of breast-feeding.
Although you are not actually eating enough food for two people, you will need to up your calorie intake by approximately three to five hundred calories per day. These calories will make up for much of the extra calories the baby uses for its development. Make sure these are healthy calories, however, such as a chicken sandwich, or other high-protein food.
Finally, you will probably have to deal with pregnancy cravings. These cravings can be fun, as long as what you want can be easily attained! But be careful if you are craving poor choices, such as donuts or candy. The extra, empty calories these foods provide will only add extra pounds, not extra nutrition. Of course, there are times when you will indulge that unmerciful wish for cookie dough ice cream or chocolate! Just remember to do it in moderation. A good alternative is fruit, which is sweet, and sometimes alleviates late-night cravings.
As you can see, pregnancy is definitely a time when you will need extra calories and nutrition to keep your baby growing properly, and to make sure your good health! A good idea is to consult with your doctor about what kind of diet you should be following. Then, add these tips to the mix, and you should deliver a healthy baby and be healthy enough yourself to get through all those sleepless nights to come!