During pregnancy, Nutrition is more important than ever!
Do you know how much what you choose to eat really affects your baby?
Can the various foods you eat every day make their way into your bloodstream to ultimately affect your unborn baby?
The answer is a resounding yes, and the implications to your and your baby’s health and wellness can be downright dangerous.
To support a healthy pregnancy and your baby's development, you need to be mindful of what you include in your diet!
Tips for a healthy diet during pregnancy
- During pregnancy you need lots of protein and healthy fats, and more of certain vitamins and minerals (such as folic acid, iron, and calcium).
- Eating well during pregnancy doesn't mean eating a lot more. If you start off at a healthy weight, you don't need additional calories during the first trimester. You'll need about 340 extra calories a day in the second trimester and about 450 extra calories a day in the third trimester.
- Healthy pregnancy snacks are where it's at! Choose snacks that help meet your nutritional needs, and cut back on processed foods, packaged foods, and sugary desserts.
- If nausea, food aversions, heartburn, or indigestion make eating full-size meals uncomfortable, try eating small, frequent meals throughout the day. As your pregnancy progresses and your baby increasingly crowds your stomach and other digestive organs, you'll have less space in your body for big meals anyway.
It is Important to know that being both underweight or overweight while you’re pregnant can affect the development of the placenta; when the placenta gets damaged, the damage may reduce the amount of blood circulating between you and the placenta. This low blood flow means fewer nutrients for your baby. This could delay your baby's growth in the womb, and could result in premature labour! Another factor to consider is the quality of the food consumed during pregnancy, choosing foods like fresh and organic fruits and vegetables and even dairy, limits the amount of chemicals that reach your baby. When you choose to eat mostly processed foods full of sugars and chemicals all that goes to your baby.
5 Foods to enjoy during pregnancy
- Eggs are a great source of protein, a crucial part of your pregnancy diet. The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of the cells in your body – and your baby's.
Eggs also contain more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, including choline. Choline – which is contained mostly in the yolks, so be sure to include them – helps your baby's brain and spinal cord develop properly, and helps prevent certain birth defects.
- Salmon (as well as herring, trout, anchovies, sardines, and shad) is a low-mercury option for the 8 to 12 ounces of seafood pregnant women are encouraged to eat each week.
- Sweet potatoes get their orange color from carotenoids, plant pigments that are converted to vitamin Ain our bodies. Your baby needs vitamin A for healthy bones, lungs, eyes, and skin development. This sweet veggie is also a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, and a good source of vitamin B6 (which may help with morning sickness), potassium, and fiber (especially if you keep the skin on).
- Walnuts are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3s. They're also a good source of magnesium, fiber, and protein(which you need more of now that you're pregnant). Grab a handful of walnuts for an on-the-run snack, or toss some into a salad.
- Avocados are high in monounsaturated fatty acids (the healthy fats), which help build your baby's skin and brain. They're also high in vitamin K, antioxidants, and folate, which helps prevent certain birth defects.
Plagued by leg cramps? The potassium in avocados might help. Constipated? The fiber content is an antidote. Suffering from morning sickness? The vitamin B6 in avocados – which is also good for your baby's developing brain – can help ease nausea.
All these factors affect your little one for the rest of their lives. From brain development issues to mental health to growth restraints, as well as several developmental diseases; nutrition during pregnancy plays a very big role in setting a good foundation for baby’s health.
We all know sometimes we have the weirdest of cravings during pregnancy, however, try and keep a balance between good healthy nutritious food and the not-so-healthy cravings. When you give in to a day of sugary deserts that you were itching to have every few weeks don’t feel too bad! just keep track of it all so you can give your baby a healthy fresh start to a healthy happy life!
For more information about Pregnancy Nutrition give Elesha Tsui a follow on instagram, or sign up for her program where she teaches all potential mamas, pregnant mamas, breastfeeding mamas all the information they need to know about what to eat and how to get the best out of food to be as healthy and happy as possible.