Being pregnant is undoubtedly one of the most precious moments in a women’s life. Amongst all the happiness and high of expecting one needs to be extra careful abut taking care if themselves as well as the baby that they are carrying inside them.
Doctors claim that the first 2 to 3 years of a child, right from the time when they are conceived till they become toddlers are extremely critical. This is the phase when the correct nutrients and vitamins need to reach them to ensure that they are healthy.
Though most mothers are careful about what to feed them and what not to feed them once they are born, it is also important to eat correct during pregnancy.
This brings us to the importance of pregnancy food– there are some foods to eat during pregnancy and some not to eat for a healthy pregnancy. I for a fact was made aware of the importance of this and trust me, it helped me a lot in those 9 months of carrying my baby.
So , what exactly is meant by “ Pregnancy Food”?
During pregnancy a woman’s body goes through a metamorphosis, they undergo a variety of challenges and changes both hormonal and mental. There are certain food items that will help you to keep bay during such rough times. Their intake will in a way make your journey to motherhood smoother.
Also, as already pointed out, the embryo in your tummy will need nutrients and vitamins that is essential for their development and will also boost their growth in future. All these foods are coined “Pregnancy Food’.
What not to Eat during pregnancy?
Just as it is important to eat correct during pregnancy, it is also important to be aware about foods to avoid during pregnancy. My doctors made it clear right at the beginning that unlike the common misconception, pregnancy is not the time when one can have anything and everything that the heart desires. There are certain food items that one must avoid during pregnancy with the reasons to avoid them.
Uncooked fish like sushi : Pregnancy is not the ideal time to gorge on raw fish, sashimi, frozen seafood and so on. These may cause indigestion that if acute can even lead to losing the baby.
Also, these raw fish have certain chemicals in them that when consumed may turn out to be hazardous for the pregnant women. Also, a word of caution towards over cooked fish. Over cooked fish is also hazardous for one’s health.
Fish with a substantial level of mercury: A few fishes are known to have high amount of mercury in them. Consumption of mercury is not advisable for humans specially during pregnancy. Including mercury rich fish in one’s diet can lead to damage in kidney and can bring down one’s immunity level in the body.
If you are pregnant and seriously craving for the following mercury rich fish items then ensure that you limit your consumption as per the doctor’s prescription. Here are a few mercury rich fish to look out for:
- Mackerel (specially the King variety)
Uncooked Eggs: While an egg is the best form of protein that one can have during pregnancy, it is important to abstain from uncooked or raw eggs. This is due to the fact that raw eggs are known to contain salmonella.
Consumption of raw eggs might lead to vomiting and severe indigestion in pregnant women. However, in acute cases it may lead to cramps in uterus that may trigger stillbirth.
So, try and avoid consuming egg in the following ways:
- Lightly tossed
- Raw egg used to make hollandaise sauce
- Mayo made at home
- Dressings for salads.
Salads and cut fruits : While salads and fruits are nutritious for us it is important to know that it is not advisable to have salad that has been prepared hours ago and fruits cut a while back.
In case, if you want to have them then please ensure that they are properly washed and freshly prepared for you. It makes no sense to have something that is cut and prepared hours back as it would have lost all the nutritional value and it might lead to severe indigestion that can lead to nausea and diarrhoea.
Stay away from Coffee & Alcohol: As a would be mother, you need to make certain smart choices for yourself and the child you are carrying. One such choice is to stay away from coffee and alcohol.
Caffeine is known to contain certain psychoactive agents in them that is not good during pregnancy. The biggest issue with caffeine is the fact that it gets easily absorbed into humans and passes through one’s placenta directly affecting the baby. This may lead to hindrance in baby’s growth spurts and can trigger heart ailments once they grow up.
Similarly, it is not advisable to consume alcohol during pregnancy. Research has pointed out that consumption of alcohol in those 9 months can lead to severe detrimental effects on the baby in the womb. Hence, it is advisable to stay away from alcohol during this time.
Avoid Pineapple and Papaya: This is an advice given by most mothers to their daughters who conceive. Both these fruits are known to contain certain enzymes that might lead to stillbirth. Hence, it makes sense to avoid them during pregnancy.
These are a few major food items to avoid during pregnancy. However, please consult with a doctor to know exactly what all you should be avoiding.
Now, that we know what to avoid let us talk about what to eat during pregnancy?
what to eat during pregnancy
Include Fish: Yes, you heard me right. You need to have fish during pregnancy if you are non-vegetarian. Now, the idea is that not all fish have mercury in them. So, choose those fish in your diet that are low in mercury. This is essential as fish is known to contain Omega 3’s that are beneficial for the mother and child. In case if you are a vegetarian you can check with your doctor on Omega supplements to have.
Here are a few safe fish that you can have during pregnancy after consulting with your doctor:
Just ensure, no matter which fish you are having, it is not overcooked or raw as both are harmful.
Have an Orange a day: Oranges are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are required during pregnancy. They are filled with folate that is beneficial for the embryo’s growth, vitamin C and loads and loads of fiber.
That’s not all, in the first trimester of pregnancy , you often wonder what to eat to boost up your energy level- the answer to same is oranges.
Include Eggs in your Pregnancy Diet: Most women are known to suffer from severe nausea during pregnancy. As a result, they are unable to stand the smell of meat. This is why they need to include an egg in their daily diet so that their body gets the required dosage of protein and amino acid from it. There may be days when you do not feel like having anything at all, this is when an egg omelette with your favourite veggies can come to your rescue. Just a word of caution, please ensure that the eggs are cooked properly before eating.
Say yes to Banana: We all know that Banana is a superfood. It is one of those wholesome fruits that is loaded with important nutrients. The fact that bananas are high on potassium that ensures that your energy levels do not drop suddenly. Also, bananas are easy on the stomach that means that one can digest it easily even during pregnancy.
Check with your doctor if you can have a banana per day to shoot up your low energy level during the first 2 trimester of your pregnancy. You can have the fruit as it is or in a smoothie as you like it.
Opt for Broccoli in your Pregnancy Diet : Another super food during pregnancy is broccoli. It is one the healthiest vegetable that you can consume during your pregnancy. It is loaded with fibre that aids in digestion. That is not all this green vegetable is filled with anti-oxidant properties that helps to build up one’s immunity level.
Last but not the least it is rich in vitamin C that is beneficial in absorbing the iron from the food we eat. This is crucial as most women during pregnancy suffer from anaemia.
Here we discussed what to include in a pregnant woman’s diet and what to exclude. However, please check with your doctor on what all you should be consuming before following the same. This is imperative as each woman is different and each of their pregnancy journey is also different. Hence, consult with a doctor before zeroing on to same.
Eat healthy and wish you a healthy pregnancy.