How Many Calories Should I Eat When Pregnant – During each of the three trimesters of pregnancy, your baby grows steadily. At the same time, many hormonal and physical changes occur in the mother’s body to adapt to the growing fetus. A balanced diet is an essential part of ensuring that mother and baby get the nutrients they need.
“Essential nutrients from healthy foods ensure a healthy and more comfortable pregnancy. A healthy diet reduces your risk of developing pregnancy-related complications that could harm you or your baby,” says Daniel Boyer, MD, researcher at the Farr Institute. “A healthy diet is important for successful fetal development and reducing pregnancy-related symptoms such as anemia, nausea and morning sickness.”
How Many Calories Should I Eat When Pregnant
Studies on the early metabolic programming of health and disease show that healthy eating during pregnancy reduces the fetus’s risk of chronic health problems, such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes, in adulthood. If you’re wondering what the best foods are for a pregnancy diet, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about healthy eating during pregnancy.
Foods To Eat During Pregnancy For A Healthy Baby
Many people mistakenly believe that you should eat for two during pregnancy. This is wrong; you need to focus on healthy eating, no more. “You could argue that a nursing woman eats for two, but a pregnant woman certainly doesn’t,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., senior registered dietitian and assistant professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, author of Recipe for Survival. “In the first trimester, you don’t need extra calories, but in the second and third trimesters, you only need 200 to 500 extra calories per day. ” This is not nearly twice the recommended amount. If you ate “for two” with twice the number of calories, you can gain too much weight for yourself and the fetus, which can make childbirth more difficult and cause problems with postpartum weight loss.
Instead, the best pregnancy diet is balanced with the macro- and micronutrients your body needs to promote a healthy pregnancy for mom and baby. Such a diet includes fresh fruit, leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and fish – with less processed food and fatty red meat.
A healthy diet reduces the chance of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, problems related to maternal obesity, preeclampsia and premature birth. Poor nutrition can stunt your baby’s growth and can even cause birth defects. Too much sugar and fat can make your baby bigger than normal. Simply put, a pregnancy diet plan should bridge the gap between undernutrition and overnutrition. This regular diet can help you achieve the balanced diet you need.
The Mediterranean diet is a good choice for pregnant women. “A mostly plant-based diet like the Mediterranean diet is almost the perfect diet for pregnancy,” says Hunnes. “It’s full of anti-inflammatory foods, high in monounsaturated fats, plant-based omega-3s, and vitamins and minerals that are naturally present in foods.”
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This special diet provides key nutrients to help your baby grow and can reduce pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes mellitus, urinary tract infections, emergency caesarean section, premature birth and low birth weight. A Mediterranean diet was also associated with better sleep quality in pregnant women.
Additionally, research shows that the Mediterranean diet promotes healthy birth weight, boosts your baby’s growth, and reduces childhood behavioral problems. A study mentioned in the same systematic review reported that children of mothers who followed a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy had fewer hospital visits by age 2.
The best pregnancy diet includes several food groups, “like whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds (high in omega-3 fats from plants), and legumes,” says Hunnes. “It’s a diet. full of color from natural food sources, think red/orange bell peppers, leafy greens, blueberries, zucchini, walnuts and chia seeds.”
However, diet plans can vary based on eating habits, individual preferences, desire for pregnancy, budget, and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Regardless, a healthy pregnancy eating plan includes food choices that prioritize optimal health for mother and baby. A registered dietitian can help recommend a meal plan that’s ideal for your needs. Some good food options to add to your meal plan are:
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Your protein needs to increase to 75 to 100 mg per day during pregnancy. This supports the growth of the fetus. Lean meats such as chicken and turkey are excellent sources of protein, providing complete amino acids, vitamin B12, iron and zinc. If you are a vegetarian or if you eat meat during pregnancy, include plant-based proteins such as chickpeas, tofu, beans, lentils, whole grains and high-protein vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and Brussels sprouts.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends beans and lentils as sources of iron for pregnant women. Iron is an essential micronutrient that forms the hemoglobin component of red blood cells. The needs of pregnant women increase from 18 micrograms to 27 micrograms per day. Red blood cells carry oxygen to your baby to help the immune system function, develop the brain and other organs. Studies show that the fetal brain consumes 60% of the oxygen and needs three to four times more than the adult brain, which only needs 20% of the oxygen.
Studies show that iron is the most common nutrient to be deficient in. If you find it difficult to eat iron-rich foods, taking iron supplements during pregnancy may help.
Add whole grains such as oats, brown rice and whole grains to your diet. Partly because of the carbohydrates, but they’re also full of protein, vitamins and minerals – making them a complete nutritional package. Whole grains also contain fiber, which is known to reduce pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, constipation and preeclampsia.
Pregnancy Power Foods
Without a doubt, vegetables are a superfood and an indispensable part of any diet. Eating several types of green vegetables each day is an easy way to get essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as dietary fiber, calcium and folate. To achieve this goal, include dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale in your diet.
Folate is an essential B vitamin. A healthy pregnancy diet should include foods rich in folic acid, such as bananas, avocados, broccoli and fortified cereals. Folate prevents neural tube defects – problems with the brain, spine and spinal cord – in babies.
You can also choose folic acid, a synthetic folate available as a supplement. Because nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned and neural tube defects occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (often before most people know they are pregnant), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a multivitamin containing 400 mg of folic acid. daily for all women of childbearing age.
Your child needs adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids to support brain and eye development. In addition, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) states that pregnant women need omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of preeclampsia and premature birth, to increase the baby’s birth weight and to improve mood, which naturally reduces postpartum depression.
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Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are full of healthy omega-3 fats. If you’re worried about consuming too much mercury, you can opt for a fish oil supplement or prenatal vitamin with DHA instead.
Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, a natural source of vitamin A, which your child needs for optimal development of eyes, bones, immune system and healthy skin. If you don’t like sweet potatoes, yellow or orange fruits or vegetables will suit you. Think carrots, winter squash and cantaloupe.
Dairy products like yogurt, low-fat milk, and egg yolks not only provide extra protein, but are full of vitamin D, a nutrient that helps your baby absorb calcium and phosphorus, an essential vitamin for building strong bones. You can also add orange juice or fortified cereal to reach your daily quota – or check your prenatal supplements to confirm you’re getting 4,000 IU per day.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes can help you get enough vitamin C during pregnancy. According to ACOG, pregnant women over the age of 19, 85 mg and women under the age of 19, 80 mg daily. Vitamin C helps the body repair tissues, build immunity and help absorb iron. You can also add strawberries, apricots and guava to your diet – they are all packed with nutrients.
What To Eat When Pregnant: Diet For A Healthy Pregnancy
Seaweed is one of the best natural sources of iodine, a nutrient that expectant mothers need 220 mcg daily. It helps in the production of thyroid hormone, which ensures optimal growth and healthy development of your baby’s brain. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and fetal growth. It can also be the cause of learning difficulties in childhood. If eating seaweed makes you sick, oysters, shrimp, cod and iodized table salt are also excellent sources of iodine.
While there are some foods that are best for supporting your baby’s health, there are some that you should avoid for the same reason.
Alcohol is prohibited during pregnancy. According to the CDC, no information is available on what amount is considered safe; so it is better to avoid it completely. The American Centers for Addiction shows that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is responsible for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, and physical and mental problems, among other things in childhood.
Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and the Food and Drug Administration recommends eight
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