Smooth & Balanced Diet in Pregnancy: What should a pregnant woman must eat in a day

What you are eating or consuming will reflect on the mother and baby’s health. So pregnancy diet is the most important topic in maternity health care. Diet is already important for every person. So, in pregnancy, you should give extra effort to know what you should eat or not and implement it in your daily life.

A proper diet will help you to be healthy and meet your nutrition needs. “Nurture and maintain!” can be the most beneficial. The proper diet promotes the health of the mother and unborn. It also promotes the physical and psychological development of the child. So, you can understand how considerable the issue is!!!

What is a balanced diet?

To say very simply, a balanced diet is a diet that contains all the proximate principles of food in appropriate proportion to contribute to the total energy intake.

Proximate principles of foods are:

  • Protein 
  • Fat
  • Minerals 
  • Carbohydrate 
  • Water
  • Fibers

A balanced diet will help a mother to have energy by building and maintaining body function. It will protect from infection and will regulate tissue function.

 First and foremost, the daily requirements of all proximate principles of food should be met to say it is a PROPER balanced diet. It seems to be the safeguard for mothers and children. Lack of it may lead to malnutrition. 

Necessary food elements you should know how much of it you will consume: 

Protein

To meet the daily protein requirement, a pregnant one can have protein from animal and plant sources like milk, meat, cheese, fish, fowl, egg, cereals, beans, nuts, oilseeds, etc.

But, animal proteins are superior to vegetable proteins. It has high biological value as it contains all the essential amino acids. Protein is more important due to its function in the body. It builds body mass. Where tissue is damaged, it helps to repair.

They are also connected with the immune system of the body. Most importantly, it helps with the energy supply. One gram of protein contains 4 kcal of energy.

Fat

A pregnant woman needs +350 kcal of energy per day. And fat is a great source of energy. Dietary fat should be limited to approximately 15 to 30 percent of daily intake. Otherwise, obesity can occur.

Fat works as the form of fatty acid in the body. Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are found in different sources like all kinds of oils, soya beans, meats, eggs, milk, etc.

Fat is important to pregnant women because they are high-energy foods containing 9 kcal of energy in 1 gram. Fat helps to develop and maintain internal organs like the heart, kidney, and intestine. That is why they are called a Concentrated source of energy.

But assure that you are not having an excess of it because it is the mother of some fatal conditions like coronary heart disease, skin lesion, cancer, and obesity.

Vitamin -D

Vitamin D is essential in the formation of bones and teeth -the skeleton of the body. To meet the daily vitamin -D, pregnant mothers should spend 5- 7 minutes in natural daylight.

Due to its deficiency, dental caries and bone disease can attack the mother.

Grain

Grains are mostly carbohydrates containing seeds that are used for human and animal food. Grains are important to pregnant mothers and unborn children to meet daily nutritional requirements.

It also helps the body to use protein and fat. It is also beneficial to the digestive system. You should have a proper amount of grain. Another interesting thing is that rich grain supplies other nutrients, too.

They provide 4 kcal of energy per gram. Without grain, there are 3 other sources of carbohydrate – starch, sugars, and cellulose. It is found in abundance. Easily found, cheap, and a great source of energy!!!

Iron

There Is heme Iron and non heme iron. Both are important to pregnant women. Women lose a certain amount of blood every month due to menstruation. Iron fillup that heme requirements. In pregnancy, a woman needs 3.5 mg of Iron daily.

It is the main structural element of the blood cell. It also helps to develop the brain. There are unlimited sources where we can consume Iron from -liver, poultry, meat, fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, oilseeds, jaggery, and dried fruits.

Iron is also essential for oxygen binding. Iron deficiency also causes many diseases in newborn and pregnant women. 

Calcium 

In pregnancy, calcium is another important thing to count. There is an extra need for calcium as it will help your child’s teeth and bone formation. It also helps to produce some hormones.

Along these, it will help to form internal organs like the heart, kidney, and liver. Calcium contributes to the whole structural system, the skeleton. The foods from which you can consume calcium are- cheese, yogurt, orange juice, soya beans, grains, and so many.

If you consume a little or a lot of it, there will be no problem, and these conditions can be easily prevented. Lack of calcium causes fragile bone and osteoporosis to the mother as well as joint pain.

Folic acid

Folic acid is generally found in green leafy vegetables. Besides, there are other sources, too. 400 mg of folic acid is required daily. Folic acid has extra attention due to its deficiency disorder.

It causes folate deficiency anemia. Due to folic acid deficiency in pregnancy, the baby may develop neural tube defects and spina bifida. 

Dairy products

In pregnancy, you should eat safe dairy products. Dairy products are enriched with calcium, vitamin D, and protein. There are 2 types of protein named, casein and whey, in dairy products. Normally dairy products are necessary to meet the extra nutrition.

But some dairy products are easily contaminated with food poisoning germs. So, keep an eye that you are not having unpasteurized or hard pasteurized dairy products like soft cheese. Otherwise, normally found dairy products like cows milk, yogurt, soya milk, oat milk, etc. are very subsidiary during pregnancy. Nowadays, almond milk is also popular among people.

If you are vegan or vegetarian and suffering from protein deficiency, take supplements found in medical shops.

Things you better crap from the diet:

Demerits of Caffeine

In our daily life, we consume caffeine in the form of coffee. It is a big deal for a coffee addict person to cut it from their diet. What to do?! It is harmful to the unborn fetus.

Caffeine constricts the blood vessels of the uterus, which causes less blood supply resulting in less nutrition supply. We know the baby gets nutrition from the blood circulation of the mother.

So, stillbirths and malnutated children can be born. A pregnant woman can have 2 cups of regular coffee a day. Consumption of extra caffeine can cause miscarriage, too. So, as it does not have much nutrition value, you’d rather cut it from your diet.

Demerits of Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol is always dangerous to health. Whether you are pregnant or not. Even a small amount of alcohol can be Dangerous. There is no safe type nor amount.

All you have to do is “avoid .”It is liable for the deformation of the face of the unborn child. It can also cause stillbirth and other alcohol syndromes. Some studies also show that consuming a small amount of alcohol, especially beer, is ok for the baby.

In contrast, some studies show that it is responsible for small eye-opening, smooth philtrum and thin upper lip. It can also cause an idiotic face. So, in expert Opinion, cutting alcohol is the best option in pregnancy. 

Demerits of Unpasteurized food and raw meat

Unpasteurized raw food is likely contaminated with pathogens and can cause diseases to pregnant ones. Raw milk can carry harmful bacteria and cause food poisoning, especially listeriosis, e-coli poisoning, and others.

Raw meat is also dangerous for causing meat-borne diseases. Raw and pasteurized meat can cause food poisoning related to toxoplasmosis -the most known parasites for food poisoning. It is best to crap raw, rare, undercooked, or unpasteurized poultry during pregnancy. 

Food additives in fruits and vegetables :

Fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious and form key food generally consumed by the human generation. They are highly perishable due to their low shelf life. These fruits are contaminated with artificial colors, ethephon, formalin, and many. So, when 

you have fruits for goodness for health, and it does harm to you.

Should you avoid or minimize beverages while pregnant? 

Beverages are made of carbonated gas and sugar. It is acidic, for sure. If you consume a lot of beverages, it can cause acidosis in your body. Instead of having beverages, you can have more water, orange, and other fruit juice and tea. 

Some misdo with pregnancy diet

There are things we hear from elders that are always not right. There are myths, misconceptions, and misdoings with pregnancy. Be safe from these activities. 

There is a common proverb, “eat for two. “In common sense, you are obviously eating for two, but it is not the fact that you are also eating for a person like you. You should keep in mind your height, weight, stature, and, most importantly, BMI. Go to the nutritionist and adjust your daily diet and follow it. There is no need to have extra food and gain weight!!!

Are food cravings associated with a pregnancy diet?

Having a perverted desire for having some food is quite common in pregnancy. There is also a strong aversion to some food. 

Epilogue 

Pregnancy diet plays a vital role to mother and unborn child. So, be vigilant while choosing the right food. If necessary, take advice from a physician nutritionist. If you are not privileged enough, you can have advice from a nearby maternity clinic. But never walk away from getting proper nutrition and food supplements.

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