Unfortunately, everybody is ready with pregnancy tips for you. Friends, family members, colleagues, neighbouring aunties and yes, even strangers, will stop to tell you what you should and should not be eating. It can be quite confusing. Add to that sudden food cravings and unbearable nausea and all your plans for eating well for yourself and your baby can get tossed out.Healthy eating when you’re pregnant
A healthy diet during pregnancy is critical for the growth of the baby. That doesn’t mean you completely cut out your favourite foods. Nutrition experts have put together a pregnancy diet that ensures you eat healthy and balanced meals.
Don’t fear the D-word. You don’t need to go on a diet. You just need to eat a variety of different foods to ensure you get all the nutrients that you and your baby need.
6 food groups that are a must in your daily diet
1. Fruits and vegetables (especially dark green, leafy vegetables)
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. You also get a healthy dose of fibre that can help prevent constipation.
Space out the intake and ensure you eat 5-6 portions of various fruits and vegetables a day. Remember to wash them very well before eating.
2. Starchy foods
If you want to feel full without piling on the calories, starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, breakfast cereal, rice, noodles, maize, millet, sweet potatoes, yam, etc., are good options. They provide you the energy needed to keep you going, as well as vitamins and adequate fibre too.
Remember to add protein to your daily diet. This could be in the form of:
Make sure you remove the skin from the poultry, pick only lean meat and do not add extra oil while cooking the meat. Eggs, fish and meats should be cooked entirely. Do not consume raw or undercooked meats. Pink or slightly red meats should be avoided.
3. Dairy products
Milk and milk products are very good during pregnancy because of the high calcium content. While earlier, some cheeses were not permitted, today doctors do not forbid consumption of dairy products as long as they are made from pasteurised milk.
However, opt for low-fat whenever possible to keep the calories in check.
4. Whole grains
Whole grains fulfil your daily requirement of Vitamin E, folic acid, iron, selenium, and phytonutrients (cell-protectors) as well as provide fibre. Opt for whole-grain bread instead of white, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice. Did you know popcorn is a whole grain?
5. Foods high in fat and sugar, or both
Eat in moderation foods that include oils, salad dressing, cream, chocolate, biscuits, pudding, cake, ice cream and even cold drinks.
Of course, ask your doctor for recommendations and check before you decide on your menu.
Read tips to stay fit during pregnancy by doing correct exercises.
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