While taking extra care of your nutrition during pregnancy, it is very important to consume balanced vitamins and minerals for your health and the health of your baby.
In addition to weight gain, you may experience difficulties with certain types of foods during this delicate period. However, pregnancy does not mean that you can eat everything, nor does it mean that you should be exposed to constant boring diets. As long as you are consuming the right sort of nutrition (i.e. balanced diet), there is no reason why you shouldn’t make a healthy weight gain.
By following some fairly easy nutrition guidelines, such as the six recommended below, you can be on your way to a healthy pregnancy.
An adult female needs 1000 mg of calcium per day. You can get a large portion of calcium from dairy products. Approximately 300 mg of calcium is found in a glass of milk or in a bowl of yogurt. Other rich sources of calcium are cheese, red cabbage, orange and broccoli.
Calcium is a great source of nutrition for protecting bones, but it is also very important for your baby's health.
To prevent yourself from becoming anaemic (and not to feel weak), you must have the required amounts of iron in your blood stream. In another words, when there isn't enough iron in your blood, the rest of your body can't get the amount of oxygen it needs. You must therefore consume plenty of greens, whole grain foods and meat products to ensure you have the required levels of iron. For example, steak, baked potatoes and plenty of greens can be a great choice. If you do not have enough iron in your diet, you might want to consider taking iron supplements.
Folic Acid – Folate
Folate is a group B vitamin, which is imperative to consume in pregnancy. It prevents birth defects and is extremely important for your baby's general health. You should get 1000 mg folate daily. Folate can be found in green leafy vegetables, oranges, melons and strawberries. Whole-grain products also contain folate. Amongst prenatal vitamins your doctor should also prescribe folate (folic acid).
You should consume around 75-100 grams of protein per day. Protein is crucial for the development of your baby. Protein can be found in meat and nuts. If you’re a vegetarian (or vegan) you might want to try foods like tofu. Protein can also be found in dairy products, but it will not be enough, at least nowhere near as much as something like a nice steak.
It is extremely important to drink enough water all the time and not just when you’re pregnant. Typical recommended consumption is around 8 glasses (or cups) of water per day. However, during pregnancy you may need to consume more. If you want to determine the exact amount of water you should be drinking depending on your body weight, here is an easy way to calculate.
Step 1: Take your weight (in pounds) and divide that by 2.2.
Note: one kilo is equivalent to 2.20462 pounds.
Step 2: Multiply that number depending on your age
- If you're younger than 30, multiply by 40
- If you're between 30 and 55, multiply by 35
- If you're older than 55, multiply by 30
Step 3: Divide that sum by 28.3
Step 4: Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Divide that number by 8 to see your result in cups.
For example, suppose you weigh 66kg and aged 34, therefore you’re exact water requirement calculation is as follows:
Step 1: (66kg x 2.20462)/2.2 = 66.14
Step 2: 66.14 x 35 = 2,314.85
Step 3: 2,314.85/28.3 = 81.80
Step 4: 81.80/8 = 10.22, that is, approximately 10 cups of water per day.
Fighting Against Your Appetite
No matter what you’re craving for (as long as it’s edible), you can eat it to suppress your appetite. Craving is not a bad thing, in fact it can be fun too. However, pay a particular attention to your daily intake of sugar and make sure not to over consume (be moderate).