What is the best diet for a pregnant woman during the first trimester?
If you are exhibiting early signs of pregnancy and just found out that you are pregnant, welcome to the first trimester! You are most likely to experience breast pain, morning sickness, fatigue and indigestion.
To make these thirteen weeks as bearable as possible you must stick to a healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is very crucial. It not only ensures your good health but also makes sure that your baby is supplied and enriched with all the vital nutrients.
During this time your body needs additional nutrients and the lack of it might affect your baby’s development negatively. A poorly framed diet may also lead to weight gain, which is the cause of hypertension and gestational diabetes.
During pregnancy your diet should consist of:
Make sure that you include lots of fresh fruits in your diet. You may consume in the form of juices too but limit the amount as it contains more calories than the whole fruit and does not deliver the required amount of fibres.
Include a citrus fruit in your diet daily, as it’s rich in vitamin C. You can also consume dried or canned fruits sometimes though fresh fruits are always suggested.
One serving of dried fruit can provide a large percentage of the required nutrients. For example, dates are high in iron and potassium. Fruits should take up to 3-4 servings a day.
Vegetables should make up for 3-5 servings a day. Choose varieties of vegetables ranging from broccoli, carrots, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, corn, yellow and red bell peppers etc.
Make sure that you include one cup of leafy vegetables such as spinach or lettuce in your diet. Leafy vegetables include fibre, potassium and iron.
Proteins should make up for 2-3 servings a day of your diet. You can eat lean meat, poultry, eggs and fish with a minimal amount of fats. Beef, pork and chicken are the best examples of lean meat and are highly rich in protein.
Consuming fishes like salmon provides pregnant women with omega- 3 fatty acids, which is essential for them. Usually, it is not found in their regular diet.
However, due to the increasing mercury level in fishes, it is advisable to reduce your fish intake.
All types of beans such as kidney, black, pinto and lentils, nuts are good sources of proteins. Legumes such as peas, beans chickpeas and soybeans are also excellent sources of proteins, fibre and iron.
Whole grains should make up to 3 servings of your diet daily. It is advised that you eat up to 6 servings of grains per day and whole grains should be of 3 servings. Whole grains can be in the form of cereals, bread and pasta which provides fibre.
It helps maintain your bowel function and improves your digestion. Choose whole grains over those made with white flour, as they are much healthier and lesser in calories.
Dairy products should be of 3 servings per day. It provides calcium to strengthen your bones and also to your baby for his healthy development and growth. You can consume dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.
Avoid eating saturated fats to avoid unnecessary calories. You can choose non-fat dairy products. In case you are lactose intolerant you can consume soymilk and probiotic yoghurt.
The most important of it all is to drink lots and lots of water every day. It’s important to stay hydrated during your pregnancy. It relieves dehydration, indigestion, anxiety and tiredness. It also helps you avoid urinary tract infections.
The bottom line is, what you eat affects yours as well as your baby’s health during pregnancy, Hence, you should be careful in what you eat and consume a healthy diet accordingly. You must eat a nutritious meal.