Foods to Avoid – Foods that are less cooked and half-raw contain the highest nutritional value. Eat fresh fruits and don’t overcook vegetables. Make sure, though, that they are properly washed first to remove dirt that may contain harmful bacteria. Avoid eating foods high in additives and preservatives and mixed with food coloring. These contain chemical substances that are not good for your health. Lower your sugar intake, especially if you have diabetes. Avoid love calories drinks; they may contain harmful additives. Fresh fruits drinks are best. High-acid drinks like coffee, and cola affect the digestive system. They also contain caffeine, which is not good for you and your baby’s health. Some food like raw eggs, meat and certain kinds of cheese may contain dangerous bacteria. Half-cooked meat may contain parasite-like toxoplasma, which may contain dangerous to your baby. Meat and eggs should be cooked well.
Special Nutritional Requirements
- FOLATE – A member of the vitamin B family, folate is essential to the formation of red blood cells. Research has shown that taking a high amount of folate reduces the risk of birth defects in the brain and spine. Neural birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly can be prevented if the proper amount of folate is present in your diet. AS mentioned, folate can be found in green leafy vegetables, liver and beans.
- IRON – Extra iron means more hemoglobin, which can increase the number of red blood cells. The more hemoglobin your blood contains, the more oxygen your baby will receive through the placenta. Iron-deficient women often suffer anemia which causes tiredness, fainting, and paleness. Thus, iron deficiency during pregnancy may put the baby at risk. If you cannot get sufficient iron from foods, ask your doctor to prescribe an iron supplement tablet.
- CALCIUM – This is essential for building string, healthy bones and teeth. Drink high-calcium milk (although any kind of milk contains calcium) and eat more dairy products (such as cheese) to prevent bone loss and reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis as you get older.
- FIBERS and FLUIDS - as pregnancy takes its course, some women may complain about constipation. To ensure good digestion and smooth bowel movement, take a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids. Vegetables and fruit drinks contain fibers that sweep away wastes from the digestive system.
A balanced diet is one that is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in fat. Some of the best sources of essential nutrients are:
- Meat, fish, eggs, bean curd, and nuts. These are rich in proteins
- Dairy products. These include milk and milk products such as cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.
- Grains and cereals. Such as rice, corn, pasta, bread, wheat, barley, etc.
- Fruits. These are better when fresh or frozen. Canned fruits in heavy syrup is not recommended because it contains more sugar and calories
- Vegetables. Fresh and frozen are recommended. Do not overcook because that may reduce the nutritional value.
- Water should be purified, distilled, or boiled to reduce the presence of amoeba and certain bacteria.