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Bites for a Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a wonderful experience, but it doesn’t come without its challenges, especially if it’s your first. I remember hearing all sorts of pregnancy advice and old wives tales during my pregnancy from well meaning family and friends, but it didn’t always have the scientific evidence to back it up.
Here is a quick guide of the most important things to remember during your pregnancy –
Stay Active– Physically active moms give birth to healthier babies and the labor is easier as well. Also, exercise increases the “happy hormone” serotonin in your body that can help you fight pregnancy moodiness, anxiety, and fatigue.
Snacking keeps you going – Three meals and snacks instead of three big meals a day is needed to meet the energy demands of pregnancy, especially as you begin to feel fuller quicker. Tasty snack choices are a few baby carrots with your choice of low fat dressing, steamed broccoli with shredded cheese, a handful of nuts and seeds, yogurt, whole grain crackers with hummus or cheese, hard boiled eggs, or fruits.
Balanced diet – It is essential to eat from all food groups while you are pregnant even if you are taking your prenatal vitamins every day. Anemia, calcium and folic acid deficiency is common during pregnancy so amp up the beans, lentils, lean meat, leafy greens, and fortified cereals for iron and folic acid; milk, yogurt and cheese for calcium.
Know what foods to stay away from – Certain foods contain bacteria and chemicals and can be potentially dangerous for you and your baby. Foods on the no-no list include:
- Raw seafood including raw sushi, and oysters
- Runny eggs
- Meat not cooked to safe internal temperature
- Fish containing high levels of mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, white albacore tuna, and tile fish
- Unpasteurized milk products- Say no to raw dairy; as long as it’s pasteurized it’s okay to eat!
- Caffeine – The research on caffeine is controversial; it has been shown to cause birth defects and miscarriages. Stay on the safe side by limiting caffeine to 200mg or less a day.
- No more wining and dining. No level of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy.
Hydrate – Since your blood increases during pregnancy, you need to drink more water, too! You need 12.7 cups or 102 ounces. Add pizzazz to your water with a slice of lemon, orange, a few mint leaves, and ginger or some of your favorite juice to your water to add flavor.
Fiber up – Constipation is a common pregnancy problem so it is important to make high fiber food a part of your diet. Find fiber in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, and whole grains.
For more pregnancy tips and the recipes your crave check out my book, Pregnancy Cooking and Nutrition for Dummies.