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The best nutrition for pregnant women

Pregnancy is a time when your body begins to undergo sudden and rapid changes. There was a time when mothers to be were advised to eat enough for two. Today, this advice is way off the mark because new research finds that in terms of quantity, pregnant mothers need take in an extra 300 calories only. So, pregnant mothers who habitually eat enough for two may find themselves developing undesirable health conditions. Therefore, it is important for pregnant mothers to understand what kind of food is best for them and their baby. Even if you have been eating a healthy diet prior to your pregnancy, you have to pay extra attention to what you eat when you are pregnant. A healthy diet is vital to a successful pregnancy because it ensures correct fetal growth and reduces complications.

Given below are a few guidelines regarding nutrition for pregnant women:

• Avoid empty calories. Choose whole grain foods and substitute high calorie foods with foods that have higher nutritive value.
• Pregnant women need approximately 1,500 mg of calcium everyday. This supplies enough calcium to the fetus for bone growth and prevents the mother from losing her bone density. In this regard, it is important to remember that most women do not get enough calcium even when they are not pregnant. So, extra effort has to be made to get the right amounts of calcium throughout pregnancy. Calcium rich foods include tofu, salmon, green leafy vegetables and dairy products.
• Another important aspect of nutrition for pregnant women is regarding the need to stock up on food rich in iron. These include fish, poultry, eggs, enriched grains and green leafy vegetables. However, since iron absorption from food takes place at a very slow pace, many doctors advise the intake of iron supplements. Iron supplements often lead to constipation, though it may help if you take your supplements with food. To improve iron absorption, include food that is rich in vitamin C.
• Folic acid is important to proper fetal growth. Taking in 400 mg of folic acid everyday can prevent more than 70% of birth defects commonly found in newborn babies. Natural foods like dark green vegetables, oranges, grains, beans, lean meat and liver are rich in folic acid. You also get folic acid supplements, and doctors often recommend the intake of prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid.
• Pregnant mothers must not follow a restrictive diet. Do not skip meals. Eat enough to gain weight at the recommended rate. Include a variety of foods since this ensures that you are getting all the minerals and vitamins that your body needs. Eat at regular intervals so that your blood sugar levels do not peak and dip.

• Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Avoid alcohol and quit smoking.
• These days, it is common for pregnant women to take in large doses of supplements. Although some amount of fortified foods is helpful, large doses can cause health problems. So always discuss with your healthcare provider before you start taking supplements of any sort.
• Pregnant women should avoid undercooked food, swordfish, mackerel and tilefish since these may contain high levels of Mercury.

By following these tenets of good nutrition, a pregnant mother can ensure the health and proper development of her baby. At the same time, she can also prevent unnecessary weight gain that may lead to health complications later on.

Food For Pregnant Women

Why does it seem like it's always in the middle of the night when you get cravings during pregnancy? Suddenly you have a craving for a cheese and pickle sandwich; so your hubby dutifully goes to the kitchen and makes one for you. Good thing, right? After all, your baby needs the extra nutrition, yes?

Not necessarily; women often get cravings during pregnancy and they can be so strong as to render you helpless against them. And, it's not necessarily bad to give into these cravings, because your body does indeed need nutrition (a liitle extra nutrition) when you're pregnant. However, be careful what you label "necessary" just because it's a craving.

Cravings apart, food for pregnant women is really the same as the food you need when you are not pregnant except now it is even more important that it is healthy food. In fact eating a healthy diet will ease your nausea and other pregnancy symptoms including keeping those cravings during pregnancy under better control. But did you know there is certain food for pregnant women that should be avoided?

What do cravings during pregnancy REALLY mean?

Experts are somewhat divided on this, but most agree that cravings during pregnancy are mostly due to the hormonal swings a woman experiences during this time and also because your body is busy developing your baby 24 hours a day. So, things like chocolate and comfort foods might make you feel better, but they are not necessarily good food for pregnant women especially if you overly indulge in them - a little treat rather than a whole chocolate cake for example can help.

It's also a very good idea to try to find healthier substitutions for these cravings during pregnancy whenever you can. So, for example, if you have a craving for ice cream, try instead to indulge in something healthier, like a

"Yogurt shake"

You can easily and quickly make a yourt shake using plain fat-free yogurt, fat free milk, some ice cubes, a banana, some strawberries, and some cocoa powder all whipped together in a blender to produce a frothy, creamy shake that's packed with calcium, protein and other nutrients - good food for pregnant women.

Understanding your cravings during pregnancy can help control the excess weight issue that can easily arise. Whilst food for pregnant women is commonly referred to as "eating for two" this is a bit of a misnomer. In reality you only need a little extra to cater for your extra nutrition during pregnancy. More so in the last 3 months of pregnancy but even then it is the equivalent of only a small sandwich a day.

What is "good" food for pregnant women?

Food for pregnant women, think "nutrition" first and foremost. So, you might have a craving for a nice, lean piece of roast beef, some steamed asparagus, and a baked potato. That's a nutritious, protein packed meal, and it's relatively low in calories to avoid the extra weight gain that might otherwise come with it, so go ahead and indulge, of course you might also want pickles or icecream with it too....

Basically you need to understand what your body is trying to tell you with these cravings during pregnancy but sometimes the messages aren't clear. If generally you eat a healthy diet, avoid the food for pregnant women that is not good for you or your baby, you will have a healthier pregnancy and be better prepared for the big day.

Healthy pregnancy tips will show you exactly how to reduce your food cravings during pregnancy, know which food for pregnant women is good for you and more importantly which isn't.

The Best Foods To Eat When Pregnant During The Second Trimester

The second trimester is the best time among the three stages of pregnancy. Morning sickness during the first semester subsides and your belly is not big enough to bring discomfort which is highly probable during the third trimester. But still, you need to observe healthy habits especially in terms of foods to eat when pregnant to make sure that your baby is continueing to develop normally. On the other hand, conditions like heartburn, constipation and cravings can occur during this trimester which can be relieved by observing a property pregnancy diet.

If you have observed a healthy and well balanced diet during your first trimester, then you must continue your healthy-eating habits during this trimester. On the other hand, you must re-assess your diet and make sure that you are receiving adequate amounts of essential nutrients like protein, calcium and carbohydrates. There are also some specific foods that you have to eat to respond to new changes in your body like enlargement of your uterus and breasts as well as the baby's continuous bone and tissue formation.

A pregnant woman who is in her second trimester should ensure that her shopping list of foods to eat when pregnant consists of healthy and fresh foods. Continue eating home-cooked meals rather than prepared meals that are just high in sodium and trans-fat. And during this time, expecting moms should eat daily 2 servings of protein, 9 servings of whole grain carbohydrates and 7 servings of fruits and vegetables to ensure that she is properly nourished during her pregnancy.

Since constipation usually occurs during the second trimester, you should increase your fiber intake and this can be found in whole wheat bread, oats and fruits like papaya. Foods that can trigger constipation like chocolates should be avoided. For cravings, satisfy them with healthier options. If you are craving for sweets, replace candy bars or sweet pastries with fruits like grapes and apples; you can absolutely give in to these cravings but eat them in moderation. Foods that have less sugar or sugar-free should be chosen as sugar can lead to extra weight gain and even pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes. For heartburn, stay away from spicy and acidic foods as well as carbonated drinks like sodas.

Likewise, foods that are low in fat should be consumed to avoid gaining too much weight without depriving yourself and your precious baby of all the required nutrients. Dairy products should also be taken for calcium and can be found in milk, yoghurt and cheese. If you are vegetarian, there are plant-sources like soya that can be good alternatives for animal-based calcium sources.

To sum it all up, knowing the best foods to eat when pregnant can help a pregnant woman to have a healthy and problem-free second trimester. With these foods, an expecting mother not only gives proper nutrition for herself but for her baby as well. By complementing these healthy foods with enough rest, low-impact exercises, relaxation and supplements, you are giving your baby his best possible start in life






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