Eating well during pregnancy is of the utmost importance for mothers-to-be. There are a number of different things to bear in mind when eating during pregnancy, to ensure that your baby has all the required nutrients to grow healthily. Here are our top tips.
When pregnant, it’s of the upmost importance that you increase your vitamin and mineral intake by almost 50%. This can be extremely hard when eating a lot of cooked food, as in most cases, you lose a lot of the vitamins and minerals in the cooking process. It is therefore advised that you try and eat raw fruit and vegetables when possible. If you want to eat cooked vegetables, make sure you steam them as to preserve as many nutrients as possible, avoid boiled vegetables as nutritionally they almost worthless, with 99% of most vitamins being lost during the cooking process.
Avoid high calorie unhealthy food
Whilst some mothers gain an insatiable appetite for certain foods, it’s best that you avoid junk food altogether during pregnancy. Not only are these foods nutritionally defunct but they will also contribute to significant weight gain that may be difficult to get rid of after birth. Junk foods tend to be high in salt, which in turn will affect your hydration levels. If you find yourself really needing to snack, look for snacks that are low in salt or healthy food alternatives.
Up your Protein intake
Eating for two can be difficult at times, so making sure you get at least 75g of protein per day is vital for a healthy pregnancy. Protein is one of the most essential things to keep track of during the pregnancy phase as your baby will desperately need it to grow. Eating protein-rich foods is essential, with eggs and salmon being a great source of protein and vitamins and minerals.
Avoid eating food that contains high levels of mercury
Fish is often viewed as a great healthy source of protein, but in some cases it can be harmful for pregnant mothers. Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided at all costs as it can affect brain development and the nervous system of your child.
- Fish to avoid: Swordfish, Shark, Mackerel (king)
- Fish you should eat: Trout, Sardines, Cod, Haddock, Scallops, Plaice and crab
Vitamins and Minerals
Rather than the numerous prenatal vitamin supplements which are meant to get you all the vitamins and minerals you need, try finding all these vitamins naturally. If you can handle it, try eating lots of iron rich foods such as spinach, sardines, iron fortified grains and prunes.