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Twelve Nutritious Steps Toward a Healthy Pregnancy

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 7/13/2010

Preparation for a healthy child should begin from the first moment you realize you are pregnant, or even in the planning stages, especially if you have not been paying attention to a healthy diet. This article provides ten nutritious tips towards a healthy pregnancy.

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    Positive Changes

    NU214010Pregnancy 

    Positive changes can only ensure good health for both you and your baby both before and after the baby’s birth. Exercise using specific exercises designed for use during pregnancy. Consult with your obstetrician on this. Following is a list of what you should ensure to include in your diet. During pregnancy, more than at any other time, there are certain items in a diet which are harmful; these are also listed.

    1. Construct a diet that contains about 3oz (90 grams) of lean protein form lean beef, chicken, fish, egg white and dairy products. However, dismiss the myth that you are eating for two, and do not overeat. Whatever you eat will provide ample nourishment for you and your baby.

    2. Add to your protein intake an ample selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. This provides you with the primary requirement needed in your diet, which is fuel in the form of glucose. Eat plenty of raw salads, which in addition to fulfilling the glucose requirement provide you and your baby with minerals and vitamins necessary for proper growth and development. Concentrate primarily on dark green leafy vegetables, green vegetables and yellow orange vegetables.

    3. Add to this, raw nuts and seeds this will further supply amino acids, minerals, fatty acids and vitamins which contribute to a high level of health.

    4. Your balanced healthy meals should also include starches or carbohydrates in the form of cereals, rice, whole grains and oats for example. Add to this pasta, and bread. Limit your intake of concentrated starches such as potatoes and refined wheat starch,

    5. Keep your fat intake to about 30% of your total daily calories. Let 2/3 of that fat is from oils like olive oil, canola oil sunflower and safflower oil. Let 1/3 of your fat intake be from saturated animal sources like the fat and lean meats, chicken and egg yolks.

    6. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the occurrence birth defects. Your doctor will probably prescribe at least 4mg. of folic acid daily during pregnancy

    7. Supplemental Vitamin C may also be recommended to help relieve discomforts which come with pregnancy; like leg cramps, nausea and vomiting. Supplemental vitamin E, calcium and zinc are also usually recommended as beneficial for a healthy pregnancy.

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    What You Should Avoid

    1. Avoid all types of refined flours and sugars.
    2. Avoid alcohol. This can result in fetal alcohol syndrome this is a deformity of the face and head of the baby, which is frequently accompanied by mental retardation.
    3. Avoid caffeine in coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate and drugs of any kind. These have been linked to birth defects.
    4. Avoid cigarette smoking which deprives the fetus of oxygen. This results in premature low-weight babies and also mental retardation.
    5. Avoid vinegar, and chemical additives and preservatives in processed foods.

    Do what is best for you and your baby. Read more about ensuring that you and your baby enjoy what is supposed to be one of the most joyous stages in your life. It is however, a delicate stage, and great care should be taken for successful results. Whatever you do or eat, which as described above as harmful during this time, can affect you and your baby for a lifetime.