Learn about Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

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Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

Foods to Eat

Omega 3 plays a big role in the growth and development of the fetus. It helps develop the nervous system, the brain, and the retinas in the eyes.

Omega 3 also benefits mom’s health. It can help decrease the risk of preterm labor, preeclampsia, and postpartum depression.

A good source of omega 3 is in fish. According to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), up to 12 ounces of fish (with low mercury levels) can be consumed each week. Eating the following fish during pregnancy are considered safe:

  • salmon
  • shrimp
  • pollock
  • catfish
  • canned light tuna (eating tuna steak and albacore tuna should be limited to 6 ounces a week).

Other healthy foods with omega 3 include flaxseed, walnuts, and dark green vegetables.

Omega 3 supplements are available but avoid ones made from fish liver. Fish liver is high in retinol vitamin A and can be a cause of birth defects. It is best to consult with your health care provider before taking supplements.

Important nutrients to keep you healthy while pregnant include folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, B vitamins, iron, and potassium. The following foods are rich in these nutrients:

  • all natural orange juice
  • broccoli
  • yogurt
  • figs
  • beans.

Eat only lean meats and include sufficient amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Juicing is a good way to meet your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables.

Foods to Avoid

Seafood is healthy but some should not be eaten because they can contain dangerous levels of mercury that can affect the development of the baby’s nervous system. Bigger and older fish normally contain more mercury. Avoid:

  • eating shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel.
  • raw fish and certain shellfish, such as sushi, clams, and oysters.
  • smoked seafood and fish caught in polluted water.

The risk of food poisoning is greater during pregnancy because of changes in metabolism and circulation and increase levels of hormones.

• Avoid eating rare and medium-rare meat.

• Hot dogs and all deli meat should be heated until it is steaming hot.

• Do not eat soft, unpasteurized cheese (such as blue cheese and feta) or drink unpasteurized milk.

Avoid processed foods, concentrated sugars, and unhealthy fats like hydrogenated oils.

Besides healthy eating during pregnancy, do not smoke cigarettes, do drugs, or drink alcohol.


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