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Five foods to eat and to avoid during pregnancy

It is a known fact that during pregnancy, a healthy diet is essential for both mother and her baby’s development. Proper attention to your intake of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can help ensure the health of your baby and minimize the risk of a premature birth and low-weight baby, and also prevent you from getting into health complications.

Here are certain foods that you should make sure are included in your diet:

1. Green Vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli provide many nutrients required for a pregnant woman. They provide ample amounts of fibre, folate, iron, calcium, vitamin C, K and A which are a must-have to your daily diet.

2. Dairy products

Dairy foods like yogurt, certain types of cheese, milk, etc. are rich sources of calcium. Other than this you can also consume calcium-fortified foods. Make sure you opt for pasteurized milk to minimize the risk of infection. Calcium is an important nutrient to have during pregnancy. It helps to develop your baby’s bones and teeth.

3. Fruits

During pregnancy you may crave for sweets. So, instead of satisfying yourself on a piece of cake, fruits can be a perfect solution for it. Fruits such as oranges, bananas, berries, apples, etc. are rich sources of vitamin C, A and fiber and should be consumed as a part of a healthy diet.

4. Dry fruits and nuts

Dried fruits and nuts are a storehouse of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc. can be a perfect snack and satiate hunger easily. You can add nuts in your salad, juices and smoothies or munch them whole as a healthy snack.

5. Protein-rich foods

Protein is one of the important nutrients required during pregnancy for your baby’s development. If you are a non-vegetarian, foods like lean meat, eggs and fish make up for great protein sources and for vegetarians, legumes, beans, cheese, etc. can add up to your daily protein intake. Make sure you get the recommended amount of protein which will usually vary depending on your body weight.

There are some foods that you should avoid during your pregnancy, such as:

1. Caffeine

Excessive intake of caffeine may increase the risk of a miscarriage, premature birth or low weight baby, etc. While you don’t have to totally cut down on caffeine, you may be recommended to limit your caffeine intake to as little as 200 mg in a day. Caffeine is not just present in coffee, but in a lot of foods such as tea, chocolates, some soft drinks and energy drinks too.

2. Alcohol

There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during your pregnancy, and must be completely avoided. In fact, you should practice alcohol abstinence right from when you are preparing yourself for having a baby and should continue till you breastfeed your baby. Alcohol affects your baby’s development and may also increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, etc.

3. Cold cured meat, raw or half cooked meat

Always make sure the meat you are consuming is fresh and cooked before eating it. Cold cured meat, raw or half cooked meat should be avoided as they may contain bacteria or parasites like salmonella, listeria, toxoplasmosis which can increase your risk of infection during pregnancy.

4. Unpasteurized milk

During the months of pregnancy, it’s wise to consume only pasteurized milk as unpasteurized one may contain certain bacteria. These bacteria can be harmful and may lead to certain life-threatening consequences to the unborn baby.

5. Raw eggs

Raw eggs should be avoided due to the risk of salmonella infection. Therefore, make sure you consume well cooked eggs to avoid the infection. Some varieties of salad dressing, mayonnaise, ice-cream and custards may have raw eggs as their active ingredients, hence you should always cross check these products while buying them.

Other than the above mentioned foods to be avoided, unripe papaya is also suggested to be avoided during pregnancy due to the presence of latex. It may trigger uterine contractions, may cause miscarriage, and may also weaken some vital membranes supporting the fetus. To avoid complications during pregnancy, many women eliminate papaya completely from their diet until childbirth.

Apart from these, make sure you wash your vegetables, avoid or limit canned food products and include most of the fresh produce in your diet. A slight change in your diet can make a huge difference to your baby’s overall health and development. Therefore, proper hygiene is always recommended during pregnancy.

Disclaimer: Indian Health Bureau does not claim any responsibility for the information contained in this article. The information may not hold good for everyone. The post is for general awareness only and should not be construed as a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Please consult your doctor to know what is good for you.



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