What You Should Eat During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a special time in which the body needs a much larger number of nutrients. So, eating fruits and vegetables or eating lean meat will help both the mother's and the fetus's development.
What You Should Eat During Pregnancy

Last update: 23 April, 2020

Taking good care of yourself and watching what you eat during pregnancy is vital since it will increase the chances of your baby being born healthy. Eating healthy food helps future mothers avoid putting their health at risk during the gestation process, as well as providing the necessary conditions for a healthy baby.

In general, this care involves:

  • A medical evaluation every 15 or 30 days
  • Control of daily physical activities
  • A healthy diet

You should pay special attention to this last point. It’s important that, during pregnancy, you pay close attention to your diet. This doesn’t mean that you have to focus on calorie burning or weight loss. That can actually be harmful to the developing fetus. So, what is the most recommended diet to follow during pregnancy?

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables to eat during pregnancy.
Fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of folic acid, which is necessary for the development of the fetus.

Fruit and vegetables contain large amounts of vitamin C and folic acid. Therefore, we advise you to eat large amounts during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy. Eating a large amount of fruits (like oranges, cantaloupes, and grapefruits) and vegetables (like broccoli, tomato, and lettuce) promotes the fetus’s growth.

Eating these foods during pregnancy helps the fetus to reach the proper size before it’s bornA pregnant woman should eat from 2 to 4 portions of fruit daily.

Lean protein

Lean proteins.
Lean proteins reduce fatigue and provide essential nutrients like iron.

To promote the growth of the baby, it’s also important for pregnant women to ensure their meals include protein-rich foods, such as:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruits

These items are also full of vitamin B and iron. Iron works together with oxygenation both in the developing fetus and in the formation of muscles in the pregnant mom. As a result, the future mother will have fewer problems with fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression. We recommend you eat from 50 to 60 mg per day of lean proteins.

Grains and flours

Grains are considered a very important source of energy for the body, and even more so in the case of pregnancy. They provide large quantities of fiber, iron, and vitamin B. Eating flours provides a large amount of carbohydrates and folic acid, which is very beneficial for the baby’s development. We recommend you eat between 6 and 12 portions of foods like:

  • Oats
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Grains

Limit caffeine and fish consumption

You should reduce your coffee consumption during pregnancy. Various United States groups of obstetricians and gynecologists, like ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommend that you greatly reduce the consumption of coffee, since caffeine accumulates on the inside of the placenta after passing through the fetus. Excessive consumption of coffee has been associated with cases of spontaneous abortions and premature births.

You should also moderate your consumption of fish. Some fish, like white tuna, can have high mercury contents, which would cause problems for the fetus’s development.

You might be interested in: Home Remedies for Caffeine Withdrawal

Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages

Avoid alcohol.
You should completely avoid alcohol while nursing or pregnant.

Alcohol, once consumed, travels through the whole body in the blood, affecting the body functions when it exceeds recommended levels. In pregnant women, alcohol is transferred to the baby through the umbilical cord.

This can affect the development of the baby and cause behavioral and learning problems in the future development of the child. Many studies conclude that you should avoid alcohol during pregnancy.

The importance of a careful diet during pregnancy

It’s important to highlight that what the woman eats or drinks during her pregnancy will be the main source of nutrition for the developing baby. Therefore, many experts recommend and advise future mothers to consume food and drinks that are healthy and nutritious. In this way, you can provide necessary nutrients that are important for the development and growth of your baby.

As you can see from this article, there are many foods you should eat during pregnancy, and also those you should avoid. However, a pregnant woman needs even more calcium, folic acid, iron, and protein than the average woman would consume.

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  • Loy, S.-L., Marhazlina, M., Azwany, Y. N., & Hamid Jan, J. M. (2011). Higher intake of fruits and vegetables in pregnancy is associated with birth size. The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 42(5), 1214–1223. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22299448
  • Brannon, P. M., & Taylor, C. L. (2017). Iron Supplementation during Pregnancy and Infancy: Uncertainties and Implications for Research and Policy. Nutrients, 9(12). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9121327