Most people would say that pregnant women should eat for two. Although you have a little baby growing inside you, you don’t have to eat for two on your everyday meals. You only need to eat about 300 extra calories a day and this is especially as you go further into your pregnancy.
You might even need to add more than 300 claories a day if you’re very thin, lead a very active lifestyle or if you have more than one baby growing inside you. Should it happen that you are overweight, you may be asked by your doctor or health care provider to take in a little less than the usual 300-calorie a day extra intake for pregnant women.
We all know how important it is to eat healthy but not all of us always eat healthy. When you are pregnant, it is especially important to see to it that you follow a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods is crucial to the baby’s growth and development. So how should you go about your daily meals? The key is maintaining a well-balanced diet. Try your very best to include the following in your daily meals.
- lean meat
- fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- dairy products low in fat
A balanced diet is your best bet to get the nutrients that you and your baby need. However your health care provider may require you to take prenatal vitamins to ensure that you as well as your developing baby are getting enough of the essential nutrients such as calcium, iron and folic acid. You’ll be needing a higher dose of these essential nutrients now that you have a bun in the oven.
Just because you are taking in prenatal vitamins, you can go on and not stick to a healthy diet. This is simply not the case. Your prenatal vitamins are supplements and as the word implies supplements are designed to supplement your diet and not to be your only source of nourishment.
When you’re pregnant, you would need to boost your intake of calcium as the developing baby inside you needs a high dose of calcium. Here are great sources of calcium.
- pasteurised cheese, yogurt and of course milk plus other dairy products that are low in fat
- cereals and other products that are fortified with calcium
- leafy greens especially the dark ones such as spinach, broccoli and kale
- tofu and dried beans
- nuts such as almonds
You would also need to boost your iron intake when you’re pregnant. Great sources of iron are:
- red meats and dark poultry
- fish such as salmon
- eggs and tofu
- products fortified with iron such as cereals
- dark leafy greens and dried fruits
- blackstrap molasses
If you’re pregnant or you’re planning to get pregnant it is recommended that you get around 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid. Folic acid supplements are available in pharmacies. It is best to consult with your health care provider before buying any folic acid supplement to ensure that you and your baby are getting enough folic acid.
In addition you can also use culinary Argan oil as drizzles to your salads, soups, meats and fish. The culinary Argan oil is loaded with antioxidants and unsaturated essential fatty acids which boost your immune system, protect the heart and help in brain development.