10 Benefits of Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy offers many long and short term benefits.

For your baby to have good brain health, have the right weight and develop cognitive abilities, you need a balanced diet formulated for the nine pregnancy months.

Pregnancy comes will many perceptions, great expectations and numerous worries.

In addition to the many challenges pregnant women face during the first trimester, planning what to eat is another hard hurdle.

Loss of appetite and cravings for specific foods makes it impossible for pregnant folks to have a single plate of a balanced diet.

But for you to have a healthy pregnancy, igniting your inner fire is the biggest secret.

What Defines a Healthy Diet?

Literally, a healthy diet can be defined as a set of meals that contains all nutrients the body needs to be healthy.

A healthy diet contains all the essential dietary nutrients needed by the body to function properly. 

During pregnancy, all nutrients are important.

However, one has to pay greater attention to foods that will help the unborn baby to develop healthily, have a healthy birth weight and reduce risks of birth defects.

Eating dairy products like low-fat yoghurt, skimmed milk; vegetables, salmon, beans and fruits are some of the best foods to heat while pregnant.

While pregnant, a healthy diet should not only be composed of foods and fruits and vegetables.

Drinking water, taking vitamin supplements and exercising for some minutes daily makes the best healthy diet.

 Importance of Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

Why do you think maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is important?

We’ve all seen newborn babies with cleft lip, low birth weight, anaemia or malnourished.

And if you’re not a first-time-mom to be, morning sickness, fatigue, back pain and loss of sleep are common disorders you may have experienced.

Here’s why you need to maintain a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy:

Reducing Risks of Birth Defects

Deficiency in folic acid during pregnancy has been proven to cause birth defects.

Equally, deficiency in iodine increases the risks of childbirth.

Even though not all birth defects are directly linked to a poor healthy diet, ensuring your meals comprise every nutrient may reduce the risks of birth defects. 

Structural birth defect, spina bifida, cleft palate and congenital dislocated hip are some of the serious birth defects that you should fight to prevent.

Prenatal tests are an effective way of diagnosing many birth defects.

Protection Against Malnutrition

Malnutrition has adverse effects not only on the unborn baby but also on the pregnant woman.

Nutrition deficiencies slow the development of the fetus.

The nutritional stores are required to support the fetus growth as more nutrients are directed to the development of placental cells.

Again, this restricted growth causes low birth weight. 

Increasing Energy

Feeling weak or fatigued during pregnancy is common especially during the early weeks of pregnancy.

The only way to increase energy and fight fatigue is by appreciating the importance of nutrition during pregnancy and knowing the best foods to eat when pregnant during the first trimester.

Hormonal imbalance in the body is largely attributed to fatigue when pregnant.

Medical practitioners recommend observing a pregnancy diet menu from the conception date to the day of delivery.

Eating after every 3-4 hours will keep reenergizing your body.

Cognitive Development

Baby development isn’t about the body only.

Brain development starts to take shape barely three weeks after conception and grows at a rapid rate during the last trimester.

A healthy diet is critical during all pregnancy stages.

Immediately the baby in your womb start to moving arms and stretching legs, his brain is at work.

To support your foetus cognitive development, enriching your diet with foods rich in omega 3 such as spinach and soybeans and egg yolk. 

Reducing the Risks Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes can develop at any stage during pregnancy.

Developing high blood pressure when pregnant (gestational diabetes) can lead to premature birth, overweight of the unborn baby or too much amniotic fluid in the womb. 

Exercising daily and observing a well-balanced pregnancy diet can reduce significantly the risks of gestational diabetes.

It’s also advisable to undergo OGTT tests to know your blood glucose level.

MedlinePlus a trusted resource prescribes eating whole fruits and vegetables, limiting the taking of fatty foods and concentrating more on lean beef.

Improving Sleep

Deprivation of sleep is among the highly rated hurdles pregnant women face.

Ensuring your body is at all-time hydrated will help improve sleep.

Low-fat milk is good for pregnant women.

 Drinking a warm glass of milk will necessitate the release of sleep hormone (melatonin).

Dairy contains amino acids which are responsible for releasing the sleep hormone.

Plus, Research has shown eating foods rich in fiber and saturated fat leads to increased deep sleep.

Ensures a Healthy Baby Weight

Many are incidents when the newly born baby is underweight.

You should avoid factors that are believed to cause low birth weight like alcohol, poor nutrition and cigarettes. 

Having peanut butter on your daily toast, hot cereals, scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes will help increase the birthweight of your unborn baby.

Maintaining a healthy body  

While pregnant, every nutrient isn’t directed to the fetus.

As a pregnant woman, you should know your health counts first.

Unless you keep track of your healthy diet during pregnancy, you’ll have a weak body.

Feeling of fatigue, body aches and low moods can be improved by remaining healthy.

And to remain healthy during pregnancy, you take daily prenatal vitamin supplements, eat healthy foods like coloured fruits and get quality sleep. 

Reduce the Risks of Anemia

When pregnant, your body needs more blood to carry oxygen to the tissues of the unborn baby and your body.

More blood equals more red blood cells.

In case your body is unable to produce enough red blood cells, you develop anaemia.

Iron and folate anaemia are the two common types of anaemia women suffer during pregnancy.

Eating iron-rich foods like dark green vegetables, iron-enriched cereals, citrus fruits, eggs, lean red meat, fish, beans, poultry, and fish helps prevent anaemia.

Preventing Mental Health Problems

Children born during periods of malnutrition have exhibited mental health problems.

While some become aggressive in later stages of life, others develop hyperactive behaviors.

A study involving 23,000 women and their babies proved unhealthy diet during pregnancy is linked to children’s mental health.

What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Eat 

Healthy diet during pregnancy

The food you eat during pregnancy is as important as the partner around you.

Does the nutritional content in every food you eat matter?

Having looked at the benefits of a healthy diet during pregnancy, here’s what to eat while pregnant:

Water

Water forms 70% of your blood and keeps the body hydrated.

Slight deficiency in water leads to headaches, low memory, anxiety and feelings of tiredness.

When pregnant, blood levels rise by 45%.

Water is therefore critical as it’s the leading factor in the formation of the extra needed blood.

When pregnant, you are recommended to take 2.3 liters of water daily to keep the body hydrated.

Salmon or lean cuts of beef

Lean beef will provide much-needed protein during pregnancy.

For your baby to grow during pregnancy, animal proteins such as lean meat, eggs, skimmed milk and chicken are important.

Fish is also another good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

Not every fish should be eaten while pregnant – any fish with mercury elements like marlin and swordfish should be avoided.

Salmon, anchovies and herring are the best types of fish for pregnant ladies. 

Eggs

healthy diet during pregnancy

Folic acid greatly supports the development of the unborn baby’s spinal cord and brain.

Even though eggs should not be singularly eating to fulfill the required 600 micrograms, making them an ingredient in your pregnancy super foods is a wise decision.

Green, leafy vegetables, lentils and fortified cereals are also recommended sources of folic acids.

Dairy

If you take dairy products like cheddar, mozzarella, low-fat yoghurt and milk, the calcium level in your body will be enough to donate some to the baby in your womb.

These foods are rich in calcium which is needed for the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. 

Healthy diet during pregnancy

Other sources of calcium include soybeans, lady figures and kale.

Oatmeal and wholegrain cereals

At all moments during pregnancy, you need energy.

For the complex activities undergoing in your body to continue to delivery, foods rich energy are critical.

Starchy carbs like multigrain beard, sweet potatoes and chapati will make your body stay energetic.

Conclusion

The baby growing inside you needs nutrients to survive and grow healthy just as you do.

And for the pregnancy to be healthy, a healthy diet during pregnancy is a must.

As illustrated above, the foods to eat while pregnant need not be expensive.

 As you plan for the pregnancy diet menu, don’t forget to include vitamin supplements, a humble time for quality sleep and fish liver oil. 

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