Updated: Nov 8, 2022
Reviewed by - Amita Mishra, Nutritionist & Lifestyle coach
When you are pregnant, you need certain nutrients like protein, iron, folic acid, and iodine, and It’s also important to get enough calcium.
Making smart food choices can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Here are some ideas to help you eat healthy during pregnancy.
Common issues during pregnancy
The hormonal changes and the uneasiness can disturb your sleep, and your body is now working towards building an environment for the growing baby! Starting from the first trimester to the third trimester, symptoms vary for each pregnant mother and food can play a major role in easing these issues.
is one of the most common issues faced by women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. A well-balanced diet can help you cope with constipation issues, and mind you, constipation can be so uncomfortable and painful too!
What does diet during pregnancy mean? When we refer to diet during pregnancy, we are not speaking about restricting calories or trying to lose weight. Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy can be hazardous to you and your baby, especially since a weight loss regimen may restrict important nutrients such as iron, folic acid, and other important vitamins and minerals.
If you are already pregnant, then taking care of your oral health becomes all the more important. Because most of the time oral health is ignored unless there is something serious. Pregnancy hormones, sweet cravings, and everything can add up to poor oral health if not maintained well. What you eat matters to your oral health.
Backache during pregnancy is another common issue among most pregnant women. There are simple techniques that can be used to ease backache. Healthy food helps in providing strength to your muscles, to cope with backache easier.
So, how to change your eating habits?
It is pretty simple actually, but sometimes simple things are the most difficult to follow, and simple details are the most important ones! Every individual is different, and so are their needs, here you will get an idea as to how you can bring change to your diet.
Make sure to eat fresh seasonal fruits every day. You can choose the ones that suit you and are locally available. Fruits help in cleansing, can balance your sugar cravings, has the feel-good factor when you bite on the fresh juicy fruit. Fruits also have natural fiber that helps in digestion.
Include a variety of grains that you are accustomed to and the grains that suit you. Stick to what suits you rather than trying new varieties and having trouble digesting them.
You must remember that carbs give you the energy you need. Helps you to feel full and carbs are the primary source of our energy, and you should not ignore them.
Include healthy fat.
Fat is considered the bad guy because all those who are planning to reduce weight are told to reduce fat intake. Well, if there is too much fat, then you have to burn them, or else it will be stored in your body. During pregnancy you need good fats, foods that contain natural fats like coconut, avocado, nuts, clarified butter/ghee, eggs, and many more that are easily available.
Foods that are rich in protein help in carrying oxygen to your muscles, helping you with fatigue, weakness, and depression. Some of them are meat, paneer, tofu, and eggs. Remember to cook the food well before consuming it raw or partially cooked can cause infections or digestive issues.
That was a big picture, you need to include them in all your meals. As it is difficult to eat big meals during pregnancy, eat smaller meals, and every time you sit to eat, see that your plate has a variety, and make sure you chew your food well using your teeth because your stomach does not have any teeth. It becomes difficult to digest as the pregnancy progresses.
What about my pregnancy cravings?
Your cravings are also taken care of if you are eating a healthy wholesome meal. If your cravings are too much, it can be due to a certain deficiency, and most of the time, if you are eating well, your desires are satisfied.
Could you provide a diet chart that I can refer to?
Diet charts can never be generic, as every individual’s requirement is different from another, and only after a thorough assessment can a diet be given to you. You can let us know if you need a nutritionist contact to refer to.
Can I prevent gestational diabetes with a healthy diet?
Yes! Definitely. Although you must know that gestational diabetes is a combination of your genes, lifestyle, and health history. But, the good news is that by lifestyle changes, you can totally prevent gestational diabetes. Lifestyle changes include food, exercise, habits, sleep cycle, and emotional and physical health, they are all interlinked, and you need a healthy balance between all of them.
There are certain foods that you have to avoid during pregnancy. Except for fruits, do not eat any raw salads, that include sprouts, vegetables, or meat, you have to cook them well before consuming them.
As you can see, sugar is not included but natural sweeteners are included. Does that mean you are not supposed to eat any treats? It does not mean that, it means when you eat a wholesome meal, your cravings reduce, and automatically the consumption of sugary treats is reduced.
It is very important to take care of your health, as your responsibility does not end with pregnancy, and if you are healthy, you will be able to take care of your baby well.
Are there any foods to be avoided during pregnancy?
Yes! There are certain foods that you have to completely avoid, for your safety and the baby's. It is important to understand what not to eat during pregnancy.
Can I eat salads during pregnancy?
It is not advised to consume raw foods during pregnancy, except for fruits. Raw foods like sprouts, leafy greens, veggies, raw meat, etc. it is best cooked before you consume, as it helps in digestion and also prevents any stomach-related infections that can be caused due to not washing the veggies well.
Why is gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy important?
Gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy helps your baby grow to a healthy size. But gaining too much or too little weight may lead to serious health problems for you and your baby.
Healthy eating habits help you in gaining a healthy weight. Stick to simple foods that are easy to digest, and also include a variety in your food. You can also consult a nutritionist in this regard so that you get better guidance.
Let us know in the comments below if you need help maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy.👇🏽
Diet during pregnancy - https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/diet-during-pregnancy/
Have a healthy diet in pregnancy - https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/have-a-healthy-diet/
Eat healthy during pregnancy - https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/pregnancy/nutrition-and-physical-activity/
Healthy tips for pregnant women