You’ve probably heard this a thousand times:
Healthy nutrition is vital during pregnancy.
Of course, healthy nutrition is always vital, but pregnant women should pay extra attention to what they consume.
The issue is, there is so much conflicting advice. Picking out useful pregnancy nutrition information can feel impossible at times. We’ve put together this post to help you understand it better and know what matters most.
Let’s dive in.
Pregnancy Nutrition Isn’t Just About Avoiding Disease
There is a common idea, “Good nutrition prevents diseases.” And sure, this is true. The body needs a wide range of nutrients to function normally. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats play a crucial role in our development and health over the long run.
But good nutrition, especially during pregnancy, isn’t just about avoiding disease. It’s about nourishing you and your growing baby. It’s about providing both of you with the right nutrients you need to be healthy and feel good.
Good nutrition is also essential for allowing the mother to gain the right amount of weight – not too little, but not too much, either. This is important for optimal fetal development and health.
So, it’s okay for pregnant women to allow themselves to gain some weight. But, this shouldn’t be an excuse to eat everything in sight, thinking it’s better for the baby. Moderation is key.
Protein – The Building Block of Matter
Proteins are organic molecules made of amino acids – the building blocks of life. Though many people associate protein with muscle growth, its effects inside the body are far more nuanced.
For one, proteins are vital for growth and development, so getting enough during your pregnancy is critical for your baby’s optimal growth.
Protein is also vital for creating neurotransmitters, antibodies, and hormones, which allows us to function well and stay healthy.
Besides that, protein is vital for producing new and healthy cells and transporting substances throughout the body. For instance, hemoglobin is a type of carrier protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body.
Great protein sources include:
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and other seafood
- Cottage cheese
- Nuts and seeds
Four Vital Tips For Effective And Healthy Pregnancy Nutrition
1. Get Organic Fruits And Vegetables
Though still not clear, some research shows that organic fruits and veggies can help us avoid harmful substances like:
Given that we don’t know how these might affect the baby, it’s better to be safe and go for organic varieties as much as possible.
2. Get These to Calm Your Nervous System
No pregnancy comes without its fair share of frustrations and anxious moments. The good news is, your nutritional choices can help calm your nerves and make you more relaxed.
Specifically, fatty fish is an excellent option because it offers incredibly beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. These support brain health and can provide plenty of benefits for the baby. And the best part is, they seem to have a calming effect on the mind and nervous system.
Folic acid is also essential, as research shows that it plays a vital role for the nervous system and can even prevent mood disorders.
3. Get Enough Healthy Fats
Fats have gotten a fair amount of criticism, but we need them. Most notably, fats are vital for brain health, and getting enough of them contributes to your baby’s normal brain development.
Fats are also vital for the production of cells, hormones, and more. Without an adequate supply, we don’t feel well and can’t function optimally.
4. Take Advantage of Nutritional Planning
Nutritional planning is great because it can reduce common pregnancy symptoms like leg cramps and restless sleep.
This is because planning at least some of your meals ahead of time allows you to eat healthier foods, feel less anxious about your diet, and provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs.