Why is pregnancy diet so important aspect during pregnancy?

(June 15, 2010)

Important Pregnancy Diet

Nutrition during pregnancy refers to the dietary nutrient intake of the woman before during and after a pregnancy. During pregnancy, the fetus or the unborn child is totally dependent on its mother for its intake of food. Hence the food consumed by the mother is the major source of nutrients for the fetus. It is therefore necessary for the mother to monitor her diet and consume foods that are healthy and nutritious for her and her child. Diet monitoring during pregnancy is also important to minimize the chances of malnourishment or nutrients related deficiencies in children or even infant mortality. There have been many studies that show that a poor diet followed by the mother during pregnancy may result in the child suffering from neurological disorders or degenerative diseases.

A good diet during pregnancy is one that is rich on carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, fats and a generous quantity of water. Foods like peanuts, lean meats, poultry, eggs, tofu etc are rich in proteins which are required during pregnancy to promote blood production and cell growth. Similarly carbohydrate rich foods like potatoes, pasta, rice, vegetables and fruits should also be included in one’s diet during pregnancy as carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy. Calcium is one of the most important minerals to be consumed by pregnant women on account of the high demand of calcium from the baby. Calcium is essential for the development of bones, teeth, proper nerve functioning and even muscle contraction. In fact intake of additional calcium via foods like milk, yogurt, spinach, cheese etc also replenish the calcium the pregnant mother may lose from her own bones. Iron also needs to be incorporated in the diet of pregnant women as it protects the baby and the mother form anemia. Iron is found naturally in foods like spinach, lean red mat, cereals etc. Similarly the diet during pregnancy should also include vitamins A, C,B6 etc. as they are required for good eyesight, healthy skin, strong bones and also keep  the nervous system healthy.

Folic acid found in green leafy vegetables, peas, nuts etc is essential as it prevents neural tube defects that may occur during pregnancy and also help in enzyme and blood production. Certain foods that should be avoided during pregnancy are raw eggs, unpasteurized milk and cheese, fish with high content of mercury etc besides alcohol and smoking because these foods are known to increase the possibilities of miscarriages.

Submitted by P T on June 15, 2010 at 12:36

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