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Why Eating Right is so Important

Why Eating Right is so Important

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When you're pregnant, it's essential that you're getting the right vitamins and nutrients for you and your baby. Your baby's growth and development depends on your eating habits, and a poor diet can mean serious consequences for your baby.

You'll need about 300 extra calories per day when you're pregnant, and these should come from healthy foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains are a great way to get the nutritional foods you need for your pregnancy.

Protein is a necessary component of cell growth and development, so a diet rich in lean meats and fish will ensure you get the amount you and your baby need. Peanut butter, nuts and eggs are also high in protein. If you are vegetarian, you must get your protein from other sources such as beans and tofu.

Folic acid is imperative for the healthy development of your fetus. It can prevent spina bifida, which occurs when the spinal column doesn't fuse properly. Even if you aren't yet pregnant, you should be taking a supplement with 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. You can find folic acid naturally in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

Calcium is needed by your baby for bone development, but as a mother you need it too, to prevent bone loss during pregnancy. Eat lots of dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, and drink milk every day.

One of the other important things your body needs during pregnancy is iron. Not only does the proper amount of iron keep you from becoming anemic, it also helps carry oxygen to your blood, and the blood of your baby. Iron is mostly found in lean red meats, and whole grain cereals and breads.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring! During your pregnancy, find foods that are easy on your stomach, but also delicious. Mix fruit salad with fortified granola and low fat yogurt for a quick treat on the go, or grill up some lean meat for a summer barbecue. Adding a serving of salad or stir fry is an easy way to fulfill daily nutritional requirements.

You can usually get most of your daily requirements from food, but as an expectant mother you should also be taking a prenatal vitamin for optimal health. Consult your doctor or midwife to discuss the best supplement for your pregnancy.

You might be aware of all the things you should eat while pregnant, but did you know that there are certain things you must avoid? Soft, unpasteurized cheeses like Brie or feta can cause infant death or miscarriage, and shellfish and certain seafood can be poisonous to pregnant women.

During your pregnancy, you'll need even more nutritional foods than you did before. If you are increasingly hungry, you shouldn't just fill the void with starchy, fatty foods to satisfy your cravings. You need to make sure you are getting a variety of healthy foods to give your baby the best chance possible.


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