Eating well is essential for the proper functioning of the body at all stages of life.
Nutrition becomes even more important when not just one organism but two need nutrients to maintain health.
One of the great transformations in a woman’s life is the moment of pregnancy. The changes are of a social, psychological and, fundamentally, physiological nature.
What is the relationship between nutrition and pregnancy? Do you know the importance of food and which foods are indicated for this period?
Gestational health and nutrition:
Health is characterized by the balance between the individual and their context. It relates structurally and functionally to the way of life, style, culture and stage of development.
During pregnancy, not only must the woman’s health be in focus, but so must her relationship with the fetus that is being created.
Thus health and nutrition have a fundamental connection which enables a healthy pregnancy to provide the best conditions for the baby’s development.
Eating well is not about overeating or having dietary restrictions.
On the contrary, it is about eating in an appropriate way to the needs and singularities of the organism.
Nutrients Considered Essential Throughout the Pregnancy:
Increased Protein intake
Calcium 1000 – 1200mg/Day
Vit A – is better to take from food than by supplementation due to higher risk of toxicity since it is fat soluble and its excess is not easily expelled.
Vit B – B6 may prevent morning sickness. – B12 may prevent anemia
Vit C – to ensure the fetus’ brain health
Vit D – Expose wrist area for optimal absorption of Sun for production of Vit D.
Folate – 400mcg
Iron 45mg/day, increased need for iron –
ZINC: 25-30mg/day, increase the success rate of natural birth –
IODINE: 200mcg/day, prevent thyoid-related miscarriage
Vitamin F – Essential Fatty Acids
Let’s have a closer look on each trimester of the gestation
1st trimester of pregnancy
During this period it is essential to consume foods that are a source of vitamin B9 (folic acid). This vitamin helps to prevent abnormalities in the formation of the neural tube.
It is recommended that Folic Acid supplement is taken as MethylFolate
Food Sources: any leaf green vegetables, stemmed broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, parsnip, avocado, spirulina, cooked grains.
The first trimester does not require any extra calories.
2nd trimester of pregnancy
In this period, the main components that should be consumed by pregnant women are:
Vitamin C: important for the production of collagen, present in the skin, blood vessels, bone structure and cartilage. In addition, it assists in the absorption of iron, strengthening the immune system.
Magnesium: acts in the constitution and growth of tissues.
Vitamin B6: acts to promote normal growth and healthy weight gain of the fetus. It also prevents postpartum depression.
Iron: essential for the production of red blood cells (hemoglobin).
During the second trimester, an additional 340 calories a day are recommended.
3rd trimester of pregnancy
Calcium: plays an essential role in fetal bone formation. In addition, it helps women to produce milk after childbirth. Calcium is involved in blood clotting and blood pressure, heart rate and muscle movements.
For the third trimester, the recommendation is 450 calories more a day
Spinach, kale and broccoli are excellent sources of folic acid.
Soy milk, soya, watercress, sardines and beans: they are also great sources of calcium.
Eggs, lean meat and grains: these foods are important because they provide the body with protein. Proteins work together with the production of cells and tissues.
Grains, rice, cereals, fruits: here we can find the sources of carbohydrates. Nutritionally, they are sources of energy.
Lentils, chestnuts, beans, liver: these are important sources of iron.
Egg yolk, liver, cod liver oil, fish – for Vit D
Vegetables and fruits are essential for fiber intake – preventing constipation during pregnancy
Seeds, nuts, fish, cold pressed vegetable oil for Vitamin F
Water: last, but fundamental for the maintenance of life. Water keeps us hydrated, helps reduce swelling, which is very common in pregnancy, and also during breastfeeding.
Now you know a little more about nutrition for pregnant women, seek out the best care for you.