Pregnancy Nutrition Tips | Healthy Diet

Pregnancy Nutrition Tips

Spatone has teamed up with Healthcare Practitioner, Maggie Evans, who has shared her tips for a healthy pregnancy.

Healthy Diet

By Healthy Diet

Pregnancy Nutrition Tips

From cravings and portion sizes to minerals and vitamins, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should and shouldn’t be eating while pregnant. Eating healthy and making sure you are getting the right nutrients is essential during pregnancy, as it has an important effect on the development of the baby’s brain, particularly in the last three months of pregnancy. By providing your body with all of its necessary nutrients, you’ll stay fit and healthy and your baby will be nurtured in the best way possible. This is why now is the perfect time to start thinking about your diet.

 

Eating for Two?

It’s only in the last five months or so that you need to up your calorie intake and even then, all you need is an extra 300 calories per day (which is the equivalent of a slice of toast and a banana). What matters is quality – so if a mother’s diet is lacking essential nutrients, then her baby will be too.

 

Food Cravings

During pregnancy, you need all the right nutrients in the correct proportion to stay healthy and help your baby to grow. While it’s always important to have a balanced diet, especially during pregnancy, cravings can be a great way for your body to intrinsically tell you what it is needing and what it might be lacking.

Are you craving:

  • Apples? You may need calciummagnesiumphosphorus or potassium
  • Melson? You may need potassium and vitamin A
  • Cheese? You may need calciumphosphorous or aluminium
  • Eggs? You may need proteinsulphuramino acidsselenium
  • Milk? You may need tryptophanleucine or lysine
  • Olives or pickles? You may need sodium
  • Peanut butter or nuts? You may need B-vitaminsprotein or fat

 

Top Nutrients for Pregnancy

  • Iron:Vital to physical growth and brain development as it helps produce the blood required to supply nutrition to the placenta. This demand is especially heavy in the last three months of pregnancy. Some women may require a supplement such as Spatone, a natural liquid iron supplement
    • Where to find it:Meat, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, pulses, dried fruit, Spatone. The iron content of food and supplements is more easily absorbed if taken with vitamin C – orange juice is ideal
  • Zinc: Supports the immune system which is important for hormone balance and building healthy tissue and cells. It is also vital in helping to prevent soft tissue abnormalities such as spina bifida
    • Where to find it:Meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seafood, seeds (particularly pumpkin seeds) and wholegrains
  • Calcium: Helps build healthy bones, joints and muscle
    • Where to find it:Dark green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds, eggs, milk and soya products
  • BVitamins: Vital to foetus’ developing brain and nervous system. Folic acid helps to prevent soft tissue abnormalities and is recommended prior to conceiving and up to three months pregnant
    • Where to find it: Wholegrains, eggs, meat, fish, lentils, nuts, seeds and yeast extract

 

Pregnancy Discomforts

Morning Sickness

This can take the excitement out of pregnancy, however it does tend to stop after the first three months. You may find the following foods help to combat the nausea:

  • Anything with ginger in, including ginger biscuits and ginger beer
  • Fizzy drinks, especially lemonade
  • Dry crackers

Heartburn

This may become a problem in the later stages of pregnancy. Try drinking some peppermint tea to aid digestion. It’s also a good idea to give yourself at least two hours to digest your evening meal before you go to bed.

Constipation

This can be caused by several things during pregnancy: morning sickness leading to dehydration; cravings for low fibre/high sugar foods and also iron tablets.

Top tip! Soak a handful of prunes in warm water over night. In the morning you can drink the remaining prune juice, then add the softened prunes to some natural yoghurt and top with seeds (linseeds are especially effective for constipation)

 

Nutritious Meal Suggestions

Breakfast

  • Poached egg, two reduced-fat sausages, baked beans, grilled tomato, wholemeal toast (vitamin C in tomato is great for helping iron absorption)
  • Fortified wholegrain breakfast cereal with semi-skimmed milk (good source of zinc, calcium and fibre)

Lunch/Dinner

  • Chicken salad: grilled lean chicken, tomatoes, raw carrot, watercress (protein, vit C and vit B)
  • Pitta bread with hummus, red pepper and celery (fibre, vit C and protein)
  • Sardines on wholemeal toast (omega 3 oils and fibre)

Snacks

  • Small bar of dark chocolate (iron)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, iron, Zinc, Calcium and B Vitamins)
  • A handful of dried fruit and nuts (iron)

Top Tip! Try to have a glass of orange juice with these meals to help with the absorption of iron

 

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