Pregnant mothers need a lot of nutrients, as early as the first week of pregnancy. Make sure your food is balanced by keeping an eye on the nutrients you need and identifying the type of food and its sources. This is important because the health of the unborn baby depends entirely on your diet. If you are already on a balanced diet, you are definitely excited as there are not many menu changes that need to be made when pregnant.
The Ministry of Health Malaysia through the MyHealth portal provides basic guidelines on the nutrients needed including calcium, iron, vitamin A, complex B, and C. Some websites that focus on maternal and infant health also emphasize the same nutrient requirements as the supplement, Omega-3, folic acid or folic acid and beta-carotene. Some of the recommended foods include:
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese and milk (calcium, Vitamin A, protein)
- Dried beans such as dal, peanut, and kidney beans (calcium, iron, folate)
- Soybean products such as soy water and tofu (calcium, iron)
- Lean meat (iron, vitamin B complex)
- Dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli and cranberry (iron, Vitamin B complex, beta-carotene)
- Colourful fruits and vegetables such as guava, papaya, kiwi, lime, tomato and carrot (vitamin C, beta-carotene)
- Fish and eggs (protein)
- Flaxseed oil (omega-3, fibre, protein, vitamin B)
- Salmon fish (omega-3, protein, vitamin B)
- Bread and cereals of whole grains (folic acid, iron, folate)
Foods that are good to avoid fatigue during pregnancy
- Lean meat
Meat is a high-quality source of protein. Preferably, look for lean meat, and avoid eating processed meats such as burgers or sausages because they are less fresh and tend to lose good nutrition.
- Beans and grains
Sleepiness during pregnancy is a frequent occurrence. If you are at work avoid snacking on unhealthy snacks instead opt for nuts and grains such as almonds, pistachio and walnuts. Look for beans from natural, non-salty and flavorful sources.
These types of foods contain many nutrients that the body needs to function more efficiently such as folate, calcium, fibre, and iron. In addition, walnut bean oil is also rich in omega-3 for the development of the baby’s brain and helps to deal with stress during pregnancy.
- Green leafy vegetables
The benefits of vegetables for pregnant women are undeniable especially green vegetables. Spinach is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K and folate is very important for the body. Vegetables also help regulate the digestive system so that all toxins can be eliminated from the body.
As you know, food for pregnant women should come from a variety of colours. This is to ensure that the baby receives a variety of nutrients as each of the groups provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants specific to the body.
It works to help control heart rate and blood pressure and treat constipation.
Not only dates, raisins, canned fruit, apricots or any other dried fruit is also good for the health of pregnant women. It should only be taken in the recommended amount.
- High-fat milk and foods
During pregnancy, a pregnant lady needs twice the amount of calcium than normal. If there is calcium deficiency, the body tends to feel tired, unhealthy and at risk for anaemia.
For those who are allergic to milk, they can get this calcium source through a variety of other foods such as fish, tofu, cheese, and milk. However, these types of foods have less calcium than milk.
Although plain water has no nutritional value, it does have a very important function in launching the entire body system. In fact, it restores the body’s freshness and ‘suppress’ the hunger that often occurs during pregnancy. During pregnancy, it is advisable to drink at least two litres of plain water a day.
Food to avoid. These include:
- Non-pasteurized dairy products including blue cheese and milk without paste – food poisoning and miscarriage.
- Raw or poorly cooked foods including eggs, meat and fish – food poisoning.
- Large fish such as marlin and shark – affect the growth of the brain and nervous system due to high mercury content.
- Alcoholic beverages – affect the growth of the fetus by blocking oxygen and nutrients.
- Caffeine drinks – Caffeine intake in excess of 200mg is associated with miscarriage and anaemia as it impairs iron absorption.
- Liver – defects due to high Vitamin A content.
Find the best Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in Kuala Lumpur to get acquire more information regarding your pregnancy!