Recently, awareness of the importance of nutrition during pregnancy has increased. As soon as expectant mothers learn that they are pregnant, they start to pay more attention to their diet. They are engaged in an intense research into how they need to be fed, both to maintain their own health and to bring a healthy baby to the world. Let’s see what the golden rules for healthy nutrition during pregnancy are… Drink plenty of water so that your baby’s living space is comfortable.
The water you drink during pregnancy affects the volume of amniotic fluid your baby sustains. Insufficiency in this fluid adversely affects the development of the lungs, decreases the baby’s ability to move and causes structural disorders. For this reason, you should consume 2-2.5 liters of water a day.
For your baby’s growth: Protein
Sufficient protein must be consumed to ensure the growth and development of the baby. You can meet your protein needs by consuming 3-4 servings of milk, yoghurt, cheese and 120-150 grams of red meat, chicken or fish a day. In addition, consume the egg, which is the best quality protein source after breast milk, every day and do not miss fish twice a week for the healthy eye and brain development of your baby.
The need for iron doubles!
During pregnancy, the need for iron almost doubles, in addition to a diet rich in iron, you should use iron supplements under the supervision of your physician. Red meat, fish and eggs are foods rich in iron. Dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and dried fruits also contain iron, but the absorption of vegetable-derived iron is low. For this reason, you should add vitamin C sources that increase iron absorption while consuming these foods. Like adding lots of lemon salad with legumes, eating almonds with oranges, squeezing lemon over spinach.
Calcium and vitamin D for strong bones
Adequate calcium intake during pregnancy is necessary for the development of the baby’s skeletal structure and for the protection of the mother’s bone mass. You can meet your calcium needs by consuming 3 portions of milk and dairy products a day. Vitamin D enables dietary calcium to be absorbed from the intestines, so adequate vitamin D intake is also essential.
The best source of vitamin D is the sun; Although oily fish such as egg yolk, tuna and salmon are also sources of vitamin D, vitamin D deficiencies are seen when sunlight cannot be used in sufficient amount, in this case, supplementation should be done under the supervision of a physician.
To prevent neural tube defects: Folic acid
During pregnancy, the need for folic acid increases significantly and as a result of its insufficiency, low birth weight and neural tube defects can be seen in the baby. Folic acid supplementation should be started at least 3 months before pregnancy, under the control of a physician. In addition, it should be supported by the consumption of foods rich in folic acid such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, eggs, avocados, beets, and hazelnuts.
Use iodized salt!
Iodine deficiency increases the risk of miscarriage, infant deaths, birth defects, and neurological disorders. For this reason, it is very important to evaluate the iodine status and to support it with the control of a physician if there is a deficiency. If there is no deficiency, the use of “iodized salt” and the consumption of iodine-containing foods such as milk, eggs, strawberries and potatoes may be sufficient.
Include turkey meat in your diet.
Zinc has an important role in the baby’s cell growth, brain development, and the production of body proteins. Therefore, you should add zinc-rich turkey meat, nuts, dairy products and eggs to your diet.
A common problem during pregnancy: Constipation
Increased progesterone levels during pregnancy can cause constipation. Fiber increases bowel movements and prevents constipation. By consuming whole grain bread or bulgur and legumes twice a week, you can increase your fiber intake and obtain carbohydrates, which are the main nutritional elements of fetal growth, from healthy sources.
Stay away from these foods!
Uncooked – raw eggs: Bacteria called salmonella found in undercooked eggs can cause intestinal infections and food poisoning.
Unpasteurized milk and dairy products: The consumption of milk and dairy products is very important for adequate calcium intake during pregnancy, but products such as unpasteurized milk and cheese may cause infections.
Uncooked-raw meat and meat products: Undercooked meats pose a risk of toxoplasma so the meats should be cooked until they are no longer pink. Delicatessen products such as salami, sausage and bacon should not be consumed during this period.
Sakatatlar: Offal contains high amounts of vitamin A and high vitamin A consumption is not recommended during this period.
Shellfish: It should not be preferred due to its bacteria and heavy mercury content.
Canned fish: The cans in which canned products are stored contain BPA, which negatively affects fetal endocrine activity, and at the same time, the bacterial load may be high due to the long shelf life of these products.
Herbal teas and excess coffee: Attention should be paid to these foods during this period, as excessive amounts of caffeine will adversely affect the development of the baby and some plants may pose a risk of miscarriage.
Sweetener: It is not recommended because its reliability has not been proven.
Alcohol: Alcohol has strong teratogenic effects and can therefore cause miscarriage, developmental delay in the baby and mental retardation.