Pregnancy diet is extremely significant for a baby’s growth and development. Thus, the question “What to eat during early pregnancy?” bothers every mom. It turns out that healthy food for pregnancy is very diverse and certainly isn’t limited to vegetables and lean meat.
It is strongly recommended to leave out junk food from the list of foods to eat during pregnancy in Nigeria. However, some rules are less obvious. Let’s dig deeper and find out more food for pregnant women – what is useful and what should be avoided.
What to eat during pregnancy: basic rules
- Don’t starve. Keep snacks handy and eat some between main meals. Try not to get hungry but also avoid overeating.
- Diversify your menu. Combine foods from different groups – carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
- Fresh and juice. If you don’t have a juice squeezer, get one.
- Soups. Both meat and vegetable broth benefit digestion and are rich in nutrition.
- Dairy products. They also benefit digestion and are rich in calcium. Choose low-fat products.
- Meat. Give preference to chicken (steamed meat without skins) over sausages.
- Fish. Fish and seafood are one of the main sources of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains phosphorus, which is important for bone tissues.
- Eggs. Three to four hard-boiled eggs or an omelet per week will provide your organism with enough protein.
- Vegetable oil. Oils are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are necessary for cellular membrane building. Just season salads with olive oil.
- Limit sugar and salt. Minimize the number of foods that tend to accumulate liquid in the organism. Replace it with spices and herbs. Pick low-sugar jams and jellies. Replace buns and chocolate with fruits and nuts.
- Coffee is allowed. You don’t have to give up coffee, just don’t drink too much and don’t make it too strong.
- Foods rich in iron. Eggs, fish, meat, dried fruits, wholegrain cereals, and lettuce help to maintain the level of hemoglobin in the blood.
- Vitamin C. Citrus, cabbage, bell pepper, greens, and black currants help iron to digest easily.
Fruits for pregnant
Doctors recommend to include local fruits to your daily diet. The list of fruits good for pregnancy include apples, strawberries, peaches, pears, raspberries, and grapes. It is better to forget about pineapples, mango, and papaya during the following nine months.
Foods to eat during pregnancy week by week
Doctors admit that specific products are more effective on certain stages of pregnancy. Thus, foods to eat when pregnant will vary throughout this period of woman’s life. Below you will find a variant of Nigerian food time table for pregnancy.
The first 14 days are the most responsible. In order to keep you and the baby safe, you need to abandon fast foods, like hot dogs and french fries, and replace them with good food for pregnant women – cereal salads, yogurts, and dairy products.
Choosing the right foods to eat during pregnancy first trimester will help you to avoid toxicosis. Forget about sweets, fried foods, and products with a high amount of fat.
Starting from the third week, add more foods rich in calcium to your diet. Eat fresh fruits and drink juices. Don’t forget about greens, broccoli, and dairy products. Eggs, nuts, and oatmeals will fulfill the daily norm of manganese and zinc.
The fourth week is the time to give up bad habits completely. If you are a coffee lover and a heavy smoker, get ready to bring a difference to your life. The female body can easily adapt to a new state and can tolerate refusal from caffeine and nicotine during this period.
Toxicosis gets to its worst point during the fifth week. Eggs, beans, nuts, carrots, and soy become the best food for pregnant women. Also, exclude all foods you don’t like from the daily diet to reduce nausea.
During a period from the sixth to the tenth week, listen to your gastronomic desires. Drink plenty of fluids, at least 1 liter per day. Reduce to the minimum such products as cabbage, fried food, and sugar.
Weeks 11 and 12 are the time to discover unusual eating habits and preferences. If you really want something unusual, don’t restrain yourself from it. After all, it is the baby who keeps sending you signals that they need something.
Weeks 13-16 is the time when the baby’s skeleton is completely formed. Therefore, your body needs some supplements. Have a glass of milk and eat a couple of apples every day. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeals and end it with a yogurt.
Enrich your diet with Vitamin A from week 17 to week 24. This is the time when the baby’s vision and hearing develops. Cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers will benefit a lot.
You can feel some stomach pressure from week 24 to week 28 because the uterus increases its size. To reduce discomfort, try not to eat fatty and spicy foods for a while. And don’t drink sodas during this time.
Starting from the 29th week and up to the 34th, the baby’s body requires iron, fatty acids, calcium, because its brain develops intensively. Therefore, eggs, dairy products, broccoli, nuts, redfish, and yogurt should become the core of your diet, while the pastry should be excluded.
Starting from the 35th week and up until the birth, your body needs to be well supported and prepared for the labor. The organism requires much energy, which can be obtained from stewed and raw vegetables.
Remember that the best foods to eat during pregnancy are those that come from reliable sources and contain the least harmful food supplements possible. Of course, the majority experience cravings for junk food at a certain period, but try to find a healthy alternative.
Every woman becomes responsible for the new life of a little creature, who is much more tender than any of adults or even newborns are. Remember that altering eating habits at least for a while is inevitable and face this change with pleasure.