Friday, December 7, 2007

DIET FOR HEALTHY PREGNANCY



Healthy food choices for a pregnant women includes nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. Vegetable oils and foods that contain partially hydrogenated fats are better to avoid.


Essential fatty acids that are classified into omega-3s and omega-6s are much necessary for both mother and child. Pregnancy needs fatty acids, particularly omega-3s like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Some scientific studies proved that low levels of omega-3 fatty acids cause post-partum depression.


Pregnancy depletes folic acid and its deficiency can cause birth defects. Leafy greens, nuts, seeds and beans are rich in folic acid. Extracted oils from seeds such as corn, soybeans, cottonseed, rapeseed and safflower are often converted to partially hydrogenated fats and added to foods. These fats can deplete the body of omega-3 fatty acids. So pregnant women should avoid them.

Below are some important pregnancy food recommendations
Take plenty of complex and unrefined carbohydrates because they contain important B vitamins, trace minerals and fiber that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy
Appropriate quantities of green and yellow leafy vegetables are necessary for the growth of baby and health of the mother
Dairy products contain calcium and help in the development of baby's teeth and bones
Avoid taking excessive amounts of fat during pregnancy. It adds excess pounds, which are harder to lose after birth of your baby
Vitamin C in necessary for healthy pregnancy, bone growth and various metabolic processes. Take berries, citrus fruits, raw broccoli and cabbage as they are rich in Vitamin C
< font color="#0000ff">An ideal pregnancy diet includes 3-4 servings of protein and meat, 2-4 servings of fruit, 6-11 servings of grains, 4-6 servings of dairy products, and 6-8 glasses of water, milk, and juice
Many women have various questions on what types of food are safe to eat during pregnancy. However, it is easy to discuss on what are the foods to be avoided during pregnancy rather discussing on the foods that are safe to eat.

You have to avoid certain types of food during pregnancy, because they may cause harm to the mother and also the baby developing within her. Here is the list of foods to be avoided during pregnancy.
Deli and Processed Sandwich Meats
These meats might get contaminated with Listeria, which is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause miscarriage or even a stillbirth. Though listeria is relatively harmless to many people, it can threaten the life of your unborn baby. Pregnant women are generally more susceptible to listeria due to their lowered immune system. Before you eat deli meats, be sure to cook them until they are steaming hot. It will help kill any bacteria that might be present in the meats.

Raw Meats
Like deli meats, raw meats should also be avoided, because they also carry bacteria that is harmful for both the mother and baby.
Certain Types of Fish
Generally most fish are healthy for a pregnant woman. However, there are certain types of fish that contain high levels of mercury, the element that is harmful for unborn baby's brain. Consuming too much mercury during pregnancy time can result in various developmental problems and also may cause brain damage. The types of fish containing highest levels of mercury are: swordfish, shark, tuna, king mackerel, sea bass and tilefish.
Raw Eggs
Like raw meat, raw eggs also carry bacteria, particularly salmonella. Raw eggs are in a number of products including few forms of Caesar dressing, ice cream and mayonnaise. If you are uncertain about something you are eating contains raw eggs or not, its better avoid it unless you can find out for sure whether it is harmful or not.
Unpasteurized Soft Cheeses
Some imported chesses also may carry life-threatening Listeria, if they are not pasteurized. The common types of cheese that can carry Listeria include - certain forms of Brie, Feta, Camembert, Gorgonzola and Mexican cheeses like queso. However, if these cheeses are pasteurized they should be safe to consume.
Unpasteurized Milk or Juices
Any type unpasteurized milk product or juice has the potential to carry Listeria and other bacteria that are harmful for the mother and the baby during pregnancy.

Apart from the above-mentioned foods, a pregnant woman should also avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Till now the researchers did not find any safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy. Consuming alcohol can cause numerous fetal abnormalities and birth defects as well as developmental problems. Most importantly alcohol consumption should be avoided during breastfeeding, as it can pass through the breast milk.
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