Most women know how important a balanced diet during pregnancy is. Because of most nutrients is much more than needed. A good supply is necessary, however, even if the women do not suspect anything of the pregnancy. Eg oocyte or embryo need a lot of folic acid and iodine in the first time. Unfortunately, these, like iron and calcium, are among the nutrients many young women do not eat enough before they are pregnant.
The important four
- Folic acid is indispensable for cell division and growth. Sufficient intake reduces the risk of neural tube defects.
- Iodine promotes division and growth of cells. Deficiency can interfere with mental and physical development and cause the infant to come to the world with a goiter.
- Iron is an important component of the blood pigment. In the last 6 to 3 months, when the child grows particularly fast, the need is highest.
- Calcium is building block for bones and teeth. If the mother does not take enough of it, the amount the child needs is provided from the mother's bones.
In relation to vitamins and minerals, only little more calories are needed. The energy requirement increases by about 250 kcal per day. For example, a cheese bread provides so much calories. So that the expectant mother is well supplied with all nutrients, but does not increase more than necessary in weight, a targeted food selection is necessary.
Recommendations for a healthy diet
They are eating for two now. But that does not mean twice. First and foremost, more vitamins, minerals and protein are needed. The rules for food selection are simple:
- Vegetables and fruits provide plenty of folic acid, among other things. Enjoy at least five servings a day, preferably with each meal. A lot of folic acid is also found in wheat germ and soybeans.
- If you prefer bread, rice and pasta, preferably the whole grain variant. Supplement daily with low-fat milk and low-fat dairy products. Fish, lean meat, lean sausage and egg should be moderately enjoyed. Use oil and grease sparingly.
- Sea fish contains a lot of iodine. Two servings per week are recommended. Also, use iodine salt and prefer foods made with iodised salt.
- From meat, poultry and sausage you take up iron very well. But small amounts of these foods are enough. Because wholemeal bread and cereals, legumes and iron-rich vegetables such as salsify, spinach and peas also contribute to a good supply of iron. Combine them with vitamin C rich foods like orange juice. This improves iron absorption.
- Low-fat milk and dairy products are the best suppliers of calcium. Calcium-rich vegetables such as broccoli, legumes, seeds and nuts can be added. In addition, drink the best calcium-rich mineral water.
- Variety is needed on the menu. But you should do without some foods. Raw milk, soft cheese from raw milk or raw meat and raw fish may contain pathogens that can not be lethal to the mother but to the unborn child. Also liver should not be eaten at least in the first third of pregnancy.
A balanced diet can provide all the nutrients the expectant mother needs for herself and her child. But sometimes a targeted additional intake is necessary. Do not take any dietary supplements before or during pregnancy. Ask your doctor.
Source: German Nutrition Society