Nutrition and Pregnancy: The Importance of a Good Diet

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that 300 extra calories should be consumed by pregnant women to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

The extra caloric intake should be in the form of healthy vitamin rich foods such as proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

Healthy foods will aid in lessening certain symptoms that are present in pregnancy, such as, morning sickness and constipation.

While weight gain is expected during pregnancy, it should be kept to a healthy level. Too much excess weight can cause health issues such as gestational diabetes and can make delivery difficult.

One way to follow a good diet is to consult the Food Guide Pyramid, which will give you a basis to build your diet around. Vitamin and mineral supplements are also important while pregnant as the body depletes these at a much more rapid pace than while not pregnant.

Sufficient fluid intake is also essential for pregnant women. Six to eight glasses of water along with any other fluids such as milk, juice or broths should be enough to sustain a woman on a daily basis.

Caffeine and artificial sweeteners are diuretics and should be taken in moderation. Consulting with your physician will give you a better idea as to the guidelines for these liquids. Alcohol should be avoided when pregnant.

A diet rich in berries, nuts, beans, some green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits will help in obtaining the amount of folic acid a woman needs for a healthy pregnancy. Folic acid can aid in the reduction of birth defects such as spinal bifida.

There are supplements that can be taken to supply you with the 400 micrograms of folic acid that is needed daily, but a healthy diet is always the best form to receive minerals such as this.

Folic acid is most essential in the first 28 days that a woman is pregnant. Since this is the case, it is highly important that women of child bearing age should begin a regimen which will ensure she is getting the proper amount of folic acid before conception.

Nearly all doctors will prescribe a vitamin and mineral supplement while a woman is pregnant and perhaps for a while after delivery, but again, the best way to obtain the dietary nutrition level is to do it with a healthy and balanced diet