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Nine Months : Well balanced diet in pregnancy

foods in pregnancy

Your baby depends on you for its nourishment.

If you eat well, your baby eats well and if you starve, your baby starves.

If you are not a person with great eating habits, use your pregnancy to inculcate some, the benefits of which will last you all through your lifetime!

What foods should I include in my daily diet?

You must aim to include the recommended servings for the following foods:

* Vegetables & Fruit: 5 servings a day (a glass of juice counts as one serving and frozen vegetables are as good as fresh ones)

* Bread, Cereals, Potatoes: 4-5 servings a day

* Milk or dairy products: minimum 3 servings a day

* Meat, fish or vegetarian alternatives: 2 servings a day

* Fluids: 6-8 glasses in addition to milk (tea and coffee don't count in the daily intake and should be reduced due to their caffeine content)

Which nutrients must my diet contain?

Your diet must contain the following nutrients:

Calories: You need enough calories to meet your energy demands.

Protein: These provide the building blocks for new tissues. Sources include meat, fish, nuts, pulses and dairy foods .

Carbohydrates: It is wise to eat the starchy carbohydrates rather than the sugary ones. Good sources include bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, flour products and cereals

Vitamins: Found in fresh fruit and vegetables.

The following vitamins are essential:

Folic acid to reduce the chances of your baby being born with spina bifida or other neural tube defect

Vitamin B12 found in meat, milk, eggs and yeast extracts like marmite

Vitamin A (necessary for healthy skin)found in eggs, margarine, dark green and yellow vegetables, apricots and mango Excess of vitamin A can be harmful to the baby so you must avoid any vitamin supplements (other than those prescribed by the doctor) and liver containing foods.

Vitamin C(essential for healthy tissues) found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli

Vitamin D which helps the body to absorb calcium is found in margarine, oily fish, cereals and can also be made in your body when you go out in the sun

Minerals: Although a number of minerals(like zinc and magnesium) are required in small amounts, the two most important minerals include:

Iron which is essential for making red blood cells can be found in red meat, tuna fish, spinach, dried apricots etc. Deficiency of iron can cause anaemia. small amounts, the two most important minerals include:

Calcium is required for strong bones and teeth. It can be found in dairy products, sardines, tofu etc.

Essential fatty acids:These cannot be made in the body and are required for the development of the body. Best sources are corn oil, sunflower oil, oily fish (mackerel, salmon etc.)

Fibre:Although not an essential nutrient, if added in the diet it helps to digest the food and reduces constipation. Good sources include cereals, breads, rice, pasta, lentils, peas, fruits etc.

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