Nutrition is central to maintain a healthy pregnancy. The key components that guide a wholesome lifestyle during pregnancy include intake of a balanced diet and gaining appropriate weight. Moreover, regular exercise and intake of required vitamins and mineral supplements are also key to a healthful pregnancy. Approximately 300 additional calories are required each day to maintain optimal weight. Consumption of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables should constitute the major percentage of these calories while fats and sweets should be consumed in a minimal amount. Numerous symptoms of pregnancy including constipation and nausea can also be reduced through a well-balanced diet. Sufficient intake of fluids especially water as well as juices and soups can yield nutritional benefits (John Hopkin Medicine, 2021).
The ideal foods to consume during pregnancy include vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc. as a source of potassium and vitamin A; and fruits such as bananas, prunes, apricots, oranges, and grapefruit as a source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Intake of dairies such as soymilk, low-fat milk, and yogurt are essential sources of potassium, calcium, and vitamin D and A. Moreover, folic acid and iron are obtained from cereals that are either cooked or ready to consume. Proteins must be consumed in the form of lean meat, seeds and nuts, beans, and fish such as sardines, herring, trout, and salmon (John Muir Health, 2021).
The foods that must be avoided during pregnancy included raw or undercooked eggs, meat, and seafood. Sushi made from raw fish must be avoided although cooked sushi is considered safer. Other foods to avoid during pregnancy include unpasteurized milk and foods prepared from it, refrigerated meat spreads, hotdogs, and refrigerated seafood. All forms of alcohol must be avoided. Intake of caffeine and artificial flavors such as sweeteners also be restricted or consumed only on the advice of the midwife or the healthcare physician (John Hopkin Medicine, 2021).
John Hopkin Medicine. (2021). Nutrition During Pregnancy. Retrieved from John Hopkin Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/nutrition-during-pregnancy
John Muir Health. (2021). Nutrition During Pregnancy. Retrieved from John Muir Health: https://www.johnmuirhealth.com/health-education/health-wellness/pregnancy-breastfeeding/nutritional-needs-during-pregnancy.html