Although you may already consider yourself healthy and fit, pregnancy encourages many women to take a good look at their diet and food choices. Because your baby depends on you for all his needs, including his nutrition, you may want to make some changes to your diet. Eating healthy, natural foods can increase your physical condition while meeting your baby’s nutritional needs. Create a positive environment for your baby’s first nine months of life by choosing wholesome foods.
Clean out your freezer and refrigerator. According to the Mayo Clinic, certain foods can contain substances that pregnant women should try to avoid. Get rid of any fish products that may contain high levels of mercury, such as tilefish, shark, king mackerel and swordfish. Limit your intake of shrimp, salmon, cod, canned light tuna and catfish to two servings each week during your pregnancy. Avoid eating more than 6 oz. tuna steak and albacore tuna per week. Keep your fish and seafood healthy by cooking it and storing it properly.
Reduce the amount of caffeine you consume each day. This substance may cross the placenta, affecting your baby’s heart rate and birth weight. The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting your caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day. In addition to reducing your consumption of coffee, read the labels to determine the amount of caffeine in other food sources, such as chocolate, tea and soda pop.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Mayo Clinic advises pregnant women to eat four or five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Look for leafy, green vegetables that contain folate, iron and vitamin A. Choose fruits, like oranges, apples, apricots and pineapples, to boost your intake of fiber and vitamins.
Look for organic foods when you go shopping. According to the University of Wisconsin, organic foods do not contain synthetic additives, such as artificial colorings and preservatives. Look for foods with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification. Foods that contain less than 70 percent of organic ingredients cannot display this seal.
Relax at the end of the day with a glass of ice water or skim milk instead of your usual cocktail or glass of wine. Although a single drink may not harm your baby’s development, the Mayo Clinic advises you to avoid alcohol while you are pregnant. Regular alcohol consumption during pregnancy may lead to birth defects and complications.
- If you don’t have access to organic produce, make sure you wash and rinse all your raw fruits and vegetables before consuming them. Rinsing can help remove surface chemicals, such as pesticides, that may exist on fresh produce.
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