Importance of diet during pregnancy
Now is the ideal time to reconsider one’s diet. A diet that is balanced, versatile and rich in nutrients can help to create the best conditions for the healthy development of your baby.
Pregnancy is special –even when it comes to nutrition. You now not only eat for yourself but for your baby as well, so that it can develop healthily. The mother’s diet placed a good foundation for the child’s long-term health, even in the womb.
Your body allocates very clear priorities: the baby comes first, followed by you! It is important to obtain ideal nutrition during your pregnancy as all the essential nutrients will be supplied to your baby and your own nutritional reserves are sparing.
Not twice the calories, but twice the nutrient!
Nutrient density is the ratio of nutrients in relation to the calorie content.
Many women would expect their demand for energy (calorie) increases tremendously during pregnancy. In fact, your daily increased demand is only about 250 calories. This corresponds to a bowl of cereal with milk or a small tub of yoghurt and a small orange or a cheese sandwich with an apple – not much more than usual.
During pregnancy, you will have increased demands for important micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements, particularly folic acid, iron, iodine and calcium. Although micronutrients are present only in small quantities in food, they are responsible for all the assembly, dismantling and reconstruction processes in the body. Therefore, your food preference is very important, include nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, fish and lean meat.
The latest scientific findings indicate that even during the prenatal period, i.e. in the womb, the diet have a significance and influence the later development of the child. The weight and diet of pregnant women are important, not just for the pregnancy and birth process but for the impact of long-term health. The normal weight gain for healthy women is between an approximate of 10 to 16 kg. However, every pregnancy is different and the weight gain can vary between each individual.
The golden rule: Balanced and versatile
Calcium is important for the formation of a child’s skeleton. Studies have shown more calcium should be included as part of the diet to meet the demands during pregnancy. It is now advisable to consumer low-fat milk or dairy products to meet these demands since the calcium for the baby will mainly be from the mother’s bones. Calcium-rich mineral water may contribute to >150mg calcium/litre.
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