Food in pregnancy: what can you eat?

Waiting for your baby’s arrival, you have been told that you should eat for two and satisfy your cravings. How is the diet during pregnancy? Do you have to eat food without restriction?

At this stage, you must be very careful with food and achieve a balance in which you obtain the necessary nutrients for both you and your little one without stopping eating, and do not overdo it with products with a high salt content sugar.

It is essential that you have a healthy and adequate diet according to your age, weight, and specific characteristics, indicates the Ministry of Health.

Because this helps prevent anemia, infections, poor healing in the mother, and premature or low birth weight emphasizes the Ministry.

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Food to prevent diseases

A study published in the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria from Spain points out that a balanced diet in the first thousand days of life, which is counted from the moment of conception until the child’s first two years, is key to health throughout life; as well as for the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

The nutritionist Rosa Ávila, a specialist in maternal and child nutrition, highlights the importance of having control over food during pregnancy, together with the support of a professional, to prevent diseases such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia; so you must follow a balanced diet in which all food groups are present.

“The most important recommendation is that pregnant women eat as balanced a diet as possible; I’m not talking about following a strict or special diet. The pregnant woman can eat from all the food groups, but her diet must be low in salt, fats, and sugars to preserve the good state of health reflected in the baby”.

She explains that it is not contraindicated for the future mother to fulfill a whim, “As long as she does not have a health condition that limits her, such as the beginning of preeclampsia or gestational diabetes; in that case, you have to look for options that can be adapted to the woman’s condition”.

She adds that the gynecologist should prescribe a special multivitamin for pregnancy, complementing a balanced diet.

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A balanced diet during pregnancy reduces the risk of diseases. Photo: Pixabay
A balanced diet during pregnancy reduces the risk of diseases. Photo: Pixabay

Foods you should eat

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) recommends that pregnant women include these foods in their diet:

  • Seasonal fruits and vegetables: Have between 4 and 5 servings per day, as they provide vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
  • Carbohydrates: Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, and flour that, in addition to being fortified with folic acid and iron, are essential nutrients.
  • Animal products: Beef, poultry, and fish are good sources of B vitamins, protein, iron, and zinc, as well as fats and oils that are vital for the child’s brain development.
  • Fiber: Orange (with bagasse), tangerine, pineapple, figs, prunes, tamarind, wheat germ, soybeans, oats, barley, green salads. This will reduce constipation.
  • Water: Drink 2 to 3 liters daily.
  • Have five meals a day: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. Include all food groups in each of the meals.
  • Tea or coffee: You can have a cup, but not overdo it.
  • Pasteurized cheeses low in fat and salt: Cottage, panela, and fresh cheese will prevent or reduce stomach inflammation.
  • Dairy: Milk and yogurt, in addition to the cheeses mentioned, are a source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus.
In pregnancy, you should have all food groups. Photo: Pixabay
In pregnancy, you should have all food groups. Photo: Pixabay

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Products to avoid

  • Salt: Be careful with sausages, cheeses, canned goods, jerky, ketchup, mineral water, powdered consommé, olives, and crackers.
  • Raw or undercooked foods: Avoid dishes like sushi, beef tartare, ceviche, raw salmon, and medium-rare meat; you could get an infection if they were not appropriately prepared.
  • Spices and condiments: With this, you will reduce heartburn.
JFoods high in salt, such as sausages, affect your health. Photo: Pixabay
Foods high in salt, such as sausages, affect your health. Photo: Pixabay

Do not forget to consult a specialist to advise you on your diet. A balanced diet will bring benefits to you and your baby.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version: Here