As soon as a woman announces she is pregnant, family and friends always have good tips ready. Most of all, pregnant women certainly hear that they can rejoice because they can now eat for two. Calorie requirements increase almost not in the first months and around 200 kilocalories in late pregnancy. So, the motto is more like, “Eat better instead of eating for two!” In this article you will learn how to eat healthy during pregnancy and thus provide all the essential vitamins and minerals for themselves and the baby.
A good supply of folate or folic acid is essential for pregnant women. The vitamin is primarily involved in the division and formation of new cells. Therefore, women in pregnancy need an 83 percent higher amount. Pregnant women should consume about 550 micrograms daily; those who are breastfeeding need about 450 micrograms.
A balanced diet with foods rich in folic acids, such as vegetables, legumes and whole grains, is just as important as an additional intake of folic acid as a supplement in the first months. Taking folic acid tablets supplements the intake from food. It does not replace it.
Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are a super source of folic acid. For example, 150 grams of cooked leaf spinach provide 158 micrograms of folate. Peas, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, beet, savoy cabbage, tomatoes, avocado and other vegetables also contain considerable amounts folate.
Vitamin B complex contains eight vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid). Vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Pantothenic acid supports mental performance. Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin play a central role in energy metabolism. Vitamin B1, B3, B6, B12, biotin and folic acid are essential for nerves and the psyche. Vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid support normal homocysteine metabolism. Thiamine contributes to normal heart function.
Vitamin B12 rich foods:
- Meat & Offal
- Sea buckthorn berries
As you can see, if you like to eat cheese, it is enough to eat two slices of Cheddar and a small piece of Camembert. If you eat meat several times a week and fish regularly, this will fill up your vitamin B12 stores also.
The iron requirement increases from 15 mg/day to 30 mg/day during pregnancy. Iron contributes to the formation of hemoglobin and normal oxygen transport in the body; it is also important for cell division, cognitive function, and energy metabolism. You can find iron in meat, poultry, and plant-based foods as well as in supplements.
- Dark, leafy greens, such as spinach, collard greens, and kale
- Dried fruit, including apricots, prunes, raisins, and figs
- Diced potatoes
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Meat, particularly red meat, and liver
Of course, in pregnancy many other vitamins and minerals are essential. You should also pay attention to your calcium intake. Be sparing with fats and with oils, as well as with sweets, snacks and sugary drinks. Eat and drink consciously, varied, and balanced.