Creating a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

Poor nutritional habits not only affect you, they affect your unborn baby too. Avoiding junk food and getting plenty of nutrients in your system will help you withstand the toll pregnancy takes on your body while supporting the life inside of you. Here are some things to remember when planning a healthy diet during pregnancy.

Eat More Organic Vegetables When You’re Pregnant

Vegetables contain a variety of nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. For instance, broccoli contains the calcium that’s essential for strong bones; butternut squash is rich in the vitamin A that helps neutralize free radicals in the body; and brussel sprouts have vitamin C to help support the immune system.

Your body is under enough stress trying to support an extra life. Why burden it further by ingesting pesticides and herbicides from industrially grown produce? The synthetic chemicals industrial farmers use to grow their veggies not only affect you, they can cross the placenta and put your baby’s health at risk as well.

Reduce the likelihood of toxic chemicals entering your unborn baby’s body by eating organic vegetables. Organic farmers use natural methods to manage pests and diseases, so their produce is not slathered with man-made chemicals. Organic farmers also use natural fertilizers as opposed to the sewer-sludge some industrial growers use.

While it is ideal to buy all of your vegetables organic, it is not always possible. If you are on a shoestring budget and have to pick-and-choose which vegetables to purchase organic, concentrate on those that have thin skin. These vegetables contain the highest levels of pesticide residue.

Some examples of veggies with thin skin include bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and celery. Produce with thick skin tends to resist penetration from synthetic chemicals. These foods can be washed and scrubbed with a clean brush, and then peeled to remove as much chemical residue as possible.

Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet During Pregnancy

Your cells, brain and organs are made up of fat, which is why your body needs it to stay healthy. The problem with fat arises when most of your dietary intake comes from trans-fatty acids. Trans-fats are common in fried foods, margarines, store-bought baked goods and shortenings.

Trans-fats raise bad cholesterol levels and lowers good cholesterol. Trans-fatty acids can also increase your risk of cardiac arrest and strokes. This type of fat takes such a toll on your health that some cities have banned the use of it in restaurants. Also, food manufacturers are required by law to clearly label products that contain trans-fats.

Most of the fat in your diet should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources. Foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats include walnuts, sunflower seeds, salmon and trout. Foods that contain monounsaturated fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Avoid Processed Foods During Pregnancy

Processed foods are in your face every time you go to a grocery store, or visit a restaurant. These foods, whether they are frozen, boxed, canned or dried are bad for both you and your unborn baby’s health.

Processed foods contain sugar, salt, hydrogenated vegetable oils, preservatives and a laundry list of chemical additives that can contribute to cancer, heart attacks, strokes, weight gain, diabetes and high cholesterol.

The nutrients in processed foods are depleted during the manufacturing process, so your body doesn’t gain any benefits when you eat them. Instead, you put unnecessary stress on your liver because it has to filter out the junk that gets into your system.

In addition to eating organic vegetables, eliminating processed foods and adding healthy fats to your diet, drink plenty of water to help you stay hydrated. If you have trouble creating a healthy diet plan, enlist the help of a pregnancy nutritionist.

Proper nutrition is the key to a healthy pregnancy. Learn to follow a healthy diet during pregnancy at

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