Why Is It Important To Maintain a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women who don’t eat enough during early pregnancy may be jeopardizing their baby’s brain development. In a 2011 study, a team of researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center compared the diets of two groups of baboon mothers. One group was fed as much as they felt they needed during the first half of their pregnancy while the other group was given 30 percent less than the first group, which was equivalent to how much many pregnant women in this country eat.
The researchers found that the babies of the pregnant women who ate less had impaired development of cell-to-cell connections and decreased amounts of growth factors in their brains as compared to the babies born to the mothers who ate as much as they felt they needed.
What Are Some Pregnancy Super Foods?
Eggs are an important product that should be included in your diet. They are an inexpensive source of high quality protein, fats and minerals including zinc and selenium. Zinc is necessary to promote baby’s overall growth and development and maintaining a proper selenium level decreases the risk for pre-eclampsia. Eggs are a great source of phospholipids. These molecules, which are found in all cell membranes, help in the development of cell-to-cell connections in the brain.
Milk is another product that is one of the foods to eat during pregnancy. It contains calcium and iron, which are important for baby’s growth and development. Milk also contains lactose, which contains a simple sugar called galactose that aids in the development of the brain and nervous system.
Should a Pregnant Woman Eat Seafood?
There are certain types of seafood that are pregnancy super foods. Farm raised trout, shrimp, herring, mackerel and wild salmon contain DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Since DHA is not manufactured by the human body, it can only be obtained through diet. These types of seafood also have the lowest mercury levels. Pregnant women should avoid consuming high levels of mercury because it can hinder brain development.
What Vegetables Should You Eat During Your Pregnancy?
Cruciferous vegetables are certainly a pregnancy super food. These are vegetables that are seasonal during cool weather. They are called cruciferous because they have four petals that form a cross shape. Kale, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are cruciferous vegetables that are relatively inexpensive and are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Why are whole grains important during pregnancy?
Eating oatmeal, wheat or barley cereal for breakfast or whole grain pasta for dinner will provide vitamins like folic acid to prevent birth defects.[Image Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]