During my first pregnancy, I read articles for pregnant women about what do and what not to do, what to eat and the food must be avoided. It’s amazing to see how modern discoveries have set a new diet plan for pregnant women, and with these came new terms that were formerly unheard of. One of these is folic acid.
According to one article, taking folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of your baby's brain and spinal cord. Among the foods rich in folic acid are green leafy vegetables – the darker and leafier, the more concentrated is the foliate. So is green diet good for pregnant women?
The Green Benefits
Surely, green diet has its benefits. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, plus fiber that are essential in prenatal months. Aside from its dietary benefits, these plants are useful for pregnant women in more ways. Try including lettuce, for instance, in your indoor plants. Lettuce likes plenty of sun from south-facing windows. During my pregnancy, these greens helped create a relaxing mood, plus the added oxygen it brings to my home helped relieve the nauseating feeling. Not only that, it is counted as one of the fast growing plants, so it’s sure to grow way ahead before your baby is born. Now that’s proof of plants being one of the health and productivity hacks.
Add More to the Green
Yes, dark green leafy vegetables may give you your needed fiber and 0.4 mg of folic acid, but that’s not all there is in a pregnant woman’s diet. There are other essential nutrients that a green diet cannot offer, so don’t forget to add these in your meal plan:
· 6-11 servings of bread and grains
An expert says you should consume about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant.
· 2-4 servings of fruit, plus 4 or more servings of vegetables
Citrus fruits like orange, lemon and grapefruits are good sources of vitamin C, while yellow vegetables like carrots and pumpkins are good sources of vitamin A.
· 4 servings of dairy products
This will help ensure that you get your needed 1000-1300 mg of calcium daily
· 3 servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts)
These foods are rich in iron too.
· Use fats and sweets sparingly
The Green Drink
For a pregnant woman, especially the picky-eaters like me, this recommended diet sounds too much to take. Plus we do not want to put on the unnecessary weight. The good news is, there are trends in diet that allow us to take all the needed nutrients in a convenient and appetizing way. Try preparing a green drink. This is a mixture of green vegetables, plus every other healthy ingredient that you might find in your fridge, like avocado. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients like apples too. Put them in a blender to prepare a juice or a smoothie. If it works well for the health buffs and the weight conscious who count their calorie and nutrient intake, it should work well for pregnant mothers too. But don’t forget that this is not meant to replace your meal. It is simply a dietary supplement.
Eating for Two
It’s not just the greens but all the colored fruits and vegetables – red, orange, yellow, purple and white – that ensure a variety of nutrients for you and your baby. Interestingly, expert dietician Karin Hosenfeld adds, “During the later stages of pregnancy, the baby 'tastes' the foods you eat through the amniotic fluid. So if you expose your baby to a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables in the womb, you'll increase the chance that your baby will recognize and accept those flavors later on."
As a pregnant mom, you don’t need to go on a special diet to ensure the nutritional needs for you and your baby. All it takes is a good variety, balance and moderation. Remember that what you eat today defines the well-being of your baby. So go and give him a healthy headstart so he is well-prepared to face the world.
About the author:
EMILY HARPER - I am housewife, a mother, and active member of our neighborhood watch. I empower families on how to ensure safety by investing in home security technology.
You can read more by Emily on her blog at www.securityocean.com