Holistic diet for the First Trimester of Pregnancy
The complete guide on what to eat and what to avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Foods to include during the first trimester of pregnancy:
1. Dairy Products
You are required to consume extra protein and calcium during the first trimester of pregnancy to meet the requirements of the developing foetus. So what’s the best option you have? Yes, dairy products as they include two types of high-quality protein: casein and whey and is the biggest dietary source of calcium. It also contributes high quantities of phosphorus, several B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
Are you wondering if we would include ice cream as well? Sorry sis but we got you the healthiest and equally tasty replacement for it i.e. Yoghurt. Yoghurt, particularly Greek yoghurt, is useful for pregnant women. It comprises more calcium than most of the other dairy products.
Women with lactose intolerance may also be able to withstand yoghurt, especially probiotic yoghurt. Taking probiotics supplements may lower your risk of complications during pregnancy such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections, and allergies.
Legumes include lentils, soybeans, beans, chickpeas, peas and peanuts. They are excellent plant-based sources of fiber, iron, folate (B9), protein, and calcium — which are required by your body more during pregnancy. Folate is very significant for the health of the mother and foetus, particularly during the first trimester.
Insufficient Folate intake results in a heightened threat of neural tube deformities and poor birth weight. It may also make your child more prone to infections and disorder later on in life. Besides, legumes are normally very high in fiber. Some species are also high in magnesium, iron and potassium.
3. Sweet Potatoes
You expected potatoes and here we are with sweet potatoes. That’s life, sis. They are very rich in beta-carotene, a plant compound that gets transformed into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is important for development and the differentiation of most cells and tissues. It’s also very important for the healthy development of the foetus.
Pregnant women are advised to increase Vitamin A intake but avoid very high amounts of animal-based sources of vitamin A as they may prove to be harmful if eaten in abundance. Besides, sweet potatoes include fiber, which results in fullness, decreases blood sugar spikes and improves digestive health and mobility.
Yes, Pescatarian mommies we’ve got you covered. Salmon is very rich in significant omega-3 fatty acids. Most of the pregnant women don’t get enough omega-3 through their diet. These are found in high amounts in seafood and help in building the eyes and brain of the foetus. Some women avoid seafood altogether due to the mercury and other contaminants found in fatty fish, thus leading to deficiency of the same.
Sis, take a chill pill and have around 2–3 meals of fatty fish per week and achieve the recommended intake of omega-3 (pregnant woman yay). Salmon is also one of the very few natural sources of vitamin D, which is very critical for many processes in your body, including bone health and immune function.
Yes, pregnant ladies have some eggs. Eggs are the most holistic health food, as they cover most of the nutrients . A large egg contains high-quality protein and fat along with many vitamins and minerals.
Eggs are a great source of choline which is important for many processes in your body, including the development of the brain. Choline deficiency during pregnancy may increase the risk of neural tube defects and possibly impact the brain functioning of the foetus.
6. Broccoli and Leafy Greens during the first trimester of pregnancy
Broccoli and dark, green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, cover a lot of nutrients requirements of pregnant women. If it makes you feel any better, you could make some smoothies out of them. These include fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, vitamin C, folate, calcium and potassium.
They are also rich in antioxidants and useful for the immune system and digestion. The high fiber content in these may also help prevent constipation, which is a very common problem among pregnant women. Furthermore, the consumption of these is often associated with a reduced risk of low birth weight as well.
7. Lean Meat during the first trimester of pregnancy
Beef, chicken and pork are excellent sources of high-quality protein. Yes, you heard it right. (Screaming in joy) Furthermore, pork and beef are also rich in choline, iron and other B vitamins which are needed in higher amounts during pregnancy. Pregnant women need a lot of iron since their blood volume is increasing and iron delivers oxygen to all the cells.
Low levels of iron during early may lead to iron deficiency anaemia, which doubles the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. Eating red meat on a regular basis may help increase the amount of iron acquired from the diet. Eating oranges or bell peppers may also help increase the absorption of iron from food.
8. Whole Grains during the first trimester of pregnancy
Whole grains are loaded with vitamins, fiber and plant compounds. Barley, oats, millet, corn, and rice are some whole grains to be included in your first-trimester diet. They are generally rich in Fiber, B vitamins and magnesium which a pregnancy diet lacks. Lentils in the form of soup or cutlets can be included in the diet. Grains provide strength to your baby and are important for placental growth.
9. Fruits during the first trimester of pregnancy
It is recommended to have at least three servings of fruits per day during the first trimester of pregnancy. Citrus fruits are a great source of folic acid, so try eating oranges, grapefruits and sweet limes on a regular basis. Avocados are high on healthy fats, folate and potassium, avocados which makes it a great choice for pregnant women. Bananas, cantaloupes, pears, cherries, guavas, grapes, apples, pomegranates, watermelons and mangoes are some other fruits to be included in your diet.
Foods to avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy
There are also some foods that you must avoid during pregnancy, particularly the first trimester.
- Raw or undercooked eggs and shellfish
- Raw meat
- Fishes with significant mercury level like king mackerel, swordfish, and shark
- Unpasteurized milk
- Raw sprouts
- Soft cheeses
- Unwashed Fruits and vegetables
- Black grapes
- Excess caffeine
- Cabbage and lettuce
- Sweetened beverages and desserts in excess.
The bottom line being that you are anyway going to gain weight, why not gain it with healthy nutritious food that helps in your baby’s development.
We hope we have prepared you a good diet-list that kickstarts a well-nourished pregnancy.