Pregnancy: the perfect time for a healthy diet
At the beginning of a pregnancy, many women feel the need to eat more consciously. This gives rise to the question: What should one be particularly aware of in the pregnancy?
Eating for two?
During the pregnancy, the mother looks after her unborn child via her own metabolism. However, the energy needs increase only moderately and only after the 4th month of pregnancy. For example, if you eat an additional slice of whole-grain bread with cheese and a tomato, you have already covered your increased energy requirements for a day. Nevertheless, the body now needs substantially more of individual nutrients than before the pregnancy. You can fulfil these needs by including a variety of vegetables, fruit and whole-grain products in your diet. In addition, enjoy an abundance of calorie-free/low-calorie drinks and foods of vegetable origin. Ideally, you will only eat foods of animal origin in moderation and in doing so, favour milk/milk products, meat and meat products low in fat as well as low-fat sea fish. You should eat fats with a high share of saturated fatty acids sparingly; this applies to sweet things and snack products, too.
Folic acid, iodine and iron
Expectant mothers clearly require larger amounts of individual nutrients than usual, whereby a balanced diet provides a good share of these nutrients. Iodine and folic acid are the only nutritive substances, which cannot be supplied by the diet alone. For this reason, it is recommended that all women planning a child take folic acid tablets as well as all expectant mothers until the end of the first trimester. Make certain you include sufficient iodine in your diet before and during pregnancy. Iodised salt or food with iodised salt, two portions of sea fish per week and regular milk and milk products will provide a good supply of iodine. Since there are considerable individual differences, you should consult your gynaecologist about supplementing folic acid, iodine and iron.
Preventing allergies – is that possible?
Even though one cannot avoid allergies entirely, simple measures help to reduce the allergy risk of your child or postpone the occurrence of an allergic ailment. If you eat balanced and varied meals during your pregnancy, you help to prevent allergies in your child. An unbalanced diet may not contain enough of certain nutrients. It is not necessary and not recommendable to exclude certain foods to prevent allergies, for example, cow’s milk or eggs, which often trigger allergic reactions. There is even evidence that allergic ailments occur less frequently if mothers eat fish regularly during pregnancy and while they are breastfeeding. The experts recommend two portions of fish per week; at least one of these should contain fish with high fat content such as herring, mackerel, salmon, or sardines.