As an expectant mother, you want to do everything you can to ensure the healthy growth and development of your baby. This means taking care of yourself and making sure you are getting the right nutrients to support your pregnancy. There are two essential micronutrients that every pregnant mom should be aware of: folic acid and mineral iron.
Iron plays a crucial role during pregnancy, as it is needed for the production of red blood cells. When you are pregnant, your body requires more iron to accommodate the increased volume of red blood cells needed to support your growing baby. This is why it is recommended that pregnant women consume at least 30 mg of iron per day. Inadequate intake of iron during pregnancy can cause lethargy and increase the risk for preterm delivery and low-birth-weight babies.
There are two types of high rich iron foods: animal-based and plant-based. Animal-based sources include red meat, poultry, and seafood, while plant-based sources can be found in broccoli, beansprouts, green-leafy vegetables, nuts, and legumes. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can ensure that you are getting the right amount of iron to support your pregnancy.
Folic acid is also an essential micronutrient during pregnancy. It plays a crucial role in the production of new cells, including brain cells, blood cells, DNA, and RNA. Inadequate intake of folic acid can lead to neural tube birth defects, including anencephaly among babies.
High rich foods in folic acid can be found in green-leafy vegetables, broccoli, beansprouts, legumes, and nuts. You can also find the synthetic form of folic acid in fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals and breads. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can ensure that you are getting enough folic acid to support your pregnancy.
Now, let's debunk some common myths surrounding pregnancy. Firstly, it is a myth that a pregnant mother needs to eat for two. The increase in energy requirements among pregnant mothers actually depends on the mother's pre-pregnancy weight and trimester. Eating double portions is not necessary. A pregnant mother needs an extra 300 calories per day, which can be met by consuming healthy snacks such as two slices of bread and a glass of milk.
Secondly, there is a myth that watermelon and pineapple can cause miscarriage. This is not true. There is no significant study that shows the effects of taking these cooling fruits or foods on the risk of miscarriage. In fact, pineapple is a good source of folate and vitamin C, which can enhance the absorption of iron. By incorporating these fruits into your diet, you can get the nutrients you need to support your pregnancy.
If you find it difficult to meet the iron and folic acid recommendations through food, don't worry. You can seek advice from your dietitian or doctor to plan your diet or supplement with iron and folic acid. Remember, taking care of yourself during pregnancy is crucial to the healthy growth and development of your baby. By incorporating these essential micronutrients into your diet, you can ensure that you are giving your baby the best start in life.