Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Pregnancy

August 27, 2010
Posted by Lucy

Friday 27th August

I was asked by Oh Baby, a Cork based maternity magazine, to give some advice on eating during pregnancy. Have a read below and check out their Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/ohbabymaternityandinfant

Nutrition and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a busy time for the body with loads going on. Looking after yourself is paramount for both you and the baby and eating a good balanced diet on a daily basis can help achieve this.

The key word here is balanced - when looking at the research into the important nutrients in pregnancy, you realise that they almost all are!! So eating a range of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, a range of whole grains and a range of different meats, fish and beans will ensure you are doing the best for you and your baby. Some tips below:

  • Eat a large variety of fresh vegetables including lots of yellow and green vegetables which are a good source of folic acid. Do not eat too much of the starchy vegetables like potatoes.

• Eat a variety of fresh fruit and aim at approximately three pieces per day. These are filled with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants

• Whole grains and legumes are a good source of fibre and they are nutrient-rich sources of carbohydrates. This will help greatly with constipation, along with plenty of water (about 2 litres a day)

If you eat died fruits be sure to buy fruit that has been dried naturally rather than sulfur dried. Don’t eat too much dried fruit because it has a high concentration of natural sugars and can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess.

• Protein is essential during pregnancy. It is the building blocks of life. Protein rich foods include lean meat, poultry, deep sea fish, dairy and eggs and beans and lentils. Cooked tofu is also a good source of protein. Aim at having one serve of protein at least twice daily, although I usually go for three servings!

• Oils and fats are essential but they need to be the right type and it is important not to have too much. Avocados, nuts, seeds and olives are all excellent sources of good quality unsaturated oils. Use extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings.

• Calcium and iron are important nutrients during pregnancy. the best sources are spinach, colllard greens, as well as other greens, sardines with bones, broccoli and sesame seeds, and dairy. Iron rich foods include red meat, eggs, dried apricots, lentils, white beans, whole-grain rice and wheat.

• Eat a diet low in saturated fats, sugar and salt.

In terms of lifestyle, the following are important to remember:

• Get regular gentle exercise such as moderate to low- impact activities like walking, swimming or yoga. Do pelvic floor exercises daily as they can strengthen the pelvic muscles.

After your baby is born, exercising, rather than dieting is the best way to slim down and regain muscle tone.

• Exposure to sunlight is important for the production of vitamin D. Try to get 20 to 30 minutes exposure each day.

• Avoid exposure to chemicals including harsh cleaning products and toxic garden products.

• Avoid cigarette smoke. Do not allow people to smoke anywhere around you.

• Have plenty of relaxation and rest. Do not push yourself when you feel tired.

If you are interested in receiving a personalised nutrition plan, contact me on lucy@foodforliving.ie

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