Pregnancy diet for the first trimester
Pregnancy diet for the first trimester
The first trimester is usually a time of morning sickness and the rapid baby growth. So, proper nutrition is crucial for the health of you and your baby. Has your craving for food greatly increased? In the first trimester, you do not need more calories than before pregnancy! That’s why in terms of food intake, pregnancy diet for the first trimester should not differ from your previous diet. With proper and healthy nutrition you enter all the necessary nutrients for both!
If you are facing with morning sickness, ginger products can help. Eating a cracker before getting out of the bed can also help to prevent the sickness. Whole Grain crackers are even a better decision. So keeps a pack of fresh crackers on your nightstand all the time.
As I already mentioned before, in the first trimester your baby grows at super speed. Although you do not have a belly yet, it’s a time of big cell growth for him. Try to eat foods with high nutritional values on a daily basis – fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, etc.
In your early pregnancy, your body is doing overtime, so try some foods that will relieve your fatigue. Usually, it helps to combine proteins with carbohydrates. You can try hummus, whole-grain products, a slice of cheese with an apple, or some tomato juice. Eat cereals with milk and banana, as they are also highly recommended during pregnancy.
Healthy and balanced nutrition are important in every stage of a woman’s life, in particular before and during pregnancy and lactation.
The Importance of a Balanced Diet in Pregnancy
Eating and gaining weight during pregnancy is all about finding the balance between sufficient and appropriate nutrient intake that you and your baby need. Research has shown that consequences of excessive weight gain during pregnancy, could cause gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia and a greater probability you will have a Cesarean section.
It is important that you are aware of what you eat, and therefore focus on the quality of your diet. Pregnancy diet in the first trimester should contain the following food groups:
- non-fat meat and poultry
- dairy products
Fruits and Vegetables
As a part of a healthy pregnancy diet, you should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. That will provide the nutrients needed for your own health and your baby’s development.
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. However, eat it in is moderate amounts, as it may cause inflammation of the oral mucous.
Apples reduce the risk of developing asthma in the baby. Eat them with the peel! It contains a lot of vitamin C and potassium.
Banana is a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid. It has a very high proportion of potassium and magnesium. Eat them in moderate amounts, because they cause weight gain.
Pears reduce water retention and have a rich content of vitamin A, folic acid and potassium. You should eat pear along with peel to consume more fiber.
Strawberries have the high amount of folic acid and are great for pregnant women. They are also rich in vitamin C and a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphates.
Blueberries contain lots of vitamin E and C, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, calcium, and iron. Fresh blueberries work anti-inflammatory and stimulate the immune system, while dried blueberries help with diarrhea.
Raspberry help to regulate a sufficient amount of iron. They are rich in vitamins E and C, folic acid, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Cherries are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. But be aware that excessive quantities cause a laxative effect.
Mandarins are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, and phosphates. Their essential oils help to reduce morning sickness.
Peaches work diuretically and care for good mood. They are rich in vitamin E, potassium and phosphates.
Grapes contain a lot of folic acid, potassium, calcium, and phosphates. But due to the high fructose content, it is high in calories, so eat it in moderate amounts.
Lemons and oranges contain a lot of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Best vegetables in pregnancy
Broccoli is a good source of folic acid and high in calcium. Besides that, it is a storehouse of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, and K). Broccoli is also rich in fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants.
The American Pregnancy Association states pregnant women should consume 700mg of vitamin A every day. A cup of sweet potato contains 1922 mg of vitamin A, which is more than enough. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and iron. Sweet potato has lots of fibers that helps with constipation, which is also a common problem during pregnancy.
Spinach, kale, chard, arugula and other dark leafy greens are prenatal superfoods, loaded with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folic acid.
Tomatoes boost energy levels and help with digestion. They are rich in vitamin K, C, and biotin and an excellent source of antioxidants.
Women need 10g extra proteins during pregnancy. With about 15 grams per cup, lentil is a great source of them. It is also rich with fibers.
Green pea is a source of proteins. Also, contains high amounts of different vitamins (A, K, B complex, C) and magnesium.
Because of its various health benefits, we call beetroots a superfood. It increases the iron content and is high in vitamin C. Beetroots detoxifies the liver and helps in removing the toxins from the body. It also contains folic acid, but only in the raw form!
One bell pepper has nearly three times as much vitamin C as an orange! Should I say more? Eat bell peppers for a healthy immune system!
Asparagus is well-known for its high levels of folic acid. It also contains high quantities of calcium and vitamins A, B, E, and K. All the minerals and vitamins are in much higher content in the green part of the
RELATED ARTICLE: The best vitamins during pregnancy
Grains in the pregnancy diet
Any food made from wheat, rice, cornmeal, oats, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, oatmeal, cereals, pasta or tortillas are the most common examples of grain products.
Carbohydrates found in grains are the main source of energy for pregnant women. But, at least half of all the grains eaten should be whole grains! Products labeled “refined” aren’t as beneficial to you or your baby.
Grains are an ideal meal, as they contain many vitamins and minerals and almost zero calories. A single meal of whole grains per day covers the daily need for fiber, magnesium and vitamin B6. They’re also especially good sources of iron, selenium, folic acid, niacin, and other B vitamins.
- 1 slice of whole wheat bread
- 5 whole wheat crackers
- 2 rice crispbreads
- 1 cup ready-to-eat whole grain cereal
- ½ cup of cooked rice
- 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
- 1/2 cup cooked pasta
- ½ cup cooked bulgur
- ½ cup cooked oatmeal
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- 1 pancake
Meat in pregnancy diet for the first trimester
The meat contains valuable nutrients that are used in large quantities by pregnant women: iron, vitamin B12, and zinc. Nevertheless, the appropriate amount of meat in the diet is essential for a balanced diet during pregnancy.
The best choices for you are lean beef, poultry, and pork. The preparation is also very important! You should use only small amounts of fat for the preparation. Meat needs to be well prepared and not undercooked! Eating only cooked and roasted meat, reducing the risk of Salmonella infection.
Since the meat contains cholesterol, do not eat it more than three times a week!
Dairy products in pregnancy diet for first trimester
Dairy products (cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk) contain proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins (B12, A, D) and minerals. They’re great calcium source which helps to build bones.
Due to the formation of the skeleton and teeth of the fetus, larger amounts of calcium should be ingested during pregnancy. The recommended dose is 1000 mg per day. Pregnant women under twenties should receive even more calcium, a 1200 mg daily.
But be careful with raw dairy products, as they can cause listeriosis.
If you consume less calcium than the recommended amount, you can also enrich your diet with calcium-rich mineral water.
Gaining weight in the first trimester
Your baby is still very small, so you should gain only about 2-4 pounds during the first trimester. Some pregnant women may even lose some weight, as they feel resistance to food. That is normal, but the weight must grow faster in the second and third trimesters. For now, focus on eating several times a day. Meals should be light and rich in nutrients (avocado, yogurt, bananas, whole grains or crackers).
If you already gained a few pounds more, it is not all lost yet. From now on try to be more cautious and eat healthier food in smaller portions several times a day.
Folic acid – a first trimester essential
Ideally, you would intake higher amounts of folic acid already before pregnancy. If you didn’t, start immediately and everything should be all right.
A sufficient intake of folic acid (vitamin B9) is extremely important, especially in the first trimester of your pregnancy.
Folic acid is involved in the development of important baby’s body functions.
The most folic acid is in dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, salad, parsley, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, ..), oranges, liver, yeast, legumes, hazelnuts, and otters.
Folic acid is thermal and light-sensitive, therefore you should eat fresh fruit and vegetables, or cooking them for only a short time (blanching).
What foods to avoid during pregnancy
Careful with vitamin supplements
Pregnant women should take about 100 mg of vitamin C per day. The advantage of using this vitamin is that we can’t “overdose” it because it is water-soluble and excreted in urine.
For example, vitamin A is also important, but you should use it carefully! Excessive amounts of vitamin A cause damage to the fetus, therefore, we do recommend caution with vitamin A supplements.
It’s much better to get it with food. Vitamin A is in carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, turnips, kale, salads, peppers, whole milk dairy products, and oily fish.
Do not use artificial sweeteners
Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) can cross the placenta and remain in fetal tissue, so it is strictly forbidden! Some other sweeteners are acceptable to some extent, but generally, they are not recommended. The same applies to excessive consumption of other sweet products, including sweet drinks.
Raw or undercooked eggs
Potentially harmful are also all dishes from raw eggs )Caesar salad, homemade mayonnaise, Dutch sauce, homemade ice cream, etc.). You can eat boiled, baked eggs or ice cream that is pasteurized, so it does not increase the chances of salmonella.
Soft cheese and non-pasteurized milk
Avoid eating soft cheeses, such as Brie, Gorgonzola, and other cheeses with noble mold. Also, do not use raw and non-pasteurized milk. As they are not pasteurized, they can cause listeriosis, infection with bacteria listeria.
Sushi and high mercury seafood
It is good to avoid certain types of fish, such as sharks, swordfish, mackerel, and others that are considered to contain large quantities of mercury.
In this type of raw food, we generally find larger amounts of bacteria and viruses, as if they would be thermally treated. For pregnant women, it is better not to eat raw fish, especially shellfish, such as oysters.
Raw or undercooked meat & poultry
Raw meat can increase the risk of salmonella and infection with bacteria that can cause toxoplasmosis. Lamb, pork, and game represent the highest risk for infection.
Although livers have a lot of vitamin A and iron, doctors warn that pregnant women shouldn’t eat them in excessive amounts. Some studies have shown that eating livers during pregnancy can increase the chance of defects in newborns. Food and drug administration recommends pregnant women eat them only occasionally.
Insufficiently washed vegetables
Make sure you rinse all vegetable thoroughly under running water before using it. There’s a small chance that vegetables coated with soil can carry the toxoplasma parasite. You could get toxoplasmosis, which is a mild infection for you but may harm your baby. It is a rare infection, but better be safe than sorry!
Alcohol, caffeine, and theine
Alcohol can affect premature birth, mental retardation, low birth weight, … Consume only small amounts of caffeine per day. You must be aware that drinking coffee is not the only possible source of caffeine. Caffeine is also in green, black, yellow and mate tea, guarana, chocolate, cocoa, and in various energy, and refreshing beverages.
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I am the founder of Baby’s Little Place. I’m a mom to the one-year-old daughter and I know how overwhelming could be when you are looking things and tips for a new baby, especially if you are a first-time parent. That’s why I set up this site…because I want to do something I am passionate about, as well as I want to help new parents and parents to be.
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