What we eat and drink has a huge bearing upon our physical and mental wellbeing. The aim of Nutrition and Hydration Week 13th-19th March 2017 is to highlight, promote and celebrate improvements in the provision of nutrition and hydration locally, nationally and globally.
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but is especially vital if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy is essential for you and your baby’s health and development.
Top tips for nutrition and hydration in Pregnancy include the following:
- Consume a variety of foods to make sure your baby gets the widest array of nutrients possible.
- Your baby gets the calcium necessary for healthy bones and teeth from your bones. Keeping your bones strong now also means less risk for osteoporosis later. Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese and tofu or fortified soya milk.
- The recommendation is to get 400 micrograms (mcg) a day before conceiving-but it's still a vital mineral through your first trimester. Folate is found in following foods:spinach, fortified breakfast cereal, lentils, fortified pasta and bread, rice, oatmeal, broccoli, and strawberries.
- Fiber-rich foods not only prevent the common problem with constipation but will also keep you feeling full and satisfied. High Fiber foods include the following: Whole-grain cereals, breads, pastas (look for types that pack at least 3 grams per serving), nuts, seeds, fruits (such as apples and pears with skin, berries, and oranges) and vegetables (such as potatoes with skin, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes).
- Staying hydrated is more important than ever due to your body's increased volume of blood. Plus, fluids can help you fight the fatigue and constipation that many pregnant ladies experience. Aim for 8 glasses a day, but remember: All non-caffeinated beverages count toward your goal. Broth-based low salt soups and water-rich fruits and vegetables can also help keep you hydrated.
- Include two portions of fish a week, at least one of which should be oily. Fish is packed with protein, vitamin D, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the development of your baby's nervous system.
- Iron is important for normal development and growth of the baby. Make sure you include several iron-rich foods in the daily diet. Include Protein-rich foods, like extra-lean meat, chicken without the skin, fish, or cooked dried beans and peas, are important sources of iron.
Ghazala Yousuf, Lead Dietitian, The Portland Hospital