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5 Healthy Eating Tips for Nigerian Pregnant Women

5 Healthy Eating Tips for Nigerian Pregnant Women
During pregnancy, the food you eat helps your body to provide nutrients so that your baby can grow and develop normally. But recent discoveries are showing that the nutrients they receive while in the womb have a much greater impact on their future health than was previously thought. Learn how pregnancy nutrition plays a crucial role in your baby’s health beyond birth, and how to maximize your intake from the food you eat. Common sense tells us that eating well during pregnancy is good for mother and baby. But only recently has science revealed just how much impact your pregnancy diet can have. It’s now recognized that the nutrition babies receive during pregnancy does more than support their growth and development in the womb. It also influences their health throughout infancy, childhood and for the rest of their life. This means that by making healthy choices and eating a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet now, you are supporting your baby’s wellbeing for decades to come. A balance of life-sustaining nutrients in pregnancy. During pregnancy, your baby grows from a single cell to a fully formed, unique and beautiful baby. Certain nutrients are essential to this growth, and including them in your pregnancy diet at the recommended levels will help to give your baby the best start for a healthy future. As well as protein, fats and carbohydrates (the macronutrients that provide the bulk of your baby’s energy), many micronutrients are essential to their normal growth and development. A well-balanced pregnancy diet is one that includes a healthy intake of macronutrients and micronutrients.

Although there are many nutrients involved in your baby’s development, the vitamins, minerals and fats explained below are particularly important during pregnancy. Some, such as vitamins C, D, A, folate, thiamin and riboflavin are needed to such a degree that your recommended levels are higher than they would normally be. But with many available from various everyday food sources, the good news is you may already be getting the levels you need.

To learn more about the key nutrients and how to get them, take a look at the articles about the 5 Healthy Eating Tips for Nigerian Pregnant Women.

1. Base meals on starchy food (such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes), choosing wholegrain   options where possible. This is because they provide energy, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. Eating enough nutritious starchy foods can help a person's digestion, satiety, and energy levels.

2. Eat foods with lots of fibre, such as fruit, vegetables, oats, beans, peas, lentils.

The intake of fiber‐rich foods during pregnancy and lactation helps in promoting heart health, decreasing diabetes risk, preventing constipation, as well as reducing risks of preeclampsia risks, together with providing nutrient‐rich food with low energy density.

3. Eat at least 5 portions of different fruits and vegetables each day (3 vegetable if possible)

Fruit is an excellent source of nutrients that are essential during pregnancy. Fruits can provide vitamins, folate, fiber, and more, which all help to keep the woman and baby healthy. These nutrients can also help to relieve some of the common symptoms of pregnancy.

4. Don’t over-eat. 

For the first two trimesters of pregnancy there is no need to eat more than the normal 2,000 calories recommended for women. You can use the NHS Choices calorie checker to count your daily calories.

5. Don't skip breakfast, choosing sugar-free cereals if you have cereal.

Skipping breakfast and [other] meals increases the risk of premature labor.” Without a healthy morning meal, you also may feel sick to your stomach, lightheaded and, soon, famished. Today, nearly all cereals have B-vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, and folic acid (source: AAPS). In the US, breakfast cereals are the leading dietary source of folate, an important vitamin during pregnancy that supports a baby's nervous system development (source: Public Health Nutrition).

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