Ask the Expert
What are the best foods for mother and baby health during pregnancy?
Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important for the mother and fetus. During this time, the body needs additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals to fulfil the body’s requirements.
It is recommended that pregnant women consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of the growing fetus. Yoghurt is a great option as it contains more calcium than most other dairy products. Lean meat like beef and chicken are excellent sources of protein, and they are also rich in iron and B vitamins. Low levels of iron during early and mid-pregnancy may cause iron deficiency, which doubles the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges or bell peppers will increase your iron absorption.
Also, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial during pregnancy, These are found in high amounts in seafood, and help build the brain and eyes of the fetus. Moreover, legumes, which include lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts, are excellent plant-based sources of fibre, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium. Folate is a very important nutrient during pregnancy and may reduce the risk of some birth defects and diseases.
Eat well and best of luck with your pregnancy!
Sara Jamal Ali Saeed
Clinical Dietitian, Feto Maternal Medical Centre