During your exciting yet daunting pregnancy journey, you must take extra care of your body by carefully segregating what food to eat and what not to eat. Incorporating a healthy diet does wonders in keeping your precious one well-nourished from the time of conception, as whatever you consume becomes your baby’s only source of nourishment.
As such, it’s conventional practice for mummies to introduce new dietary habits into their routine from the moment you discover that you’re carrying a child. You might find yourself seeking advice from reliable friends and family or even scouring page after page of the trusty internet.
That said, experts recommend for a soon-to-be-mum’s diet to include a variety of healthy food and beverages to provide essential nutrients for the baby to grow and develop strongly and healthily. Read on to find out what to eat and what not to eat during your pregnancy stage.
Certain types of cheese
Even though some types of cheese are good for you, pregnant women are advised not to consume mould-ripened soft cheese such as chevre, camembert, brie and others with a similar rind. Pregnant women should avoid soft, blue-veined cheeses such as gorgonzola or Danish blue as well. These types of cheese are made with a mould that is likely to contain listeria — a kind of bacteria that can cause severe illnesses and even stillbirth.
Fresh-from-the-deli meats and poultry
Another food type to take precautions against during pregnancy is fresh-from-the-deli meats and poultry, such as ham and turkey, which can harbour harmful parasites that continue to grow even when refrigerated. The presence of bacteria like listeria, toxoplasma, and salmonella can present severe consequences that pregnant women are more susceptible to, which could pass on to your developing baby.
Seafood with high levels of mercury
It is also best for pregnant women to either avoid entirely or impose strict portion limits on dietary intakes of seafood, especially those with high mercury content. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause significant damage to the nervous system of the pregnant woman and severe congenital disabilities in the baby, such as brain damage, blindness and deafness. Seafood with a high level of mercury includes king mackerel, shark, swordfish and yellowfish tuna.
Avoid alcohol and cut down on caffeine
The biggest and most universally acknowledged ‘no-no’ for pregnant women is alcoholic drinks. No studies have provided a proper measure of what constitutes a ‘safe amount’ of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, so it’s wise to take precautions and avoid any amount. It’s also important to limit your caffeine intake due to the devastating consequences it can present. The complications caused by drinking alcohol or excessive amounts of caffeine include miscarriages, physical, behavioural, and intellectual disabilities in your newborn, low-birthweight babies and many more.
Not only do fruits supply you and your baby with much-needed nutrients, they also are a deliciously healthy way to curb any mummy’s sugar cravings. Before tucking into them, it is essential to wash your raw fruits thoroughly under running water to get rid of parasites, such as toxoplasma, that can cling onto the outer rinds. Do not use soap solutions to wash the raw fruits and try to cut away any bruised areas before eating them, as bacteria can thrive in those damaged spots.
Any vegetables and leafy greens should be a fundamental staple on your food list. These types of food provide many benefits to your body as they are low in fat and cholesterol and make for a good source of fibre, minerals and vitamins, which will be more crucial than ever during your second and third trimesters when the requirements for these increases.
It is highly recommended for pregnant women to consume foods containing high Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, chia seeds, and walnuts. Not only is salmon a fish that contains low mercury content, but it is also easy to rid salmon of the pungent smell or taste that come with most fish in the market. As such, salmon are a must-eat for you to cope with any smell-induced nausea, food aversions and seafood cravings, if any — all while ensuring you hit those nutrient goals.
Make sure you get enough enriched minerals in your daily diet while pregnant by incorporating whole grains, such as cereals, oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice into your diet. These types of food are rich in iron, B-vitamins, folic acid, and fibre, which pregnant women often lack. Furthermore, whole grains help fight off common discomforts, such as bloatedness, muscle cramps, constipation and haemorrhoids, that you may experience while pregnant.
For an added boost of the proper nourishment, try drinking a warm bowl of the most nutritious and best chicken essence in Singapore. Chock-full of premium herbs, the tailor-made blends at Tian Yuan Xiang boast beneficial proteins and essential amino acids.
In particular, the Chicken Essence with Four-ingredient, which consists of Dioscoreae Rhizoma, Poria and Euryales Semen, is a gentle yet potent blend that provides your body with essential nutrients all throughout your pregnancy stage.
Another beneficial blend for pregnant mummies would be the Chicken Essence with Eucommia. Traditionally believed to help prevent miscarriages and relieve lower back pains, Eucommia is the main herb in this blend that is simply perfect for both pregnant and postpartum women.
To get all the essentials you need, Tian Yuan Xiang’s Maternity Mummy Set is a new mum hamper that comes with the Original Chicken Essence, Chicken Essence with Four-ingredient and Chicken Essence with Eucommia, suitable for consumption during the whole stage of pregnancy.
Eat right to take care of your energy level, hit those nutrient goals and revitalise your internal organs to help give you and your baby the best start to your new chapters. Don’t forget that you’re eating for two now — so it’s more important than ever to reach for nutritious food and maintain a robust body!