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Healthy eating and pregnancy



What pregnant women should eat and not eat

It is only a myth that a pregnant woman must eat for two. Actually, a lot of extra food during pregnancy is not necessary and only leads to an unhealthy weight gain. However it is true that nutrition plays a critical role for the proper development and growth of the fetus and that the needs for most nutrients progressively increase during pregnancy.

 As a general rule, the diet during pregnancy should be healthy, complete and well balanced, low in sugar, fat and cholesterol, but high in proteins, complex carbohydrates, minerals (especially iron and calcium), vitamins (especially folic acid), and fiber. Each of these nutrients plays a specific role during pregnancy: proteins provide the building blocks (amino acids) for fetal tissues, complex carbohydrates provide the calories necessary to nourish the growing fetus, iron is important to sustain the increased production of red blood cells and prevent anemia in the mother, folic acid plays a critical role in lowering the risk of serious birth defects, calcium is necessary for a proper development of the babyís bones and teeth, and finally fiber helps the mother prevent or relieve constipation (a common complaint during pregnancy).

A balance diet can Help your pregnancy

 A complete, well-balanced diet rich in protein foods, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and cereals is usually enough to meet the motherís extra nutritional requirements. However doctors always recommend pregnant women to take acid folic and multivitamin supplements to make sure the baby grows healthy and correctly and the mother doesnít develop nutritional deficiencies. Iron supplements can be prescribed as well, especially for pregnant women who suffer from or are at risk of anemia.

 But a healthy diet during pregnancy doesnít mean only a complete and well-balanced diet. It does also mean avoiding foods (and other substances) that can be harmful to the baby, including alcohol, caffeine, illegal drugs, smoke and food-contaminating chemicals. Particular attention must be given to certain food-borne risks, and especially toxoplasmosis (transmitted through raw or undercooked meat and cat feces) and mercury poisoning from contaminated fish.

 Toxoplasmosis is a common parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, which usually causes no or little symptoms in the mother, but can lead to serious neurological problems in the fetus. Women who have been exposed to the parasite at least 6 months before becoming pregnant are not likely to pass the infection to their babies, since they have developed the specific antibodies against that parasite. On the contrary, women who are first exposed to Toxoplasma during or just before pregnancy, have not an immune system prepared to fight the parasite and can transmit the infection to their babies with potentially devastating consequences. That is why it is important that non-immunized women pay attention not to acquire Toxoplasma infection during pregnancy. The most important and effective preventive measures include avoiding eating raw or uncooked meat, avoiding changing the cat litter box and thoroughly washing raw fruits and vegetables before eating, since they may have been contaminated with Toxoplasma spores from cat feces.

 Mercury poisoning is another issue of significant concern for pregnant women, since mercury can lead to brain damage and developmental delays in the baby. That is why pregnant women should avoid eating fish containing high levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. On the contrary other types of fish should be eaten only in moderation, but not completely avoided, due to their high content in healthy nutrients, and especially omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein.

 We have made available in our resources section some Healthcare tools for your to calculate your Pregnancy due date easily with our Pregnancy due date Calculator. We have also set up a calculator to health you determine your ovulation with our Ovulation calculator.

 Pregnant women should always have themselves covered by an appropriate international health insurance plan in order to cover the cost for diagnostic test and delivery.


If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

 International Health insurance plans is an global Health Insurance broker. We have built excellent relationship with top International Health insurance providers. We offer free advice to choose your personalized Medical insurance over a wide range of International Health Insurance plans. You may also contact us. Our quotation is totally free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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