When you think about getting serious about getting pregnant, the first thing that comes to mind is food. You can imagine eating a well-balanced diet to build a healthy body, but the reality is that many people don't know what nutrients they need. In this article, we will introduce the nutrients and recommended meals necessary for pregnancy. It also covers the nutritional needs of women and the nutritional needs of men. If you are worried about eating during pregnancy, try to incorporate it into your diet little by little.
Find out in this article
- Nutrients needed for pregnancy
- recommended diet during pregnancy
- Foods to avoid during pregnancy
Why you should pay attention to your diet during pregnancy
The reason why you need to pay attention to your diet during pregnancy is that the fetus begins to grow in your womb even before you realize you are pregnant. Therefore, it is important to provide sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals necessary for the growth of the fetus during pregnancy.
Nutrients needed during pregnancy
Pregnancy requires a healthy and healthy diet. A balance of whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits and fish is important. Some of the most important nutrients are folic acid, protein, and iron . Taking a multivitamin containing folic acid before and during pregnancy not only prevents birth defects but also contributes to the attainment and maintenance of pregnancy1). Please understand what role each nutrient plays and use it as a reference for making daily meals.
Folic acid is a nutrient necessary to prevent neural tube defects, which are congenital abnormalities in fetuses2). However, in many cases, the neural tube is formed before pregnancy is known, so it is important to supplement with a sufficient amount of folic acid through supplements before conception 2).
Protein is an essential nutrient for building the body. The image that it is abundantly contained in seafood and meat is strong, but grains also contain protein 2) . It is important to have a well-balanced diet of staple food and main dish, rather than relying on specific ingredients.
Iron is an important mineral that carries oxygen throughout the body. During pregnancy, the demand increases due to fetal growth, iron storage in cord blood and placenta, and increased circulating blood volume 2) . Originally, women are often deficient because iron is lost every time they menstruate, so be conscious of it.
good diet for pregnancy
There are many processed products around us. Even if you take a lot of them, you can't say it's a balanced diet. First, start by being aware of the proteins that are abundant in eggs, blue fish, and soy products, and by switching your staple food to unpolished brown rice . Once you get used to it, increase the number of side dishes that provide minerals and vitamins, and try to find recipes and menus that incorporate fermented foods. Also, instead of excessive dietary restrictions, let's be conscious of improving your diet, such as keeping in mind the 8th minute of your stomach.
During pregnancy, we are often conscious of meals, but many people tend to neglect them before pregnancy. However, it has been reported that women who consume less green and yellow vegetables in their pre-pregnancy diet are more likely to give birth to babies who are underweight or short in stature3). Eat a well-balanced diet with fiber such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and brown rice . In addition, the fat contained in dairy products such as milk contains a lot of good fat and calcium that the body needs. Choose whole milk instead of low-fat milk.
It is important for both men and women to have a well-balanced intake of fresh ingredients, fiber, and high-quality protein. In addition to that, there are minerals that men should take especially positively. it's zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral for spermatogenesis, and plays an important role in testis development, sperm physiology, and motility 4) . Zinc deficiency has been reported to reduce sperm quality and affect fertilization4). Zinc is abundant in oysters, peanuts, pork liver, and beef, so take in a little bit every day.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
There are various foods that should be avoided during pregnancy, but representative ones include trans fatty acids and alcohol contained in margarine . It has been reported that trans fatty acids impair ovulatory function by causing inflammation and reducing the action of insulin, which breaks down sugars5). The effects of alcohol have an increased risk of infertility, spontaneous abortions, and effects on fetal growth and development6). Try to be conscious and avoid it during pregnancy. Skipping breakfast can lead to menstrual irregularities7). Try to eat three well-balanced meals a day.
Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet
Pregnancy can be said to be a great opportunity to review your diet, but in reality, pre-pregnancy eating habits tend to continue2). It is very important to maintain a proper weight during pregnancy, and it is known that both obesity and being too thin make it difficult to conceive . Excessive dietary restrictions are not recommended. Make an effort to improve your diet with a focus on nutritional balance.
Read the following articles together
How to become a body that is easy to get pregnant
When it comes to meals during pregnancy, many people imagine detailed dietary restrictions and difficult recipes, but in reality , it is important to eat three well-nourished meals a day . Excessive dietary restrictions not only harm your physical health, but stress can also stop ovulation in the worst case. Try to start eating three meals a day in a well-balanced manner during pregnancy. And try to take in the nutrients you need little by little, and try to eat a diet that avoids processed foods and trans fatty acids.
1) Chiu YH, et al. Diet and female fertility: doctor, what should I eat? 2018 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001502821830428
2) Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, ``Dietary guideline for expectant and nursing mothers starting before pregnancy-Building a healthy body from before pregnancy-Explanatory points'', 2021 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000776926.pdf
3) Ikuyo Hayashi et al., ``Relationship between pre-pregnancy dietary factors in Japanese pregnant women with singleton pregnancies and premature birth at full term,'' Vol. 79, No. 3, 2020 https:// www.jschild.med-all.net/Contents/private/cx3child/2020/007903/011/0267-0278.pdf
4) Fallah A, et al. Zinc is an Essential Element for Male Fertility: A Review of Zn Roles in Men's Health, Germination, Sperm Quality, and Fertilization. 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc /articles/PMC6010824/
5) Wise LA, et al. Dietary Fat Intake and Fecundability in 2 Preconception Cohort Studies. 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5860620/
6) NK Mello. Neuroendocrine consequences of alcohol abuse in women.1989 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2662859/
7) Tomoko Fujiwara. Skipping breakfast adversely affects menstrual disorders in young college students.2009 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19468949/