A right combination of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals are good not only for the development of the embryo but have enormous benefits for the mother as well.
In this post, we will focus on the role of protein rich diet in pregnancy and its numerous benefits.
Protein diet during pregnancy: Why is it important?
Protein helps pregnant women regulate their weight. Even though you need to put on few kilos for the growth of the baby, too much fat accumulation is discouraged as it causes some health issues like water retention, excessive swelling, and gestational diabetes. Proteins help you gain weight in the form of lean muscles rather than harmful fat.
Proteins are made of amino acids that are the building blocks of the human body. They are responsible for building your and your baby’s body cells. Proteins help in regulating the insulin levels in the body, encourage healthy growth of hair, skin and nail, combat problems related to stress, indigestion, and metabolism. Also, protein rich diet is said to reduce the risk of neonatal deaths and birth defects. Thus, it is evident that when you eat a protein-rich diet, you are helping your baby grow.
Let us now examine which sources of protein are most beneficial during pregnancy.
It is widely known that fish, lean meat and poultry are the best sources. However, the role of eggs here should not be discounted. It is said that four cups of milk along with two eggs can provide you with as much as 33 grams of protein each day. Also, this source is inexpensive coupled with easy availability.
Another favored source of protein is the fish. Fish is healthy, rich in omega -3 fatty acids and an excellent source of DHA helps in the brain development of the baby. Please note a word of caution here. Not all type of fish is healthy during pregnancy. Some varieties of fish have high mercury levels and could have detrimental effects. It is best to avoid fish from contaminated waters. Stick to salmon, halibut, trout, cod and perch.
For vegetarians, beans, sprouts, cheese and nuts can provide the necessary quantity of protein needed for healthy growth.
How much protein is enough?
The general understanding is that a pregnant woman needs 75 to 100 grams of protein in her daily diet to stay healthy. So if you have around three to four servings of this nutrient every day, your protein requirements will be looked after.Eating healthy alone is not enough during pregnancy. You need to eat the right combination of all the essential nutrients for the holistic development of our child.