Can I eat that?
Welcome to our first edition of Boogle Blog for 2023!
To bring in the new year with a bang, we’re talking about food and what you can and can’t eat (well, should avoid) when you’re pregnant.
Being new to pregnancy can be stressful enough without having to worry about everything you eat, drink and put in your body. But to make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of things you should eat more of, and some you should steer clear of.
But before we go into all of that, it helps to know why we need to be cautious at this time of the pregnancy, and even when you’re breastfeeding.
When you’re pregnant you need more of certain nutrients like protein, iron, folic acid, iodine and calcium. Your immune system is also much lower when carrying a baby, which makes it harder to fight things like the common cold or infections caused by bacteria that can be found in some food.
That’s why it’s super important to eat enough good stuff (in-between the hot chips and ice cream), and avoid the stuff that could be bad.
So, let’s start with the good…
Fruit & vegetables
If you’re a fruit and veggie kinda gal, then you’re in luck because these magical foods provide vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre, which helps digestion and can help prevent constipation. According to most studies, they suggest we eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day – these can include fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.
A few to add to your shopping list are:
Legumes are great plant-based sources of fibre, protein, iron, folate, and calcium — all of which your body needs more of during pregnancy.
Not only delicious, but sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in your body. So mash, boil, bake or fry those babies up!
Broccoli and dark, green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, provide a number of nutrients that your body +1 need.
Benefits include fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium.
Meat and protein
Lean beef, pork, and chicken are great sources of high-quality protein. Beef and pork also provide your body with iron (you’ll need more of this during pregnancy due to your blood volume increasing), choline, and B vitamins.
Berries such as strawberries, raspberries and all the delicious dark red ones contain a lot of goodness like water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. Try popping them in your water to fancy-things-up a little.
These popular fruits are high in fiber, B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Like we needed another excuse to love them!
Fish & seafood
While some fish and seafood are in the ‘things to avoid’ list, there are some that are actually good for you to eat while pregnant. The trick is to eat seafood that is high in healthy fats but low in mercury.
The following are lower in mercury, so you can eat around 340 grams per week:
Foods to avoid
These foods may have bacteria in them that can be harmful to your baby. So best to avoid all together:
- Raw (uncooked) or rare (undercooked) fish or shellfish, like sushi or raw oysters
- Soft cheeses (like feta, Brie, and goat cheese), unless they are pasteurised
- Raw or rare meats, poultry, or eggs (hard boiled eggs are fine)
- Unpasteurised juices or milk
- Lunch or deli meats, smoked seafood, and hot dogs – unless they are heated until steaming hot
- Prepared salads like ham salad, chicken salad, or seafood salad
- Raw sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts
And of course there’s alcohol, caffeine (don’t worry mumma, you can still have around 1-2 cups per day), and super sugary drinks that are all on the no-go list.
At the end of the day, you know your body, and everything just needs to be in moderation. But, if in doubt, it’s always best to consult your Dr. That’s what they’re there for!
Finding yourself Googling everything from boobs and bums to bubs and bibs? Visit our New Beginnings website, where you’ll find a range of helpful articles, products and tips for navigating this new chapter of your life - mummahood.