Written By :

September 12, 2022

Nine months! That is the period of pregnancy. It takes a woman nine months of joy, worry, and happiness to bring a beautiful baby into this world. Pregnancy represents one of the most life-changing experiences in women’s lives. As various factors can affect and influence a pregnancy, a mother-to-be has to face a lot of “what to expect” and “what to know.” At the core of the latter is nutrition.

Eating healthy during pregnancy is one of the earliest and most important gifts you can offer your baby. What you eat has an impact on both your and your baby’s health. When the reality of pregnancy kicks in, pregnant women typically quickly realize that they may not be able to eat exactly as they did before.

Nutrition is one of the most important key features of a healthy lifestyle, and it is not very hard to achieve. So, if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant and you don’t know what your diet should be like, worry less. You are in the right place. Below in this article, you’ll find some of the most needed information for nutrition and food intake during pregnancy. As well as some helpful debunking of misinformation about pregnancy, so you can feel more secure about your food choices and eating habits during the following nine months.

What should a pregnancy diet look like?

A pregnancy diet is a healthy diet, and a healthy diet is a balanced one. a diet that contains a variety of all food groups (carbohydrates, protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and fat) in proportions and quantities that provide your body with its needed requirements of calories, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Here is a more detailed look at these food groups.


Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. They are essential as they provide a good amount of fiber, which can help fight constipation. They also provide iron and folic acid.
A healthy diet focuses on whole grain products such as whole grain bread, flour, pasta, beans and peas. As well as starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes.

You should aim for a minimum of 6 servings per day. (1) (2)

 One serving is equivalent to:

Lean Proteins

Proteins are required for tissue building, which is essential for the growth of your baby. They provide zinc and iron.
Your intake of protein can come from lean beef, poultry, and some types of fish, eggs, beans, legumes, and peanut butter.You should aim for 5-6 servings of protein. (3)

 One serving is equivalent to:


Fruits provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin C, as well as fiber.Aim for at least two servings of fruits each day. (1)(2)

 One serving is equivalent to:


Like fruits, vegetables will provide you with the needed vitamins such as vitamins A and C, minerals such as potassium, and fiber. (1)(2)
Try to choose a variety of colorful vegetables such as tomatoes, leafy vegetables, and carrots

Aim for at least 3 servings of vegetables per day.
1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked is equivalent to one serving.

Dairy products

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are essential sources of calcium, which is necessary for the healthy growth of bones. (1)(2)

Aim for at least 2-3 servings of dairy. Choose skimmed or low-fat dairy to save on calories.

One serving is equivalent to:


Fats come in a variety of forms. Always aim to include healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. These types of fats are needed for the development of your baby. (1)(2)

 Fluid intake

Approximately 8–12 cups of fluids are needed daily to stay hydrated. A good amount of fluid can also help reduce the risk of constipation and urinary tract infections. (4)

What are the vitamins and minerals that women need to focus on during pregnancy?

While all vitamins and minerals are essential in pregnancy, some are of higher importance, such as:

Folate or folic acid: This vitamin becomes of greater importance because of its role in preventing neural tube defects (brain or spinal cord abnormalities). A dose of 400 micrograms is needed each day. This amount is achieved from food and supplements. Foods that are rich in folate are dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. (5)

Calcium plays an essential role in the growth of a baby’s skeleton, heart, bones, and many more. Thus, the mother must be getting 1000 milligrams of calcium for a woman above 18 years old and 1300 milligrams for those below 18 years old. This calcium can be obtained from dairy products such as milk and cheese as well as fortified juices and foods. (6)

 Iron: Iron deficiency is the most frequent dietary deficit during pregnancy. Iron helps deliver oxygen to the baby, which is crucial for growth. Iron-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, beans, legumes, and spinach. Iron from animal products tends to be better absorbed than from non-animal products. Try to avoid taking iron-rich food with a calcium source or caffeine as it can cause decreased absorption. (7) Moreover, try to take iron-rich foods or supplements with vitamin c rich foods such as lemon or orange juice for increased absorption.

What are the foods that should be limited?


The reason that caffeine should be limited is that it has the ability to cross the placenta; however, there is not enough research about its consequences for babies. In addition, an excess amount of caffeine can lead to dehydration. Thus, it is better to be the same and to keep caffeine intake to a minimum.

Caffeine is found in plenty of products where its amount varies, such as chocolate, coffee, tea, soft drinks…


Fish and seafood are good sources of protein and many nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, it is important for a baby’s growth and development. Some fish and shellfish, however, contain potentially hazardous quantities of mercury. A baby’s growing neurological system might be harmed by too much mercury.

The more Mercury a fish has, the larger and older it is. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you avoid the following foods while pregnant: Bigeye tuna, king mackerel, swordfish

Simple Sugars and Fats

If you crave something sweet on occasion, then it is fine, but do not allow sweets to replace other nutritious meals and beverages. Also, saturated fats (butter, full-fat milk) and trans fats (fast food, pastries) can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and should be avoided.

What are the foods that should be avoided?


Alcohol crosses the placenta, thus it is strongly suggested not to drink alcohol during pregnancy because there is no safe amount or time to drink it. Even little quantities might be harmful to a developing baby.

Unpasteurized milk and dairy products

Foods like raw or unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses like camembert, brie, or blue cheese may cause foodborne disease and may be infected with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen that can cause miscarriage.

Raw or undercooked meat and poultry    

Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, or fish, or even raw or undercooked egg, deli meats and cold cuts, and sushi all contain germs that can cause food poisoning and endanger the baby.

Debunking some myths

Myth: “you are eating for two” 

Truth: This is not true because too much calorie intake can lead to unhealthy and unnecessary weight gain, which can cause complications in your pregnancy. You only need an extra 340 calories in the second trimester and 450 calories in your third trimester.

Always consult with your dietitian about a suitable diet.

Myth: “It is okay to lose weight during pregnancy.”

Truth: Pregnancy is not suitable for following calorie-restricted diets to lose weight. Weight loss can induce harmful effects on both the mother and the baby.

Consulting your physician and dietitian is very helpful in such cases.

Myth: “It is okay to drink herbs”

Truth: Herbal remedies should be avoided during pregnancy. There is little data on their effectiveness, and they may contain harmful substances  

Nutritional tips that you may find helpful in some situations

Nausea and vomiting

  1. Consume small, frequent meals
  2. Separate the solid and liquid components of the same meal.
  3. Avoid strong scents and odors.
  4. Consume crackers 
  5. Smell a freshly squeezed lemon 
  6. Avoid feeling hungry or having an empty stomach.


dietitian is very helpful in such cases.

Myth: “It is okay to drink herbs”

Truth: Herbal remedies should be avoided during pregnancy. There is little data on their effectiveness, and they may contain harmful substances  


To sum it up, good nutrition is crucial to maintain a healthy pregnancy. It can affect both the mother’s and baby’s health. Good nutrition is revolved around eating healthy food that constitutes all food groups with some extra focus on some to provide nutrients, vitamins, and minerals like folic acid, iron, and many more.

Enjoy your pregnancy with some good food!

Written By :

September 12, 2022