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Most people are already very familiar with the foods that pregnant women must avoid –alcohol, excess caffeine, raw seafood, and the like – but few take pause to think about what they should consume. Experts generally recommend that pregnant women stick with the portions recommended by the USDA’s Food Pyramid guidelines, with specific boosts to certain nutrients such as iron, folic acid, fiber, Vitamin C, protein, calcium, Vitamin A, magnesium, and a few others. These extremely valuable substances help both mother and child healthy and safe by promoting blood flow, building tissues in the brain and other organs, fortifying the immune system, strengthening bones and teeth, allowing for better vitamin absorption, and numerous other benefits. The following foods ought to find their way into a pregnancy diet, even if some of them must be ingested in moderation or within certain parameters.
These are, of course, merely suggestions. The best way for a pregnant woman to figure out what dietary path is right for her always has been and always will be consultation with a healthcare professional. Doctors and nurses are far better equipped to dispense advice based on a woman’s age, possible food restrictions, and overall health, as pregnancies and those experiencing them differ from instance to instance.
1. Iron SupplementsAccording to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, normal, healthy pregnancy diets do not usually supply enough iron for the blood of both fetus and mother. Mayo Clinic recommends 27 milligrams a day for pregnant women.
2. Kidney Beans
Mayo Clinic states that 1 cup of boiled kidney beans a day provides pregnant women with 5.2 out of the suggested 27 milligrams of iron. Dry, as opposed to canned or fresh, legumes typically nurture more efficient absorption – a tip which comes straight from the National Medical Library at the National Institute of Health.
Pregnant women should veer towards leaner cuts of beef, which provides valuable proteins and iron necessary for fetal development and healthy blood – among other benefits, of course. Mayo Clinic recommends 3 ounces of beef tenderloin (or equivalent a day, as it provides 3 milligrams of iron per serving.