WELLNESS - Expecting? Great, let’s find out which foods to include and avoid during pregnancy in order to maintain optimal health. Prevent gestational diabetes, preterm labor, and preeclampsia with these dietary tips.
Expecting is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. We mean, what can be more exciting than knowing that in just a few months, you’ll finally be able to hold your little version? However, carrying a child isn’t easy, and pregnancy is a crucial time for women.
Therefore, it is essential to make healthy dietary choices to ensure the health of both the mother and the developing fetus. Although there are numerous healthy diets that you can follow during your pregnancy, an anti-inflammatory diet is one such option that can offer several benefits during pregnancy. You see, inflammation during pregnancy is quite common, so this diet will definitely come in handy.
What Causes Inflammation During Pregnancy?
As we all know, inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or infection. Pregnancy causes the body to undergo significant changes that can trigger inflammation. Hormonal fluctuations, metabolism changes, and immune system changes are all examples of these changes.
Additionally, pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and preterm labor also cause inflammation. A pregnant woman can also encounter inflammation as a result of eating unhealthy diets, such as processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats.
Moreover, environmental factors such as pollution, stress, as well as a lack of sleep can also contribute to inflammation within the body. For this reason, pregnant women must adopt healthy lifestyle habits and make healthy dietary choices to minimize the risk of inflammation and related pregnancy complications. And taking anti inflammatory diet is one such step.
Now, let’s look at what an anti-inflammatory diet is.
Anti-Inflammatory Diets: What Are They?
Anti-inflammatory diets emphasize whole, nutrient-dense foods and limit or eliminate foods that cause inflammation in the body. A healthy diet is characterized by a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. It also restricts or minimizes foods that are high in refined sugars, trans fats, and saturated fats.
How Does An Anti-inflammatory Diet Help During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, an anti-inflammatory diet can significantly help in lowering inflammation. Now let’s look at some ways it helps:
1. Reduces the Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects some pregnant women, where high blood sugar levels develop during pregnancy. An anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole foods can reduce gestational diabetes risk by reducing processed foods and sugar.
2. Reduces the Risk of Preterm Labor
Preterm labor is when labor begins before the 37th week of pregnancy. When there is inflammation in the body, preterm labor is more likely to occur. You can reduce your risk of preterm birth by consuming whole foods and avoiding processed foods and sugars as much as you can.
3. Reduces the Risk of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a condition that can arise during pregnancy, where high blood pressure and damage to organs can occur. Anti-inflammatory diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and processed foods can lower the risk of preeclampsia.
4. Provides Essential Nutrients for Fetal Development
An anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, healthy fats, and essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and folic acid can provide the necessary nutrients for fetal development.
What Foods Should You Include in an Anti-inflammatory Diet During Pregnancy?
A woman’s dietary needs significantly change when she’s pregnant. She also needs to eat enough food to support the thriving life inside her womb. So, during pregnancy, there are certain foods that you should include in your diet that not only reduce inflammation but also nurture the baby. And they are:
● Fruits and Vegetables
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in fruits and vegetables can help reduce inflammation. Make sure to consume a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you get a wide range of nutrients from your food.
● Whole Grains
Grain-rich foods such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats are rich in fiber and nutrients that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, they can also help regulate the levels of blood sugar in the body.
● Lean Proteins
In addition to being excellent sources of protein, foods like chicken, fish, and legumes also contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which make them excellent choices. Aim to include a variety of lean proteins in your diet.
● Healthy Fats
Olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are all good sources of healthy fats that contain molecules that fight inflammation. Additionally, they are crucial for the development of fetal brains.
Inflammation Causing Foods You Need to Avoid During Pregnancy
To ensure a healthy pregnancy, avoid these foods:
● Processed Foods
There is no doubt that processed foods can cause inflammation in the body because they are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet or eliminate them completely if possible.
● Refined Sugars
In addition to being high in calories, refined sugars can also cause blood sugar levels to spike, which is dangerous during pregnancy. Moreover, they can also cause inflammation in the body. Therefore, limiting or eliminating refined sugars from your diet as much as possible is advisable.
● Saturated and Trans Fats
The body can become inflamed as a result of consuming saturated or trans fats. The possibility exists that they may increase the risk of gestational diabetes and other complications during pregnancy. In order to improve your health, you should limit or eliminate saturated fats from your diet.
Anti-inflammatory diets can offer several benefits during pregnancy. Prevent gestational diabetes, preterm labor, and preeclampsia by eating whole, nutrient-dense foods and minimizing processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. Consult your healthcare provider about an anti-inflammatory diet during pregnancy. You can ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy lifestyle for you and your growing family by making healthy dietary choices.