Nigerian Food To Eat During Pregnancy
It’s a thing of joy to get pregnant, but it’s unfortunate that not every pregnant woman gives birth to a child as there could be a case of miscarriage.
Miscarriage, according to Oxford dictionary, is the spontaneous and natural termination of pregnancy. It’s a situation that occurs to woman due to some factors, which include improper dieting during pregnancy period.
As much as we’re not focusing on miscarriage today, we shall be discussing extensively why you should eat healthy foods and drinks during pregnancy period.
We will equally unveil the type and kinds Nigerian of food you should consume right from the first day of your pregnancy period to the last day.
Though our focus is plainly on Nigerians food for pregnant women, we will try everything possible to make sure that everyone (irrespective of your nationality) benefits from this well-detailed write-up. We’ve had so much for the introduction, let’s get down to business.
Why You Should Eat Good Food During Pregnancy Period
Healthy diet is good for you — whether you’re pregnant or not. So, you shouldn’t overlook its importance to your body, especially when you’re pregnant.
The quality and quantity of food you take have a huge impact on your health and the life of the baby in your womb.
As a pregnant woman, ensuring a balanced diet will provide you with all the needed energies, nutrients and strengths to have a successful pregnancy period and beyond.
As a way to prepare you for a successful pregnancy period, we have come up with a complete list of Nigerian foods you should eat whenever you are pregnant. See the list below:
1. Food That Are Rich in Protein
Pregnant women are advised to take meals that are rich in protein in order to maintain perfect health conditions during and after their pregnancy period.
It is confirmed by top medical professionals that protein helps to ensure normal growth of the baby as it enhances the flow of oxygen throughout the body.
Protein also plays a huge role in repairing damaged tissue and it helps to develop new tissues in the body which will support the growth of the developing child.
Enzymes and pregnancy-enhancing hormones are being boosted by protein; While, muscles are being energized as long as you consume food and drinks that are rich in protein. You must endeavor to take adequate level of protein into your body on a regular basis.
Nigerian Foods That Are Highly Rich In Protein
There are many highly-rated Nigerian foods that contain high level of protein. Some of them are listed below:
- Moimoi (a delicious meal made from beans)
- Akara (beans cake)
B. Fruits and Vegetables
The positive impacts and importance of fruits and vegetables to pregnant woman and her unborn baby can’t be overemphasized as they supply necessary vitamins to your body.
Regular intake of vegetables and fruits means you are supplying your immune system and your baby with very important vitamins such as the Beta Carotene (which supports the development of baby cells, vision, tissue and immune system), Vitamin C (which aids the development of baby’s bones, teeth and collagen), Potassium (which helps to regulate blood pressure during and after pregnancy)
Pregnancy-friendly Fruits And Vegetables That Are Readily Available In Nigeria
There are quite a large pool of fruits and veggies you can eat in Nigeria as they are scattered across all the states of the federation.
You can go for mango, banana, watermelon, pear, avocado, onion, garlic, turmeric, spring onion, cabbage, green beans, green peas, orange and cashew.
Tomatoes, fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu), cucumbers, afang, oha leaves, spinach and carrots are other veggies you can choose because they are all rich in vitamins and minerals.
Things To Know Before You Choose Your Fruits As A Pregnant Woman
1. Not All Fruits Are Edible For Consumption
According to Dr. Sadhna Singha, a Senior Consultant Gynecologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute India, some fruits must not be consumed by pregnant women because of their capacity to lead to miscarriage.
He revealed that Pineapple — despite its healthy benefits — is not good for pregnant women because it could soften their cervix as it contains high quantity of bromelain.
He further stressed that too much of pineapple can lead to diarrhea and dehydration which isn’t good for the unborn child.
Grape is never an option for any pregnant woman because it has a heat-producing feature which could harm the woman and are developing baby.
As much as Papaya is not a common fruit in Nigeria, it should be noted that it’s NOT good for pregnant women. This is because it consists of latex which often triggers uterine contraction.
Bitter Melon is another fruit that should be far from pregnant women because of its negative effects. According to Singha, it can lead to miscarriage or baby’s premature death as it consists of quinine, saponic glycosides and Morodicine which can lead to diarrhoea, abdominal pain.
2. Do not apply detergent, soaps or bleach solutions while washing your fruits.
3. You must ensure that your fruits are healthy. Cut all damaged spots away before you take them because they serve as site for bacteria and some diseases.
4. You should ensure that you eat them in the right proportion. You can VISIT HERE to see the adequate amount of fruits and vegetables needed by your body on a daily basis.
C. Carbohydrates and Starchy Foods
Every pregnant woman should never run out of energy and strength, this is why energy-giving foods are advised to be in your kitchen at all times. Starchy foods or foods that are rich in carbohydrates help in the supply of energy and power to the muscle.
Apart from supplying energy, starchy foods help in the provision of calcium, iron and vitamin B. It also enhances the level of blood glucose and insulin in the body which are both good for pregnant woman and her baby.
* Nigerian Foods That Are Highly Rich In Carbohydrates
Nigeria has different types of starchy and carbohydrates foods, they include the following:
- Pasta (popularly known as Spaghetti across the country)
- Fufu (made from cassava)
- Eba (made from cassava)
- Noodles (popularly known as Indomie across the country)
Constant intake of clean water will go a long way to help you during pregnancy. Water ensures that you and your baby are hydrated at all times. It also helps to get rid of toxins from your body system.
It’s believed that pregnant women are prone to urinate too often during their third month of pregnancy; Hence, you’re advised to take more water to provide enough fluid in the body.
As much as there are many sources of water across the country, you must endeavor to get the best, the purest and well-treated water.
E. Dairy Foods
Dairy foods are meals that contain a considerable amount of milk. They are required by pregnant woman as they help in the provision of Calcium which will improve the development of the baby in your womb.
Milk, Cheese and yogurt are some of dairy products you can easily see in the West African country.
Foods And Feeding Habits You Should Avoid During Pregnancy Period
Though eating quality food is important to pregnant woman, there are some foods you shouldn’t take.
Likewise, there are some feeding habits you must ignore during the 9 months of your pregnancy. The foods and habits to ignore include:
1. Foods With High Level Of Mercury
Mercury is known for its toxic features or nature. So, it is very important that pregnant women avoid taking food that contains mercury.
Too much of mercury in the body could lead to improper kidney function and unhealthy nervous system. You should avoid marine fish, Shark fish, Swordfish, King mackerel and Tuna because they are all high-mercury fish.
2. Undercooked or Raw Meat and Fish
Raw or undercooked fish and meat are not good for pregnant women because they have high rate of transferring infections — such as vibro, norovirus and Listeria — into the body.
As much as fish and meat are good for your consumption, you must take time to cook them properly before eating them.
It is often said that women become hungrier whenever they are pregnant. However, you must try everything possible to avoid eating too much.
It is confirmed by medical professionals that overeating could lead to heartburn, gestational diabetes and baby’s high birth weight.
4. Unclean Foods
Every pregnant woman is advised to be very cautious of the food she eats. You must make sure that your food is clean and hygienic enough for consumption.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection related to dirty foods, and it has high chances of affecting your heart, eyes, brains, lungs and unborn baby.
It is the believe of most Nigerians that pregnancy makes one become too lazy and unproductive, but it all depend on how you take care of yourself and what you consume.
This is why you should create a perfect food timetable for yourself throughout the nine months of your pregnancy period. Nigeria is blessed with so many foods that will support your condition. So, eat well and stay healthy.
Don’t over labour yourself and don’t be too idle. Ensure regular medical check-up and don’t under-estimate the value of ante-natal care as it is very important. Remain fit as we wish you safe delivery.