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You are in the third trimester of your pregnancy, which is the last leg of your pregnancy journey, and you are slowly inching to the most awaited day of your life. Your body and your baby are going through tremendous changes. To ensure that your pregnancy progresses just fine, you need to maintain a healthy diet. You will need to structure your diet in a way that will work around the needs of your nutrition at this stage and also keep a check on your weight. Your stomach with rumble more than often as your baby is now preparing for its life once it is outside.
Health experts recommend that at least an additional 450 calories to ensure that your baby gains from nutrition needed at this stage. So, the big question is what should you eat to strike this balance between nutrition and weight control? There are plenty of options – read on to find out!
What Foods Should You Include in Your Diet in the Seventh Month of Your Pregnancy?
A healthy third-trimester diet during pregnancy has many elements. Your pregnancy diet plan can comprise of all the essential nutrients and you must eat in moderation. Avoid overeating because you will feel severe hunger pangs during this period. Learn more about what foods to eat during the 7th month of pregnancy.
- Foods Rich in Iron and Protein: Your body will need an extra dose of iron in the third trimester of your pregnancy to prevent anaemia or haemorrhage during delivery or even premature delivery. You would need approximately 27 mg of iron every day. Dark green vegetables like spinach, turnip leaves, dried fruits like raisins and apricots, pumpkin and sesame seeds, soya beans, red meat and poultry are all iron-rich foods that you can include in your diet. Protein is also important for the healthy growth of the baby. The amino acids present in protein-rich foods like eggs, meat, lentils, chickpeas, pulses and dairy products will provide you with the recommended 75-100 gms of protein a day.
- Foods Rich in Calcium: Intake of calcium in the third trimester of pregnancy is considered very crucial as eating calcium-rich foods will aid in the healthy development of your baby’s skeletal system and a robust bone structure. You must aim to get 1000 gm of calcium every day through your diet. You can include dairy products like milk, cheese, paneer and yoghurt as they are rich in calcium.
- Foods Rich in Magnesium: Along with calcium, you will also need magnesium in a proportionate amount in order to assimilate the calcium. Magnesium will help alleviate leg cramps, relax muscles and also prevent premature delivery. You need 350 mg of magnesium daily while pregnant. You can include black beans, oat bran, barley, artichoke, almonds and pumpkin seeds in your diet, as they are rich sources of magnesium.
- Foods Rich in DHA: A fatty acid, DHA is essential if you want a child with brains and brawns. A daily intake of 200 mg is recommended for the development of the baby’s brain. Fish oil, fatty fish like tuna, walnuts and flax seeds are some foods loaded with DHA – so include these in your pregnancy diet.
- Foods Rich in Folic Acid: Folic acids lowers the risk of any neural tube defects and aid in the development of a healthy neural system. Make sure you get at least 400 mg of folic acid daily through your pregnancy diet. You can eat dark leafy vegetables, oranges, oatmeal, whole grain bread and fortified cereals to get the recommended dose of folic acid.
- Foods Rich in Fibre: A fibre-rich diet can help clean the bile and prevent constipation. The water in your digestive tract is absorbed by your fibre intake so make sure you drink lots of water. Constipation is common in the third trimester so include, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains in your diet.
- Foods Rich in Vitamin C: Increasing your intake of Vitamin C will help in the proper absorption of iron during pregnancy. Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and melons, green pepper and broccoli are rich sources of Vitamin C.
Foods to Avoid in the Seventh Month of Pregnancy
Just when you know what to eat, bear in mind it is equally important to know what not to eat during this stage. Heartburn, swollen feet and hands, fatigue and constipation, are some common problems that you might experience during this stage of pregnancy. And eating certain foods will certainly aggravate these issues, and it is better to eliminate them from your diet.
- Spicy and Fatty Foods: Foods high in fat and spice, especially fried food will increase the discomfort of heartburn. They are difficult to digest and may hinder your sleep. Avoid eating fried foods at night.
- Foods High in Sodium: It is important to keep a check on your sodium intake at this stage of pregnancy. High intake of sodium will lead to swelling and bloating. Avoid crisps, pickles, sauces, canned food and ketchup. And drink plenty of fluids and water to regulate your sodium levels in your body.
- Caffeine and Fizzy Beverages: Coffee and tea should be completely avoided during pregnancy. But if you want to drink them, restrict yourself to just one cup a day as it could lead to constipation. Fizzy drinks are loaded with artificial sugar and sweeteners and provide absolutely zero nutrition, so they are best avoided.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is definitely not recommended at any stage of your pregnancy. At this stage, it is imperative that you do not even think of consuming it as it could hinder your delivery process.
- Junk Food: You may crave for fried chicken or burger, but these junk foods are best avoided during pregnancy. Avoid these junk foods and opt for homemade snacks like sandwiches, upma, dhokla, etc.
Dietary Tips for Seven Months Pregnant Women
Here are some dietary tips that you should follow in the seventh month of your pregnancy.
- Your morning breakfast should comprise of fresh fruits and a glass of milk. Include some servings of fortified cereal for iron intake. You could even have some boiled legumes and beans to meet your protein requirements. Eggs, dry fruits, and milk should also be consumed on a daily basis. Have a heavy breakfast as your body has all day to digest it.
- In the afternoon, your lunch should include a balanced proportion of cooked vegetables, salads, bread, chapati, and rice. Eat more starchy foods rather than sugary foods. Also, include foods high in protein.
- Your 4 pm snack should not be heavy. If you feel hungry, eat something light like makhana, dry fruits, or fruits.
- Keep your dinners light as you will want to avoid symptoms of heartburn and constipation. Stick to salads and fresh fruits to get a good night’s sleep.
A healthy and nutritious diet throughout pregnancy will not only benefit you but your baby too. Since you are now getting bigger, it is a good idea to get some exercise to offset the calories that you intake and control weight gain. Parental yoga, swimming, and walking are great options to check weight gain and will keep you strong and fit for normal delivery.