Foods and exercises to avoid heart problems during pregnancy

Pregnancy marks a special time in every woman’s life, but it is not without its complications. There are a number of natural processes that take place in the mother’s body that could lead to serious complications later, if not kept in check. Many specialists across the world call this period as a natural stress test for the body. During this time, some of the changes that occur include a significant rise in blood flow that leads to extra pressure on the heart, often causing temporary strikes in blood pressure or blood sugar levels. These are healthy and natural changes that take place in order to provide nourishment to the growing fetus. These are completely normal, and for many women, these issues die down post-delivery. But for a growing number of women, these changes could lead to an increased chance of cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes. If they remain unchecked, chances of passing on these issues to fetus increase drastically. While facing heart trouble during pregnancy, expecting mothers may experience symptoms similar to a heart attack.
These include:
-An increased heart rate
-Shortness of breath -Chest pain
To avoid these conditions, or make them more manageable, the pregnant women must take care not to overexert themselves, while following a healthier lifestyle. Some of the ways of doing this is by adopting a balanced meal plan and carrying out regular exercise.
Foods to include:
Zinc - While meat and shellfish are great sources of zinc, vegetarians and vegans must especially ensure they receive the necessary amount of zinc through their diets, as they are generally low in protein, which is necessary for zinc to bind with. Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans, along with seeds and nuts, are great alternative sources of zinc.
Folic Acid - All women who are of childbearing age require 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid every day, found in eggs, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals, and specific vitamin supplements. Besides helping reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, Folic acid is also extremely necessary during the first 28 days after conception, when risks of neural tube defects are the highest.
Iron - Having a healthy iron intake helps build iron stores in the body to prepare it for the needs of the fetus during the pregnancy. Meats, poultry, fish, legumes, and leafy green vegetables are rich in iron and must be included in a pre-pregnancy diet.
B Vitamins – B vitamins are miraculous supplements that are essential for the healthy development of the fetus’s mind and body.
Exercise: In a healthy pregnancy, regular physical activity is allowed and encouraged. Physical activity does not increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery. However, it is important for expecting mothers to discuss exercise with their obstetrician during their early prenatal visits. If the health care professional gives the OK to exercise, they can discuss what activities they can do safely.
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