Diet & Nutrition

Here's what you need to know about pregnancy nutrition

It's difficult to know which foods will be most beneficial during pregnancy, we speak to a dietitian to clear up any confusion.

After getting pregnant - and even before then - filtering through conflicting advice about the do's and dont's of pregnancy nutrition is an arduous task.
To help avoid confusion, Now To Love spoke to registered dietitian, Sylvia North, about what women should try to eat more of when pregnant.
North explains that during pregnancy our nutritional requirements increase, but it's not just one vitamin or mineral we need to focus on; Sylvia recommends eating a variety of nutrient-dense food.
"At the very early stages of pregnancy, and particularly pre-conception, adequate stores of folate and other methylation co-factors (vitamin B12, B2, zinc, choline, magnesium) are essential for regulating the genes which initiate foetal development and formation," says North.
"Eating plenty of dark green leafy vegetables can be some of the best sources of folate and magnesium. Well-cooked meat, fish, and eggs are also great sources of vitamin B12, choline, and iron.
"Livers from small animals (e.g. chicken) are also great to incorporate, as they are concentrated sources of B vitamins and minerals such as iron."
North says that during pregnancy women are often advised to avoid eating large fish due to the potential exposure to heavy metals (shellfish is off the menu for pregnant women), with tuna as the exception.
"In general guideline resources tuna is not included in this category [large fish], but pregnant women want to be aware that tuna does carry some heavy metal load," says North.
"It's about considering overall exposure, dose, and frequency. While the occasional can of tuna is not necessarily harmful, I wouldn't advise eating canned tuna daily."
You can read a comprehensive rundown of pregnancy nutrition advice here or contact your health professional.