Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important. During this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, you may need an additional 350 to 500 calories a day during the second and third trimesters. A diet low in essential nutrients can hinder the baby’s development. Poor eating habits and excessive weight gain can also increase your risk of gestational diabetes and complications of pregnancy or childbirth. Simply put, choosing healthy, nutritious foods will help keep you and your baby healthy. It will also be much easier to lose weight during pregnancy after childbirth.
Here are 13 very nutritious foods to eat during your pregnancy.
1. Dairy products
During pregnancy, you should consume more protein and calcium than the growing fetus. Dairy products contain two types of high-quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy products are the best dietary source of calcium and provide large amounts of phosphorus, various B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is particularly beneficial for pregnant women. It contains more calcium than most other dairy products. Some varieties also contain probiotic bacteria, which promote digestive health.
This food group includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts. Legumes are great sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9), and plant-based calcium – which your body needs most during pregnancy. Folate is one of the group B vitamins (B9). This is very important for the health of the mother and the fetus, especially during the first trimester. However, most pregnant women do not get enough folate. This has been associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight. Insufficient folate intake can also cause your child to become more susceptible to infections and illnesses later in life.
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are very rich in beta-carotene, a plant compound that is transformed into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is essential for the growth and differentiation of most cells and tissues. This is very important for healthy fetal development. Pregnant women are generally advised to increase their vitamin A intake by 10 to 40%. However, they are also advised to avoid very high amounts of sources of vitamin A from animal sources, which could be toxic if consumed in excess. Therefore, beta carotene is a very important source of vitamin A for pregnant women. Sweet potatoes are the best home remedies in pregnancy.
Salmon is very rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids. Most people, including pregnant women, do not get enough omega-3 in their diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential during pregnancy, especially the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These are found in large quantities in seafood and help strengthen the brain and eyes of your fetus. However, pregnant women are generally advised to limit their consumption of seafood to twice a week, due to the mercury and other contaminants found in oily fish. This has led some women to avoid seafood altogether, thereby limiting their intake of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
However, studies have shown that pregnant women who eat 2 to 3 meals of fatty fish per week reach the recommended omega-3 intake and increase their blood levels of EPA and DHA (32, 33).
Eggs are the ultimate health food because they contain a little bit of all the nutrients you need. A large egg contains 77 calories, as well as high-quality protein and fat. It also contains many vitamins and minerals. Eggs are a great source of choline. Choline is essential to many processes in your body, including brain development and health. A dietary survey in the United States found that more than 90% of people consumed less than the recommended amount of choline. Low consumption of choline during pregnancy can increase the risk of neural tube defects and possibly lead to impaired brain function in the fetus.
6. Broccoli and dark leafy greens
Broccoli and dark green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain many of the nutrients that pregnant women need. These include fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. In addition, broccoli and leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidants. They also contain plant compounds that are beneficial for the immune system and digestion. Due to their high fiber content, these vegetables can also help prevent constipation, a very common problem among pregnant women. Consumption of green leafy vegetables has also been associated with a reduced risk of low birth weight.
8. Fish liver oil
Fish liver oil is made from fish grass, most often cod. The oil is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are essential for the development of the brain and eyes of the fetus. Fish liver oil is also very rich in vitamin D, which many people do not consume enough. It can be very beneficial for those who do not regularly consume seafood or omega-3 or vitamin D supplements. Low vitamin D intake has been associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia. This potentially dangerous complication is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and feet, and protein in the urine.
The berries are filled with water, carbohydrates, vitamin C, fiber, and healthy antioxidants. They usually contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron. Vitamin C is also important for skin health and immune function. The berries have a relatively low glycemic index, so they should not cause major spikes in blood sugar. Berries are also a great snack, as they contain both water and fiber. They provide a lot of flavor and nutrition, but with relatively few calories.
10. Whole grains
Consuming whole grains can help pregnant women cope with their increased calorie needs, especially during the second and third trimesters. Unlike refined grains, whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds. Oats and quinoa also contain a good amount of protein, which is important during pregnancy. In addition, whole grains are generally rich in B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium. All are frequently missing from the diet of pregnant women.
Avocados are an unusual fruit because they contain a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids. They are also rich in fiber, B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Because of their high content of healthy fats, folic acid, and potassium, avocados are a great choice for pregnant women. Healthy fats help build the skin, brain, and tissues of your fetus, and folate can help prevent neural tube defects. Potassium can help relieve leg cramps, a side effect of pregnancy in some women. In fact, avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
12. Dried fruit
Dried fruits are generally rich in calories, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. A piece of dried fruit contains the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, just without all the water and in a much smaller form. Therefore, a serving of dried fruit can provide a high percentage of the recommended intake of several vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, and potassium. Prunes are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and sorbitol. These are natural laxatives and can be very helpful in relieving constipation. Dates are rich in fiber, potassium, iron, and plant compounds. Regular consumption of dates during the third trimester can help facilitate cervical dilation and reduce the need for childbirth.
However, dried fruits also contain large amounts of natural sugar. Make sure to avoid the candied varieties, which contain even more sugar.
During pregnancy, the blood volume increases by 1.5 liters or about 50 ounces. Therefore, it is important to stay well hydrated. Your fetus usually gets everything it needs, but if you don’t monitor your water intake, you may become dehydrated. Symptoms of mild dehydration include headache, anxiety, fatigue, bad mood, and reduced memory. In addition, increasing your water intake can help relieve constipation and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, which are common during pregnancy. General guidelines recommend drinking about 68 ounces or 2 liters of water a day, but the amount you actually need varies from person to person.
Stay Healthier Note
What you eat during pregnancy affects your energy and well-being. It can also directly affect your baby’s health and development. As the calorie and nutrient requirements increase, it is very important to choose healthy, nutrient-rich foods. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal, but it is important to gain it in a healthy way. This is good for you, your baby, and your health after pregnancy. For more detail, regarding the pregnancy diet, you can visit on our site Stay Healthier.