Good nutrition during pregnancy is the key factor for your baby’s growth. As a mom, you should make sure your diet provides enough essential nutrients and energy for you and your baby’s development. Read on to find out the best foods for pregnancy.
This is a great source of calcium and your body needs at least 1000 mg of it per day during pregnancy. Since your baby requires a considerable amount of calcium and your body also needs it for your bones too. So, if you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, you might have to deal with future issues like osteoporosis. For example, yogurt is particularly beneficial for pregnant women because it is extremely rich in calcium. On top of that, dairy products also provide other important nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
Bread and Grains
The body’s main source of energy for pregnancy comes from the carbohydrates that are mostly found in bread or grains. Whole grain and related products provide important nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, fiber, and protein. Plus, you can eat bread or cereals fortified with folic acid to help prevent some major birth defects.
Depending on your diet and weight, you should consume anywhere between 6-11 ounces of bread/grains per day.
Beef, pork, or chicken are excellent sources of high-quality protein. Furthermore, these particular types of meat are rich in iron, which is crucial for pregnancy. Pregnant women need more iron since their blood volume is increasing, especially during their third trimester. Therefore, having low levels of iron during pregnancy may cause iron-deficiency anemia, which might increase the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight.
It may be hard to cover the iron needs with diet alone, especially since many pregnant women usually develop an aversion to meat. However, for those who can, eating red meat helps to provide the amount of iron your body needs, just make sure it’s completely cooked through. On the other hand, if you can’t tolerate lean meat, here are some alternatives to it.
Nuts are a healthy, filling, natural snack. It’s packed with protein, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients for your health. Even though they’re usually high in fat (the healthy one). So in a nutshell, nuts are good for pregnancy but you might not want to consume them too much if you have a weight issue. Plus, nuts are a versatile superfood, so it is very convenient for you to use them in cooking.
Berries are packed with healthy carbs, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They generally contain high amounts of vitamin C, which helps your body to absorb iron more effectively. Moreover, vitamin C is also important for your skin health and immune system. You can use berries as a perfect snack because they contain both water and fiber. Plus, berries also provide a lot of flavor and nutrition, but with relatively few calories and healthier than other snacks.
Broccoli and Dark, Leafy Greens
Broccoli and dark, green vegetables, such as kale or spinach, contain many of the nutrients pregnant women need. These include a variety of vitamins, potassium, and rich antioxidants. Furthermore, they also contain plant compounds that benefit your immune system and digestion. Also, most vegetables that are rich in high fiber can help to prevent constipation, which is a very common problem amongst pregnant women. Moreover, consuming leafy vegetables has also been linked to a reduced risk of low birth weight.
Avocados not only help your baby’s growth but can also ease your morning sickness. On top of that, eating avocados is a delicious way to get your vitamins. Plus, it is a perfect alternative to food that you should avoid like mayo. Keep in mind that avocados are high in fat and calories, so be careful not to overuse them unless you’re having trouble gaining weight.
Of course, this is just a shortlist. There are plenty of other nutritious foods to choose from. Grains of all kinds, seeds to yams and fruits, the list goes on. But, remember that how much you eat is as important as what you eat. And, gaining weight during pregnancy is completely normal, you just need to do it in a healthy way. This will benefit you and your baby even after pregnancy.