A healthy diet and good nutrition during pregnancy ensure that your baby gets the best start possible.
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but is especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Good nutrition during pregnancy, and enough of it, is very important for your baby to grow and develop. Eating healthy during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow, and will keep you fit and well. The need for some nutrients increases during pregnancy, and folic acid and iodine supplements are recommended before and after conception.
The best foods for pregnant women are, no surprise, great foods for everyone. But there are certain foods in particular that provide the nutrients you need to grow the healthiest baby you can. Following a healthy diet is an important way to make sure that you and your baby are getting the nutrients that you need. Here’s what to eat while pregnant:
Protein is the foundation of any healthy diet — its amino acids are the building blocks of every cell in your (and now your baby’s) body. High-protein foods have other benefits, too: They keep your blood sugar stable and hunger at bay (and that helps quash those junk-food cravings). Some of the best proteins for pregnant women: eggs, lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy products, edamame, beans, nuts, and quinoa.
Meat is a great source of iron, which is important for red blood cells. Promoting good amounts of iron in the diet will be beneficial for the baby and the mother because both their red blood cell supplies will be increased. Blood volume among mothers increases by 50 percent during pregnancy which causes anemia during this stage. Iron is also a vital component in improving nerve connections.
Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, fromage frais and yoghurt are important because they contain calcium and other nutrients that your baby needs. Choose low-fat varieties wherever possible, for example, semi-skim or skim milk, low-fat yoghurt and half-fat hard cheese. Aim for two to three portions a day.
Vegetables and Fruits
Colorful fruits and vegetables should not be absent in a pregnant woman’s diet. They have all essential nutrients needed for improving health for the mother and healthy development for the baby. Nutrients obtained from fruits and vegetables include phytochemicals, beta-carotene, and many more. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A, which is vital for fetal development. The good thing about beta-carotene is it is safe for the body despite high levels unlike vitamin A.
One of the most important nutrients for pregnant women is a B vitamin called folic acid, and lentils are packed with it. It has a powerful protective effect against neural-tube defects like spina bifida, a disorder in which part of the spine is exposed. Because the benefit is so significant — and most effective very early in pregnancy (usually before you even know you’ve conceived) — most cereal, pasta, bread, and rice products are now fortified. You can also find folic acid in dark leafy greens, asparagus, and great northern beans.
Whole grains are good sources of folic acid and iron. Some products like whole-grain breads and other similar products are fortified to contain good amounts of these nutrients. They are fiber-rich compared to white rice and white bread. Incorporate whole grains to daily diet play through breakfast oatmeal, whole-grain sandwich, or brown rice.