Healthy foods that pregnant mothers should eat to ensure that they get all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life, can make the unhealthiest of eaters want to completely change their diet. Not only do tastes change, but the thought of being responsible for baby’s proper growth and well-being is just the mental boost they need to eat healthy foods. But if you’re new to a healthy diet, you may be confused about what foods to eat. Many women know all about dieting and cutting calories, but may have never focused on the health and nutrients of their food.
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.
Healthy Foods for During Pregnancy
Salmon is another food that contains quality proteins that are good for fetal development. This food also has a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the baby’s brain and vision. While it’s not good to eat other types of fish during pregnancy due to their high mercury content, salmon has lower amounts that are safe for pregnant mothers. Still, they should only eat salmon once a week at the most.
While I don’t eat much dairy, I am a huge fan of this versatile, fermented, high-protein, low calorie food and eat it twice a day at least. Aside from the fact that it can be made to sub for just about anything (sour cream, ranch dressing, alfredo sauce) greek yogurt promotes gut health for both you and your baby and is high in the all-important protein food, which is building your baby cell by cell. It also provides a serving of calcium, important for bone health of you and baby. Enjoy greek yogurt with fruit and raw honey as a treat, in your morning smoothie, or as a topping for chili or tacos instead of sour cream.
Beans come in a variety of forms, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans and are a great source of protein and fiber. During pregnancy, fiber is important in relieving the natural process of slowing intestinal tracts, constipation and hemorrhoids. Beans also contain many good nutrients for the baby such as iron, calcium, zinc, and folate.
Nuts are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats, which help with brain development. Walnuts have the highest amount of omega-3s, but beechnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and almonds are also good for pregnancy.
Oats consist of fibers, proteins and Vitamin B6. Expecting moms should start their morning with a nice big bowl of oats as they are loaded with fibers, Vitamin B6 and proteins. Go for fortified oat meals as they contain B vitamins, iron and folic acid.
It’s not only packed with nutrients that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy such as calcium and folate but broccoli is also rich in fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants. And since it contains plenty of vitamin C, this popular green vegetable will help your body absorb iron when it’s eaten with an iron-rich food, such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice.
Sweet Potatoes are high in fiber, which the bodies truly need during pregnancy as the intestines are being squashed and crowded. But they also contain carotenoids, which convert as needed to Vitamin A in the bodies. Sweet potatoes are also high in Vitamin C, which helps you to absorb iron and prevent anemia, a common diagnosis during pregnancy. Another benefit is the high amount of potassium, even higher than a banana, an electrolyte that will prevent leg cramps.
Eggs are an almost perfect food in that for very few calories and a low cost, you receive a relatively high amount of high quality protein and healthy fat (omega-3 eggs are best). Eggs also contain nutrients like iron, choline, and folate that keep your amniotic membranes strong and help prevent birth defects. Aim for 2 eggs every day WITH the yolks or you’ll miss out on the choline.