Top 20 Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
2 years ago
Becoming a mother is an excellent feeling for a woman. Every pregnant lady needs some extra care so that she can give birth to a healthy and well-developed child. Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important as this is the time when you have to eat for two, so you must ensure that you are taking all the nutrients which your body needs. Following a healthy diet will reduce the complications during birth and it also has a good impact on the baby’s development.
You must be worried about what counts as healthy food during pregnancy?
This article will tell you some top 20 foods which must be included in your diet if you are pregnant.
1. Whole Grains – Grains like whole wheat, oat, barley, rice, and corn are full of essential nutrients that are necessary for the growth and development of the baby. They consist of iron, selenium, and magnesium. Iron (in the blood) is one of the important nutrients for the body of a pregnant lady. Whole grains are also the main source of vitamin B-complex (B1, B2, folic acid, and niacin) which is needed for baby’s growth. Some whole grain products are whole wheat bread, brown rice, bulger (daliya), chapati of whole grain flour, and many more.
2. Leafy Greens – Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale are rich in nutrients that a pregnant woman needs. These are basically plants so it contains a plant compound that is good for the immune system and helps in easy digestion. Green leafy vegetables like broccoli contain antioxidants. Spinach acts as a powerhouse during pregnancy because it contains vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, copper, and vitamin C. All pregnant women must include leafy green vegetables in their diet.
3. Sweet potatoes – This food plays an important role in healthy fetal development. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene which helps in fetal development. It also contains fiber which reduces blood sugar spikes and improves the digestive system. Your body converts beta carotene to vitamin A; hence it should be consumed in a limited amount to avoid complications. You can have it by either boiling it or drizzled with olive oil.
4. Milk – It is recommended that every pregnant lady must consume at least three cups of milk daily. Milk is the main source of vitamin D, calcium, and protein. A point must be considered during pregnancy that milk is a good source of calcium but a poor source of iron and iron is necessary for healthy brain development of the baby. Hence milk should be consumed as per your doctor’s advice.
5. Dairy Products – Dairy food contain a good amount of calcium which helps in the proper development of unborn baby’s bones. All dairy products are not good for health. There is some cheese that is harmful to the body hence must be avoided during pregnancy, like goat’s cheese and soft, mold-ripened cheese (e.g. brie, camembert). Cheese like Mozzarella, Feta, Ricotta, Cream Cheese, Cottage Cheese, and Paneer can be consumed.
6. Yogurt – Yogurt is a great food option for a pregnant woman. It includes protein, high calcium which helps in the proper growth of bones of the baby. It also contains probiotics that are good for digestion. Greek yogurt is much better than regular yogurt, the healthy bacteria in it fight with unhealthy bacteria and lowers the risk of infections, allergies, and preterm labor.
7. Nut Butter – There are various nut butter such as peanut butter, almond butter, walnut butter, hazelnut butter, etc. considered as healthy butter. These butter are rich in protein, amino acids, and unsaturated fats which are helpful for the development of the baby’s brain, heart, eye, and immune system. Peanut butter is much better during pregnancy as it prevents peanut allergies in children. Peanuts and Peanut butter both are good sources of protein that’s why it is advised to eat 1 spoon daily during pregnancy.
8. Fruits – Fruits like apple, kiwi, orange, banana, watermelon, and berries are good to eat during pregnancy. Apples are high in fiber and help in digestion and prevent a common issue called hemorrhoids. Citrus fruits like lemon and orange are rich in vitamin C which helps in the proper growth of bones in babies. Potassium-rich bananas help in preventing the cramp and pain during later stages of pregnancy and also regulate the blood pressure in women. Kiwis are full of folic acid and ensure that the mother’s blood carries enough oxygen to her baby. Vitamin A, C, and B6 rich Watermelon helps in muscle relaxation and also prevents premature contractions during pregnancy. Berries are full in antioxidants and hence prevent any disease formation in both mother and baby.
9. Fortified Foods Cereals – Fortified food contains two most essential nutrients folic acid and iron which are necessary during pregnancy. Folic acid prevents the baby’s brain and spine defects during birth. Some healthy fortified cereals like bran, wheat flakes, corn flakes, raisin bran, and multigrain cheerios must be included in the diet.
10. Eggs – Eggs are a good source of protein that provides amino acids essential for both mother and baby’s body. Eggs also contain one of the most important nutrients called choline which plays a vital role in the baby’s brain development and it also prevents birth defects. Pregnant ladies are recommended to consume at least 450 milligrams of choline a day and eggs contain 147 milligrams of choline. It is advised not to eat raw or undercooked eggs.
11. Lean Red Meat – Red meats like pork, beef, and lamb are great sources of protein, iron, and zinc. Iron is essential for the body to make hemoglobin (in red blood cells) which carries oxygen throughout the body, the need for iron increases during pregnancy to provide oxygen to developing fetuses. It also helps in developing fetal brain. The protein present in lean red meat stabilizes the blood sugar level. Pregnant women must not consume cold cuts of meat.
12. Fatty Fish Salmon- Seafood is a great source of protein. Fish salmon is one of the seafood materials contains protein, iron, zinc, and many crucial ingredients which is very important for the baby’s development. This fish contains omega-3 fatty acid and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which helps in the baby’s brain development and fetal vision.
13. Beans and Lentils – Beans and lentils is a great source of protein, eventually, all pregnant lady should intake approx. 60 grams of protein every day. It is also high in fiber which can help to combat constipation. Pregnant women should daily add a cup of cooked beans and lentils in combination with rice or even as a salad in their daily diet to meet protein and folate requirements.
14. Avocados – Avocado is rich in folic acid and Vitamin B6 which is very essential during pregnancy. Avocado is also enriched with many nutrients (calcium, potassium, and more) which can help in building up the baby’s brain growth and development. Avocado can be feed even after a baby’s birth to improve their immunity and development.
15. Dried Fruits – Dry fruits are famous for their strength giving benefits. They contain calcium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. The fiber present prevents the problem of constipation in pregnant women. Some dry fruits are cashews, almonds, walnut, dates, dried apricot, cherries, raisins, and prunes. It is advised to avoid candies, toffees, and chocolates.
16. Quinoa – Whole grains are very important in meeting the daily calories of a pregnant lady. Whole grains have an enormous amount of fiber and vitamins. Quinoa is also a whole grain that contains a fair amount of protein. It contains Vitamin B, fiber, and magnesium which all a pregnant woman needs.
17. Figs – Figs are one of the healthiest fruits having many nutrients and highly recommended for pregnant women. It helps in dealing with morning sickness. Figs are a source of protein and vitamins that are essential for the growth of a baby’s brain and development.
18. Cauliflower – A vegetable rich in vitamin C is a good option for pregnant women. It’s a common vegetable usually eaten by everyone. It helps in the growth and development of the baby.
19. Carrots – Carrots are beneficial for many reasons as they contain beta carotene. Carrots help in reducing the risk of cancer in you and your baby. Beta Carotene is converted into vitamin A which helps in the development of baby’s skin, eye, bones, and organs.
20. Pumpkin Seeds – It’s a package of nutrients like magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, and many more. Pumpkin seeds help to improve muscle health and also boost iron and protein intake in pregnant women. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten in a roasted form and as toppings on soup and salad.
So these were some top 20 food items which can help during pregnancy in the growth and development of the baby and mother. One thing that every expecting mother should take care of that they should take the nutrients on a daily basis as per their doctor’s advice.