The most wonderful feeling in this world is to give birth to a new life and we women are lucky enough to experience this feeling. Not only pregnancy gives us the happiest feeling but it adds additional responsibilities as well. And one of these responsibilities is to provide proper food to the one growing inside us. We are required to be extra careful about our diet as it will impact the health of our baby as well. You should take care of your Healthy Pregnancy Meals that impacts your body and your baby as well.
In this article, I’ll tell you about the 10 best foods and fruits to eat during pregnancy. But before that, we should know what exactly is the importance of taking a healthy diet.
What is the Importance of taking healthy balanced diet during pregnancy??
- Eating right will help you gain healthy weight.
- Good nutrition is important for preparing the body for the
demands of pregnancy.
- Your child’s health also depends on the diet you take.
- Taking a good diet during pregnancy will also make it easier for you to lose weight after delivery.
- Good eating habits may also decrease the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth complications.
10 BEST FOODS DURING PREGNANCY
1) DAIRY PRODUCTS
- Dairy products include:- Milk, Yogurt, Cheese etc. Greek Yogurt is most beneficial.
- Nutrients content:- Calcium, Protein, Vitamin D, Phosphorus and other essential vitamins and minerals.
During pregnancy, you need to consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of the growing fetus. The nutrients contained in dairy products are important for the development of your baby’s bones, teeth, muscles, heart, and nerves, and for blood clotting.
- How much:- Eat 3 to 4 servings of calcium-rich foods a day, that’s enough to give you 1,000 milligrams of calcium.
2) WHOLE GRAINS
- Whole grains include:- Whole wheat, whole oat, brown rice, wholegrain barley, quinoa, bulgur etc.
- Nutrients content:- Whole grains are generally rich in B-vitamins, fibre, protein, and magnesium. All of these are frequently lacking in the diets of pregnant women.
- How much:- The ideal amount of whole grain that a pregnant woman should have a day is 60-95g. Pregnant women are advised to eat at least three servings of whole grain food every day.
- It increases one’s feeling of fullness – which is important towards the final trimester of pregnancy when increased appetite and constipation are common.
- The higher fibre content in whole grain food is good for the digestive system.
- For women with gestational diabetes, whole grain foods can help keep blood sugar levels down.
3) DRIED FRUITS AND NUTS
- Includes:- Cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, goji berries, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and walnuts.
- Nutrients Content:- The combination of dried fruits and nuts in your diet allows you to satisfy all your needs in important nutrients, namely iron, fibre, protein, copper, calcium, magnesium and other vitamins. Nuts are essential sources of soluble and insoluble fibre, as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Dried fruits, such as desiccated coconut, apricots, and dates should also be added to the list of healthy foods for pregnant women because of their high content of copper.
- One of the benefits of dried fruits is that you can consume them in lesser quantities than the raw ones while getting the same result.
- They provide you and your unborn baby with energy and all the necessary nutrients.
- They also help to relieve some unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy – like nausea, heartburn, and high blood pressure.
4) DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
- Includes:- Spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red leaf lettuce, and even yard greens such as dandelion etc.
- Nutrients content:- Calcium, magnesium, molybdenum, vitamin K, Riboflavin (B2), Folate, most B vitamins except B12, vitamin A, vitamin C.
- These foods are full of what we want to have for our growing babies but in a much tastier, easier-to-assimilate package.
- During pregnancy, there may be varying complaints such as constipation, UTIs, leg cramps, anaemia and many skin changes that can be easily avoided with a diet high in dark, leafy green veggies.
- Take at least two servings a day. You can find your favourite two or three dark leafy greens and keep them in the house all the time. You’ll get more nutrition out of them raw or juiced but eat them daily.
- Vegetables, such as lentils, are well-known for the high nutritional values.
- Nutrients content:- Lentils are said to contain high levels of folic acid, fiber, iron, protein, potassium and Vitamin B9 that are highly essential for pregnant mothers.
- Folic acid contained in lentils prevents birth defects like anencephaly and spina bifida.
- A half cup of lentils contains around 179 milligrams of folate that is a B vitamin that aids development of new cells.
- Folic acid also combats the harmful effects of drugs that the body absorbs.
- If you have a habit of smoking or drinking, folic acid in lentils can help absorb such bad habits.
- lentils also play an important role in improving the biological functions of the brain. If you have migraines during pregnancy, you can try lentils rich in vitamin B5 that combats stress and migraines.
- The protein contained in lentils helps in the development of muscles of your baby.
- A high content of potassium ensures proper blood circulation and keeps down high blood pressure as well.
- The fibre contained in lentils help combat intestinal tract disorders.
- It controls obesity and also keeps down high cholesterol level.
- Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy that can be tackled to a great extent by taking lentils rich in fibre.
- How much:-Pregnant women are required to take around 600 milligrams of folic acid every day. A half cup of lentils contains around 8 gm fibre.
- Nutrients content:- Salmon is very rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids are essential during pregnancy, especially the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.
- Salmon is also one of the very few natural sources of vitamin D.
- Help to build the brain and eyes of the fetus.
- It is very important for many processes in the body, including bone health and immune function
- How much:-as per studies, pregnant women who eat 2–3 meals of fatty fish per week achieve the recommended intake of omega-3.
Substitutes of salmon for vegans
If you are a vegetarian then this is for you. Yes, you don’t need to eat salmon for your omega 3 requirements as nature provides ample vegetarian sources of omega 3. These include:-
- Flax Seeds (alsi)
- Chia seeds
- Wild rice
- Herbs and spices etc.
- Nutrients content:- Avocados are full of good fats, high in dietary fibre and a great source of folate. Avocados also contain higher amounts of several non-essential compounds, such as fibre, mono-unsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants.
- Folate contained in avocado is especially important during early pregnancy because it can reduce the risk of birth defects.
- Other essential compounds in avocado have been linked to improvements in maternal health, birth outcomes, and breast milk quality.
- This high-potassium, low-sodium fruit prevents leg cramps.
- How much:- An avocado (130 g) a day is sufficient as it can meet 30% of your folate need.
- Bananas include yellow, green as well as red banana.
- Nutrient content:- Banana is a rich source of calcium, potassium and many other essential nutrients and is a great fruit to consume without much worry. This fruit is also rich In Folic Acid.
- Reduces anaemia
- Fights constipation
- Good Source Of Calcium
- Boosts Blood Cell Growth
- Great antioxidant
- Reduce Nausea
- Energy booster etc.
9) SWEET POTATOES
- As you would want the best nutrition for your unborn kid, you must focus on natural foods like sweet potatoes that are highly beneficial in the course of pregnancy because of their high nutritional content.
- Nutrients content:-
Vitamin A: -A cup of sweet potato contains 1922 mg of vitamin A that is about 300% of the regular intake that is recommended on a daily basis. Vitamin C and iron, potassium, fibre, and vitamin B6
- Vitamin C contained in this fruit helps in the absorption of iron that is essential for good health of your baby during pregnancy.
- Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. Dietary fibre adds natural bulk to the digestive system.
Pregnant mothers must consume 22-28mgs of fibre daily, to avoid constipation. A cup of sweet potato contains 6.6 grams of fibre that can meet most of the dietary fibre needs of your body.
- Vitamin B6 prevents morning sickness and helps the formation of red blood cells during pregnancy. A cup of sweet potato contains 0.6 milligrams of vitamin B6.
In pregnancy, you not only eat for yourself but also for the one inside you and it can indeed be a nerve-wracking responsibility, thus you need to ensure that at the end of the day you and your baby get the right nutritional boost.
This list of food items is prepared for general women but if you are allergic to specific food items then avoid them or consult your doctor.
Hope this post helped. Good luck and cheers to all the ladies out there who are gonna bring a new life to this world.