There’s nothing like discovering out you’re pregnant to encourage better eating habits. After all, your body is going through lots of changes, and both you and baby need a full dose of vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy and strong. During this time, your body needs additional supplements of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, you may need approximately 350–500 extra calories each day during the second and third trimesters. A diet lacking in key nutrients may negatively affect the baby’s overall development and maturation. Unhealthy eating habits and excess weight gain may also increase your risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy or birth-related complications. That’s why maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important. It will also make it a lot easier to lose the extra kilos of pregnancy weight after you’ve given birth. Here is some highly nutritious food during pregnancy to be consumed.
1) Milk products:
During pregnancy, you need to eat extra supplements of protein and calcium to meet the needs of the developing fetus.
Dairy products are an excellent dietary source of calcium and provide a high quantity of phosphorus, various vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. That’s why they are considered to be the best food during pregnancy to be consumed.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is considered to be very much beneficial for pregnant women. It contains more amount of calcium than most other dairy products.
People who are lactose intolerant may also be able to consume and tolerate yogurt, especially probiotic yogurt.
Taking extra supplements of probiotics during pregnancy period may reduce your risk of complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and vaginal infections.
Salmon is another important food during pregnancy for pregnant women. Salmon is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Most pregnant women are not getting enough omega-3 through their diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are very essential during the gestational period, especially the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These are found in very high quantity in seafood, and enhance the development of the brain and eyes of your baby.
Yet, pregnant women are generally suggested to limit their seafood intake to twice a week. And it due to the presence of trace amounts of mercury and other contaminants found in fatty fish. This has caused some women to keep away from seafood altogether, thus limiting their consumption of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
However, various studies have shown that pregnant women who consume 2–3 meals of fatty fish per week achieve the recommended omega-3 intake and increase their blood levels of EPA and DHA.
Salmon fish is also a very rich natural source of vitamin D, which is often lacking in the pregnancy diet plan . It’s very essential for many processes in your body (bone health and immune functions) as well as in your developing baby (development and maturation) of bone.
3) Consuming Eggs:
Eggs are the ultimate healthy food, as they contain an exact balance of almost every nutrient you need. Egg is the most essential and highly recommended food during pregnancy for every pregnant woman.
A large egg contains very high-quality protein and fat. It also contains many essential vitamins and minerals which is required for the baby’s overall development.
Eggs are also an excellent source of choline. Choline is very essential for many processes in your body as well as for baby’s development. Low choline consumption during the gestational period may increase the chances of neural tube defects and possibly lead to decreased brain development and function in the baby (in the fetal stage). Hence eggs have to be included in the dietary plan for pregnant women.
4) Eating Legumes:
This category of food includes peas, beans, soybeans, chickpeas, and peanuts.
Legumes are the best plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium — all of which your body needs during the gestational time.
Folate (vitamin B9) is one of the very important B vitamins. It’s very essential for the health of the mother and baby, especially during the initial stage of the trimester (first trimester).
However, most of the pregnant women are not consuming nearly enough folate (Vitamin B9). This has been associated with an increased risk of defects of the neural tube and low birth weight. Insufficient folate consumption may also cause your baby to become more prone to infections and disease later in life.
Legumes are the richest source of folate as it contains a high very amount of folate (vitamin B9). Furthermore, legumes are also very high in fiber. Some of the varieties of legumes are also rich in iron, magnesium, and potassium. That why this food during pregnancy has to be there in every pregnant women’s dietary plan .
5) Dry Fruits:
Dry fruits are highly rich in calories, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. It also contains the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, just without all the water content and in a much smaller (shrunken) form. Therefore, consuming one handful amount of dry fruits can provide a large amount of the recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, including iron, and potassium.
Dates are considered to be a very rich source of fiber, potassium, and iron. According to the various researchers, consuming dates regularly during the third trimester may help facilitate the dilatation of the cervix and reduce the need to induce labor. Because of above mentioned reasons, doctors always recommend this food during pregnancy to be consumed.
6) Whole Grains:
Consuming whole grains may help pregnant ladies meet their increased calorie requirements, especially during the second and third trimesters. And that’s why this food during pregnancy is must to be taken.
Whole grains are highly rich in with fiber, vitamins and other essential nutrients. Oats and quinoa also contain a large amount of protein, which is very important during pregnancy. Additionally, whole grains are also very rich in vitamins B and fibers. All these nutrients are very essential for pregnant ladies as well as for developing baby. They contribute to the overall development of the baby.
Berries are highly loaded with water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. They contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron. Vitamin C is also very essential for skin health and immune function hence its very essential for both the pregnant mom as well as for a developing baby
Berries have a low glycaemic index value, so they should not cause major elevation in blood sugar. Hence it can be safely consumed by those pregnant women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
And that’s why Berries are also considered to be wonderful snacks for pregnant women, as they contain lots of water content and fiber. They provide a lot of flavour and nutrition, but with very low calories. And that’s why this food during pregnancy is the must to be consumed.