Maintaining healthy diet during pregnancy? Make sure to include these 13 foods in your diet!
During pregnancy period, your body required supplementary nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
In fact, you'll want between 350 to 500 additional calories day by day throughout the second and third trimesters (1).
A diet that lacks key nutrients could negatively impact the baby’s development (2,3,4).
Poor intake of nutrients and foods, excess weight gain may increase the chance of gestational diabetes or birth complications (5).
Put simply, selecting healthy, wholesome foods can ensure health of you and your baby.
Plus, it will make it easier to lose the weight after pregnancy or given birth.
Here are 13 wholesome, high nutritious foods to eat during pregnancy.
1. Dairy products
Throughout pregnancy, you need to consume additional protein and calcium to satisfy needs of the growing fetus (1, 2).
Dairy products contain 2 kinds of top quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy is that the best dietary supply of calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, numerous B-vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
Yogurt, particularly Greek yogurt, is especially helpful and beneficial for pregnant women (4).
It contains a lot of calcium than the other dairy foods. Some varieties may contain probiotic bacterium, that support digestive process (5,6, 7).
For those who are lactose intolerant may also be able to tolerate yogurt, particularly probiotic yogurt (8).
Taking probiotic supplements throughout pregnancy could reduce the chance of complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections and allergies
Dairy products, particularly yogurt, a good choice for pregnant women. Dairy products facilitate and raised protein and calcium needs. Probiotics may reduce the chance of complications.
Legumes great sources of folate, fiber and lots of other nutrients. Folate could be a vital nutrient throughout pregnancy, and will reduce the chance of birth defects and sickness.
This category of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts.
Legumes is great plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium, all of that the body need a lot throughout pregnancy. Folate is part of the B-vitamins (B9). It's vital for the health of the mother and fetus, particularly throughout the first trimester.
However, if you not consuming enough folate during pregnancy, it may raise the risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight. Inadequate folacin intake may cause the baby to be more prone of infections and sickness later in life (1, 2).
Legumes has high amounts of folate. One cup of lentils, chickpeas or black beans could provide from 65–90% of the RDA (3). Additionally, legumes are typically high in fiber. Some varieties are also high in iron, magnesium and potassium.
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes is loaded with beta-carotene, a plant compound that could be converted into vitamin A in body.Vitamin A is important for growth, for the differentiation of most cells and tissues. It's also vital for healthy fetal development (0).
Pregnant women are generally suggested to increase their intake of vitamin A from 10 to 40% (1, 2, 3).
However, we suggest to avoid very high amounts of animal-based sources of vitamin A, which can cause toxicity if consumed in excess (4).
Therefore, beta-carotene could be a vital supply of vitamin A for pregnant women.
Sweet potatoes is wonderful supply of beta-carotene. Around 100 to 150 grams (3.5–5.3 oz) of toasted sweet potatoes fulfills the complete RDI (5). Besides that, sweet potatoes also contain fiber, which can cause to feel fullness, cut back blood sugar spikes and improve digestive process and mobility (6, 7).
Salmon is incredibly wealthy in essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids is important throughout pregnancy, particularly the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.
Seafood usually contain a lot of these fatty acids, and to assist in brain development and eyes of the fetus (0).
However, pregnant women are generally suggested to limit their seafood intake (like I mention in “Top Food to Avoid During Pregnancy” article, at least eat seafood that low in mercury) to eat no more than 12 ounces (340.194 grams) weekly, because of the mercury and various contaminants found in fatty fish (1).
However, studies have demonstrated that pregnant women who consume 2 to 3 meals of fatty fish a week able to achieve the suggested intake of omega-3 and increase their blood levels of DHA and blood levels of EPA. (2, 3).
Salmon is one in a few natural resources of vitamin D, that is usually lacking within the one’s diet. it's vital for several health processes within the body, such as bone health and immune function (4, 5).
Salmon includes the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, that are vital for brain and eye growth within the growing infant. Salmon also is one of the natural supply of vitamin D.
Eggs is one of the best health food, this is because they contain a bit of almost every nutrient the body need.
A large egg usually contains 77 calories, including high-quality protein and fat. Not only that, they also contain various of vitamins and minerals.
One whole egg contains roughly 113 mg of choline, that is about 25% of the suggested daily intake for pregnant women (450 mg) (3).
Whole eggs is unbelievably wholesome food and a good source to increase overall nutrient consumption. In addition, egg also contain choline, an important nutrient for brain health and development.
6. Broccoli and dark, leafy greens
Broccoli, dark or green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain various of the nutrients that is essential to pregnant women. Nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium.
Moreover, they also rich in antioxidants and plant compounds that is beneficial to the immune system and digestion process (0).
Due to their high fiber content, these vegetables can prevent constipation which is common problem among the pregnant women.(1).
Eating green and leafy vegetable also been linked to diminished of risk of low birth weight (2, 3). But remember to wash the vegetables properly to clean the pesticide and to protect yourself from parasites.
Broccoli and leafy greens includes most of the nutrients that is essential for pregnant women. It also contains lots of fiber that is good for digestive process and constipation prevention.
7. Lean meat
Beef and chicken is great sources of high-quality protein.
Alongside with that, beef are loaded with iron, choline and various vitamin B which is required in higher amount during pregnancy.
Iron is an important mineral that is needed by red blood cells as part of hemoglobin. It's vital for delivering oxygen to all or any cells within the body.
Pregnant women would need a lot of iron, since their blood volume is increasing during pregnancy. This can be significantly important throughout the 3rd trimester.
Low levels of iron throughout early and mid-pregnancy could cause iron deficiency anemia, that doubles the chance of premature delivery and low birth weight (0).
Eating red meat is also a great natural sources that helps to increase the acquisition of iron from meals.
Consuming food that are rich in vitamin C, like papayas and guavas can increase iron absorption from meals and diets.
Unless of you have a severe morning sickness, iron could worsen the nausea (like I mention in “Remedies for Morning sickness” article, #ShamelessPlugAgain). Please consult your doctor for more information.
Lean meat could be a great supply of high-quality protein. Especially beef that are rich in iron, choline and B-vitamins, all of that is essential for pregnant women.
However, it's not recommended to consume more one serving (one tablespoon) per day, as a result of an excessive amount of preformed vitamin A is dangerous for the foetus. High levels of omega-3 may have blood-thinning effects (51).
8. Fish liver oil
Fish liver oil is extracted from the oily liver of fish, usually cod.
The oil is incredibly rich omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, that are important for fetus brain and eye development (0).
Fish liver oil contains very high in vitamin D, nonetheless, for insufficient vitamin D intake, studies have shown that there is a correlation with an increase of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ with the sign of swelling of hands and feet, and protein in the urine. (1, 2).
What is more, consuming cod liver oil throughout early pregnancy has been linked with the higher birth weight and a lower risk of malady / sickness later in the baby’s life (3).
A single serving (one tablespoon) of fish liver oil provides the suggested daily intake of omega-3, vitamin D and vitamin A.
One serving of fish liver oil provides have the desired quantity of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin A. Fish liver oil is also significantly vital for women who pregnant.
Berries contains combination of water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber and plant compounds.They generally contain high amounts of vitamin C, that helps the body to absorb iron.
Vitamin C is vital for skin health and immune function performance (0, 1).
Berries have a comparatively low glycemic index value, so they shouldn't cause a major spikes in blood glucose levels.They also a excellent snack as they contain both water and fiber. They supply a great deal of flavor and nutrition, with relatively few calories.
Berries contain water, carbs, vitamin C, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and plant compounds. It can assists pregnant women to increase their nutrient and water intake.
10. Whole grains
Eating whole grains can achieve the calorie requirement during pregnancy, particularly throughout the second and third trimesters.
Whole grains also is packed with vitamins, fiber, plant compounds and generally rich in B-vitamins, fiber and magnesium. For example, oats and quinoa that contain fair amount of protein which is vital throughout pregnancy period.
Whole grains is packed with combination of fiber, vitamins and plant compounds, wealthy in B-vitamins, fiber and magnesium, all of that is essential to pregnant women.
Avocados is awesome fruit that has a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids and high in fiber, B-vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C. Because of that, it is great choice for pregnant women. Pregnant women tend to have leg cramps because it is a side effect of pregnancy, potassium is a great remedies for leg cramp and avocado also contain high amount of potassium than bananas.(0)
Avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, folate and potassium that can improve fetal health and provide remedies for leg cramps during pregnancy.
12. Dried fruit
Dried fruit is mostly high in calories, fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals.
A piece of edible fruit contains same quantity of nutrients as fresh fruit, only without water and in shrank form.
Therefore, a serving of edible fruit will gives large percentage of the recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron and potassium.
Prunes that are wealthy in fiber, potassium, vitamin K and sorbitol. They're natural laxatives, and can be useful in relieving constipation.
Dates also is high in fiber, potassium, iron and plant compounds. Consistent dates consumption within the 3rd trimester could facilitate in cervical dilation and reduce the necessity to induce labor (0, 1).
However, edible fruit contains high amounts of natural sugar. Be sure to avoid the candied varieties, that contain even a lot of sugar. It is not recommended to consume more than one serving at a time.
Edible fruit is also extremely beneficial for pregnant women, since they're small and nutrient-packed. Be sure to limit your consumption and avoid the candied varieties.
This is the most obvious point in this list. Make sure to be always hydrated because dehydration is really a bad news for your body. Plus, the blood volume increases up to 1.5 liters during pregnancy so make sure to drink about 2 liters of water per day at least. (0)
Because of increased blood volume throughout pregnancy, drinking water is very important. Adequate hydration may also help prevent constipation and urinary tract infections. (1, 2).