Best Foods For a Healthy Pregnancy

Best Foods For a Healthy Pregnancy

Did you know that your daily intake of calories increase by 500 as soon as you hit second and third trimester of pregnancy?

Maintaining a healthy intake of food is to be kept in mind, especially when you are expecting. It is the time when you need to have as many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as you can for the health of you and your baby.

Failing to comply with this additional calorie requirement can adversely affect the health of the fetus growing inside you. A poor diet can also make you vulnerable to weight gain and develop gestational diabetes.

Don’t forget to incorporate the following foods into your diet to maintain good fitness during pregnancy.

Milk Products

Your body requires extra protein and calcium to nourish the fetus growing inside your body. By consuming different dairy products, you would be treating yourself with two types of proteins i.e. casein and whey. Additionally, these products will also be a good source of vitamin B, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium.

Greek yogurt is particularly good for you when you are expecting. This is because there is more amount of calcium in it in addition to probiotic bacteria that ensure good digestive health.

You can still consume Greek yogurt even if you have lactose intolerance.

Sweet Potatoes

Vitamins are what you require during pregnancy and sweet potatoes are a great source for them. These potatoes are rich in beta-carotene that is converted into vitamin A as it enters your system.

Medical College of Pennsylvania has regarded vitamin A as an essential factor for growth and differentiation of the body cells. Its role is also worth considering during fetal development.

Also because your body has a need for 10 to 40 percent more vitamin A during pregnancy, you need to rely on sweet potatoes more often.

What Foods should You Eat to Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy?
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Leafy Vegetables

Here is a pro tip to make your pregnancy easier on your body- eat dark leafy vegetables. This is because these vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach are rich in nutrients and can maintain the fitness of your body.

You can provide vitamin K, calcium, folate, vitamin C and iron altogether by just consuming these veggies. Some of them such as broccoli are also rich in anti-oxidants and are capable of boosting the immune system.

As per Universiti Sains Malaysia, consuming green vegetables decreases various pregnancy-related complications. These include problems such as the risk of low birth weight.

Dried Fruit

Always keep up with your fiber intake, minerals and vitamins and the best way to do it is to consume a lot of dried fruits. A single piece of these dried fruits have all varieties of nutrients that are normally found in fresh fruit. Amazing, right?

By treating yourself with dried fruit, you will be getting potassium, folate, and iron. All of these are important for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Do remember not to overdose on these fruits as they are also rich in sugar.

Fish Liver Oil

Fish liver oil is derived from the liver of codfish and is, therefore, comprises of high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fatty acids can help in the development of fetal eyes and brain.

Consuming fish liver oil will also provide you with vitamin D that can save you from several complications of pregnancy such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia and proteinuria.

Fish liver oil will ensure a healthy birth weight of the fetus and improve its immunity to fight diseases later in life.

Legumes

This food group comprises of lentils, beans, peas, peanuts, and soybeans.

Legumes tend to be an excellent source of protein, fiber, and folate. They also have calcium and iron which are really important for your pregnant body.

Folate refers to one of the most important vitamins of vitamin B complex. It is extremely important to maintain the health of both fetus and mother. Doctors often advise pregnant women to consume it during the first trimester.

However, most of the pregnant women end up having a folate deficiency. This is a dangerous situation as the deficiency of folate can cause several side effects. These include neural tube defects and a possible low birth weight of the baby.

The insufficient consumption of folate may even make your child prone to infections. This even continues in the later stages of life.

Legumes have a rich amount of folate. One cup of chickpeas, lentils, or black peas may provide you as high as 90% of the RDA. In addition to this, legumes have a rich concentration of fiber in their composition. Certain varieties also have potassium, magnesium, and iron in considerable amounts.

Salmon

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Most of the pregnant females fail to obtain sufficient amounts of these fatty acids in their diets. These fatty acids are very important during pregnancy.

The long-chain varieties such as EPA or DHA are particularly significant.

What Foods should You Eat to Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy?
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Most of the seafood is rich in these omega-3s and can help build the yes and brain of the fetus. However, this does not mean that one should start eating seafood like crazy.

Doctors generally advise pregnant women to eat seafood once or twice a week. This is due to the presence of several contaminants such as mercury in fatty fish.

This reason makes some pregnant females to quit seafood altogether. This is not right because avoiding seafood causes a decrease in their omega-3s intake.

Studies prove that pregnant women eating 2-3 meals of fish per week are doing well. They are fulfilling the recommended doses of this omega-3s successfully.

So, if you are a fan of salmon, it can be really helpful to you during pregnancy.

And that’s not all.

Salmon is also one of the rarest natural sources of vitamin D. This vitamin is very important for regulating immune function and bone health. So eating salmon may prove to be a lot more beneficial than you think it will.

RELATED: Faint positive line on pregnancy strip- Am I Pregnant?

Eggs

Do you love eating eggs? Be it omelets, sunny side up, or poached, eggs are the ultimate health foods

Why is that so?

Because they consist of a bit of almost every nutrient that your body requires.

Did you know that a large egg contains 77 calories? In addition to this, it also has some extremely fine quality of fat and protein. Not to forget the tons of minerals and vitamins guaranteed to give your health a boost.

If you need more reasons to eat eggs, keep reading.

Eggs are a rich source of choline. Choline is a critical agent required for a lot of processes happening in your body. These include the development of the brain and the maintenance of optimal health.

A dietary survey conducted in the United States show that more than 90% of people do not consume sufficient choline.

A lower intake of choline during pregnancy is even more harmful to your body. It can increase the possibility of neural tube defects greatly. Furthermore, choline deficiency can also alter the brain function of the fetus.

A whole egg contains almost 113 milligrams of choline. This makes up for 25 percent of the RDI for pregnant females which are around 450 milligrams. So don’t forget to include eggs in your diet.

 

Nancy Walker

Nancy holds a Medicine degree and a Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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