7 Foods For Pregnant Women

Pregnant? Hangry? Looking for a snack that will make your tummy and your baby happy? You’re probably hearing it a lot: Eating nutritious foods while pregnant is essential.We’re here to make your pantry into a one-stop shop of healthy and delicious foods that will give your baby the best start to life.

When building your healthy eating plan, you’ll want to focus on whole foods that give you higher amounts of the good stuff you’d need when not pregnant such as:

protein

vitamins and minerals

healthy types of fat

complex carbohydrates

fiber and fluids

Here are 7 super nutritious foods to eat when you’re pregnant to help make sure you’re hitting those nutrient goals:

1. Dairy products

During pregnancy, you need to consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of your growing little one. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt should be on the docket.Dairy products contain two types of high-quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy is the best dietary source of calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.

2. Legumes

This group of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts (aka all kinds of fabulous recipe ingredients!).Legumes are great plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate, and calcium — all of which your body needs more of during pregnancy.Folate is one of the most essential B vitamins (B9).

It’s very important for you and baby, especially during the first trimester, and even before.You’ll need at least 600 micrograms (mcg) of folateTrusted Source every day, which can be a challenge to achieve with foods alone. But adding in legumes can help get you there along with supplementation based on your doctor’s recommendation.Legumes are generally very high in fiber, too. Some varieties are also high in iron, magnesium, and potassium.

3.Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not only delicious cooked about a thousand ways, they’re also rich in beta carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is essential for baby’s development.

Thankfully, sweet potatoes are an ample plant-based source of beta carotene and fiber. Fiber keeps you full longer, reduces blood sugar spikes, and improves digestive health (which can really help if that pregnancy constipation hits).For a fab brekky, try sweet potatoes as a base for your morning avocado toast.

4.Eggs

Those incredible, edible eggs are the ultimate health food, as they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. A large egg contains about 80 calories, high-quality protein, fat, and many vitamins and minerals.

Eggs are a great source of choline, a vital nutrient during pregnancy. It’s important in baby’s brain development and helps prevent developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine.A single whole egg contains roughly 147 milligrams (mg)Trusted Source of choline, which will get you closer to the current recommended choline intake of 450 mg per day while pregnant (though more studies are being done to determine if that is enough).

Here are some of the healthiest ways to cook eggs. Try them in spinach feta wraps or a chickpea scramble.

5. Broccoli and dark, leafy greens

No surprise here: Broccoli and dark, green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, pack in so many of the nutrients you’ll need. Even if you don’t love eating them, they can often be squirreled into all kinds of dishes

Benefits include fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. They’re a bonanza of green goodness.

Adding in servings of green veggies is an efficient way to pack in vitamins and fend off constipation due to all that fiber. Vegetables have also been linked to a reduced risk of low birth weight

6. Avocados

Avocados are an unusual fruit because they contain a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids.

This makes them taste buttery and rich — perfect for adding depth and creaminess to a dish.They’re also high in fiber, B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C.Because of their high content of healthy fats, folate, and potassium, avocados are a great choice during pregnancy (and always).

The healthy fats help build the skin, brain, and tissues of your little one, and folate may help prevent neural tube defects, developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine such as spina bifida.

Potassium may help relieve leg cramps, a side effect of pregnancy for some women. In fact, avocados contain more potassium.

7. Dried fruit

Dried fruit is generally high in calories, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. One piece of dried fruit contains the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, just without all the water and in a much smaller form.One serving of dried fruit can provide a large percentage of the recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, and potassium.

Prunes are rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin K. They’re natural laxatives and may be very helpful in relieving constipation. Dates are high in fiber, potassium, iron, and plant compounds. However, dried fruit also contains high amounts of natural sugar. Make sure to avoid the candied varieties, which contain even more sugar.

Although dried fruit may help increase calorie and nutrient intake, it’s generally not recommended to consume more than one serving at a time.Try adding a small portion to a trail mix with nuts and seeds for an on-the-go protein- and fiber-filled snack

healthline.com

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