It is always important to eat good food, but particularly more so when you’re pregnant. What you eat and drink during pregnancy is the principal source of nutrients for your baby. During pregnancy, the goal is to consume as many healthy foods as possible.
The mother’s diet has to be safe and nutritious for a healthy pregnancy – which requires the correct combination of proteins, carbs, and fats and includes a wide range of plants such as vegetables and fruits.
If you already have good eating habits, minor changes are easy to make to ensure a successful pregnancy. Your diet must include the following foods:
1. Dairy Products
Dairy products are a great choice for pregnant women, particularly yogurt products. Dairy foods such as milk, butter, and cheese are healthy sources of calcium, protein, and vitamin D in the diet.
These ensure that you fulfill the increased demands of protein and calcium. Often, probiotics can help to reduce the risk of complications. Try to eat 3 to 4 dairy-food portions a day.
2. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs are extremely nutritious and an ideal way to increase the daily consumption of nutrients. They include choline, a nutrient vital to brain health and development.
Eggs are a very good food source and are inexpensive and easy to cook. Although pregnant women have been urged to stop consuming raw or undercooked eggs until now, recent research shows that lightly cooked eggs are healthy to consume during pregnancy.
3. Grains and Legumes
Legumes are foods that contain a lot of nutrients. Legumes include rice, peas, almonds, soybeans, and lentils. They provide vitamins B and trace minerals such as zinc selenium and magnesium.
Grains and legumes are high in nutrients, including the B vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.
Most legumes are a healthy source of protein and when it comes to meal preparation they fall under the same group as beef.
Breads and cereals filled with whole-grain are fortified with folic acid and iron and contain more calcium than white bread and rice. Consider working whole grains into your meal.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables as they contain vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to help absorb water and avoid constipation. Fruits are highly recommended especially when you are close to your due date. Fruit such as watermelons, for example, helps your sleep and regulates muscle activity as well – important when you are preparing for labour.
Eat a number of fruits and vegetables a day – fresh, frozen, canned, dry or juiced. Ensure you wash them well. To benefit from the nutrients vegetables provide, wash them well and eat them raw or have them half-cooked with little water or steam.
5. Starchy Foods
Starchy foods are an essential source of nutrients, some vitamins and fibers, which make you stay full without too many calories. These include corn, wheat, beans, pasta, rice, cereals for breakfasts, noodles, peas, yams, millet, and oats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy for the brain and eyes of your baby and salmon is a perfect choice for that. Plus, it contains vitamins such as calcium and B vitamins.
Compared with other fish, salmon is fairly small in mercury too. Put it in a salad, or eat it grilled, broiled, fried or steamed. If you like sushi, eat it raw as sushimi! You can easily consume up to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish a week, such as salmon.
7. Dried Beans and Lentils
During pregnancy, all women require 10 extra grams of protein a day (or a minimum of at least 60 grams); beans and lentils are an excellent choice, at about 15 grams per cup. They are also high in fibre and help in the battle against constipation. 1 cup of cooked lentils meets half the daily demand for folate.
A healthy pregnancy is about eating a safe, nutritious diet that contains plenty of fresh fruits, fish, dairy products, and vegetables. Make sure your calories come from nutritious foods that contribute to the growth and development of your baby.
Eating a good, nutritious diet would most likely give you the nutrients you need. Remember, the forthcoming process is very critical and allows you to be prepared for delivery and then the joys that come with being a mother.
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