A complete guide to the best foods to eat during pregnancy

food-to-eat-during-pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very exciting time in a woman’s life. It affects her both physically and emotionally. But if you are a new mother to be, and you are wondering what foods to eat during pregnancy. Here we are providing you with the complete list of best foods to eat during pregnancy. This is to get the right nutrition for yourself and make your baby healthier as well. During pregnancy, your body needs more energy because now you are eating for two people. Especially in the later months of pregnancy, you have to eat an extra 300 to 500 calories per day. But there is no need to worry; following is everything you need to know about the best foods to eat during pregnancy.

Why is it important to get proper nutrition during pregnancy?

Whatever you eat or drink during pregnancy has a direct effect on your baby. If you stay unaware of the best foods to eat during pregnancy, it would have bad effects on the baby’s health. Doctors suggest the new mother to have the right kind of diet so that your baby can develop and grow properly. To have a normal and healthy delivery, it is important to eat all the important micro and macronutrients in time. So, pick up your notebooks and right down these foods in your grocery list now.

What can pregnant women eat?

By now, you must be thinking what can I eat while pregnant? The answer is simple; that you have to make a proper diet plan including all the best foods to eat during pregnancy. These include dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat etc. Maintaining a balance between all these foods is the key.

Dairy products

Some of the important dairy products are found in your fridge every day; these include yogurt, milk, and cheese. Dairy products are the best source of calcium and proteins. These nutrients are very important to eat during pregnancy for healthy bones and nervous system of your little one.

Benefits of dairy products

Dairy products are full of healthy proteins like whey and casein. They provide essential amino acids to the body along with some micronutrients like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B. All these are required for you to have an active lifestyle when you are pregnant. One issue that most pregnant women face is that they get constipated during pregnancy. Eating yogurt can help in maintaining digestive health which is greatly affected during this time. Yogurt is full of prebiotics and probiotics that maintain good bacteria inside the digestive system.  In turn, it helps to prevent certain complications that might arise during pregnancy including gestational diabetes, allergies, vaginal infections, etc.

Precautions to take while eating Dairy

Although dairy is one of the most important components of pregnancy food chart, many people are lactose intolerant. It means that you cannot have milk or milk products. You should be very careful while using dairy products if you are lactose intolerant too. Even if this is the case, you can eat yogurt as it is easy to digest for the lactose intolerant people as well. ALSO READ: Foods to avoid during pregnancy

Green leafy vegetables

You must have heard your mother and other older women asking you to eat vegetables during your pregnancy. This is because leafy green vegetables are a good source of fibers and important nutrients. Among vegetables, some of the best foods to eat during pregnancy include spinach, kale, mustard and turnip greens, etc.

Benefits of leafy greens

Leafy green vegetables are full of important vitamins and other essential nutrients. This makes them one of the best foods during pregnancy. They are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, folic acid, iron, and potassium. All these components of leafy greens make the immune system and digestive system very strong. This in turn makes this time more tolerable and helps in maintaining good health of the baby as well. Eating leafy greens is very difficult at times because of their taste and texture but you can always play with flavors to make your vegetables more tasty. Toss them in salad and drizzle some dressing on it and voila, you have a tasty and nutritious treat for yourself.

Dealing with constipation during pregnancy

Constipation is one of the saddest and the most difficult parts of pregnancy. Many pregnant women face the problem of constipation regularly. Leafy green vegetables are full of good dietary fibers. They help in relieving constipation and protect the body against digestive issues. So, no more embarrassing stinky gas moments anymore.

Meat and protein-rich foods

Meat is a good source of proteins, vitamins, and essential nutrients. All this nutrition is very important for pregnant women and also for their babies. It is a part of many delicious dishes. There are many choices of meat available in the market. You can try mixing them up and creating new flavors to deal with those late night fast food cravings.

Lean meat

Lean meat includes white meat like chicken and fish and also red meat including beef and mutton, etc.
  • White meat is a good source of essential amino acids and vitamins that are required for the development of a healthy baby.
  • Red meat contains vitamin C and iron which are very important for pregnant women.
  • Iron is required to provide oxygen to all your body parts. During pregnancy, you need more oxygen because your body is more active and you have extra blood in your body too. Iron deficiency can lead to the lack of red blood cells and the mother can develop anemia. But, don’t worry; eating meat and protein-rich diet will prevent any such condition from happening.

Salmon

Salmon is the tastiest part of your food especially if you are a sea food lover. It is full of Omega 3 fatty acids that are needed for the healthy and proper development of the brain and nervous system of the child. Although, at times, doctors advise limiting the consumption of seafood due to the presence of mercury in it. But you don’t have to leave it altogether otherwise it can have bad effects on the development of the baby.

Fish liver oil

Fish liver oil is a good source of Omega 3 Fatty acids as well and it also contains vitamin D. Many women around the world have a vitamin D deficiency and it increases during the pregnancy. This makes vitamin rich sources the best foods to eat during pregnancy. It will prevent bone and muscle damage in both the mother and the baby.

Best fruits to eat during pregnancy

Fruits are unquestionably the most nutritious part of the food. In terms of fruits, following is an elaborate list of the best foods to eat during pregnancy.
  • Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, folate and water. Eating 1 or 2 oranges a day will boost the health and metabolism of both the mother and the child.
  • Pears are a good source of dietary fibers along with the vitamins and minerals that they provide. They help in maintaining a sound digestive system in the mothers-to-be.
  • Apricots contain calcium iron and beta-carotene that are required for the healthy growth and development of the baby.
  • Berries are a good source of healthy carbs, vitamins and essential dietary fiber maintaining the overall health of the mother and the child during pregnancy.
  • Bananas are a rich source of potassium and healthy carbohydrates. It also provides dietary fibers which help in maintaining digestive health. Furthermore, it has vitamin B-6 which is believed to deal with the vomiting and nausea during the early days of pregnancy. Also, you can eat them when you feel depressed or anxious while pregnant.
  • Guavas are filled with vitamin C, polyphenols, isoflavonoids and carotenoids. It helps in digestion and has the ability to relax muscles. Including one guava in your diet during pregnancy will have magical effects on your health.
  • Avocados are full of vitamins, minerals and mono-saturated fatty acids along with good quality dietary fibers. Avocados help in the normal development of skin and muscles of the baby along with the nervous system. They also help to heal the leg cramps that you might face during the later stages of pregnancy.
  • Pomegranates are a good source of vitamin K and iron and they help to protect the pregnant mother from developing iron deficiency.
  • Dried Fruits are the best and healthy energy sources providing minerals and vitamins to the body at the same time.
Eating all these fruits separately or mixing them into a salad form will have magical effects on the health and wellness of the pregnant mother and the baby as well.

Important Vegetables

Whenever you are thinking about what foods to eat while pregnant, vegetables are the second most important things that pop in your mind after fruits. This is because of the benefits of eating vegetables that they are a part of the best foods for pregnant women. Although you can eat all kinds of vegetables during pregnancy, for example, make salads, etc. But some vegetables are very important to eat. These include sweet potatoes, beans, and legumes.
  • Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene that converts into Vitamin A inside the body. The dietary fibers in a sweet potato manage blood pressure and maintain the health of the digestive system.
  • Legumes and Beans contain chickpeas, lentils, peas, etc. All these are a good source of proteins and folic acid. They also provide dietary fibers which help to maintain good health during pregnancy and let the baby develop and grow in a healthier way.

Other food sources:

Some other foods that must be a part of your pregnancy food chart include eggs, whole grains, and other nutritious food items.
  • Eggs are one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy as they are a complete source of all the important nutrients. They contain choline which is an important component of the nervous system. Many people fail to consume the required amount of choline especially during pregnancy. This results in issues with the brain development of the baby.
  • Whole grains including wheat, oatmeal, etc. will enhance your metabolism during pregnancy and control the blood pressure. You will feel fuller after eating them and you would not end up overeating. They are also a good source of dietary fibers helping in preventing constipation during pregnancy.

Drinking enough water

People spend a lot of time deciding what foods to eat while pregnantbut they miss out the most important and simplest component of food i.e. Water. Pregnant women often face dehydration issues because of the increase in blood volume. Hence, the need for water also increases. If you do not drink enough water, dehydration may happen which in turn would become a cause of a headache, anxiety, and depression. Hence drinking water is also important for your good mood during pregnancy.

Can maintaining a healthy diet prevent the post-pregnancy weight gain?

People become pickier about foods in order to prevent the post-pregnancy weight gain but it itself, at times, become the reason for weight gain after pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy diet and having the best foods to eat during pregnancy will prevent any unnecessary weight gain after pregnancy. Besides, it would be easier to shed the weight after pregnancy as well.

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