As an expecting mother, you’re going to experience a lot of discomforts (sorry about that). Pregnancy will take you for a ride of your life, with quite a bunch of ups and downs. If you’ve never been pregnant before, just know that you may experience symptoms like
- Morning sickness
- Heartburn, etc.
There is really not much you can do to stop the discomfort completely, but one thing that can help is to eat right. With the right prenatal diet, a pregnant woman and her baby can stay strong and healthy until it’s time for labor, and even after that.
What are the best foods you can eat during pregnancy?
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain a lot of beta-carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in your body. This compound is good for the eyes, immune system, skin, bone, and it supports growth and reproduction. Sweet potatoes are also rich in nutritious fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, and potassium, all of which are beneficial for you and your baby.
Expecting mums are advised to increase their intake of plant-based vitamin A, like sweet potatoes, and turn away from animal-based vitamin A to avoid toxicity when taken in excess.
2. Dairy Products
Dairy is one of the best sources of calcium, zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus. Its products also contain a good quantity and quality of protein and, as you may recall, protein is very important for the growth, maintenance, and repair of the body tissues. Seeing as there’s a growing baby in the picture, expecting mums are advised to take a lot of proteins. This will help the baby’s growth and development, as well as reduce the stress pregnant women go through in the process.
There are many other sources of protein out there, but dairy products are preferred in this case because they contain two types of high-quality protein; casein and whey.
Eggs are a staple food for pregnant women. It is filled with minerals, vitamins, and good fats that are necessary for the good health of mother and child during pregnancy.
The high protein contents of eggs help to build the blocks of cells which contribute towards the development of the baby. The choline content of eggs helps a lot with the overall development of the brain and prevents the baby from suffering diseases like spina bifida. A single large size egg contains 77 calories, 113mg of choline, and a bit of almost every nutrient you need.
4. Lean Meat
Lean or not, meat is a good source of protein. But not all proteins are safe, especially for pregnant women. Lean meats are relatively low in fats, skinless, and contains fewer calories. As a result, it is referred to as a source of safe proteins that are excellent for pregnant women.
Aside from protein, lean meats are also packed with iron, B vitamins, choline, and a host of other safe food nutrients. Not getting enough of the lean meat minerals (protein, iron, B vitamins) can impair a baby’s growth and increase the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight.
If you’re not allergic to peanuts (or any other type of nuts) then there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy them as much as possible while you’re pregnant. If your plan is to eat healthy during pregnancy, then you should cut out synthesized snacks and replace them with crunchy nuts.
Nuts contain healthy fats, magnesium, brain-boosting omega-3, protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals. All of these will ensure that you and your baby do not suffer premature labor, deformed nervous system, and other complexities that may arise during pregnancy.
Oatmeal is a high-fiber food with some complex carbs, vital minerals, vitamins, iron, folate, and protein. Seems like an ideal complete package for you and your baby when it comes to prenatal dieting.
When morning sickness comes calling, a bowl of oatmeal can do the magic for you. It’ll keep your energy levels up and help you stay active all through the day. You can keep constipation very much at bay if you can take oatmeal as often as possible. As for the baby, the protein and vitamin B6 contents of oatmeal go a long way to ensure that the baby’s development is without complexities.
7. Orange Juice
What pregnant woman has not heard about folic acid? The buzz about it is everywhere because it’s really a saving grace to many pregnant women. A glass of organic orange juice will give you a good measure of potassium, vitamin C and, of course, folate.
So, what is it about folate (or folic acid)?
Folate, which can be found in orange juice, are effective in preventing birth defects at the onset of pregnancy. These defects may be treated after delivery if the child is lucky; if not, the child will suffer a deformity. Thanks to modern developments in the health sector, most children are born healthy. That notwithstanding, 3 out of every 100 babies suffer birth defects. So, you can never be too careful.
Yogurt is somewhat like milk, only with a little more calcium. This calcium content of yogurt helps to build the bones and teeth of the baby. Aside from the essential bone-building nutrients found in yogurt (calcium), there is also protein, zinc, and B vitamins. All of these work together to ensure good health and safe delivery of mother and child.
Expectant mothers should take 1000 mg of calcium per day to reduce the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight.
9. Cod Liver Oil
Every expecting mum wants their child to be as healthy as possible; while in the womb and after delivery. Eating a lot of cod liver oil is one way to guarantee this. This oil is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain and eye development, it is also an excellent source of vitamins A and D, and is the number one choice for dietary vitamin D supplementation in Nordic countries.
Cod liver oil is effective in treating concerns associated with diabetes, muscle stress, and complications that may arise as a result of poor insulin. It protects the mother and baby from any possible muscle tissue degeneration, enhances fluid regulation in the body, and mitochondrial performance.
Legumes include beans, peas, lentils, soybean, peanuts, etc. These delicious foods are nutritious as much as they are delicious. Good for pregnant women and their baby. They are an excellent source of fiber, folate, calcium, and protein.
The sort of fiber found in legumes is soluble and linked with lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL. They reduce the risk of cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Again, you can never be too careful trying to keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy. Stick to healthy meals, and stay away from diets that can cause harm for you and your baby. Also, if your body weight is going out of control, try to lose some weight during pregnancy.