What to Eat When You Are Pregnant?
Nutrition is important during all aspects of our lives, but more so especially when you are feeding another human being as well. Check out these amazing foods (there are many more as well) to eat when you are pregnant!
Ideal foods to eat when you are pregnant
A healthy diet is always important. It’s the key to optimal health and well-being, particularly during pregnancy.
When you’re pregnant, you have to be extra careful about what food you eat because you have another human being growing inside of you, and that little person needs different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to become active and healthy. To get these nutrients, you have to opt for healthy food and ditch unhealthy items.
This article presents 5 foods you should include in your diet when pregnant
Why is a healthy diet important in pregnancy?
A study conducted by Suzan L. Carmichael, Ph. D., and a team of researchers of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University reveals that a healthy diet reduces the risk of birth defects.
Results of the study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, showed that women who consumed the highest quality diets had a 51% lower risk of having a baby with anencephaly, 34% lower risk of cleft lip, and 26% lower risk of cleft palate compared to women with unhealthy diets.
Let’s see what foods should be on your menu during pregnancy.
1. Whole grains
These are rich in nutrients such as selenium, iron, and magnesium and they’re excellent sources of Vitamin B including folic acid, niacin, B1, and B2. Furthermore, whole grains are rich in fiber, and the recommended daily amount of fiber is 28 grams a day during pregnancy. Regular consumption of fiber prevents constipation and hemorrhoids.
Grains foods include whole wheat, corn, barley, rice, etc.
Most pregnant women opt out of eating fish because they’re afraid of mercury and how it affects their unborn child. However, you should keep in mind that not all fish have the same mercury levels and fatty fish like salmon are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for a baby’s development.
A team of scientists from the University of Granada has proven that eating two servings of salmon a week during pregnancy is beneficial for both mother and a child. Consumption of salmon increases Omega 3 fatty acid levels in the mother and infant and improves their antioxidant defenses. Results of the study were published on the said university’s official website.
Salmon doesn’t only improve levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, but it also has a beneficial effect on the overall lifestyle fitness during pregnancy. Here are some other benefits of eating salmon and other fatty fish:
- Supports fetal growth
- Supports brain development
- Improves your memory
- Improves your mood
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Reduces risk of preterm birth
There are many reasons why you should eat eggs during pregnancy and some of them are:
- Eggs are rich in protein which is essential for your and your baby’s health
- Eggs also contain Omega 3 fatty acids thus supporting the baby’s brain development
- Pregnant women should eat between 200 and 300 additional calories on a daily basis to nourish their body and the baby at the same time. Eggs contain about 70 calories which are perfect for meeting daily requirements
- Eggs contain a variety of vitamins and minerals including choline
TIP: Make sure you don’t eat raw or undercooked eggs.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, folate, and many other nutrients that are essential during pregnancy. They are also rich in fiber thus improving digestion and protecting your and baby’s health.
Moreover, one cup of blueberries contains 114 mg of potassium which is essential for regulating blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause various complications including preeclampsia.
5. Dark leafy vegetables
This is one of the best foods to eat when you are pregnant or anytime! Swiss chard, spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables are abundant in various nutrients including Vitamins A, C, and K. These veggies also benefit your and your baby’s eyes.
Another reason you should include dark leafy greens in your diet is that they are ideal for joint pain relief due to high levels of calcium which are essential for bone health.
Research has shown that healthy diet is essential for the development of the baby and optimal health of the mother.
Ideally, you should avoid unhealthy, processed, and refined foods and make sure your diet is based on fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich items that will boost your and baby’s health.
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