Pregnancy is one of the most exciting phases of any woman’s life but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of these challenges, for any expecting woman, can be – how to have a healthy pregnancy? Having a balanced diet is extremely important during the period of pregnancy as it will help both mother and the baby to stay healthy. Women need to take extra care of what they eat during their pregnancy period so as it affects the baby as well. But do not worry we are there to help you to choose your pregnancy food. So, here is a list of 10 healthy foods for pregnancy.
The legume family includes – Beans, Lentils, Peas, Soybeans, etc. These are a very good sources of Protein, Iron, Potassium, Folate also known as (Vitamin B-9) and Folacin, Calcium, Magnesium, and are also high in fibre. These essential nutrients are extremely important for a pregnant woman. Beans, as mentioned earlier, are high in fibre which helps in combating constipation, a common discomfort among pregnant women. Also, having enough Folate (Vitamin B-9) will help the baby to be born healthy. So, Legumes should make it to your pregnancy food chart as these are very important for you as well as your baby.
2. Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the morning glory family. They should be added to your pregnancy diet chart as they are a very good source of beta- carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in our bodies. The reason these sweet potatoes, which are orange in colour and get this colour from carotenoids, should make it to your pregnancy diet plan is that the baby needs Vitamin A for healthy bones, lungs, eyes, improving immunity, etc. This veggie is a good source of Vitamin C, Manganese and Vitamin B-6 as well and is also loaded with fibre (especially when you keep the skin-on).
These incredible eggs are one of the best food for pregnant women as they contain a little bit of every essential nutrient. Eggs, one of the superfoods, should enter your pregnancy diet menu as they are a good source of Proteins, Minerals, Fat, and many Vitamins. Protein, a very important part of the pregnancy diet, present in eggs is good for babies as it generates and repairs the cells of the fetus. It is also a great source of Choline, which is mostly present in yolks (so, don’t forget to include them), and is extremely important for the development of the brain, nervous system, and spinal cord of the unborn baby. It also helps in preventing certain birth defects. You can have eggs for breakfast, dinner and these are also very good snacks for pregnancy.
Salmon, a common name for several species of ray-finned fish, is rich in Omega -3 Fatty Acids and has a lot of health benefits. Omega -3 should be an important part of your diet during pregnancy as it helps in developing the brain and eyes of the fetus. It may even boost your mood as well. Salmon also provides Vitamin D, which is needed by the baby for healthy bones, teeth, and immunity as well.
But there are certain things that you need to keep in mind – You might have been told to limit your seafood intake due to mercury and other contaminants that are found in high mercury fish. If you regularly eat fish that is high in mercury, the substance can accumulate in your bloodstream over time and too much mercury is not good for a baby as it could damage the baby’s developing brain and nervous system.
5. Dairy Foods
Dairy-based foods are one of the best diets for pregnant women during the period of pregnancy. The consumption of dairy products is extremely important as you need extra Protein and Calcium for your unborn baby. Dairy foods meet that extra requirement of Protein and Calcium which supports your growing fetus.
Dairy is one of the best sources of Calcium and has high amounts of Phosphorous, Magnesium, etc. You should drink at least one glass of milk daily and take more Yoghurt (especially Greek yoghurt), Paneer (Cheese/ Indian Cottage Cheese), and Ghee (Clarified Butter).
One cup of plain yoghurt can fulfil 30% of your daily calcium requirement. Greek yoghurt, also known as concentrated or strained yoghurt, typically has twice the protein of regular yoghurt. Also, yoghurt is a very good source of Probiotics, B Vitamins, Phosphorous, Calcium, etc. Calcium, as you know, keeps your bones strong and it also helps your baby develop a healthy skeleton.
Nuts are one of the food items that should compulsorily make it to your pregnancy meal plan. These are not only tasty but also full of healthy Fats, which makes them one of the best choices for healthy pregnancy snacks. Nuts have brain-boosting Omega-3 Fatty Acids and other nutrients that are important for the development of your baby. Walnuts especially are a very good source of plant-based Omega -3 Fatty Acids – a type of fat that is commonly found in fish and it helps in the development of a baby’s brain. They are also a very good source of Magnesium and Protein, which are needed when you are pregnant.
7. Broccoli and Dark Leafy Greens
It is no surprise that Broccoli and Dark, Leafy Greens make it to our foods to eat during pregnancy. Broccoli and dark green vegetables like Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, etc. have a lot of nutrients that you will need and that is the reason they make it in our pregnancy nutrition list. They are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. They also include Calcium, Folate, Iron and Potassium. They also have Antioxidants and Fiber that can ease your constipation problem. It is also very easy to up the amount of dark leafy greens in your pregnancy nutrition diet.
Oatmeal is also one of the most healthy pregnancy meals. You can have a bowl of oatmeal a few times a week. It has various types of health benefits. As we all know, Carbohydrates are important for all of us but these Carbohydrates are especially important for pregnant women as they provide instant energy to perform daily activities. Other benefits of Oatmeal are that it is a good source of Selenium, Vitamin B, Phosphorous, etc, and the Oat bran that it contains can also help to lower your Cholesterol levels.
9. Oranges and Orange Juice
Oranges have a host of benefits and that is why these are some of the best fruit for pregnant women. They have Vitamin C, Fibre, Folate, and oranges are almost 90% water which helps in meeting your daily fluid needs. On the other hand, Orange juice can provide your baby with important nutrients to prevent various types of birth defects. Vitamin C that is present in the orange juice will also increase the baby’s ability to absorb Iron in the body.
Avocados should be included in your diet during pregnancy as they are high in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids which help in building the baby’s skin, brain, and tissues. They also have Vitamin K, Potassium, Antioxidants, and Folate, which help in preventing certain birth defects. Potassium, present in avocados, may also help in relieving leg cramps which is a side effect of pregnancy for some women. You can add avocados to salads and smoothies to make them tastier.
These are the foods that should be included in your foods during pregnancy. During your pregnancy, you need a lot of Protein, Healthy Fats, Vitamins, and Minerals. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated as your body will channel your hydration to your baby and if you don’t take care of your water intake you can become dehydrated yourself. So, eat healthily and take good care of yourself during this happiest phase of your life. Happy Pregnancy!
This article has been written by Shivali Pandit and the opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of 9HappyMonths. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org