A healthy diet is important for the body and it becomes even more important during pregnancy. The body requires extra nutrients at this phase and there should be no deficiency in your nutrition. Here is a list of nutritious foods that you must include in your diet during your pregnancy:
For optimal health and development of the foetus, consuming adequate amounts of protein and calcium are vital. Dairy products are extremely rich in proteins. Therefore, they are also rich in calcium, apart from phosphorus, B-complex vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
Greek yogurt has the highest content of calcium and also rich in probiotics that help to keep the digestive system healthy. For women, who are lactose intolerant, yogurt and probiotic yogurt is an ideal choice. Including probiotics in the diet can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, vaginal infections, common allergies as well as preeclampsia (high blood pressure along with swelling in limbs and excreting protein in the urine).
Lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts are rich sources of plant-based fibre, protein, folate, iron, and calcium, which are all essential during pregnancy. Folate is a B9 vitamin complex and helps with the health and wellbeing of both the mother and the young foetus in the first semester.
A diet without adequate folate can increase the risk of low birth weight, poor immunity and susceptibility to infections later on in life as well as increasing the risk of neural tube defects—birth defects of the spine, brain and spinal chord—in the baby. The high fiber content is also beneficial for the upkeep of digestive health, reduce blood sugar spikes while iron, magnesium, and potassium found in some legumes help to further supplement the diet.
Sweet potato is vital for the healthy development of the foetus. Plant-based vitamin A sources are generally safer than animal-based variants.
Eggs are considered a complete meal because it contains all essential nutrients. A fairly large egg provides 77 calories, high-quality protein, fat, a host of vitamins, minerals as well as choline. Choline is a vital compound for brain development and overall health. A single egg fulfills 25 percent of a pregnant woman’s recommended daily intake of choline. A diet deficient in choline could put the baby at risk for developing neural tube defects and compromised brain function.
Dark green veggies
Leafy veggies and broccoli are rich in fibre, vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, iron, potassium as well as important compounds that help keep the immune system and digestive system in top order. The high antioxidant content also helps in improving the overall health and well-being of the expectant mother. These foods also help lower the risk of low birth weight for the neonate. High fibre content in these veggies can also help relieve the common issue of constipation faced by most pregnant women.
Lean meats like chicken, beef, and pork provide high-quality protein vital for
pregnant women. Beef and pork also contain sizeable amounts of nutrients like iron, choline as well as B complex vitamins.
Rich in healthy carbs, fibre, plant compounds, berries has high water content. They also contain a good amount of vitamin C which help us to maintain healthy skin and proper immune system. The low glycemic index in these fibre-rich fruit means that they do not cause blood sugar spike whilst being a delicious low-calorie snack.
The second and third trimester see rapid foetal growth, which means an increased calorie intake. Whole grains that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and essential plant-based compounds. Grains like oats and quinoa also provide protein, while all whole grains are rich in B-complex vitamins, magnesium, and fibre.
All dry fruits provide the same amount of nutrients that the fresh fruit would, just with a low amount of water. So eating a single piece of dried fruit is as good as having a serve of fresh fruit. Consuming dates regularly in the third trimester can help during the childbirth by aiding natural cervical dilation and reducing the need to induce labour. Though these foods contain a high amount of natural sugar, calories, and nutrients, so limiting the servings should be ideal.
An increased blood volume during pregnancy as much as 1.5 litres more—makes it vital to stay adequately hydrated. During pregnancy adequate water intake reduces the risk of urinary tract infections as well as constipation. Pregnant women should consume at least 1-2 litres of water daily.