Pregnancy is the time when you are most hungry. That doesn’t mean you dedicate yourself to everything you can get your hands on. Being pregnant means you have to pay more attention to what you eat, more than any other day.
Some foods provide you with great health benefits when you are pregnant, while others should be limited or not eaten at all.
With so many things in your body, keep track of what to eat and what can’t be a challenge. Therefore, we have listed seven of the healthiest foods and beverages for pregnant women.
7 foods and drinks for pregnant women
Remember that not only what you eat matters when you are pregnant. Fluids also play an important role during pregnancy, and you also need to know what to drink.
Keep reading to find out what types of foods you should eat more when you are pregnant.
Dairy products play an essential role during pregnancy; you should eat more of these superfoods for a healthy pregnancy. These foods are full of calcium and protein, which are important for your baby’s growth.
Dairy products contain other important nutrients, such as B vitamins, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium.
Include a mixture of cheese, yogurt and milk in your diet. Greek yogurt has more calcium than other dairy products, so try adding it to your diet instead of regular yogurt. Yogurt also contains probiotics that are also vital for your baby’s growth.
Eggs are rich in protein, an essential nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. One or a grain contains 6.24 g of protein. Egg protein provides your baby with the necessary amount of amino acids.
Protein in your diet helps with the nausea you experience during pregnancy. It also helps you gain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Eggs also contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamins D and B12, folate and choline, which are essential for the development of the baby’s brain.
Legumes are excellent sources of protein, fiber, calcium, iron and folate, all essential for your baby’s growth. Some legumes are also rich in magnesium and potassium.
Folate is especially essential for you and your baby during the first trimester of your pregnancy. For a healthy pregnancy, you need at least 6000 mcg of folate. This amount is difficult to achieve with food alone and is usually attached with supplements as recommended by your doctor.
Examples of legumes are peas, lentils, beans, chickpeas, peanuts and soy.
Green leafy vegetables and dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli. These are full of nutrients that are the best healthy foods for pregnant women.
If you don’t like eating them, you can easily make a smoothie or include them as part of a delicious recipe and other ingredients.
Green leafy vegetables contain vitamins A, C and K, calcium, fiber, iron, folate and potassium. All of these nutrients are vital for a healthy mother and baby.
A high-fiber diet helps relieve the constipation that is common among pregnant women. Green leafy vegetables are also linked to reducing the risk of low birth weight babies.
Lean meat, such as chicken, beef and pork, is high in protein, which is crucial for your baby’s healthy growth. Pork and beef are also rich in B vitamins, choline and iron, which you need in large quantities for a healthy pregnancy.
Iron is also essential during pregnancy because iron deficiency can cause anemia, which increases the risk of low birth weight.
Increase iron absorption by including vitamin C-rich foods in your diet. Some examples are oranges, peppers and tomatoes.
Nuts, seeds and nuts
Nuts, seeds and nuts are great snacks when you’re hungry during pregnancy. They are nutritious and keep you full until the next meal.
Nuts, seeds and nuts contain essential nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and fiber.
Seeds like chia are rich in fiber and protein, which helps regulate blood sugar and relieves constipation during pregnancy.
Examples of nuts, seeds, and nuts to eat for a healthy pregnancy are plums, dates, chia seeds, and cashews.
There is nothing more refreshing and better than drinking a glass of water, whether you are pregnant or not. However, drinking water is very beneficial when you are pregnant to prevent dehydration, which could lead to premature birth contractions.
Drinking plenty of water prevents urinary tract infections and constipation. It also minimizes swelling and fatigue, which are common during pregnancy.
Try to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day.
Other healthy foods and drinks for pregnant women
Food and beverages play such a vital role during pregnancy that not giving due importance to these factors could put you at risk for various pregnancy complications.
Here is a list of foods and drinks you should take when you are pregnant.
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, etc.
- Fish liver oil
- Baked potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grains
- Green and red pepper
The importance of eating healthy during pregnancy
A healthy diet is vital to follow when you are pregnant. The benefits of a healthy diet during pregnancy are as follows.
- It is related to the healthy development of babies ’brains.
- Reduces the risk of low birth weight.
- Reduces the risk of various congenital disabilities.
- It reduces the risk of anemia in the mother.
- It helps eliminate the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, including morning sickness and fatigue.
- Keeps bladder infections and constipation at bay.
- It promotes the physical and mental well-being of the mother.
Nutritional needs of pregnant women
Studies show the importance of vital nutrients during pregnancy and lactation. Your baby depends on your diet, so you need to eat healthy for both you and the baby. The specific nutritional needs of a pregnant woman are detailed below.
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K
- Omega-3 fatty acids
The best way to get all the essential nutrients during pregnancy is to prepare your own healthy and nutritious meal at home.
You can also try some of the meal replacement smoothies for women full of essential nutrients. These smoothies are prepared and comfortable while providing you with the necessary nutrients.
Foods to limit during pregnancy
It is best to limit certain foods if you are pregnant. Do not consume too much of the following foods and beverages if you are pregnant. If possible, try to avoid them to stay on the safe side.
- Energy drinks
- Soft drinks
- Organ meat
- Junk food
Foods and beverages that pregnant women should avoid
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises pregnant women to avoid eating or drinking the following.
- Mercury-rich seafood, such as swordfish, shark, mackerel, etc.
- Raw or undercooked fish, oysters and scallops
- Poultry, meat and uncooked eggs
- Processed meat
- Unpasteurized foods
- Unwashed vegetables and fruits
Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
Every pregnant woman yearns for a healthy pregnancy that ends with the safe birth of a healthy baby. Here are some tips to follow for a healthy pregnancy.
- Eat healthy and nutritious foods.
- Take your prenatal supplements as directed by your doctor.
- Exercise regularly. However, listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
- Sleep well and get enough rest during the day.
- Avoid doing difficult tasks.
- Track your weight gain. Excess weight gain can cause problems during pregnancy.
- Limit caffeine.
- Call your doctor if you think something is wrong.
- Avoid smoking; even second hand smoking can be toxic to your baby.
- Avoid taking any medication without consulting your doctor.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, etc. These help during pregnancy and childbirth.
Pregnancy is an exciting journey, but it also means you have to be very careful. The slightest mistake can cause lasting damage, especially when it comes to what you put on your body.
That’s why you need to consume nutritious foods and drinks and avoid anything that could harm you or your baby.
These seven best foods and drinks will keep you and your baby healthy. Also, remember to follow the tips given above for a healthy pregnancy.
Frequently asked questions
What are the best fruits for pregnant women?
The best fruits for pregnant women are apples, oranges, kiwis, pears, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranates and avocados.
What fruits should I avoid during pregnancy?
Avoid eating pineapples, papayas, frozen berries and canned tomatoes during pregnancy.
What foods help the baby’s brain development during pregnancy?
Iron-rich foods, including leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, improve oxygen flow to the baby’s brain cells and help the baby’s brain develop.
What foods are good for a baby’s eyes during pregnancy?
Carotenoids in brightly colored fruits and vegetables are good for baby’s eyes. Examples are leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots and corn.