10 Foods to Include in Your Diet When You Are Pregnant

By Korir Isaac / January 12, 2019 | 12:30 am




Health during pregnancy is highly not only recommended but mandatory. Your body needs all the nutrients it can get alongside vitamins and minerals. An inappropriate diet during this period may negatively affect the baby’s development.

Choosing healthy, nutritious foods will help ensure the baby’s health and it also helps in losing pregnancy weight after giving birth.

That said, here are the 10 foods to eat when you are pregnant.

  1. Legumes

Legumes include peanuts, peas, beans, soybeans, lentils, and chickpeas. They all make good plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate, and calcium, which are needed during pregnancy.

Folate is a variant of Vitamin B. It is highly beneficial for the mother and the baby especially during the early stages of pregnancy.

Studies have shown that insufficient folate is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight.

Legumes also contain lots of fiber, some iron, potassium, and magnesium.

  1. Leafy Greens

Dark green vegetables like spinach and kales are highly important to maintain the health of you and your baby. Together with broccoli, these vegetables contain many of the nutrients needed during pregnancy including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium.

Furthermore, broccoli and leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, which help boost the immune system. Because they contain lots of fiber, they help prevent constipation, which is a very common problem among pregnant women. These vegetables also decrease the risks of low birth weight.

  1. Sweet Potatoes

They contain a plant compound known as beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A helps in the growth and differentiation of the majority of cells and tissues and recommended for the development of a healthy fetus.

Pregnant women should consume at least 10 to 40 percent of Vitamin A. However, the source shouldn’t be from animal-based sources. They are toxic when consumed in excess.

Sweet potatoes also contain fiber, which may reduce blood sugar spikes, increase satiation and at the same time enhance mobility and digestive health.

  1. Dairy Products

During pregnancy, your body needs protein and calcium to meet the needs of the growing baby. Dairy products contain high-quality protein casein and whey. Dairy is also the best source of calcium and it offers high amounts of several types of Vitamin B, phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium.

Yogurt, for instance, contains all the named nutrients and some varieties contain probiotics ideal for prevention of several complications like vaginal infections, allergies, and gestational diabetes.

  1. Salmon

Salmon contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in building the brain and the eyes of the fetus. Sadly, many people are not getting enough of Omega-3 fatty acids including pregnant women.

Seafood contains lots of the essential Omega-3 fatty acids. Nevertheless, the intake for pregnant women is limited to two or three times a week. Omega-3 fatty acids help in increasing blood levels.

Salmons are also good sources of vitamin D which is suitable for bone development, the immune system as well as a myriad of other body processes.

  1. Berries

Berries contain antioxidants, water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, and fiber. They contain high amounts of vitamin C, which is good for iron absorption, boosting the immune system, and enhancing skin health.

The good thing about berries is that you can consume them as snacks and with the low glycemic index value, you won’t have to worry about blood sugar spikes. You can use them to add flavor to your salads as well.

  1. Whole Grains

Whole grains help women to meet their need for increased calorie requirements. They contain fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds.

Additionally, whole grains are rich sources of vitamin B variants and magnesium. It has long been established that these nutrients lack in diets of many pregnant women.

Examples of whole grains include oats and quinoa barley, brown rice, buckwheat, cracked wheat, millet, whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are highly nutritious, they contain small amounts of almost every other nutrient the body needs. For one, eggs contain choline, which is also good for brain development.

A low intake of choline may lead to complications including neural tube defects and decreased brain function in the fetus.

  1. Lean Meat

High-quality proteins can also be obtained from lean meat such as beef, pork, and chicken. Beef and pork contain choline, iron, and many types of vitamin B.

Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen in the body and it comes in handy during pregnancy as a woman’s blood volume increases. Inadequate iron leads to cases of anemia, which may lead to risks of premature delivery and low birth weight.

While at it, eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as fruits, are commendable to ease the process of iron absorption.

  1. Avocados

Avocados contain a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids. They also contain fiber vitamin E, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, and copper. All these nutrients make this unusual fruit the best choice for pregnant women.

The monosaturated fats help in building healthy skin, brain, and tissues of the fetus, and the B vitamins, especially the folate, which avocados mainly carry may help prevent neural tube defects.

Potassium helps in relieving leg cramps. Surprisingly, avocados contain more potassium than bananas.

Verdict

There are many more types of foods to include in your diet during pregnancy. Fish olive oil, dried fruit, bananas, cheese, nonfat milk, nuts, red pepper among others. But most importantly, remember to drink lots of water to always stay hydrated.

Never forget that what you eat during pregnancy affects you, your energy, your health, and that of the baby. It is normal to gain weight during this period, but if you have to, ensure that it is the right way. As usual, if you are allergic to some of the listed foods, consult with your doctor first.





About Korir Isaac

A creative, tenacious, and passionate journalist with impeccable ethics and a nose for anticipated and spontaneous news. He may not say it, but he sure can make one hell of a story.

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