What you eat during pregnancy is extremely important for the health and growth of your baby. Clean, healthy foods are a must, and some nutritional supplements aren't a bad idea either. Use this list of top 10 pregnancy foods as your short cut to ideal health for mother and child.
Even if you're generally a healthy eater, nutritional needs change during pregnancy. Both you and the unborn child need calcium for the development of tissues and bones; folic acid for protecting against neural tube birth defects; and iron to help red blood cells carry oxygen to the baby. The need for more of these things during pregnancy is why you experience weird cravings!
Eggs contain amino acids, which are important building blocks of your body's stock of protein and thus, that of your baby. During your second and third trimester, your baby is growing fastest and protein is particularly essential. Eggs also contain choline, which is central to your baby's brain development.
2. Fruits and Veggies
Eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies and you'll get a diverse array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs. In the later stages of pregnancy, the baby is also able to taste the food through the amniotic fluid. Eating fruits and vegetables of all kinds during pregnancy will help your child recognize them better after birth.
Salmon not only provides protein to your baby but also helps you (yes, you!) avert depressive symptoms. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, and there science has discovered a link between low omega-3 intake and an increased risk of depression during pregnancy. Salmon is low on the scale of mercury content so you can enjoy up to 12 ounces per week.
Beans not only are nutrient rich, proving themselves as a good source of iron, folate, calcium, and zinc, but also contain both fiber and protein. The gastrointestinal track slows down during pregnancy, which explains why many women complain of constipation during pregnancy. The extra fiber helps to relieve the discomfort.
Indulge in berries throughout your pregnancy. They are full of vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber.
For a vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids, eat walnuts! Eating too much fish can pose as dangerous, due to exposure to mercury, so walnuts make for a great substitute.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Rich in folate, sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to your pregnancy diet. They also get their orange color from carotenoids, plant pigments that are converted to vitamin A in the body. Your body will only convert the carotenoids to vitamin A to the extent that it needs the vitamin. Animal sources provide vitamin A directly to the body and there is a risk of getting too much of it.
One container of Greek yogurt contains nearly 20 percent of your daily needs of calcium.
9. Lean Meats
Eat 95 percent to 98 percent fat-free beef and pork for a source of high-quality, low-fat protein and choline, which we have learned is important for brain develoment of the baby. Avoid low-quality meats, deli meats and hot dogs to prevent bacteria from being transferred to the baby.
10. Whole Grains
Eat whole grains for plenty of fiber as well as to benefit from the folic acid and iron with which whole-grain products are often fortified.
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