Are you pregnant? Wondering what to eat when you are eating for two? Our list of pregnancy super foods can help you figure out the perfect pregnancy diet. Check it out!
Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
The foods you eat are the prime source of energy for the little one growing inside you. In fact, it influences the overall health and development of your baby. For example, during pregnancy, you are supposed to eat iron-rich food to help red blood cells (RBC) carry oxygen to the baby.
Top 5 Pregnancy Super Foods
Confused on giving your baby the best start to life? Here are some of the best pregnancy super foods.
Legumes are nutritional powerhouses and include soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts, lentils, peas, peanuts, and beans. They are plant-based sources of iron, folate, calcium, protein, and fiber – all of which your body needs during pregnancy. Legumes are also an essential part of the growth and development of the baby growing inside you.
The fiber content in legumes can prevent constipation and haemorrhoids, two of the most common problems during pregnancy.
Legumes can be used in so many ways, such as stir-fries, salads, stews and soups.
Avocados are a versatile fruit that not only provides nutrition but also helps in controlling various diseases.
They are regarded as one of the best pregnancy superfoods due to the presence of :
- Folate – prevents neural tube defects and developmental abnormalities of the baby’s brain and spine.
- Healthy fats – build’s your baby’s brain, tissues, and skin
- Potassium – relieves leg cramps during pregnancy
- Fiber – aids digestion and controls weight gain
- Choline – supports the process of brain development in the foetus
It also contains calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and many other vitamins and minerals. All of them are very important in providing the right nutrition for the mother and the growing fetus.
3. Whole grains
Whole grains provide essential carbohydrates, fiber, iron, vitamin B and many other plant compounds. They are one of the important energy-boosting foods, especially when you are pregnant.
Whole grains can keep you satisfied longer, lower blood cholesterol levels, control blood-sugar levels, and prevent constipation.
It is recommended to consume about 6-7 servings of whole grains during pregnancy.
4. Leafy veggies
Dark leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach belong to the category of pregnancy super foods. They are loaded with the essential nutrients that support your baby’s development.
They contain vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, folate, fiber, and potassium. In fact, they are a bonanza of green goodness.
5. Dried fruits and nuts
Dry fruits and nuts are a storehouse of crucial vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber. They can help you meet the nutritional needs during pregnancy.
The presence of fiber, especially in nuts, eases the symptoms of constipation – a common problem that affects you during pregnancy.
Dried fruits such as dates, figs, and nuts are considered as the best iron-rich food. They help you fight anaemia and meet your daily requirements of iron. The potassium found in dried fruits and nuts help in managing blood pressure and enhance muscle control.
Prunes and dates are well known to strengthen the muscles of the uterus, thereby aiding smooth delivery. It also plays a major role in reducing the chances of post-delivery bleeding.
Benefits of Eating Healthy Foods
Have a look at the benefits of eating healthy foods during pregnancy:
1. Reduces the risk of birth defects
Lack of nutrition can lead to certain birth defects in your baby. For example, a deficit in key nutrients like folic acid has been linked to a much higher rate of birth defects, including spina bifida.
2. Successful fetal development
Successful fetal development is all about eating a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy. Aim for at least 300 more calories a day than you normally would. This will help your baby grow correctly.
3. Increased energy
Fatigue is one of the main problems that pregnant women find hard to deal with. Sometimes, no matter what you do, it becomes much more difficult to fight this condition, especially during the early weeks of pregnancy with all the problems related to hormonal imbalance. Eating healthy food, especially iron-rich foods help you increase energy levels, sustain your blood volume and overcome fatigue.
4. Improved sleep
Nausea, aches, pains, late-night bathroom breaks and many other factors can keep you awake at night during pregnancy. Eating full and complete meals every day with all the essential vitamins and minerals ( calcium, vitamin B, and iron) aid in productive sleep.
5. Reduces pregnancy complications
Women are prone to so many complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, anaemia, urinary tract infections, and high blood pressure. If you have any of these problems, talk to a doctor immediately. You can also consult a doctor online.
Eating healthy helps to keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in balance. It also helps in maintaining a healthy weight to reduce such complications.
6. Ensures healthy birth weight
Newborn babies with a lower birth weight suffer many health problems and are vulnerable to serious complications than babies born with a healthy weight. Make sure that you are eating healthy and nutritious foods to promote healthy weight gain in your little one.
Pregnancy can be overwhelming and experiencing a wide range of emotions during this time is normal. If you have any queries regarding A to Z of pregnancy including pregnancy exercises, healthy foods for pregnant women, and pregnancy do’s and don’ts, you can always talk with our expert doctors.