Becoming a parent is probably the best experience of life for any person, and especially for a mother, this experience has much more to offer than a father. A mother’s feeling during nine months cannot be explained in words. A pregnant woman goes through a lot of changes in her routine, work-life, health, diet, and behavior until the newborn arrives in the world.
Pregnancy demands a lot of care of the mother; especially her diet is the most crucial factor to be taken care of. It is easily understandable that when a new life is inside your body; you not only have to satisfy the diet needs of yourself but also the needs of the new life to expect a good arrival of him/her in this world.
During the period of pregnancy, your body demands the intake of additional calories, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, and doctors also advise the same. According to PubMed, a pregnant woman requires 350 to 500 extra calories during the nine months and especially in the second and third trimester. When you are pregnant, you should ensure that your body has enough nutrients that give you sufficient energy and allow the proper development of your unborn child. As said earlier, you are going through many physical changes during the pregnancy, and only adequate and sufficient diet can make you strong enough to cope up with the changes occurring from time to time.
Additional diet may create a fear of putting on extra pounds on the body that usually women don’t want in any condition. As per Medical News Today, if the pregnant woman is underweight, she should gain more weight during the pregnancy, or if the pregnant woman is overweight, she should increase the least.
We are introducing you to the ten foods to eat while pregnant that will give you sufficient energy while maintaining the balance between body strength and weight gain.
1. Milk and Yogurt
Milk and Yogurt are the best sources of calcium and protein, which should be in excess for a pregnant woman and the growth of the fetus. Milk and Yogurt contain Casein and Whey, which are high-quality types of protein besides having large calcium. Greek yogurt, in particular, is the best of intakes in dairy products. Some varieties may have probiotic bacteria that support digestive health and may prevent complications during pregnancy.
2. Legume food
Legume food is a group of foods that contains lentils, peas, beans chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts. These food items are a great source of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and folate, which are a vital requirement for a pregnant woman. Folate is a type of Vitamin B called B9 and considered essential for the growth of the fetus as well as the health of the mother. A cup of lentils and some beans in a day may provide a sufficient amount of folate. Legumes are also full of fiber and iron, and they are also vital for the pregnant woman and the child.
Seafood is abundant in essential Omega-3 fatty acids that are also vital for a pregnant woman. She should have sufficient intake of Omega-3 fatty acids as they support in the growth of the brain and eyes of the fetus. There should be 2 to 3 meals of seafood in a week to fulfill the desired amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in a pregnant woman. Salmon fish, in particular, is the best source for Omega-3 fatty acids, and it is also rich in Vitamin D, which is vital for the growth of bones. However, the intake of seafood should be in a limit due to the presence of mercury and other contaminations in the fatty fish.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Vitamin A is also essential for the growth and differentiation of most cells and tissues, and the sweet potato is the food that ensures Vitamin A is provided to your body sufficiently. You may find Vitamin A in other foods too like meat, but it is not advisable in high quantity due to its toxicity. Therefore, sweet potatoes are the best suitable sources of Vitamin A. Doctors usually advise pregnant women to increase their intake of Vitamin A by 10 to 40%.
5. Green and leafy vegetables
Green and leafy vegetables are probably the best food items that are full of nutrients which you may not find in other foods. They are the source of Vitamin C, K, and A; fiber, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. You can eat broccoli, spinach, kale, and other green and leafy vegetables as much as you want as they give several benefits besides nutrients. They are rich in antioxidants, improve the digestion system, strengthen the immune system, prevent constipation (a common problem during pregnancy), and they also have a good reputation for lowering risk of low birth weight.
An egg is one of the most common food items and highly advised by the doctors in daily routine. When it comes to pregnancy, egg serves as a nutrition-packed food. An egg is full of high-quality protein and fat and gives you 77 calories besides giving you essential choline. The fetus requires choline to build brain, health system and carry out many body functions. A pregnant woman may need 3 to 4 eggs daily to meet the necessary intake of choline, which is found in deficiency in most of the pregnancy cases.
You need high-quality protein and iron-rich food; your first choice of food would be meat. Beef, mutton, and chicken are the meat-based foods, and the best source of protein, iron, choline and Vitamin B. Iron keeps pumping supply of blood by producing red blood cells and ensures the proper amount of oxygen within the body. A pregnant woman should intake excessive iron to prevent the risk of anemia that may cause premature deliveries and low birth weight. Meat should be a diet part of a pregnant woman in daily routine due to its protein and iron-rich characteristics.
You are craving for something sweet and juicy; several fruits are available to your service. Oranges, all types of berries, avocados, banana, pineapple, peach, and you name it. Fruits are the great source of Vitamin C, which is an essential item for skin health and proper functioning of the immune system. You intake iron in excess during pregnancy, and it may have side effects, but Vitamin C helps absorb iron in the body and dilutes its harmfulness. Fruits also serve as the best antioxidants and also provide water and fiber to the body. Bananas are said to be the complete food package.
9. Whole grains
A pregnant woman needs excessive calories to feed herself as well as the fetus, and whole-grains are the best option in this situation, which is full of calories. We usually have refined grains in our routine life, but they are short of fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds. Oatmeal and quinoa are also full of proteins, fiber, Vitamin B, and magnesium.
Last but not least, how we can forget water? Being hydrated all the time during pregnancy should be the top priority. Dehydration seems very casual, but it can do serious harm to the fetus and pregnant woman. It is something; you may easily forget and fall victim to the headache, anxiety, and tiredness, which directly affect the fetus and compromise its growth. You should be adequately hydrated all the time and drink 2 liters of water daily. You may also be getting water intake from fruits, tea, and coffee, but you should always drink water when you feel thirsty.
We have summarized here ten foods to eat during pregnancy and keep you advised on the subject. During pregnancy, there are different types of food intakes required, but they all should be balanced and complementing one another.