Pregnancy 101: Key Foods You Should be Consuming

Expectant mothers must ensure that the diet they are consuming has all the nutrients, energy and key foods needed for the baby’s development and growth. Pregnant women also need to ensure that their bodies are strong enough to stand all the changes that come with being pregnant. With all that said, it is vital to note that consuming foods rich in nutrients during pregnancy is essential.

The foods that you should consume must include the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Calcium
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Folic ACID
  • DHA

All these vitamins and minerals play an essential role in the growth and development of the baby.

Key Pregnancy Foods to Consume

Whole grains

Grains offer you the vital carbohydrates you need for energy. Whole grains are packed with B vitamins, fiber, iron, and various other minerals. Make sure that half of the carbohydrates you get every day come from whole grains. Grains such as whole wheat, barley, oats rice, and corn have iron, selenium, and magnesium which are all essential for the growth and development of the unborn baby.

To get the most of carbohydrates during pregnancy, try substituting sweet cereals and bread for whole-grain bread, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-grain cereals. Iron present in whole grains is specifically vital for pregnancy. Keep in mind that your body will need about double as much iron as it did before pregnancy to make additional blood for the baby.

Iron deficiency in pregnancy can cause anemia. Apart from eating iron-rich foods, try using iron tablets to increase iron levels in your body.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are one of the most critical elements of pregnancy nutrition. They provide minerals and vitamins, and fiber to assist in digestion. The second trimester is usually the phase where pregnant mothers should pay more attention to fruits and vegetables. Have a colorful fruit and vegetable serving every day, since fruits and vegetables are low in calories and packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

Instead of drinking fruit juices, eat whole fruits. This is because the sugar levels in fruit juices are usually higher than in fruits. Consider consuming vegetable juices like wheatgrass and carrots that are packed with many nutrients.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are usually referred to as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats. Healthy fats are essential in improving heart health. For pregnant women, healthy fats are vital in building proper eye and brain development for the baby. Consuming any of the following foods can help you get the amount of healthy fat needed for the growth and development of your unborn baby:

  • Almonds
  • Avocadoes
  • Salmon
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cashew
  • Eggs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pistachios
  • Flaxseeds

Protein

Foods rich in proteins are essential for the growth of your baby. Some animals based proteins to consume include lean meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. If you are a vegetarian, try consuming soy products and tofu, beans, nuts, lentils, seeds, legumes, and nut butters.

To get the most proteins, consider eating scrambled eggs for lunch, fish for dinner and whole wheat bread with peanut butter for breakfast. Fish have omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to the baby’s brain development. Be cautious about eating fish that have a high content of mercury.

Conclusion

Your baby’s growth is waiting for the right nutrient-rich foods. The food choices you make are very crucial for the health of your baby. Try to keep fit to allow your body to adapt to the changes that are happening due to the pregnancy. Make sure that the meals you consume are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, healthy fats and oils, fruits and vegetables.

 

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