There is so much information out here about what to eat and what not to eat. What about when eating for 2? The information on pregnancy foods can be even more confusing. Every expectant mother is willing to go the extra mile and eat that which will ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Here are some proven healthy foods for you and your baby:
1. Whole Grains: They are rich in fiber and nutrients which are essential in nourishing the body. Eat plenty of oatmeal, barley, quinoa, brown rice and any other that you can lay your hands on. Choose bread and cakes made from whole grain flour such as brown (atta) chapati. Did you know that pop-corn is a whole grain?
2. Eggs: Eggs contain minerals, multiple vitamins and lots of quality proteins which are very beneficial for the pregnancy. What about cholesterol? You might be asking. Remember there is a difference between cholesterol found in saturated fats and that occurring naturally in food such as eggs. You can go for boiled eggs to ensure that you don’t add any fat; or use healthy cooking oil. The eggs have to be thoroughly cooked until solid the white and yolk turn solid. An egg a day is good enough, unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
3. Beans: Another high source of protein that contains fiber as well. Pregnancy slows down the digestion process making you more vulnerable to constipation. A fiber-rich diet helps boost digestion and relieve such problems. Beans also contain iron, calcium, zinc and folate; all essential nutrients.
4. Sweet potatoes: These are rich in safe vitamin A. We call it safe because vitamin A from animal sources can be hazardous when taken in excess. In addition to Vitamin A, sweet potatoes contain fiber, vitamin C and folate. The nutrients will provide vital nourishment for you and your baby.
5. Yogurt: Apart from protein, yogurt contains plenty of calcium which is needed for the formation of the baby’s bones. Here is how it works: if you’re not consuming additional calcium, your own calcium will go to the baby leaving you depleted. Weak bones are no good in carrying a pregnancy. Your pregnancy food should be rich in calcium.
6. Lean meat: Meat is another excellent source of high quality protein. Ensure that all the fat is trimmed off to avoid unhealthy weight gain. Beef and pork are especially good as they also contain choline, an essential nutrient.
7. Colorful Fruits and Vegetables: Each color in these foods represents a certain nutrient. Take plenty of fruits and vegetables of all colors including green, yellow, orange, red, purple and white so that you can get all the groups of vitamins.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but contains the most essential pregnancy foods. Remember that the baby, during the 3rd trimester, can taste the food you eat through the amniotic fluid. When the baby is exposed to a variety of foods while still in the womb, they’re higher chances of the baby recognizing these flavors later on. The baby is likely to become a better feeder.
It is also worth mentioning that you should make folic acid supplement a key part of your pregnancy food. This you can purchase from an approved chemist or from your doctor. In an ideal case, you should begin taking folic acid when trying to get pregnant, as it is needed in the initial days of development. Folic acid helps prevent neural-tube defects which lead to deformities in the baby, and in worst case scenario leads to miscarriage or stillbirth.