Pregnancy requires a lot of modification when it comes to diet. This is vital to ensure the health of the mother and the unborn child inside her womb. It is the time when women should eat more nutrient-dense pregnancy food. During the first to the third trimester of your pregnancy, you are required to increase your calories to 350 to 500 calories a day. As an expecting mother, it is imperative to keep in mind that a deficiency might hamper fetal development.
Although a pregnant woman needs to add more calories to their daily diet, it is vital to watch for excess weight. The main reason for this is because they might develop a deadly condition called gestational diabetes and other complications. Consult a medical professional and eat nutritious food for pregnant women.
1. Dairy for Added Calcium and Protein
A healthy pregnancy needs extra calcium and protein in the diet to promote fetal development. The good thing about eating dairy is the fact that it contains two high-grade types of protein such as casein and whey protein. Also, it is a good source of added calcium as well as other essential nutrients such as zinc, B vitamins, phosphorus, and magnesium. Another good option for pregnancy diet is Greek yogurt because it is high in calcium and probiotic bacteria for a healthy gut.
There is a wide variety of food for pregnant women like peas, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. Consumption of legumes in the diet can offer more fiber, and addition of other vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, calcium, and protein. Folate belongs to the B vitamins that are essential especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Legumes are a good source of folate that is 65 to 90 percent of the total RDA for just one cup of legumes a day. Low folate intake of pregnant women is linked to conditions like neural tube defects, underweight, and illnesses later in life.
3. Sweet Potatoes
If you want a healthy baby, beta carotene and other plant compounds are essential to your diet. These nutrients can be converted into vitamin A that is responsible for the growth of the fetus as well as cell differentiation. During this time of your life, you need an added vitamin A for about 10 to 40 percent. However, when it comes to pregnancy food, it is advisable to stay away from animal sources of such vitamin as excess can lead to toxicity. It is good to know that eating sweet potatoes in the diet can offer a good amount of beta-carotene and fiber.
4. Salmon for Omega-3
The omega-3 fatty acid is vital for both mother and fetus health and these are abundant in seafood most especially in salmon. This nutrient is helpful for the development of the eyes and the brain of the fetus. However, recommended food for pregnant women are advised to limit their intake of seafood to just twice a week because of mercury in fatty fishes.
Several studies show that consumption of 2 to 3 meals of salmon a week is enough to meet the requirements for omega-3 fatty acids. Also, salmon is a good source of vitamin D which is normally lacking in the diet of a pregnant woman.
5. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
The dark green pigment of vegetables is the best source of plant compounds and antioxidants. One of the most common problems of pregnant women is constipation, and increase fiber intake from dark green vegetables can provide enough fiber to aid proper digestion. This pregnancy food is also linked to a decrease in the likelihood of low birth weight.
6. Lean Meat
Although regulated intake is suggested, the pregnancy diet still needs lean meat as it is a source of high-grade protein that is needed for fetus development. Aside from that, beef and pork are rich in choline, iron, and vitamin B complex that is essential during pregnancy. More iron in the diet can increase blood volume especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. To increase iron absorption, more vitamin C is also important in the pregnancy diet.
Berries are very low in the glycemic index because pregnant women need to eat food for pregnant women that are low in GI to avoid gestational diabetes. Aside from having a low GI, berries are rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. If you are craving something sweet, it is a good substitute for sugary snacks.