Are you expecting? Here are 5 types of foods you need to put on your plate now.
Are you newly pregnant or want to become pregnant soon? Wondering if you need to overhaul your whole diet before conceiving? Or did you recently get that positive pregnancy test and now you’re overwhelmed with what your baby needs? Look no further. In this article I’ve outlined 5 types of foods to add to your pregnancy diet.
I also highly recommend the book The Whole Nine Months which details great recipes you can follow during your entire pregnancy.
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Fresh fruits are choke-full of vital nutrients and vitamins your growing baby needs during pregnancy. Listed below are just a few:
Oranges: Vitamin C and Folate
Pears: Fiber, Folate and Potassium
Bananas: Potassium, Vitamin C , Vitamin B-6, Fiber
Grapes: Folate, Fiber, Vitamins A & C
Pomegranates: Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Folate
Apples: Vitamins A & B, Potassium
Mangoes: Vitamins A & C
Fruits are also a great choice to add to your pregnancy diet because of their natural sweetness that can help curb sugar cravings.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Let’s face it: eating healthy will always include green veggies. And for pregnant women leafy greens are even more important. They have so many benefits and are abundantly rich in iron, folate, vitamin A and K.
Leafy Greens to put on your plate: Kale, Broccoli and Spinach
Folate is extremely important for your growing baby as it helps in the neural tube development in the brain and spinal cord.
Lean meats are important because of their high amounts of protein and iron.
Doctors recommend pregnant women eat 75-100 grams of protein a day. Protein helps overall fetal development. It also has an important role in aiding in your growing blood supply.
Iron is an essential mineral in pregnancy because it helps make red blood cells. Low iron levels in pregnancy can turn into anemia. Anemia during pregnancy has been linked to pre term delivery, low birth weight and postpartum depression. Iron is especially important in the second trimester when the amount of blood in your body increases 40-50%.
*Lean meats should never be eaten raw.
Examples of lean meats are: liver, skinless chicken, lamb, lean beef and pork.
We have been conditioned to believe “fats” in food is bad. But that is not the whole truth. There is a such thing as healthy fats and they are incredibly important to the formation of a growing fetus. Healthy fats are excellent for your baby’s brain development.
Examples of healthy fats are avocados, nuts, salmon, chia feeds and even dark chocolate.
Fats you should be avoiding are trans fat which are usually found in fried fast foods, frozen pizzas and vegetable shortenings. Read more about foods to avoid in my article.
According to a study on PubMed.Gov consuming healthy fats while pregnant can actually help your child maintain a healthy metabolism and cognitive function.
Last on the list, but certainty not least. While water is not what we typically think of as food, it is supremely important to consume while pregnant. Water is the vehicle that transports nutrients and vitamins throughout our bodies.
It also helps maintain healthy amniotic fluid levels and reduce swelling especially in the third trimester.
Even at full term I had hardly any swelling in ankles and legs and my doctor said it was because of all the water I was drinking.
Doctors recommend pregnant women drink at least 6-8 8oz glasses of water. If you live in a warmer climate or outdoors during high temperatures you will want to take in even more.
I know some women have trouble keeping track of their water intake. I suggest carrying a gallon container with hourly line markings to remind you where you should be.
Cieara is a wife and mom of two, passionate about empowering parents to not just survive but thrive. She offers practical and expert advice on topics related to parenthood.