Pregnancy is not a time to limit food groups or calories – instead, the focus should be on getting adequate nutrition-rich foods during gestation. But how can I eat healthy during pregnancy?
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whether fresh, frozen, or canned (without added salt)! Prioritize complex carbohydrates over simple sugars. Avoid foods high in fat content and limit caffeine intake.
An ideal pregnancy diet includes plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to meet your increased nutrient requirements for iron, protein, calcium, and vitamin D while supporting your baby’s healthy development and growth.
Vegetables such as spinach and kale provide you with many vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients which are both nutritionally and health-beneficial for both you and your baby, especially when organic. Add them to salads, smoothies, side dishes, or meals as a nutritious side dish! Plus add other dark green veggies such as Swiss Chard, Arugula, or Collard Greens; all great sources of calcium, fiber, and vitamins K and A!
Be sure to incorporate plenty of beans and legumes into your diet, as they provide essential folate (B9), fiber, and protein – perfect for making delicious hummus, refried beans, or chickpea salads!
Dairy should be an integral part of your pregnancy diet as it provides protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D. Choose low-fat or skim milk and yogurt, along with cheese or cottage cheese as meals containing dairy. Dairy also contains folic acid – vital nutrients for developing babies!
Pregnancy requires you to learn how to eat healthy during pregnancy so eat a wide range of nutritious foods to meet the body’s nutrient requirements, while also limiting “empty calories” that provide little if any real benefit – this will help prevent weight gain or indigestion later in the gestation period.
Fruit can help satisfy sugary cravings during pregnancy while providing essential nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Bananas make an especially satisfying option as they’re filling and sweet without adding unnecessary calories; plus they contain folate to support healthy fetal development and prevent anemia.
Berries are another delicious and low-glycemic index food choice, packed full of water and fiber. Just be sure to consume them moderately and always ensure they have been properly washed!
Choose organic fruit whenever possible to ensure the least exposure to pesticides. If that is out of your budget, prioritize those listed on the “dirty dozen” list; watermelons offer refreshing snacks during pregnancy that provide hydration while providing vitamins A and C plus proteins, iron, and magnesium!
Eating healthy during pregnancy should include nutritious, whole food that will positively influence your baby’s development and health. Aim to gain weight within healthy limits while eating plenty of proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Avoid foods high in saturated fat, added sugars, and salt that could impact on their development.
Lean meats are always best when it comes to eating meat. In general, any product containing less fat than red meat is considered lean. That includes skinless chicken, turkey, pork, and beef with their fat trimmed off. Fatty cuts of meat such as brisket, ribs, and roast are more calorie-dense than lean cuts of meat.
At one time it was believed that heart disease and obesity were directly caused by eating too much saturated fats; however, recent research has demonstrated otherwise. Fats from meat sources are actually considered healthful when consumed in moderation – less than 10% of calories should come from fat sources; lean meats provide essential iron to expectant mothers; therefore it is advised to pair any animal source of iron with something rich in vitamin C to maximize absorption.
Finding yourself craving something sweet while pregnant is normal, but opting for fruit instead of cake or candy will satisfy both you and your unborn baby while providing essential nutrition. Bananas, strawberries, and blackberries contain vitamin C, potassium, and folate; in addition, they provide plenty of antioxidants. Try including two servings daily either as snacks, on oatmeal/granola/salad/into smoothies.
Berry fruits such as blueberries and blackberries contain essential vitamins, fiber, folate, and other nutrients essential to a healthy pregnancy diet. Furthermore, these small fruits offer ample antioxidant protection, helping lower risks such as high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
Pears make an excellent addition to a healthy pregnancy diet, offering ample amounts of fiber and folate, iron, and magnesium – not to mention being delicious snacks that can also be added to salads, smoothies, or baked goods!
Eating healthy is integral to overall well-being at any age, but even more so during pregnancy when your nutritional requirements increase exponentially. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will ensure your baby receives all the essential vitamins and minerals she needs for growth and development.
Not only should you consume an abundance of nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits, but you should also strive to incorporate whole grains, berries, protein, and dairy products into your diet as sources of vital fiber, folate, iron calcium, and vitamin C.
Nutritionists recommend eating six to eight servings of whole grains every day, which could include bread and cereals made with whole grain grains, brown rice, quinoa, or barley.
Avoid eating fatty and processed meats as these contain high amounts of saturated fat, and cholesterol and can contain bacteria that could make you sick or harm an unborn baby.
Folate (folic acid) can reduce your risk of neural tube defects during gestation. You can get folic acid from various sources including fortified foods like bread, cereals, juice, and rice; leafy green vegetables; citrus fruits; beans and peas as well as supplement forms.
Avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and more potassium than bananas, providing additional relief against leg cramps that are often experienced during pregnancy. Furthermore, this fruit offers pregnant women plenty of Vitamin C to maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels during gestation.
Folic acid is essential to proper fetal development, with one cup of avocado providing approximately 22 milligrams – roughly half the daily recommended dosage for pregnant women. Folate can help protect against birth defects like spina bifida.
Another pregnancy essential, potassium is vital for the proper functioning of both kidneys and nervous systems. Studies have demonstrated that increasing potassium consumption correlates with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings; one cup of avocado provides approximately 485 mg. If possible try making guacamole or adding chopped avocado slices to salads and sandwiches to meet this daily requirement for potassium intake.
Dried fruits contain iron, calcium, copper, and potassium in abundance – essential elements to healthy bowel movement and blood pressure control during gestation. They’re an excellent source of fiber to aid digestion and can prevent constipation during early trimester pregnancies. Finally, antioxidants present can also reduce oxidative stress while strengthening immunity.
Although dried fruit can be beneficial, consumers must exercise caution as some varieties contain sulfites that can trigger intolerances or allergies in certain individuals. Furthermore, dried fruit and nuts may contain mold that releases harmful toxins that could result in serious health concerns.
Nuts and dried fruits can help pregnant women meet their nutritional requirements during gestation. Packed full of essential vitamins such as A, B6, C, calcium, and iron; nuts are an excellent source of dietary fiber that supports good digestive health by preventing constipation and improving gut microbiota (5).
Nuts and dried fruits provide essential fatty acids for pregnant women. Not only are they an energy source, but their presence also contributes to the proper development of your baby’s brain and muscles – not to mention being great ways of alleviating nausea and hunger pangs!