Healthy Foods Every Pregnant Woman Should Eat
“Opting for healthy foods and eating a well-balanced diet helps your baby develop and grow in a healthy way”
Pregnancy is accompanied by physiological and psychological changes, including cravings for your favourite foods and an extreme aversion to particular foods or smells. Though this is normal, opting for healthy foods and eating a well-balanced diet helps your baby develop and grow in a healthy way. Thus, here are some foods suited for consumption during pregnancy, which will also provide nutrition to the new life growing within you.
Broccoli is full of antioxidants that help you fight many diseases. It is also rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6 which helps in proper nerve functioning while also helping to produce antibodies that fight diseases.
Non-Fat/Low Fat Milk
The body’s requirement for calcium increases during pregnancy, so make sure you eat curd made from low fat milk twice a day, to get your source of calcium along with a probiotic effect that soothes the gut lining and balances the good and bad bacteria of the stomach.
Bananas are rich in potassium and provide energy, but red bananas are better as they are nutrient dense. These are high in potassium, a rich source of antloxidants, vitamin B6, calcium, vitamin C and fibre. All these nutrients help in the baby s growth as these nutrients are passed from mother to baby.
Eggs are an excellent protein source as they contain all the essential amino acids. However, ensure that you don’t consume eggs raw, as the chances of an infection increases.
Kidney beans, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas etc. are a source of fibre and protein but make sure you cook them well. Also don’t eat stale cooked beans a they increase the chances OT gas an flatulence and can upset your stomach.
Leafy green vegetables have high levels of folate rid iron but the darker the colour of the vegetable, the higher is the vitamin content.
Nuts And Nut Butters
Fats are important for your baby’s brain development, especially DHA that comes from walnuts and almonds. These nuts have a high amount of vitamin E and have heart healthy fats. So eating a handful of mixed nuts daily, completes your everyday requirement.
If you are craving for something sweet, pick up dried figs, apricots and raisins to satisfy your cravings as these foods are much better options compared to sugar based sweets or chocolates.
Foods To Avoid Or To Consume In Moderation
Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
Excessive Caffeine-Related Products
Caffeine acts as a diuretic and may result in a low birth weight baby and increases the risk of stillbirths, foetal deaths or spontaneous abortions.
Canned foods are harmful as the chances of contamination are high due to long shelf life and also if there Is Improper storage.
Sugar Based Sweets
Craving for an ice cream, chocolate, dessert etc. is common during pregnancy, but control or avoid sugar rich foods as they lead to unwanted weight gain which becomes difficult to reduce post pregnancy and increases the chances of gestational diabetes.
Avoid street food during pregnancy as it is unhygienically prepared and can lead to an infection and food poisoning.
Papaya And Pineapple
Papaya and pineapple are not to be eaten during pregnancy as these fruits can lead to a miscarriage. The enzyme in these fruits leads to muscle contraction, enhancing the chances of a miscarriage or premature birth. However, post the first trimester, one or two slices are permitted in moderation.
Safety Tips While Choosing Foods
- Thoroughly wash vegetables, fruits and salad leaves etc. to ensure the removal of soil that may carry a parasite which can harm the foetus, if consumed
- Thoroughly clean utensils and surfaces and also your hands, especially after the preparation of raw meats etc.
- Store raw foods and ready to eat foods separately, to avoid contamination risks
- Avoid raw salad while eating out to reduce the chances of infection
Food is a major concern, but it is also necessary to keep yourself engaged in regular physical activity, or yoga and deep breathing to enhance your overall well-being as well as the foetus. Do bear the above points in mind with regard to the food you eat to enjoy every moment of your pregnancy.