Top Nourishing Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
Since pregnancy is the most important phase of life for both, the mother and the foetus to develop inside the womb, it’s obvious that extra care needs to be taken when it comes to the quality of the foods a mother-to-be eats. It should be completely nutritious, so that a sufficient amount of food reaches the foetus but at the same time, there is no build-up of calories in the mother.
The amount of weight gained physiologically is about 10-12 kilos over a period of nine months, Low weight gain increases the risk of low birth weight babies and even intrauterine growth retardation. Gaining extra weight also has its share of disadvantages like big babies, fetopeMc disproportions, gestational diabetes etc.
To prevent all these complications, it is important to eat healthy, so that the baby will be healthy and the mother too will be healthy, pre and post the delivery. Hence, here are a few nutritious foods which are safe and healthy to eat during pregnancy.
Top Foods To Eat During Pregnancy
Fruits And Vegetables
Being loaded with vitamin C, A, E, K and B vitamins, both vegetables and fruits are excellent. Citrus fruits like guava, oranges, and vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes are loaded with vitamin C, which helps in the increased absorption of iron, which is an important mineral for pregnant women.
Vitamin C also helps to fight infections (provides natural immunity), repairs tissues, heals wounds and also helps in the formation of collagen, which in turn helps in maintaining healthy skin, hair, teeth and bones.
Dark green leafy vegetables are important sources of iron and tolic acid. Iron helps in the production of haemoglobin (during pregnancy morehaemoglobin is required to supply the foetus with sufficient oxygen supply). Thus, the requirement for iron becomes double during pregnancy. Certain sources of iron are whole grain breads, dried fruits, beans, almonds, lentils, raisins, cinnamon, apricots etc.
Folic acid present in green leafy vegetables helps in the production of red blood cells and also reduces the neural tube defects. Most of the fruits like berries are full of antioxidants, which protect the mother-to-be from infections and inflammation. Antioxidants also help in fighting the excess cholesterol levels in hypertensive mothers, thus reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia.
Fruits and vegetables are also full of fibre and thus prevent constipation, which is the most common problem faced by pregnant women, Some high fibre foods are leafy vegetables, oranges. apples, pears, bananas, mangoes, beans, sweet potatoes etc.
Dairy products are full of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D and the growing foetus needs a lot of these minerals for proper development of the skeletal system. Generally, the growing foetus takes up all the calcium from the mother, so if the mother is not consuming a sufficiently calcium-rich diet, she may suffer from brittle bones, back pain, weak joints etc.
Dairy products are also rich in fats and protein, which are actually very crucial for a pregnant woman and a growing foetus. The proteins are essential for the building of muscles, joints and bones, whereas the fats are essential for the development of the foetus’s brain, skin lining, metabolism of fat soluble vitamins, formation of fertility hormones, which helps in the proper development of the endocrine glands etc.
A few examples for dairy products are milk, cheese, paneer and yogurt, which is rich in probiotics and thus helps in keeping the digestive system healthy. Yogurt also prevents pre-eclampsia, vaginal Infections and also certain food allergies.
Eggs are a complete protein food that are enriched with fats, vitamins and minerals. Eggs can be labelled as an excellent food to supplement the pregnant mother and growing foetus. This food is also rich in choline which is required for the development of the foetal brain, Decreased choline consumption may be associated with the risk of neural tube detects. Other rich sources of choline are soaked nuts, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower etc.
Legumes are great sources of fibre, folate, iron, calcium, vegetable protein etc. So, those mothers-to-be allergic to dairy products can increase their intake of legumes to substitute their calcium and protein intake. Pure vegetarians also can benefit from legumes, as this food provides the required amount of protein as well as for the foetus. Some examples of legumes are lentils, chickpeas, beans, peanuts, soya beans, peas etc.
Nuts are full of minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, calcium etc. and also vitamin E. These foods are loaded with healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for foetal brain development and hormonal development. Nuts are also rich in protein and B-vitamins.