Do you know that your choice of food during pregnancy is relative to the proper growth and development of your baby in the womb? The consumption of more calories daily should be encouraged and maintained throughout this period. In fact, you need about 400 additional calories daily for the vitality of the baby in the womb, especially during the second and third trimesters. However, we are emphasizing on eating healthy and nutritious meals and not just eating any kind of food. Do not suffer the risks of poor eating habits and excess weight gain that will eventually lead to gestational diabetes and other complications. We have put together the pregnancy diet, a list of food for pregnant moms that will help them to stay healthy and happy throughout this gestation period and deliver strong and vigorous babies at the end.
Table of Contents
- Dry Fruits and Nuts
- Milk and Dairy Products
- Fermented Meals
- Sweet Potatoes
- Salmon and Other Seafood
- Cod Liver Oil
- Bone Soup or Broth
- Whole Grains
- Beans and Other Legumes
- What is Your Choice of Foods for Pregnancy?
There are different kinds of vegetables available in the grocery shops
for you to buy. Nutritionally, vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals relevant to boost the immune system and nourish your body. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends that a drink of at least three cups of vegetables daily is ideal for an expectant mom and baby to maintain good health throughout gestation. Moreover, vegetables are good sources of folate and fiber that can support and enhance digestive processes in human bodies.
One of the dark green vegetables you can find in a grocery shop and good for the consumption of pregnant moms is spinach. The mother and child need the food ingredients in spinach such as potassium, iron, folate, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin K in order to maintain good health.
Broccoli has essential ingredients and antioxidants that are beneficial in boosting the immune system and aiding the digestive system to function properly. The high fiber content is necessary to prevent constipation. It is rich in vitamin C that can help your body to absorb iron in order to maintain the red blood cells and prevent anemia.
Another green leafy vegetable that contains plant compounds promoting the functions of vital organs in the body and reducing the chances of giving birth to babies with low birth weight.
Cauliflower is one of the vegetables needed by a pregnant woman to maintain good health and enjoy the gestation period. Rich in antioxidants and fiber and has the capacity to boost immunity and enhance digestion.
Due to the discomforts, most women usually experience during pregnancy, it is important to consume vegetables such as celery as it contains beneficial minerals and vitamins like calcium, iron, folate, vitamin A, and the B-vitamins. These ingredients are necessary to promote vitality and good health for the mom and child by increasing the circulation of blood in the body.
Collard or Kale
Collard or kale is suitable for pregnant moms and desirable due to a high content of fiber. Other useful minerals in this vegetable are folate, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
This vegetable is highly nutritious as it contains vitamins A, vitamin C, Vitamin E, and vitamin K. These vitamins help in promoting good health and vitality in the body. Other essential nutrients in onions are antioxidants that promote cellular structuring, increase immunity, and protect from free radical damage to the cells.
Onions are known as one of the vegetables rich in vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 respectively. These food nutrients help the body in preventing cardiovascular diseases and formation of strong bones. Protein formation in the liver and the storage of calcium in bone tissues are the functions of vitamin D in onions. Another vegetable in this category is garlic and every pregnant woman should always add these to her diets to stay healthy and strong.
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This is another green vegetable with a high content of folate and fiber. Cabbage contains vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and phosphorus necessary to keep the baby vibrant and active in the womb. These food nutrients help the mother to maintain a proper health condition until delivery and after delivery.
Sweet Bell Peppers
Sweet bell peppers are needed by pregnant women to boost their vitamin A intake and improve the health of the baby significantly. This is to ensure the eyes, brain, and other organs in the body of the child develop normally.
This is a spice that every pregnant mom needs in her diets, as it contains vitamin C and antioxidants. These food nutrients are necessary to enhance metabolic processes in the body and improve the circulation of blood to every part of the body.
This is another veritable vegetable suitable for the good health of the mother and child. The high content of antioxidant and fiber are needed during the gestational period to boost immunity, fight against infections, and improve digestive processes thereby preventing constipation.
Fruits are highly nutritious as they provide you with an assortment of minerals and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphorus, and potassium that will keep you and your baby healthy. Additionally, fruits are rich in fiber necessary to enhance digestion and for a proper bowel movement. Examples of fruits suitable for pregnant moms are strawberries, apples, peaches, cherries, grapefruits, mangoes, tomatoes, grapes, tangerines, nectarines, blueberries, bananas, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, passion fruit, star fruit, kiwifruit, guava, acai, cucumbers, carrots, plums, honeydew melon, pawpaw, eggplant, pineapples, corn, and pomegranate. Every pregnant woman needs at least two cups of fruit juice every day according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.
There are many fruits needed by a woman during the gestation period to promote good health but one of the most beneficial and nutritious fruit is avocado. This fruit is rich in fiber and contains monounsaturated fatty acids. Other essential mineral elements in this fruit are potassium, vitamin K, copper, vitamin C, folate, and the B-vitamins. Do you want to prevent leg cramps during pregnancy? Then, always consume avocados because of the high content of potassium useful in alleviating the discomforts of leg cramps during pregnancies. Furthermore, this fruit contains healthy fats needed for the proper development of the brain, tissues, and skin of the embryo in the womb.
Apples are one of the fruits that provide pregnant moms with fiber, plant compounds, vitamin C, and healthy carbs. These food nutrients are ideal to promote the general well-being of the woman and her baby during pregnancy. It also contains a low glycemic index and necessary to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Most pregnant moms consume blueberries as a form of snacks due to the high content of fiber and water. They are also low in calories and provide great flavor and nutrition, especially to the child during the prenatal period. Additionally, blueberries contain antioxidants, vitamins, plant compounds and carbs necessary for the upkeep of the mother and her baby in the womb.
This fruit is rich in potassium and calcium, which are necessary for strong bones and teeth, and maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. Bananas provide you with normal blood glucose and healthy calories needed to promote proper cardiovascular functions.
Oranges are good sources of vitamin C relevant in strengthening the blood capillaries of the placenta by the actions of antioxidants. Another great food nutrient in orange is beta-carotene. Most adults convert beta-carotene into vitamin A and it is necessary for the proper growth and development of the central nervous system, eyes, organs, and bones of the embryo in the womb. The nourishing effects of oranges can reduce the risks of preeclampsia and oxidative stress.
Eating kiwi fruit is a tasty experience due to its unique flavor but the high content of vitamin C and antioxidants are other great benefits a pregnant mom and her baby enjoy too. She may not suffer the emotional and physiological effects of stress and depression due to the active ingredients in this fruit.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is a form of carotenoids finally processed into vitamin A in the body and ideal to boost the immune systems of pregnant moms. The consumption of carrots is good to promote faster healing of the body after childbirth and is active against infections.
A sweet and savory fruit containing vitamin A and vitamin C. It is rich in potassium and magnesium that are useful in relieving leg cramps and other bodily discomforts during pregnancy.
One of the fruits rich in vitamin C, iron, antioxidants, and folate is pawpaw. It helps the body to easily absorb iron and other essential food nutrients from the small intestine into the bloodstream, thereby promoting digestion. The antioxidants support free radicals damage in body cells.
Tangerines belong to the citrus family and rich in vitamin C that promotes a healthy skin and increases the immune functions of the body system.
The consumption of tomatoes has been proved very nourishing to the body, especially the high fiber and water content. Vitamin C is another great nutrient in this fruit that helps pregnant moms in the formation of baby’s tissues and bones. Regular consumption of tomatoes will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and injuries could heal faster due to the high content of vitamin C.
Grapes belong to the citrus family and are good sources of vitamin C. They are rich in antioxidants and help the body to form collagen necessary for joint and bone health. Vitamin C in the fruit is active against infections and other health conditions that can affect the proper growth and development of the fetus and could result in complications during childbirth.
Do you want to enjoy a good amount of vitamin C and fiber? Consuming pineapples will provide you with vitamin C that can improve your immune system and fight infections. The high fiber content is ideal to promote digestion and absorption of food nutrients into the bloodstream.
Strawberries have low glycemic index because they contain both fiber and water. They contain plant compounds and rich in vitamin C, and other beneficial food nutrients such as healthy carbs and potassium.
Dry Fruits and Nuts
In most cultures, fruits are dried to prevent them from spoiling or specifically for preservation. This process only reduces the water content of such fruits but the nutrients and vitamins are still retained. Dried fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, calories, potassium, sorbitol, fiber, folate, and iron.
Nuts also provide you with vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, and fiber. It is good to note here that nuts are very rich in vitamin E, which is regarded by most persons as fertility factor X. Therefore, consuming nuts by pregnant moms helps to maintain and sustain their pregnancies until delivery.
Examples of dry fruits are dates relevant to promote cervical dilation and limiting the chances of induced labor. It is also rich in iron, potassium, plant compounds, and fiber. Another example of dry fruits are prunes that serve as natural purgatives or laxatives and useful in relieving constipation. Vitamin K, potassium, sorbitol, and fiber are the ingredients you will get by consuming these fruits.
Are you a vegetarian? Walnut is a major source of vitamin B12 and other essential food nutrients needed by vegan moms to boost and balance the vitamins compositions in their body systems. Additionally, consider ingesting your vitamin supplements to augment for any imbalance in your body system. Other food items needed by vegetarian pregnant moms in addition to walnuts are almonds, tofu, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, olive oil, tempeh, natural peanut butter, and pumpkin seeds.
According to proven sources, the required daily amounts for proteins consumption, especially by pregnant moms are about 5 ounces to 6 ounces. Meat is one of the major sources of protein in the human body. Protein is essential for the building of new cells, tissues, and organs in the fetus, and the reparation and maintenance of cells, tissues, and organs in the mother in preparation for delivery. The various kinds of meat ideal for the good health of a pregnant woman include pork, turkey, chicken, liver, mutton, beef, lamb, etc. Among this list, you have pork and beef ranking higher for best in choline contents. Additionally, during pregnancy, it is advisable not to eat some kinds of meat packaged as hot dogs and deli meat because of the high risk of infections such as salmonella, listeria, and toxoplasma known to be really, harmful to the mom and baby.
Beef is a good source of protein needed for the growth of tissues, cells, and organs in the body of the embryo and relevant for the healing and reparation of damaged tissues during childbirth. It is also ideal for pregnant moms due to its choline content.
Do you want to experience faster tissue repairs and recovery after delivery? The consumption of liver will provide you with a high amount of vitamin A needed for the growth and development of your baby, and necessary to help you recover easily after childbirth.
Eggs contain essential bodybuilding substances like protein, choline, vitamins, and minerals. There are ingredients called amino acids in proteins that have the capacity to build new cells in unborn babies and repair damaged tissues in the mother, even after delivery. Another active ingredient in eggs that is useful for the proper development of the brain of your child in the womb is choline. It has been found to prevent the occurrence of neural tubes defects and even supporting the good formation of the spinal cord. A pregnant woman needs to consume about 450 mg of eggs every day; that is about 2 to 3 eggs daily in order to boost choline contents in the body. Therefore, it is good to make egg a veritable part of your pregnancy diet to keep you and your baby healthy and strong.
Milk and Dairy Products
Dairy products are rich in calcium and necessary for strong bones and teeth formation both in the pregnant woman and especially, the fetus. You are advised to always consume enough daily amounts that will provide about 1000 mg to 1500 mg of calcium in your body. At least, four servings of dairy are enough to support you with the required daily amount. Casein and whey are two kinds of protein found in dairy products. You will also enjoy other minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and the vitamin B nutrients. There are varieties of dairy products to choose from such as soymilk, cheese, and yogurt, especially Greek yogurt and probiotic yogurt. Dairy products also contain good amounts of vitamin D and probiotic bacteria that support and enhance good digestive processes during pregnancy. Milk and Cheese also contain iodine that is very relevant in the proper development of the brain and nervous systems of the embryo in the womb. Furthermore, you can reduce some allergies, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections, and preeclampsia by ingesting more probiotic yogurt and other dairy supplements.
Do you know that ordinary yogurt contains more calcium than milk? Really, it is richer in calcium and has other bodybuilding nutrients such as zinc, proteins, and B-vitamins. Remember that calcium is ideal for both the baby and you; but if you are not consuming the required daily amount, then the baby may draw up from your bones contents leaving you at the risk of osteoporosis. Consume more of Greek yogurt for better results.
Fermented meals contain essential and active ingredients needed in the body by pregnant moms to maintain and boost their health and that of the fetus. Vitamin K, the B-vitamins, probiotics, and other enzymes are some of the beneficial nutrients in fermented foods and necessary to maintain the bacteria in the guts, which are responsible for better neurological, digestive, and immune conditions of the body. Examples of fermented foods are water kefir, beet kvass, yogurt, kimchi, coconut milk kefir, sauerkraut, and ginger ale.
Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for the coloration of sweet potatoes. Moreover, this substance is converted into vitamin A in the body. Potatoes provide good sources of fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. Do you know that vitamin A is necessary for the separation of most cells and tissues in the body? Basically, this is the reason pregnant women are advised to consume sweet potatoes because it is a veritable source of vitamin A and other healthy food constituents like fiber. It can help to reduce and balance your blood sugar levels too. If a pregnant woman can only take about 100 grams to 200 grams of boiled potatoes that is enough to provide her with about ten to fifty percent of vitamin A for her good health. Moreover, it has been proved that excess consumption of animal sources of vitamin A is harmful to the body; therefore, decide to go for the alternative plant sources.
Salmon and Other Seafood
Do you know that salmon and other seafood supply you and your baby with omega-3 fatty acids? Omega-3 fatty acids and glycerol have been proven to play a fundamental role in the growth and development of the baby’s brain, eyes, and other vital organs in the body. Most of the time, pregnant women experience mood swings leading to anxiety and depression. However, omega-3 fatty acids contain eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, which are also very relevant in boosting and improving their moods significantly. A very reliable source of this healthy ingredient is salmon. Pregnant moms are expected to eat at least 10 ounces to 12 ounces of seafood every week in order to get a good dose of these food nutrients. According to the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, other seafood suitable for the good health of an expectant mom and child
are tilapia, catfish, shrimps, Pollack, crabs, tuna, and cod.
However, there are other kinds of fish that are considered not suitable for prenatal periods due to a high content of methylmercury. This substance is not ideal for the consumption of the baby because it has the tendency to affect its nervous system negatively. Some of these fish are sharks, tilefish, and swordfish.
Cod Liver Oil
As a pregnant woman, you need the essential nutrients packed in the oily liver of the cod. This oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids containing EPA and DHA highly necessary for the development of the eyes and brain of the child. You can get enough dose of vitamin D by consuming fish liver oil but low or no vitamin D in the body can lead to a condition called preeclampsia. Recognizing this health challenge is by the swelling of your hands and feet, protein in the urine, and high blood pressure. The recommended dosage of fish liver oil is one tablespoonful daily and you should not exceed this amount due to the dangers of consuming much of vitamin A in this form of fats. Such health dangers include thinning effects of blood in the mother and fetus alike, which should be avoided at all cost.
Bone Soup or Broth
This food is delicious, nourishing and containing glucosamine, magnesium, proline, calcium, chondroitin, glycine amino acids, and other trace elements. The active ingredients in this meal function as immune boosters, anti-aging substances, and detoxifiers in the bodies of pregnant women. Examples of bone broth are egg drop soup, chicken soup, and tortilla soup.
Another great source of folic acid (folate) is whole grains that provide the body with carbohydrates and energy. The growing fetus needs enough energy to continue its developmental processes in the womb, especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. These food substances are rich in fiber, mineral selenium, antioxidant, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, and other nutritious substances like phytonutrients that offer protection to cells. Therefore, the mom needs to consume enough whole grains in the form of bread, barley, rice, quinoa, bran cereal, oats, and wheat.
Beans and Other Legumes
This class of food is very relevant and highly needed in the body during gestation to support the mom and child with adequate amounts of protein, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, and fiber. As earlier said that folate, which is also vitamin B9 has great health benefits, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy, although most women do not ingest enough legumes to provide them with the desired nutritional amounts. This will also prevent the risks of neural tube defects and other health challenges for the child. At least, regular consumption of one or two cups of beans, lentils, and chickpeas is ideal to provide about sixty to eighty-five percent of folate needed to keep pregnancy in good condition until delivery. Good examples of leguminous food items include soybeans, beans, peanuts, lentils, and chickpeas.
During pregnancy, the body uses much water more than ordinary times because the fetus draws up fluid from the mother’s body through the placenta. This may lead to dehydration and low level of blood because more water intake leads to an increased volume of blood in the mother’s body. Dehydration results in health and psychological conditions such as bodily weakness, constipation, headaches, depression, poor memory, and moodiness. The recommended daily water intake is about 2 to 3 liters, although, the quantity varies with individuals. With an optimal water intake, the pregnant woman may reduce the risks of urinary tract infections and constipation, which are common during the gestational period. Moreover, eating fruits and vegetables, beverages, coffee, and tea are other sources through which you can introduce water into the body.
What is Your Choice of Foods for Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a unique period in the life of every woman, therefore, most women usually have paranormal cravings for different foods and the choice for what they eat during this period is exclusive really. You have just read a list of recommended foods that can make a pregnant woman healthy and happy throughout prenatal period. These foods are ideal to ensure that the baby stays safe in the womb and delivered without complications. Excess weight gain, gestational diabetes, and complications during childbirth are signs of poor eating habits. Deciding to eat healthy diets and choosing the kinds of foods you eat always are the ways to improve and maintain your health and that of your child. However, remember that gaining weight during pregnancy is healthy and normal for you and the baby; it is not proper to lose weight due to unforeseen health issues but what is your own choice of foods for pregnancy?