When a woman discovers she is pregnant, “health” becomes the most important word in her dictionary. Whatever you eat as an expecting mom, definitely makes a difference in your baby’s health. There are a number of foods that might be okay for you but might not be suitable for the baby. So, when you plan your diet, you have to be sure that the food you have is healthy for you and the baby as well. Here’s a list of some pregnancy food that should be part of your diet to regulate your health and the baby’s growth and development.
Pregnancy Food for Breakfast
Eggs are an essential part of the diet for a pregnant woman. They are a great source of protein. Cells need proteins to grow. So, when you have eggs, you are providing resources for your baby’s cells to grow and divide properly. Besides proteins, eggs contain “choline” that plays a role in the development of your baby’s nervous system. If you have decided to not have meat while you are pregnant, eggs are a great pregnancy food alternative.
Pregnancy is accompanied by a constant feeling of lethargy. Bananas help you fight that feeling and feel energetic. These fruits have a rich supply of potassium that gives you instant energy. Plus, when you feel nauseous, you can have bananas since it doesn’t make your stomach feel heavy. You can have bananas as it is or mix them in your bowl of morning cereal. A unique way of eating them would be in form of ice cream when you crave for it. Just whip the bananas and keep it in your freezer.
Oats help in lowering the level of cholesterol in your body. Also, they have complex carbohydrates that keep you satiated for longer hours. It is a good idea to replace your heavy breakfast with oatmeal. All you have to do is cook oats in some amount of milk and add maple syrup to avoid added sugar.
Pregnancy Food for Lunch
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains are a great source of Vitamin-B, magnesium, proteins, and fiber. Often times pregnant women run low on fiber, Vitamin-B, and fibers. To make sure you have enough of these nutrients in your diet, add whole grains to it. The easiest way to make sure is by adding it to your daily lunch meal. You can have wheat, rice, or barley. You can even add the whole grains to your breakfast diet by having bread made from whole grains (brown bread).
It is a good idea to add different sources of protein to your diet rather than overeating a specific food. One such good source proteins are lentils and legumes. Per cup, lentils offer 15 grams of proteins, which is great. Besides proteins, you also get fibers from lentils. All you have to do is cook “daal” and have it with “rotis” or rice. Other legumes, like beans, peanuts, peas, etc offer calcium, folate, and iron. When there is a deficiency of folate in your diet, it elevates the risks of low birth weight and neural defects.
3. Leafy Vegetables
With all the vegetables that you have, don’t forget to add a bowl of green and leafy vegetables. Spinach and broccoli are essential pregnancy food that is high in iron, fiber, and calcium. Broccoli has antioxidants that help fight diseases. It also has Vitamin-C. When you buy leafy vegetables, get those that are dark green in color. Darker greens have a higher amount of Vitamins.
Go-To Pregnancy Food That You Can Have Any Time
1. Dry Fruits
If you’re out and need to keep popping something to recharge yourself with energy and nutrients, dry fruits are a great option. Walnuts have omega-3s, which is a great alternative for vegetarians. Other dry fruits, like cranberries, apricots, etc can be eaten too. Prunes are rich in potassium, sorbitol, and Vitamin-K. Dates offer fiber, iron, and potassium. If you have dates in the third trimester, they induce natural labor.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin-A. These tuberous vegetables contain carotenoids that get converted into Vitamin-A in our body.
When you are pregnant, you should keep having water in regular intervals. Pregnancy results in an increase in the blood volume by 1.5 liters. You have to make sure you are hydrated always. If you get dehydrated, you might experience symptoms, like anxiety, headache, mood swings, etc. While the amount of water needed for each individual varies, 2 liters is an average count. There are other sources of water as well. Fruits, vegetables, milk, etc also serve water.
Note- Make it a point to drink water every time you are thirsty. Drink the water till it satiates your thirst.
4. Dairy Products
Dairy products, like milk, cheese, yogurt offer calcium, and protein. They are also rich in Vitamin-B, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. If you are lactose intolerant, you can skip having milk and other products and instead just have yogurt.
- Keep having something at regular intervals.
- You don’t have to completely fill yourself up to the brink. Keep approximately 1/4th of your stomach empty.
- Don’t overeat.
- Try having a lot of liquid foods, like smoothies. It directly reaches the baby and ensures the baby gets all the nutrients that are needed for its growth.
This is a list of pregnancy food that will help you stay healthy and be good for your baby as well. You can customise your diet and add different foods to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. there’s no separate dinner section because whatever has been mentioned in the lunch section can be eaten for dinner as well.
While this list contains foods that do no harm, it is still a good idea to visit a dietician. A lot of times certain foods don’t suit some people and might cause some sort of allergy. A dietician will be able to specify an exact quantity of different food you need to take. This helps in meeting your nutritional requirements without fail. Also, visit your dietician regularly. This helps you make changes according to different trimesters and the developmental requirements of the baby. You can also use apps meant for pregnancy to make a lot of things easier for yourself.