One of the most puzzling questions when you get pregnant is “What to eat?”, of course. Smoking and drinking alcohol are out of the question, eating junk food is again, questionable and we assume we need to eat clean, drink plenty water and so on and so forth. But what are the foods that we need to eat for a healthy pregnancy diet?
Let’s start from the beginning. From the moment, the ovule is fecundated and it fixates on the uterus’ wall, the tiny baby that comes into shape is 100% dependable on his mother to feed and nurture.
That is why following a healthy pregnancy diet is paramount. Over the course of the first few pregnancy weeks, the future mom will have to have a rich and diversified diet plan. A supplementary dosage of proteins and carbohydrates will contribute to the healthy development of the fetus and the placenta.
Every pregnant woman needs a greater amount of vitamins and certain minerals in her diet.
- It requires almost a double amount of Calcium in her diet for the proper formation of the baby’s teeth and bones.
- Iron is another very important and necessary mineral because it helps transport the oxygen to the baby’s cells.
Besides these 2 minerals, a future mom should focus on the intake of certain vitamins that help the proper development of the baby. We are talking about Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3 and B6.
In order to provide these necessities and not gain extra weight as fat, an expectant mother needs to make the most of what she eats. Therefore, during pregnancy a woman should eat only 300 more calories daily. An ideal diet for a healthy pregnancy should be composed namely of fresh organic unprocessed foods with a low animal fat content.
But what to eat exactly?
Top 20 foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy diet
Fresh, organic eggs from free range chickens are loaded with Vitamin A that is so necessary for the proper development of tissues. They also contain Vitamin B2, B3 and B6, but make sure you don’t eat them under-cooked because they may contain Salmonella. So be careful!
Perhaps one of the most Iron-loaded leafy vegetable out there, fresh spinach should not miss from a healthy pregnancy diet.
This often-forgotten super-food is one of the best things you can eat because it contains high amounts of Vitamin B2. This vitamin helps the proper functioning of the nervous system, of the heart and muscles and it also provides energy to the baby while in the womb.
Fresh yeast is another amazing food you should have in your healthy pregnancy diet. It contains Vitamin B2, B3 and B6 which means that it contributes to the assimilation of lipids, proteins and carbs.
The thing with almonds is that they make a wonderful snack for both you and the baby. They contain Vitamin B2 that contributes to healthy skin.
Although an exotic food, coconut contains complex B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) and a great load of Vitamin C. Besides it also contains a high amount of Iron and contributes to healthy hair.
This is one of the best animal sources of B vitamins, Iron and Zinc, but the most amazing part about eating liver is that it contains folic acid known for reducing the risk of certain birth defects. Pork, chicken, turkey, lamb or even beef liver should be part of your healthy pregnancy diet.
This super-food is known for its anticancer properties and the fact that is an amazing detox, but few know that broccoli is loaded with Vitamin K and A that contribute to bone health and proper tissue development. It goes amazing in sautés, as well as soups.
According to AvocadoCentral, this fruit contains nearly 20 different vitamins and a great amount of Calcium and Magnesium, just what the baby needs for healthy teeth and bones. On the other side, avocado is really delicious and versatile. You can eat it spread on butter, along with bananas or even in salads.
Together with avocado, banana is a wonderful and delicious snack for any pregnant woman. Not only this, but bananas are loaded with Potassium, Manganese, dietary fibers and B6 vitamin. Besides, they are absolutely yum!
Loaded with Omega 3 fats, Copper and Manganese, walnuts are considered the ultimate “brain food” and are easy to include in any healthy diet plan. Eat them raw, or add them to your salads to make them more interesting and healthy.
Delicious and healthy, oranges should be a part of a pregnancy diet because they are an excellent source of Vitamin C that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and clear the pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
The delicious and versatile soybeans made tofu is a great alternative to cheese, because not only has a very low glycemic index and few calories, but is also loaded in vegetal source Calcium, the baby needs. Other soy based products are also good to include on your pregnancy diet food list.
Cooked yellow-fin tuna is a great dish not just because of how tasty and good it is, but also because of the high amounts of Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin. Vitamin B3 helps reduce bad cholesterol and regulates blood pressure as well. Make sure you get wild caught or organic fresh tuna only. And cook it well!
15. Sunflower Seeds
Loaded in Vitamin B6, sunflower seeds are a great snack or salad ingredient if you wish. Vitamin B6 is very important for proper baby development because it helps the synthesis of AND, the messenger of the genetic code.
16. Sweet Potatoes
Essential in healthy vision, gene transcription and boosting the immune system, Vitamin A is found in high amounts in sweet potatoes.
17. Dark Leafy Greens
Kale, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard and dandelion greens are full with Vitamin A, and have 0 cholesterol or saturated fats. In fact, they also come loaded with Vitamin C, Iron and Calcium, exactly what the baby needs for a healthy start in life.
18. Red Peppers
These crunchy babies contain almost 300% of your daily intake of Vitamin C, the vitamin needed for the absorption of Iron in your body. In this regard, red peppers are a must have in a healthy pregnancy diet.
Did you know that 1 cup of mangoes make up for 100% of your daily need for Vitamin C, 35% for Vitamin A, 20% of Folate, 10% of Vitamin B6 and 8% of Vitamin K and Potassium? Besides, mangoes contain lots of fibers, good carbs and taste amazing!
Last but not least, a healthy pregnancy diet should not go without oats. They have a low glycemic index and contain high quantities of Manganese, Phosphorus and Vitamin B1. Not only they provide you with energy, they are a great source of dietary fibers which means that they reduce risk of cardiovascular disease for you and the baby.
Besides the healthy and delicious foods, you need to include into your diet while pregnant, there are certain foods you must avoid. Check them out below:
10 Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Pregnancy
The nurturing substances you eat go through the placenta in the baby’s blood stream in the same way harmful substances such as alcohol and caffeine do. The latter are rather harmful for the fetus and his mother, though.
But which are the foods that a pregnant should avoid?
Foods that have been preserved in an inadequate way may contain bacteria that can lead to intoxication’s. Nonetheless, alcohol consumption is very dangerous while pregnant and it can cause serious health problems to the baby. Here are the main foods to avoid when pregnant according to FoodSafety.gov
- Unpasteurized milk & cheese made from unpasteurized milk such as Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco & fresco (may contain bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella)
- Fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (may contain mercury)
- Raw cookie dough or batter (may contain Salmonella)
- Ready-made salads from stores: ham, chicken, seafood (may contain Salmonella)
- Raw fish and seafood including sushi, oysters & clams (may contain parasites and bacteria)
- Unpasteurized juice, fresh juice included (may contain E.coli)
- Raw or under-cooked sprouts namely alfalfa, clover, mung bean, and radish (may contain E.coli and Salmonella)
- Deli meats including hot dogs, cold cuts, and sausage (may contain Listeria).
- Alcohol of any kind
- Caffeine in tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and coffee ice cream
The Little Inconveniences of Being Pregnant
Pregnancy has its joys and inconveniences such as indispositions, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms that are very common during the first weeks of the pregnancy and are related to hormones. You need not worry because they don’t harm the baby in any ways.
In case you experience these unpleasant symptoms, try preparing easy, light meals and avoid greasy meals instead. Also, avoid not eating for prolonged periods of time, this is not healthy for the baby.
In general, these inconveniences are never more serious, and if you want to try some natural remedies, better ask a doctor or a specialist before you do so. Remember, everything you eat and drink is passed to the baby through the placenta. Last but not least, enjoy your pregnancy time, take care of your body and soul through relaxation and meditation and eat the foods that make both you and the baby healthy and happy!