During pregnancy, the rapidly developing baby derives all its nutrition from its mother’s body. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to eat well during pregnancy so as to ensure a healthy baby without putting your own health at stake. However, only eating well is not important. It is equally important to eat right and choose those foods which can meet the nutritional demands of mother and the baby.
Here is a quick guide to some of the nutritionally superior foods for pregnant women.
Eggs are a rich source of high quality proteins that get easily assimilated in the body. Proteins are essential for baby’s growth as well as for mother’s well-being. Eggs are also rich in choline, omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, all of which are absolutely essential for the development of baby’s brain and nervous system.
However, it is best to have boiled eggs in meals as partially cooked or raw eggs pose threat of salmonella food poisoning which can be harmful for the baby. Pregnant women with high cholesterol levels can leave the yolk and only include egg whites in their diet.
Whole grain breads, oats and cereals are replete and enriched with iron and folic acid, essential for mother and the baby. These are also rich in fiber content and help prevent constipation in pregnant women. Whole grains are a good food for pregnant women as they also have anti-oxidant properties as they are enriched with Vitamin E.
Beans are a rich source of iron, proteins and fiber. They also provide traces of zinc needed for ideal growth of the baby. Black beans, white beans, lentils, soy beans and kidney beans can all be included in daily meals of pregnant women.
As opposed to fishes like swordfish, tuna and marlin, Salmon can be eaten safely in pregnancy owing to its relatively low mercury levels. These are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B complex which are essential for both the mother and the baby.
Plenty of Fluids
It is extremely important for mother to be to keep themselves well hydrated. Clean water, coconut water, fresh fruit juices, pasteurized milk should be taken daily. Almost 8-10 glasses of fluids daily are recommended for pregnant women. Drinking plenty of fluids prevents constipation and urinary tract infections which are quite common during pregnancy.
Low-fat Yoghurt and Milk
Pasteurized skimmed milk is extremely important in diet of pregnant women to meet the requirements of calcium.
Low-fat yoghurt can provide pregnant women with the much needed calcium and proteins. It is better to go for plain yoghurt as opposed to flavored yoghurt, the latter being high in sugar content. It is important to keep in mind that the yoghurt should be made from pasteurized milk.
Walnuts and almonds are the best food for in between snacking. Owing to their being enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and some DHA as well, they provide good nutrition to the mother and the baby.
Green leafy vegetables
Pregnancy often leaves women anaemic as during the course of pregnancy, baby extracts all the iron it needs from the mother. Low hemoglobin levels during pregnancy can lead to preterm labor and low birth weight baby. It is important to make well-cooked green leafy vegetables a part of daily diet of pregnant women. Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of iron and Vitamin A and Vitamin C.