Pregnancy periods are delicate period, what you eat or do determines what comes out at the end of the day hence it is important for pregnant women to mind what they consume.
No matter what is recommended in this piece, anything that must be consumed must be in moderation. Your consumption rate will go a long way to have an easy and stress-free delivery.
Even if you’re already having worth of vitamins and minerals into your daily meals, you might still need some healthy pregnancy diet especially if your appetite hasn’t quite gotten up to speed yet.
When it comes to the best foods to eat when pregnant, try to go for foods that have plenty of nutrients in them. This will help you and your baby get the vitamins and minerals you both need.
Meanwhile, the foods high in vitamins and minerals that can play a key role in supporting your baby’s growth and development, includes:
Getting at least 600 micrograms per day during pregnancy reduces the risk for neural tube defects.
You need nearly twice as much iron during pregnancy, or 27 milligrams daily. The mineral is used to make more blood that carries oxygen to your baby.
Aim for 1,000 milligrams daily. Calcium is key to help your baby build strong bones, teeth, muscles and nerves.
It helps calcium do its job and keeps your immune system strong. You should get 600 IU daily.
An omega-3 fatty acid, DHA plays a role in your baby’s brain and eye development. You need 200 to 300 milligrams per day.
The mineral promotes your baby’s brain and nervous system development. You should get 290 micrograms daily.
Aim to get 450 milligrams of this vital nutrient each day to help prevent neural tube problems and support your baby’s cognitive development.
However, below are the best foods to eat while Pregnant:
Lentils are rich in the B vitamin folate (called folic acid in supplements), which is vital to forming your baby’s brain and nervous system and has a powerful protective effect against neural-tube defects like spina bifida, a birth disorder in which a spine does not form properly. Lentils are also high in fiber, which can keep your digestive system humming along and help stave off pregnancy-related constipation.
Your baby needs a steady supply of calcium for his growing bones, and you need it to keep yours strong and help your nerves and muscles function. Three to four servings of dairy foods can help you meet your daily calcium needs, and yogurt is one of your best bets.
The fatty fish earns its rep for being one of the best foods to eat while pregnant. Cold-water fish like salmon are packed with DHA omega-3s, which are essential for a number of reasons. The body can’t make them on its own; they help metabolize fat-soluble vitamins like A and E; they may help reduce the risk of prenatal and postpartum depression; and they’re critical for your baby’s developing eyes and brain (both the brain and retina are primarily composed of DHA). Salmon, too, is a good source of iodine and vitamin D.
The creamy green fruit is full of folate, along with vitamin B6, which promotes healthy tissue and brain growth for baby and could help ease morning sickness for you. It’s also a yummy source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which help your body better absorb many of the vitamins found in fruits and veggies. Avocado’s high fat content can keep you fuller longer, so you’re less likely to get hit with that hangry, need-to-eat-now feeling.
You might know that the cooked soybean pods are a tasty source of vegetarian protein, serving up 18 grams per cup shelled. But they’re rich in other important pregnancy nutrients, too. A cup of edamame offers up nearly 100 milligrams of calcium, 3.5 milligrams of iron and 482 micrograms of folate.
Talk about small but mighty. Nuts are chock-full of important vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium and vitamin E, along with protein, fiber and healthy fats. Plus, they’re easily portable, making them an ideal on-the-go pregnancy snack. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, while almonds deliver a welcome dose of calcium. And peanuts? They’re loaded with folate.
Their bright orange color means that carrots are crammed with beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. And that nutrient is critical for your baby’s developing eyes, skin and organs.
Red bell peppers
These veggies are a top source of vitamins C and A, plus fiber to keep things moving. Research has shown that eating a vegetable-rich diet during pregnancy could help reduce the risk for complications like high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
Mangoes are another great way to get your fill of vitamins like A and C.
You probably know that eggs are an inexpensive, easy-to-cook source of protein — a single large egg delivers 6 grams. But that’s not all.
Eggs are one of the few food sources of vitamin D, serving up 44 IU per large one. Vitamin D plays a key role in helping build strong bones and teeth for your baby, as well as keeping your immune system in fighting form.
The leafy green is always a good choice, and it’s a particularly potent pregnancy superfood. Kale serves up folate, iron, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K and fiber.
Getting the recommended 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day can help you feel fuller longer and keep uncomfortable pregnancy constipation at bay. And good news: A cup of cooked oatmeal serves more than 4 grams.
They’re a tasty source of energy and they’re easy on your stomach even when you’re feeling queasy. (Bananas contain vitamin B6, which is linked with lowering pregnancy nausea!). Bananas are also rich in potassium, a mineral that plays a key role in promoting healthy blood pressure. They might even help you manage annoying pregnancy bloat, since potassium helps your body release puff-promoting minerals like sodium through your urine.
A single sweet potato serves up more than 400 percent of the vitamin A that you need in a day. That’s important during your first trimester, when your baby’s cells are dividing at rapid speed to become different organs and body parts.
It is important to strengthen your baby’s bones and teeth — a single glass serves up about a third of what you need in a day. But milk also delivers vitamin D, iodine and plenty of protein — around 8 grams per cup.
Figs, dates, prunes and dried apricots are quick, concentrated sources of energy when you can feel your blood sugar starting to drop. And the natural sweet flavor is a better option than actual candy when your sweet tooth strikes. Dried fruit is a surprisingly valuable source of nutrients like fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, plus antioxidants.
Okay, it’s technically not a food. But H2O is key for a healthy pregnancy diet, so make it a point to drink eight to 10 8-ounce glasses per day. Water plays a key role in delivering nutrients to your baby and helping her body make new cells. Staying hydrated is important for you, too. Getting enough water is one of the best ways to stave off constipation during pregnancy. Plus, dehydration can increase the risk for early labor.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
While we are talking about the best foods to eat when pregnant, also remember that there are some foods you should do away with as a pregnant woman because some of them are harmful and are likely to harbor bacteria or chemicals that could make you sick and affect the baby.
Amongst other, the following should be avoided until after delivery: • Unpasteurized juice
• Unpasteurized cheese
• Raw seafood
• Rare meat
• Hot dogs and deli meats
• Raw or undercooked eggs
• High-mercury fish like swordfish, king mackerel, orange roughy, bigeye tuna and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
• Raw sprouts
Additional report by Marygrace Taylor and medically reviewed by Alexandra Paetow, M.S., R.D.N. on April 26, 2022