The gestation period, during pregnancy, is the time frame in which a woman's unborn child grows inside her. And in such a situation, when the body needs additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, maintaining a balanced diet is quite essential. Pregnant women require 350–500 more calories, more protein, and calcium throughout the second and third trimesters to meet the needs of the developing fetus. Choosing a wholesome diet can help to protect both the mother's and the unborn child's health.
Top 7 Foods to Consume While Pregnant
1. DAIRY PRODUCTS
Proteins, several B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc are all rich in dairy products. For pregnant women, yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is extremely lucrative. Compared to other dairy products, it may accommodate more calcium.
Probiotic bacteria are another ingredient in some yogurt variants, and they help maintain the immune system and digestive health.
Pregnancy-related risks such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections, and allergies are decreased with the aid of probiotic supplements. Eat dairy products as directed.
2. SWEET POTATOES
Beta-carotene, which sweet potatoes are known for being overflowing with, is eventually transformed by the body into vitamin A. Sweet potatoes have been shown to be particularly beneficial for growing fetuses since they aid in the growth and differentiation of most cells and tissues.
Pregnant women are typically advised to take significant doses of vitamin A—10–40% more than usual—on a daily basis. Sweet potatoes also include a lot of fiber, which promotes satiety, lessens blood sugar spikes, and enhances the health and mobility of the digestive system. Therefore, for pregnant women, beta-carotene is a crucial source of vitamin A.
With all the nutrients a pregnant woman needs, eggs are the healthiest food option. They are abundant in vitamins, minerals, high-quality fat, and protein. There is a lot of choline in it. High choline intake during pregnancy may improve mental performance while reducing the risk of neural issues. Choline intake for expectant mothers should be 450 mg per day. 25% of the daily choline intake for pregnant women is found in one whole egg.
Legumes, which mainly include lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts, are wonderful plant-based sources full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, folate (B vitamins), protein, and calcium. All of these are recommended throughout pregnancy.
For the health of the mother and fetus throughout the first trimester, B vitamins, especially folates, are extremely beneficial. Consuming insufficient amounts of folate (B9) may raise the risk of neural tube abnormalities and low birth weight.
Berries are packed with water, fiber, plant components, minerals, vitamin C, and nutritious carbs in addition to their acidic flavors. Berries are rich in vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption. These don't result in significant blood sugar rises because of their low glycemic index rating. Because they are high in fiber and water, berries are another excellent snack. Berries have a lot of taste and nutrition, yet only a few calories per serving.
6. FISH LIVER OIL
Fish liver oil, a very nutritious supplement with high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, is produced from the oily liver of cod fish.-
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA),
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA),
These are essential for the unborn brain and eye's development. Those who don't consume seafood or take vitamin D or omega-3 supplements can benefit from fish liver oil's high vitamin D content. A higher risk of pre-eclampsia has been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Pre-eclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy condition marked by elevated blood pressure, swollen hands and feet, and high levels of protein in the urine. Usually starting after the 20th week of pregnancy, this disease gets worse with time.
Therefore, consuming this cod oil reduces the baby's risk of developing any diseases later in life and contributes to a larger birth weight throughout pregnancy.
7. BROCCOLI AND DARK, LEAFY GREENS
The majority of the nutrients that pregnant women typically require during this critical time of life are found in broccoli and green vegetables like kale, spinach, and mustard greens. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and folate. Additionally, they are a great source of antioxidants. They also include plant substances that are beneficial to the digestive and immunological systems. These veggies, which have a high fiber content, aid in preventing constipation, which primarily affects pregnant women.