Nutrition Picks for Expecting Moms
Your body needs more nutrients when you’re pregnant. Eating healthy foods or choosing a balanced diet at this time is highly important. Your body will undergo many changes as your child grows in your belly. Whatever you eat will affect your baby’s growth and development because it will be your baby’s main source of nourishment. That’s why you should be conscious of what you eat and drink to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy all throughout.
A poor diet may lead to complications, speedy weight gain, and may cause you to have a complicated or high-risk pregnancy if it leads to gestational diabetes.
Key Nutrients your Pregnant Body Needs:
Eating protein-rich foods helps in the baby’s development of important organs such as the brain and heart. It also helps in increasing a mother’s blood supply which your baby will also greatly benefit from.
EAT: Lean meats of beef, pork or chicken, beans, eggs, tofu, salmon, nuts or peanut butter, and cheddar cheese to name a few.
This nutrient helps in making sure you and your baby get enough oxygen throughout the pregnancy. It is needed to make more blood to supply the baby. This mineral works with sodium, potassium, and water as well as vitamin-C enriched food and drinks.
EAT: Lean meat, poultry, fish, egg, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereals, and other dried fruits.
This is essential for the baby’s development of bones and teeth. Eating calcium-rich foods also helps regulate your body’s use of fluids. During pregnancy you need 1,000 milligrams (mg) daily.
EAT: Milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified juices and foods, sardines or salmon with bones, tofu, eggs, and some leafy green vegetables.
Folate or Folic Acid is folic acid is a B vitamin that is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby's brain and spinal cord, known as neural tube defects. These are major birth defects that affect the baby’s brain and spinal cord, such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
EAT: Eggs, green, leafy vegetables, liver, orange juice, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), and nuts and peanut butter, liver, fortified or enriched cereals, breads and pastas.
We hope that this helps you in making sure you have a balanced and healthy diet during your pregnancy. There are foods and drinks you should limit like caffeine drinks, fish (especially those with high levels of mercury) and too much sweets. You should avoid eating fish with high levels of mercury to avoid baby’s underdevelopment of brain, kidney, and nervous system. Also, do avoid eating unpasteurized food to avoid food poisoning, and drinking alcoholic beverages as this will cause development defects to your baby.
Have a safe and healthy pregnancy, mom!
Sources: John Muir Health, Health Line, and Live Science