11 Key Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Last updated on January 6th, 2016 at 08:55 pm

When you’re eating for two, it can be tempting to give in to cravings and load up on cookies or pie. You’ll need to stick with a healthy diet plan because your diet is how your baby gains all the nutrients he or she needs for growth.

Red BeansPhoto by cookbookman17

1. Beans

It doesn’t really matter what kind of beans you choose. White, pinto, lentils and kidney beans have tons of nutrients for growing baby. Iron is the main nutrient that makes beans a great addition to your diet. Iron helps with the production of red blood cells. They are also good sources of folate, zinc and calcium.

A half cup of lentils can provide almost half of a woman’s daily requirement of folic acid. Low levels of folic acid are the causes of many birth defects in the brain. Beans provide protein and fiber as well, which is great for baby and mother. To get a daily allowance of nutrients, you can sprinkle them in many ordinary dishes like soups and pasta.

IMG 6446Photo by Dennis Wong

2. Whole grains

If you’re unable to get in all the beans required for daily intake, whole grains are another great way to get folic acid, fiber and iron. Oatmeal or whole wheat toast can make a great breakfast for expecting mom.

Whole grain breads and cereals can also be fortified with more folic acid and other nutrients than the natural amounts in beans. You can substitute whole wheat pasta or brown rice for their white counterparts. Whole grains should be integrated into your daily diet to ensure that you have enough folic acid and iron for the baby’s growth and development. It’s essential for the woman to have enough fiber to avoid constipation, which can be a serious problem in pregnancy.

farm fresh eggsPhoto by slightly everything

3. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of many vitamins and other nutrients needed in the development of the growing baby. Protein is essential in the growth of muscle and bones. Eggs are a great source of protein. They also provide a good amount of choline, which is essential for development of the brain.

When eating eggs, it’s important that you don’t eat raw eggs. Raw or undercooked eggs can have salmonella, which is a bacteria with harmful effects. An expectant mother should plan to have at least one and a half servings of protein in a day. Eggs are the greatest source of protein.

BerriesPhoto by vauvau

4. Berries

Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are easy to consume because they can be eaten as a standalone snack or incorporated into other meals. Berries can be consumed in salads, in pancakes or on top of whole grain cereal.

They are an amazing source of vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium. Vitamin C helps create healthy teeth and bones as well as assisting with the absorption of iron. Potassium helps to regulate the woman’s body. It helps to release energy from proteins, carbohydrates and fat. It can keep leg cramps at bay too.

5. Low fat yogurt

Plain, low fat yogurt has more calcium than milk. Greek yogurt provides double the protein of regular yogurt. Whether you choose regular or Greek yogurt, make sure it’s low fat so there’s no added sugar. You can add berries or whole grain cereal to dress up the yogurt. Calcium provides the growing baby with the building blocks for their nerves, muscles, bones and a healthy heart. As well as calcium, yogurt has vitamins like B12 and vitamin D. Pregnant mothers need to consume at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.

Farmer ScottPhoto by Clearly Ambiguous

6. Spinach

When you’re pregnant, the blood volume doubles because the body is accommodating the entire blood supply of the baby. This means that iron is essential. Too little iron can result in increased fatigue in the mom and risk of infections.

In the baby, it could result in a preterm deliver and low birth weight. Spinach is an amazing source of iron. Spinach is great because it can easily be added to other dishes like pasta dinners, soups and salads, which means that it can be eaten in almost every meal. If you have uncooked spinach in your salad, make sure you wash it thoroughly.

Roasted Tuna Steak - The Grill, Grossi Florentino AUD35 main, pre-theatre dinnerPhoto by avlxyz

7. Tuna

To build a well-functioning brain for your baby, you’ll need to consume omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 comes from fatty fish like tuna. Canned tuna has fewer omega-3 fatty acids, but more sodium because of the packing process. It’s best to eat fresh tuna if at all possible.

Tuna contains mercury, so it’s important that a pregnant woman limits the amount of tuna she eats in a week. she should stick to two, three-ounce tuna steaks per week. The amount of nutritional benefits far outweighs the small amounts of mercury in the fish. Fresh tuna also provides protein and other vitamins and minerals your baby needs for a developing body and brain.

Orange fruitPhoto by piropiro3

8. Oranges

Vitamin C helps in the development of healthy teeth and bones. It is essential for assisting with the absorption of iron into the blood from other foods too. Oranges are the best source of vitamin C for you and your developing baby.

While providing vitamin C, they also have folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects. Woman who have enough folic acid in their diet reduce the risk of pre-term delivery. Folic acid is so important for pregnancy that many doctors recommend that woman hoping to conceive start increasing their folic acid intake before pregnancy. Women need 800 micrograms per day.

roast local chicken / こだわりの焼き加減の地鶏胸肉ローストPhoto by [puamelia]

9. Chicken

Each three ounce piece of boneless chicken has 26 grams of protein. It’s one of the best ways to incorporate protein into your diet. You’ll need 71 grams of protein per day to supplement your growing baby.

It’s especially important during the second and third trimesters when your baby is growing faster than the first trimester. Your body needs the protein as well. It will keep the mom from becoming weak and fatigued. It’ll help with the woman’s growing breasts and organs. A woman who has insufficient protein during pregnancy will be fatigued, have weight loss and fluid retention.

WalnutsPhoto by inyucho

10. Walnuts

With magnesium, iron, zinc and omega-3 amino acids, walnuts are a great snack that can be added to your diet. You can have them as a snack between meals or add them to salads and other dishes.

The vitamins and minerals in walnuts are great for your growin baby. omega-3 helps with fetal brain development. That means it should be included in your diet regularly. The walnut is the biggest source of plant-based omega-3s, which can be a great substitute for the omega-3 found in tuna.

11. Carrots

In large doses, vitamin A can have a negative impact on fetal development. This can be confusing for some. As a supplement, that can be a problem. Vitamin A from natural sources like carrots isn’t vitamin A but carotene. The body will regulate how much carotene is made into vitamin A based on the body’s needs. Baby carrots are great for snacks and added to salads. Along with carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A, carrots are a great source of fiber.