Dietitians advise all pregnant women to eat the same healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy. However, some specific nutrients need more attention than others. Pregnancy is a time when you need to take in more vitamins and minerals: folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D. Although these micronutrients are found in many foods, the intensity of these needs increases during pregnancy due to the demands of your child.
Here are 9 things that every pregnant woman should know about her diet during pregnancy:
Lentils are high in Vitamin B, iron, and zinc. They are also a good source of fiber, folate, protein, and calcium. Both lentils and beans are a great source of nutrition for pregnant women. However, they can be difficult to digest due to a high amount of fiber. Sprouting or cooking lentils break down the fiber so they are easier to digest. Curried lentils are simple to make and a great addition to any dish. They are also high in protein, iron, and zinc.
Hummus is a great source of folic acid and iron. Pregnant women are advised to take a multivitamin with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. This is the most important thing you can do for your baby. Hummus can be eaten on bread, crackers, or with vegetables like carrots, celery, and broccoli.
Fatty fish is rich in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to a pregnant woman and her baby. Fish is a good source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. fish, specifically salmon and mackerel which are high in omega-3, can be eaten raw, baked, roasted, or grilled.
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, protein, iron, and B vitamins. Oatmeal should be eaten with brown sugar instead of sugar or honey. Oatmeal can be eaten with walnuts, maple syrup, raisins, and milk.
Spinach is high in folic acid and iron, vitamins C and K, and protein. It is recommended to eat spinach cooked to reduce oxalic acid which is known to interfere with calcium absorption. It is easy to add spinach to any meal by adding it to salads, warm pasta, eggs, sandwiches, and soups. You can also add spinach to your morning smoothie!
Prune juice is high in fiber and potassium which help prevent constipation during pregnancy. Although prune juice is not a good source of vitamins and minerals, it can be a good source of fiber. Prune juice can be added to oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt.
Mango is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and B vitamins. Mangoes can be eaten by themselves or added to smoothies. Mangoes can be baked or roasted with added honey and cinnamon.
Edamame is a great source of protein and calcium which are important nutrients for pregnant women. Edamame can be eaten as a snack, added to a salad, used in a stir fry, or in a miso soup. Edamame can be prepared in many ways including steaming, roasting, or boiling. It is important to watch the cooking times and salt content.
Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin B12, and iron. Eggs can be eaten by themselves or added to a warm dish like an omelet or frittata. Eggs should be consumed in moderation due to the potential risk of contracting salmonella if they are not properly cooked. The risk of salmonella from eggs is highest during the first trimester and when consuming food that is not properly cooked, such as soft-boiled eggs.
Pregnant women need to get the right amount of nutrients for themselves and their growing babies. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to get the right amount of food for you and your baby. Pregnant women should eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Pregnant women should limit the intake of fish to two servings per week. Try to eat high-quality foods that are packed with nutrients. Eating a wide variety of foods will ensure that you are getting the right amount of nutrients for you and your baby. With the right knowledge, healthy eating during pregnancy can be easy and delicious!