A healthy diet during pregnancy is essential as it is not only essential for the mother’s health but also for the health and development of the baby. During this vital time, a mother needs a balanced number of vitamins, minerals, and special nutritional diet. Poor eating habits or an extra gain of weight can hurt baby development and may lead to complications during the delivery process.
A pregnant mother usually needs 350-500 additional calories per day especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. A healthy and well-balanced diet is not only good for the baby but also helpful to lose the baby weight after pregnancy. Let’s check out the top ten power foods which are good during pregnancy.
- Colorful fresh fruits
Eating a mix of fresh and colorful fruits is an excellent way of getting the essential vitamins and minerals. Bright berries, red, yellow, green, purple and orange colored fruits are the best source of many essential nutrients. Strawberries, oranges, avocados are good and eating pineapple during pregnancy is also very healthy.
- Salmon / Fish liver oil
Salmon and fish liver oil is excellent sources of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for the brain development of a child. A weekly diet of 8-12 ounces of healthy seafood option such as salmon is necessary for the pregnant mothers.
- Beans and Lentils
Beans, lentils, peas, and legumes are an excellent source of protein, fiber, folic acid, calcium, potassium, magnesium and essential fatty acids. An adequate amount is not only right for its nutritional value, but also they are helpful in constipation during pregnancy.
- Milk and Dairy products
Milk yogurt and other dairy products are an excellent source of protein and calcium which are essential for the development of the baby. They also provide essential minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin-B.
Greek yogurt contains more calcium than other dairy products and is very beneficial for pregnant women.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene which is later transformed into vitamin-A. Vitamin-A is essential for the fetal development as it is helpful in cell and tissue structure formation.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, fats and essential vitamins and minerals including choline which is essential in the brain tissue development and growth. A lesser amount of choline results in defective brain development and neural growth.
- Greenleaf vegetables
Kale, spinach, broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron, fiber, potassium, folic acid, Vitamins-A, K &C, and antioxidants. These vegetables are good for the immune system of baby and digestive system of the mother.
- Lean Meat and Proteins
Beef, chicken, mince, and mutton are an excellent source of high-quality protein, iron, vitamin-B, and choline. Iron is essential to produce red blood cells which have a pivotal role during pregnancy for the mother and child development.
- Whole Grain food
Whole grains are an excellent source of essential nutrients and fiber which are necessary for the fetus development. They also help to meet the high-calorie demand during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Grains are high in vitamin-B, magnesium, and potassium and help to cover the dietary deficiencies frequently occurring in the pregnant mothers.
Dried fruits, nuts, and dates are a good source of fiber, iron, folic acid, vitamin-K, sorbitol and essential plant compounds which are helpful in cervical dilation and delivery process.
These nuts and dry fruits are high in nutritional value and should be kept in a controlled intake per serving.
Besides these powerful foods for good maternal health and baby development, water is one of the most important components of the diet, as hydration requirement increases during pregnancy for the mothers and they are suggested to take 1-2 liters of water daily for adequate hydration and keeping the blood pressure in reasonable limits. Water also helps in clearing constipation and urinary tract infections which are very common in pregnant women.
A calculated and rich diet is essential for the health of both the baby and the mother and healthy eating habits not only ensure a healthy baby and smooth delivery process but also help prevent complications during and after the childbirth.
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