Healthy Pregnancy Diet
The expectation of a baby is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. The excitement, however, can be tempered by morning sickness and other unintended health consequences. Having the right diet, though, can eliminate many of these problems. Here is a list of the seven most important foods that an expectant mother should strive to include in her diet:
- Dairy products – Milk, yogurt and cheese add an immense number of nutrients to an expectant mother’s diet. First, they contain casein and whey – two types of high-quality proteins. Dairy is also by far, the best dietary source of calcium. In addition, these milk-based products provide high amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc as well as a wide range of B vitamins. Additionally, yogurt provides probiotic bacteria which can aid in general digestive health – something a pregnant woman with indigestion can truly appreciate.
- Broccoli & leafy greens – Broccoli, kale, spinach, and collard greens are excellent sources of a number of nutrients that pregnant women and their baby need. In particular, these “leafy” vegetables contain copious amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, iron, folate, and potassium as well as a substantial amount of fiber. Scientific studies have also linked their consumption to a lessened risk of low birth weight.
- Salmon – In addition, to be quite delicious, this wonderful tasting fish is also a tremendous source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These nutrients are particularly important to the early development of the fetus as they help to properly develop both the brain and the eyes. In addition, salmon is one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D – important to most expectant mothers who choose to stay out of the sun during their pregnancy.
- Peas & beans – These two vegetables – as well as all other legumes such as peanuts and soybeans – deliver a high number and amount of plant-based nutrients. Most notable are protein, iron, B9 (folate) and calcium — a surfeit of which an expectant mother’s body needs during pregnancy. Peas and beans will also help keep you regular – a not inconsiderable benefit for those pregnant moms who become easily constipated.
- Sweet potatoes – These delicious vegetables only provide one beneficial nutrient, beta-carotene, but one that is truly essential for the healthy development of the fetus. Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body. This nutrient is integral for the growth and differentiation of most cells and tissues in the fetus. As such, it is indispensable in the first trimester. So, learn to love this delicious vegetable.
- Whole grains – This wide variety of plants are especially valuable in the second and third trimesters when the expectant mother requires a lot of calories. Whole grains – as opposed to refined ones – are chock full of grain-based proteins as well as B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium. In addition, they can be prepared in a somewhat bland manner if the mother’s stomach is feeling a little queasy.
- Lean meat – It is irrelevant whether you prefer beef, pork, and chicken, a daily source of protein is essential for maintaining the proper development of your new baby. Red meat contains substantial amounts of iron while pork is additionally rich in choline and other B vitamins. Each of these nutrients is essential to the fetus but they also keep the expectant mother from suffering from anemia and the resultant listlessness.
At Your First Look, we would be thrilled to discuss your pregnancy diet. Please contact us online at YourFirstLook.org or reach us directly with any questions at 567.455.1101.