Pregnancy is one of the serious phases in every woman’s life because to be frank its not an easy task at all. when a woman is pregnant there is a lot of things to consider especially what they are eating since they are not just having food to satisfy their hunger but also for the good health of the unborn baby.
one of the challenges that women face when pregnant is the need to drop their long established eating habits and adopting to a balanced nutrition which not only is good for the health of the baby but also for their well being. Sometimes the real and uphill challenge to women is knowing the right foods to take when their pregnant since there is so much conflicting information in the internet.
That’s why I have taken this initiative to list down for you as an aspiring mother or about to be the top 10 healthiest foods for pregnant women every woman should know.
List of 10 Healthiest Foods for Pregnant Women
You might not know but one of the healthiest foods that should be in every pregnant woman foods to eat checklist is eggs. We can refer eggs as ultimate health foods since they have everything regardless of the small quantity present in them. Believe it or not eggs have got a total of 12 vitamins and minerals, high quality protein and low saturated fat. Remember every cell in the baby during the pregnancy period is made of proteins hence during that pregnancy phase a woman requires lots of proteins.
Another key health benefit attached in taking eggs is eggs are great source of choline and one egg contains 113 mg of choline out of the 450 mg recommended daily intake. A pregnant woman need chorine since it promotes brain development and health, prevents neural tube defects and ensures baby’s overall growth
We do know that proper nutrition prior to and during the pregnancy phase is the key to the health of the baby as well as the mother. Salmon in this case having it twice a week provides the mother and the unborn child with an increase in omega 3 levels which boosts their antioxidant defence. Salmon is also a good source of protein, vitamin B12, choline, calcium which are all an essential diet during the pregnancy phase.
Beans are one of the delicious, inexpensive and nutritious foods you can find in the market. One of the healthiest beans a woman should eat are black beans, chickpeas, lentils, navy beans, and pinto beans. Beans are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre, they are also a good source of potassium, zinc, iron, protein, calcium, magnesium and folate. Consuming beans will reduce the risks associated with neural tube defects, low birth weight, low immunity, as a mother you will also reduce the risks of constipation and hemorrhoids due to the fibre present in beans.
7. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are very healthy diet for any pregnant woman and safe too. Sweet potatoes usually have that orange colour in them which is as a result of beta carotenoids which normally is converted to vitamin A in our bodies only when the body needs vitamin A. a child needs vitamin A for better growth and also differentiation of most cells and tissues. Sweet potatoes also do contain fibre which will not only help your digestive system but also will increase fullness and balance your sugar levels. They are also a good source of vitamin C and folate.
If you don’t like the smell of salmon and the taste of eggs then you have an alternative that is walnuts. Walnuts do have plant based omega 3 and they are the richest sources of plant based omega 3.They are also a good source of protein, copper, manganese, vitamin E, and fibre. Apart from improving the brain power of the unborn child walnuts also help in lowering blood cholesterol level, control high blood pressure, and decrease melatonin levels. For those women who have postpartum depression please go for walnuts since the doctors recommend it too.
5. Greek yogurt
One of the nutritious diets you can add on your checklist is Greek yogurt even though it tastes like sour cream. Greek yogurt is very rich in vitamins such as Vitamin A which is essential for your baby’s eyes, iron and vitamin C. When a baby is developing he or she need strong bones, nails, and teeth and you can only get these needs fulfilled by calcium which is present in Greek yogurt.
When you take Greek yogurt you will be taking nearly double the normal yogurt supply of proteins hence you will be taking 20 grams of proteins and we all know a pregnant woman needs double protein intake. Bloating during pregnancy is a common problem and Greek yogurt solves it. For those women who are checking on their weight while they are pregnant the good news is with Greek yogurt will control your craving, curb hunger and also has less sugar than regular yogurts.
4. Dark green leafy vegetables
One of the foods that should never miss in the diet checklist for a pregnant woman is dark green leafy vegetables since they contain many nutrients that a pregnant woman needs. Some of the dark green leafy vegetables am talking about are kales, broccoli, spinach, and red leaf lettuce, dandelion. Mustard greens, collards, turtin greens and even Brussels sprouts. They usually keep the mothers body healthy and ensure a smooth growth of the baby in the womb. These green leafy vegetables contain calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, molybdenum, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin b2, Vitamin C among others. All these vitamins and minerals promote eye health, prevent spinal cord birth defects, boost the immune system, and in general ensure a healthy baby is delivered and the mother is healthy as well.
3. Lean meat
The most excellent source of high quality protein is lean meat. Remember when we talk about lean meat it must be fat free. the best sources of lean meat is pork, chicken and beef since they have choline in additional to high quality protein.in addition to those essential nutrients they also have iron, selenium, phosphorus and Vitamin B’s. a pregnant woman needs iron due to red blood cells, prevention of low weight babies, premature delivery and prevention of anaemia. Note when you take meat try and also take foods rich in vitamin C to help in the absorption of iron into the body
Berries such as blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are one of the healthiest foods pregnant women should eat regularly. They usually contain fibre, potassium and vitamin C. with vitamin C present you can be assured the iron will be absorbed in the body, you can also be sure your insulin levels will not destabilise since they are low on sugar and your baby will have a boosted immunity.
1. Whole grains
Whole grains are very important food especially during pregnancy. They usually feel the gap of the required demand of calorie intake especially in the second and third trimesters. Whole grains are packed with fibre and other nutrients such as vitamin E, B vitamin, selenium, magnesium and phytonutrients. Some of the best grains to take are pop corns, oats and quinoa.
In conclusion what you give your body during pregnancy phase affects the health and development of your unborn baby and your well being too as the mother.so that’s why every doctor, nutritionist or any health expert recommends you take a balanced, nutrient dense healthy foods at all times. This list should be a good start towards a healthy pregnancy.