Eating properly during pregnancy has long term effects on your baby! So, what to eat in pregnancy to get nutrition that prepares you for motherhood? This article tells you about top 8 foods to eat during pregnancy as well as what not to eat in pregnancy.
Come to think of it, a baby first arrives as a good news – news that thrills, fills the heart with fireworks of joy and well, no expecting mother can deny, the mind with a hurricane of apprehensions!
Motherhood is nature’s best gift to a woman.
It completes her in a way that nothing else can. It escalates her stature, warms the cockles of her heart and makes her feel so vulnerable and shaky in anticipation. From the second a woman finds out she is holding a new life in her womb, her life suddenly becomes all about the baby. And stays so, for the rest of her life.
First times are testing and trying. First-time mothers are as excited as they are worried. And a lot of it is very natural. It is all part of the experience and a woman must not be denied any of it. However, if a woman is well prepared and informed, she can ease into motherhood without fretting so much.
A big part of motherhood is nutrition. After all what the mother eats, directly impact the baby. Therefore, any woman who is expecting must know how to eat right, for on it depends the baby’s development. That is why utmost emphasis is laid on a mother’s diet. In fact, if a mother knows what to eat during pregnancy and what to avoid, she can bask in the joy of motherhood without many worries!
What to Eat when you are Expecting
Before knowing that, you must know why it is important to eat well during pregnancy!
Pregnancy – a beautiful yet tricky challenge
Even before you prepare to hold your little one in your arms, you have to prepare for many big changes in your body, your mind and your schedule. Very few women skip morning sickness. It strikes almost every expectant mother. Now, there is no other way about it. There are some home remedies that one can follow or in extreme cases, seek a doctor’s advice. In most cases, women are asked to hydrate themselves and rest plenty. The point here is – from its first phase itself, motherhood, in form pregnancy, turns into a challenge and you better be well-fed to deal with its many aspects!
Advises, books and Vitamins
When a woman first finds out she is pregnant, she realizes it is not just a big deal for her alone! From immediate family to friends who have experienced motherhood, everyone surrounds her, ready with a flurry of advices, suggestions, what to do and what to avoid.
If you are an expectant mother, you will know what we mean! There are flowers, greeting cards, books, vitamins and a lot of care! Pregnancy truly brings along a lot more than you can imagine! And with all these comes an unknown fear, the fear that something bad will happen else why so many people are bothered about everything about you! Your movements, your health and what you eat and drink during the whole nine months of your pregnancy!
Are you facing a nutrition apprehension?
If you are expecting for the first time, there is every possibility that you are facing the nutrition apprehension! This is a phase when you are constantly worried about eating right and well, you are never sure if you are!
- Am I taking enough Vitamins?
- Is the fiber content in my diet enough?
- Did I not take enough calcium and protein today?
There is no end to these questions that you will find bubbling in your mind and to a good extent, it is normal. After all, it is your first time and you want to make sure that your baby gets the best nutrition there is. So, the best way to put all your doubts to rest is be sure about what you are eating during pregnancy!
Top 8 Foods for Expecting Mothers
Foods that reduce your pregnancy-worries to half
Just as pregnancy is nature’s gift to a woman, there are so many foods that are no less than a blessing when it comes to the nutrients they offer. Some foods that are great for expectant mothers are listed below
1. Eat Avocados during Pregnancy– Rich Source of Folic Acid
Avocados come packed with folic acid, which is very essential to the formation of the baby’s brain and nervous system. It is also a great source of potassium, Vitamin C and B6, which contribute to the formation of baby’s tissue and brain. And one more benefit – it can possibly help relieve your morning sickness, too! You might be having your vitamin supplements, but Avocados leave very little room for any, for they are rich in Vitamins as well as taste.
- Have avocados ripe, if you can!
- You can stuff avocados in your whole grain bread instead of mayonnaise and enjoy a healthy, vitamin-rich meal!
The only thing to keep in mind is Avocados are also rich in fat. So, if you can’t just munch a load of them. Watch your portions and hog on them only when you are having trouble putting on weight!
2. Eat Broccoli during Pregnancy for Baby’s Healthy Bones
Broccolis are nature’s vitamin and calcium baskets, in every sense of the word. They have loads of Vitamin A and C along with calcium content that is needed by your baby’s bones. Not just that, it also has folic acid in it and can truly be passed off as a preggers’ delight!
- You can sauté broccoli in a small amount of butter and enjoy it just like that.
- You can add it to other vegetables like peas, tomatoes and turn it into a soup.
- Have it with boiled chicken
- Or just eat it raw with hummus.
3. Eat Carrots during Pregnancy for Nutrients
Carrots are simply amazing when it comes to nutrient content. They are a source of Vitamin A, which is needed for the normal development of your baby’s bones, teeth, and eyes. They come packed with Vitamin B6 and C and give you all the roughage you need to keep pregnancy hemorrhoids away! They are not even fattening so you can have as many as you want and their versatility makes it easier for you to enjoy them.
- Make carrots a part of your salad.
- Add them to your tomato soup.
- Sauté them with other seasonal vegetables and have a bowl full to feel full!
- Carrot cake isn’t a bad idea, too. However, if you are watching your weight then you might want to stay away from it.
In any case, there are so many ways you can benefit from carrots that making a choice shouldn’t be difficult at all.
4. Eat Eggs during Pregnancy to get DHA
High in protein and DHA, eggs are a wonderful way to give your body all the extra nutrients it needs during pregnancy!
Eggs come with DHA, which is a type of Omega -3-fatty acid, the good one. This fatty acid is vital for the normal development of the baby’s brain and retina. Therefore, if you are pregnant, you need to include eggs in your daily diet if you haven’t been eating them already.
- Boiled eggs are simply wow. They are low on fat and high on calcium. Just sprinkle some salt and pepper and lap up nutrition!
- Beat some eggs. Sauté some seasonal vegetables. Now add the whisked eggs to them. You can enjoy this with breads or rice.
- Fry an egg. Put it between two multi-grain bread and give yourself a dose of calcium, protein, carbs and roughage, all in one go!
5. Eat Lentils in Pregnancy for Essential Nutrients
Lentils are mostly included in salads or served on the side. However, they are a reliable source of folic acid, protein, vitamin B6, and iron, which keeps your blood hemoglobin level high. In addition, lentils are easy to cook and hence, good for those women who are staying on their own during pregnancy.
- Wash lentils properly. Now enjoy them with hummus or mayonnaise dip.
- Fry them in a small amount of butter. Sprinkle some oregano and stuff it in a multigrain bread for a tasty, healthy meal!
6. Eat Nuts during Pregnancy for essential Minerals
They are delicious, crunchy and come with a load of vital minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Some women avoid eating nuts as they are high in fat but it is actually the good fat, which is much needed during pregnancy. And imagine how convenient it is to eat nuts.
- You can just grab a fistful and munch away while reading your pregnancy book.
- Toss some in a bowl of cornflakes or pudding for added taste and nutrition!
7. Eat Yogurt in Pregnancy for Protein and Folic acid
Chances are that you must already be eating yogurt, any way! And if you haven’t been, it is time to include it in your diet, today. Since it is high in protein and folic acid, it provides all the important nutrients that are needed by your body that is, in turn, providing for the baby too!
Also, many mothers also start suffering with gastrointestinal problems like constipation, flatulence and some times, diarrhea; well, yogurt can help bring down the severity of the situation. It is a good dose of the good bacteria that keeps the stomach in good shape. What’s more, with its low fat content, yogurt helps you stay in shape too, to whatever possible extent allowed by pregnancy.
8. Eat Spinach during Pregnancy for Iron
Spinach is a rich source of folic acid as well as iron, a mineral you need in great amounts as it is needed for the formation of your baby’s blood cells! It also has vitamin A, and calcium, both of which are very important for the normal development of your baby.
- Boil spinach in salty water to remove all the sand and fertilizer remains that might be there on the leaves. Now grind it well and turn it into a sandwich filling. Add some cheese and black pepper and you have an iron-rich meal ready for you and your baby!
- Toss it in your pasta or lasagna. You can even fry spinach and add it to a plate of rice to make it more nutritious.
Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
Eat well, eat balanced and eat healthy during pregnancy. Also refrain from having certain foods that can play havoc with your unborn baby’s development.
What not to Eat in Pregnancy
- Raw seafood during pregnancy is a bad idea. Don’t eat eat shark, swordfish or marlin even if you plan to get pregnant.
- Make sure you maintain distance from alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and cigars.
- Caffeine found in coffee, tea and chocolate, as well as some soft drinks and energy drinks, should be avoided.
- Don’t go for mega-doses of any vitamin supplements or fish liver oil supplements. In fact, talk to your doctor before having any supplement.
- Just like raw seafood, raw meet should also be avoided. Uncooked and undercooked beef or poultry have risk of contamination with bacteria etc.
- Soft cheeses, especially those that are imported may contain bacteria known as Listeria, which can cause miscarriage. So, don’t eat this during pregnancy.
- Liver or liver products may contain a lot of vitamin A that can be harmful for your baby. So avoid them during pregnancy.
- Energy drinks may contain high level of caffeine so avoid them in pregnancy.
Just watch your weight and keep consulting your doctor for any symptoms that you think are not normal.
Pregnancy, after all, is not an illness. It is just a beautiful stage where your body demands some extra attention and nutrition from you for the sake of nurturing a new life.
Just watch what you eat during pregnancy, fill your mind with positive thoughts as you ready your body as well as your life for a part of you
Disclaimer: Pregnancy is a very beautiful stage of your life but is also a very delicate state where your body starts behaving differently. Therefore, sometimes you may feel uneasy when you even eat some healthy foods good for pregnancy. If so happens, you should stop eating that food and consult your doctor immediately.