If you want to find out what are the best foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy diet, continue reading this article and find out what they are. But first.
One of the most puzzling questions during pregnancy is “what to eat?”, of course. Smoking and drinking alcohol are out of the question, eating junk food too, and we assume we need to eat clean, drink plenty of water, and so on and so forth. But what exactly? Read below and see what foods to include in a healthy pregnancy diet.
The Best Foods for a Healthy Pregnancy
Let’s start from the beginning. From the moment the ovule is fecundated and it fixates on the uterus’ wall, the tiny baby that comes into shape is 100% dependable on his mother to feed and nurture. That is why following a healthy pregnancy diet is paramount. Over the course of the first few pregnancy weeks, the future mom will have to have a rich and diversified diet plan. A supplementary dosage of proteins and carbohydrates will contribute to the healthy development of the fetus and the placenta.
- It requires almost a double amount of calcium in her diet for the proper formation of the baby’s teeth and bones.
- Iron is another very important and necessary mineral because it helps transport oxygen to the baby’s cells.
Pregnant woman require a greater amount of vitamins and minerals in their diet.
Besides these 2 minerals, a future mom should focus on the intake of certain vitamins that help the proper development of the baby. We are talking about Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, and B6. In order to provide these necessities and not gain extra weight as fat, an expectant mother needs to make the most of what she eats. Therefore, during pregnancy, a woman should eat only 300 more calories daily. An ideal healthy pregnancy diet should be composed namely fresh organic unprocessed foods with low animal fat content. But what to eat exactly for a healthy pregnancy diet? Here are the best foods to indulge in:
20 Best Foods for a Healthy Pregnancy
1. Fresh Fruit
Fresh, organic fruits are loaded with vitamins, healthy sugars, minerals, and pure water. They are the best foods to include in a healthy pregnancy diet. Fruits are cleansing, nourishing, and soothing for the mind and body and they help the development of the baby from the size of a pepper grain to a newborn. Load on fresh fruit as much as you can.
Perhaps one of the most iron-loaded leafy vegetables out there, fresh spinach should not miss from a healthy pregnancy diet. Add a handful of fresh or frozen spinach to your morning smoothie and make it even more healthy.
This often forgotten super-food is one of the best things you can eat because it contains high amounts of Vitamin B2. This vitamin helps the proper functioning of the nervous system, the heart, and muscles and it also provides energy to the baby while in the womb. This is why lentils should be on your healthy pregnancy diet list.
Fresh yeast is another amazing food you can eat while pregnant. It contains Vitamin B2, B3, and B6 which means that it contributes to the assimilation of lipids, proteins, and carbs. Nutritional yeast flakes are a great option, especially if you love vegan food.
The thing with almonds is that they make a wonderful snack for both you and the baby. They contain Vitamin B2 which supports the health of the skin and many other bodily functions. Almond milk is one of the best plant-based milk options during pregnancy.
Although an exotic food, coconut contains complex B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) and a great load of Vitamin C. Besides it also contains a high amount of iron and contributes to healthy hair. Coconut is blue sapphire food, one of the highest vibrational foods out there, which is why it’s a must on the healthy pregnancy diet list.
This is one of the best animal sources of B vitamins, Iron and Zinc, but the most amazing part about eating liver is that it contains folic acid known for reducing the risk of certain birth defects. Free-range pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, or even beef liver should be part of your healthy pregnancy diet. However, eating liver only in small quantities, a little goes a long way.
This super-food is known for its anti-cancer properties and the fact that is an amazing detox, but few know that broccoli is loaded with Vitamin K and A that contribute to bone health and proper tissue development. It goes amazing in sauces, as well as soups.
According to AvocadoCentral, this fruit contains nearly 20 different vitamins and a great amount of Calcium and Magnesium, just what the baby needs for healthy teeth and bones. On the other side, it is really delicious and versatile. You can eat it spread on butter, along with bananas, or even in salads. Include avocado in your healthy pregnancy diet.
Together with avocado, the banana is a wonderful and delicious snack for any pregnant woman. Not only this, but bananas are loaded with potassium, manganese, dietary fibers, and B6 vitamin. Besides, they are absolutely yummy!
Loaded with Omega 3 fats, copper, and manganese, walnuts are considered the ultimate “brain food” and are easy to include in any healthy diet plan. Eat them raw, or add them to your salads to make them more interesting and healthy. Walnuts should be included in every healthy pregnancy diet.
Delicious and healthy, oranges should be a part of a healthy pregnancy diet because they are an excellent source of Vitamin C that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and clear the pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
The delicious and versatile soybeans-made tofu is a great alternative to cheese, because not only has a very low glycemic index and few calories but is also loaded in vegetal source Calcium, which the baby needs. Other soy-based products are also good to include on your pregnancy diet food list. Have only non-GMO soy!
Cooked yellow-fin tuna is a great dish not just because of how tasty and good it is, but also because of the high amounts of Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin. Vitamin B3 helps reduce bad cholesterol and regulates blood pressure as well. Make sure you get wild-caught or organic fresh tuna only. And cook it very well.
15. Sunflower Seeds
Loaded in Vitamin B6, sunflower seeds are a great snack or salad ingredient if you wish. Vitamin B6 is very important for proper baby development because it helps the synthesis of AND, the messenger of the genetic code. These seeds should be included in any healthy pregnancy diet.
16. Sweet Potatoes
Essential in healthy vision, gene transcription, and boosting the immune system, Vitamin A is found in high amounts in sweet potatoes. They are loaded in fiber, plant protein, and healthy carbs and are a must include in a healthy pregnancy diet.
17. Dark Leafy Greens
Kale, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens are full of Vitamin A and have 0 cholesterol or saturated fats. In fact, they also come loaded with Vitamin C, iron, and calcium, exactly what the baby needs for a healthy start in life. Leafy greens also help balance estrogen and progesterone naturally, so they need to make the list of the healthy pregnancy diet.
18. Red Peppers
These crunchy babies contain almost 300% of your daily intake of Vitamin C, the vitamin needed for the absorption of Iron in your body. In this regard, red peppers are a must-eat during pregnancy.
Did you know that 1 cup of mangoes makes up for 100% of your daily need for Vitamin C, 35% for Vitamin A, 20% of Folate, 10% of Vitamin B6, and 8% of Vitamin K and Potassium? Besides, mangoes contain lots of fibers, and good carbs, and taste amazing!
Last but not least, a healthy pregnancy diet should not go without oats. They have a low glycemic index and contain high quantities of Manganese, Phosphorus, and Vitamin B1. Not only do they provide you with energy, they are a great source of dietary fibers which means that they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease for you and the baby.
10 Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Pregnancy
If you want to follow the principles of a healthy pregnancy diet, you also need to know what foods to avoid. The nurturing substances you eat go through the placenta in the baby’s bloodstream in the same way harmful substances such as alcohol and caffeine do. The latter is rather harmful to the fetus and his mother, though.
But which are the foods that a pregnant should avoid? Foods that have been preserved in an inadequate way may contain bacteria that can lead to intoxication. Nonetheless, alcohol consumption is very dangerous while pregnant and it can cause serious health problems to the baby. Here are the main foods to avoid when pregnant according to FoodSafety.gov. These are the foods that you must avoid during pregnancy.
- Unpasteurized milk & cheese made from unpasteurized milk such as Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco & fresco (may contain bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella).
- Fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (may contain mercury)
- Raw cookie dough or batter (may contain Salmonella)
- Ready-made store-bought salads: ham, chicken, seafood (may contain Salmonella)
- Raw fish and seafood including sushi, oysters & clams (may contain parasites and bacteria)
- Unpasteurized juice, fresh juice included (may contain E.coli)
- Raw or undercooked sprouts namely alfalfa, clover, mung bean, and radish (may contain E.coli and Salmonella)
- Deli meats including hot dogs, cold cuts, and sausage (may contain Listeria).
- Alcohol of any kind
- Caffeine in tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and coffee ice cream
The Little Inconveniences of Being Pregnant
Pregnancy has its joys and inconveniences such as indispositions, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms that are very common during the first weeks of the pregnancy and are related to hormones. You need not worry because they don’t harm the baby in any way. In case you experience these unpleasant symptoms, try preparing easy, light meals, and avoid greasy meals instead. Also, avoid not eating for prolonged periods of time, this is not healthy for the baby. The pregnancy diet is best to be light.
In general, these inconveniences are never more serious, and if you want to try some natural remedies, better ask a doctor or a specialist before you do so. Remember, everything you eat and drink is passed to the baby through the placenta. That’s why a healthy pregnancy diet is crucial!
Read Also: 3 Home Remedies for Easy Delivery
Last but not least, enjoy your pregnancy time, take care of your body and soul through relaxation and meditation, and eat the foods that make both you and the baby healthy and happy! We hope the food list for a healthy pregnancy diet will help you decide what’s best to eat for you and your baby.