During pregnancy, healthy food is especially important, because your body needs that extra shower of energy and nutrients now than ever before. A healthy pregnancy food plan makes sure you keep glowing with health while your baby gets adequate nutrients required for his/her development. An ideal food plan should be one that has the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, without adding too many calories.
In the first trimester, you may be generally advised by your health care provider to consume iron, calcium and folic acid tablets. These are especially crucial for your baby’s development, but while you swallow these tablets, it is also good to know that you can naturally supply your body with these nutrients by consuming certain vegetables and fruits that are high in these nutrients. The first trimester is often the toughest- many women experience nausea and bouts of vomiting, you may not feel like eating at all- in fact familiar smells seem repulsive and what was aroma once now becomes nightmare. Knowing what foods could pump the necessary nutrients into you ensures that you don’t forget to include them in your healthy pregnancy food chart!
Pregnant women require an extra 60 grams of protein a day, starting from the very beginning. Hence, nuts should be one of the most important things on your pregnancy healthy foods list. Soak one or two almonds every night in water and have them, skin removed, first thing next morning. Lentils, another rich source of proteins, can be consumed as soups- they ensure proper growth of your baby’s tissue and muscle. Beans (kidney beans, black beans, pinto) are also a good source of protein needed for muscle growth and energy. If you are a non-vegetarian, lean meats, fish, poultry and eggs are also a good source of protein. Eggs not only contain protein but also calcium that’s another important nutrient you need now.
Calcium comes from milk and milk products like curd, yoghurt, cheese, butter. Choose the low fat or non-fat dairy products, to avoid adding unwanted calories. If you are unable to digest milk, choose the lactose-free milk and go for calcium fortified foods like calcium fortified soymilk. Cottage cheese is another rich source of calcium and protein. Bananas are also among pregnancy healthy foods to eat.
Folic acid is an important nutrient required to ensure that your baby’s neural tube fuses properly in the first month after conception. Folic acid can be derived naturally from these additions to your diet- spinach, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lime juice; and vegetables like okra.
Iron is required to form red blood cells in your baby. You can get a lot of iron content from chicken, but it’s best to stick to the organic, hormone free meats during pregnancy. Broccoli is another excellent source of iron you must consume.
Fiber ensures proper bowel movement and reduces the chance of constipation and hemorrhoids. Get your punch of fiber from foods like whole wheat bread, cereals, crackers, pasta and cooked rice.
Eggs, yoghurt and asparagus are some of the pregnancy healthy foods that contain Vitamin D- another crucial vitamin that many pregnant women are deficient in.
Fresh, frozen, canned- fruits are a must during pregnancy. Citrus fruits are the best, but stick to whole fruits; or if you consume fruit juice, limit the intake of the same because they are high in calories and don’t deliver the fiber that the whole fruit does.