Pregnant mothers need plenty of nutrients to keep both the mother and the baby healthy. The food requirements for pregnant women are quite different from what normal women take. Pregnant women need at least 10 grams of extra protein on a daily basis as compared to other women. During the second trimester, your body requires an additional 300 calories to supply enough energy both for the baby and the mother. Healthy choices of foods during this period will provide you with a wide range of nutrients required for baby growth.
This article will cover all the required healthy choices to add to your diet and provide yourself with enough protein and extra calories. This article will provide you with a list of some of the best pregnancy foods that you and your growing baby will need.
Top Pregnancy Superfoods
Eggs are an important source of protein for all pregnant mothers. They are a standard prenatal protein source and can be taken in any form you like it. Whether hard-boiled, scrambled, fried, or served as an omelet, eggs are an important source of proteins. The eggs also tend to supply women with choline, iron, and folate.
Eggs are a great choice for pregnant women for various reasons. First, they are relatively cheap and easy to cook for pregnant mothers that don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Eggs also contain choline which is quite important in the brain development of the fetus. Taking eggs will help reduce congenital disabilities such as spina bifida. Choline is contained in the yolk so you have to eat the whole eggs to get all the benefits. You can give the baby a boost by taking eggs fortified by Omega-3.
Are you saving the sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving? Sweet potatoes are very nutritious for expectant mothers and come filled with fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6. They also contain iron, beta carotene, copper, and vitamin C, making them a great source of nutrition for mothers.
It is likely that other foods on the list will offer the same nutrients but still lack the beta carotene, a special antioxidant that the body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is very important in the development of the baby’s bones, eyes, and the skin. The potatoes also have copper which further boosts the body’s ability to absorb iron. You can bake them, mash them, or fry them.
Beans And Lentils
Beans and lentils are a great source of protein for those who are not fans of meat. Apart from being a rich source of proteins, beans and lentils contain fiber, folate, calcium, iron, and zinc. These are all important nutrients that help with the healthy development of the baby. The minerals available in beans and lentils are good for the mother and the baby. Beans and lentils are quite important, especially for vegan mothers.
The presence of rich amounts of zinc makes beans a great pick as this mineral helps prevent cases of preterm delivery, prolonged labor, and low birth weight. Zinc can also be found in other food sources like meat, milk, chicken, cashews, fortified cereals, oysters, crabs, and peas.
Lean meat is another excellent source of proteins. Earlier, we discussed the importance of proteins and the need to have as many great sources of protein as possible. With the body requiring an extra 25 grams to develop the fetus muscles properly, taking lean meat makes sense. Lean meat further contains high amounts of iron and vitamin B.
Iron is an essential mineral for the normal growth of the baby. Lacking iron can lead to increased risks of low birth weight and preterm delivery. The iron is quite crucial for the formation of the red blood cells that help prevent cases of anemia. As blood increases during the pregnancy period, so does the need to have a high level of irons.
A further bonus of the lean meat is the presence of vitamin B that helps the brain and tissue growth. Other benefits of lean meat include the easing of morning sickness for the mothers. The B12 in the lean meat will help maintain healthy red blood cells and healthy nerves.
Fortified Breakfast Cereal
Fortified breakfast cereal is very important, giving you all the necessary folate needed before and after your pregnancy. Fortified foods will supply you with the necessary vitamin B to get you through the nine months of pregnancy.
Fortified foods are also a convenient choice for most mothers as they come ready and only require the addition of milk. Most brands come in 200mg and 400mg per bowl, which are naturally high in folate.
This might appear as a surprise inclusion on the list, but did you know that plain yogurt contains more calcium than even milk? Yogurt has enough calcium which plays a major role in the bone making process. Yogurt also contains other essential nutrients like proteins, zinc, and B vitamins, all of which play an important role in bone building.
Calcium will also keep the mother’s bones and teeth healthy while at the same time helping the baby develop their own healthy bones and teeth. Three servings of calcium a day are recommended for all pregnant mothers.
Downing a glass of orange juice every morning is also important for expectant mothers. The orange will supply you with potassium, folate and of course, the vitamin C. The folic acid and folate in the orange play a great role during the pregnancy period helping prevent various congenital disabilities. Vitamin C will protect you from common illness, ensuring the baby is healthy from the early stages of your pregnancy. Vitamin C will help fight common colds while at the same time helping with the absorption iron.
The potassium in the orange juice will further help with your muscle function, metabolism, and overall health. There is a need for pregnant women to consume more potassium, just like iron, because of the ever increasing blood volume. Other great sources of vitamin C include foods like broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, citrus fruits, red peppers, and mangoes.
Leafy greens had to make it on the list as they are filled with antioxidants and nutrients of all manners required for proper growth of the baby. Some of the best options for leafy greens here include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, kale, and many more.
Leafy greens are super foods that offer moms and babies all the necessary nutrients to remain safe throughout the pregnancy period. In addition to the antioxidants and nutrients, the leafy greens contain folate, fiber, and calcium, all of which are essential for pregnant mothers. There is also the vitamin A which plays a great role in the baby’s eyesight. This vitamin further helps with the bone and skin growth of the baby. Oranges can also offer most of what the leafy greens offer.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also required during pregnancy, and salmon makes a great source. Apart from the omega-3 fatty acids, salmon also supplies the mother with all the necessary protein required for building the baby’s muscles. You don’t have to go for all sorts of supplements containing Omega-3 fatty acids.
Just incorporate salmon into your diet over the next nine months, and you will give your baby all the necessary Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 plays a key role in the development of the baby’s eyes. Salmon is also safe and low in mercury, but mothers are advised to limit the amount they take to two servings a week.
Pregnancy Super Foods Review Summary
In addition to the few mentioned foods, mothers can take various prenatal vitamins to supplement where the body comes short. However, it is worth noting that the main source of the nutrients should come from the foods we eat.