Maintaining a healthy pregnancy diet takes precedence over most things when it comes to taking care of your unborn child. More so, because what mothers eat and drink is the primary source of nourishment for the baby. Many first-time mothers might feel lost when it comes to understanding which food compliments their physical well-being and what makes up for a healthy pregnancy diet. While you are dealing with everything starting from morning sickness to figuring out how to elegantly dress your bump, we have got your dietary needs covered. If you have just found out that a bun is in the oven and are wondering which foods you should consume as part of your pregnancy diet, read this insightful blog!
5 most nutritious foods for pregnancy
When deciding upon what food you should consume to ensure you have a proper pregnancy diet in place, it is important to understand their nutritional value and how they nourish the child that is growing in your womb. While you are taking a myriad of vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure a smooth pregnancy, here is a list of five easily available and most nutritious foods for pregnancy that you must include in your pregnancy diet:
- Dairy Products: Calcium and protein are the two most essential nutrients for a baby’s development and hence, should top the list of most nutritious foods for pregnancy. Dairy products are a great source of calcium and protein, in addition to several other nutrients including magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and phosphorus. One of the most beneficial dairy products that not only provide nourishment to the foetus but also help the to-be mother's digestive system is greek yoghurt. It contains ample amounts of calcium while at the same time possessing probiotic characteristics, making it a wholesome and nutritious food. For women who are lactose intolerant or practise veganism, almond or coconut milk yoghurt work as great alternatives. All in all, dairy products are imperative for a healthy pregnancy diet. Apart from being a fab food for pregnant women, it also contributes to the formation of bones for your unborn child.
- Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids are a must inclusion in your pregnancy diet as they contribute significantly to the brain and eye development of the foetus. These fatty acids are found in abundance in seafood. However, seafood is also a major source of mercury and other unwanted substances that could be harmful to the unborn baby. Hence, it is advised to stick to twice-a-week consumption of seafood or as advised by your doctor. Salmon, additionally, acts as a major source of Vitamin D, which contributes to a stronger immune system and improved bone health.
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens are a healthy choice, whether you are pregnant or not. Making leafy greens such as broccoli, kale and spinach a dominant part of your pregnancy diet can be beneficial for you and the baby. Not only are they a primary source of antioxidants but are also rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, calcium, iron, fibre, Vitamin A and potassium. Some reports suggest that inclusion of leafy greens in your pregnancy diet can reduce the risk of low birth weight, prevent constipation, build the immune system as well as aid digestion.
- Bananas: Pregnancy fatigue is a dominant issue with many women and can often cause discomfort. A quick fix to counter pregnancy fatigue is including bananas in your pregnancy diet. Rich in potassium, bananas are one of the easiest ingredients to include in your diet. You can add them to your cereal or just have a banana milkshake. It also is easy on the stomach when you feel nauseous, making it a great addition to your already healthy pregnancy diet.
- Figs: Not only are figs a major source of calcium but are also rich in fibre, helping you fight digestion issues that pregnant women are prone to. Furthermore, it is a non-dairy substitute for women who are lactose intolerant or practise veganism. Furthermore, figs are also a good source of phosphorous, iron, potassium, magnesium as well as Vitamin K. They also contribute to the proper teeth and gum development of the foetus and also aids bone formation. No wonder figs are considered a superfood for pregnant women and must be included in your pregnancy diet.
How to stay healthy during pregnancy
While a healthy pregnancy diet must include the above-mentioned superfoods to aid a smooth pregnancy journey, it is also important to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips on how you can stay healthy during pregnancy:
- Exercise: Along with consuming healthy food during pregnancy, it is important that your body also gets the requisite exercise to avoid other physical deterrents. It is not a good idea to become a couch potato when you are pregnant and you must stay active. However, ensure that you don’t overexert yourself. Exercise also helps in dealing with mood swings and allows you to stay positive throughout your pregnancy.
- A wholesome diet: While there are some superfoods that can aid the growth of the foetus while at the same time keep the to-be-mother healthy, it is also essential for pregnant women to have a well-rounded and healthy pregnancy diet that gives them enough energy to go through the pregnancy period as well as the delivery process.
- Prenatal vitamins: Prenatal vitamins are paramount for pregnant women as they are a major source of iodine, folic acid and iron. All these nutrients are super important for the brain and spine development of the unborn baby. These, in addition to a healthy pregnancy diet, can work wonders for you and your baby.
- Restricted consumption of caffeine: If you are a regular tea or coffee drinker, ensure that you choose decaf, unsweetened options and avoid adding sugar. Furthermore, avoid consuming drinks with soda, preservatives, artificial flavours or added sugar.
- Sleep: As your bump becomes bigger and rounder, it might get more difficult each day to get sound sleep at night. However, getting the requisite amount of sleep is as imperative as consuming healthy food during pregnancy, to ensure that you are not over-exhausted. Consult your doctor and try to find a comfortable sleeping position that doesn’t cause discomfort to your foetus either.
Embarking on the journey of pregnancy can be overwhelming for some mothers. As you are preparing to hold your future baby’s tiny fingers and figuring out the best way to mother them, we will be here with other hacks that are essential for to-be mothers to know. To get more information about all pregnancy-related things, watch this space!