During pregnancy, a healthy diet is equally important for both the baby and the mother. Whether you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the first and foremost rule is to eat healthy as your baby’s growth and development is entirely dependent on what you eat. Secondly, a complete diet comprising fruits, vegetables, whole grains, multivitamins, proteins, etc., would enable you to avoid the health issues and complications that often arise during pregnancy.
When it comes to the best diet for pregnancy, try to select foods that are rich in nutrients and low in calories. This will let you eat without gaining any unnecessary extra pounds and you will get a feeling of satiation. Certainly, the importance of a healthy diet becomes significantly higher during pregnancy, as compared to the normal days. Nutritionist and Lifestyle Expert Shubi Husain too endorses these foods and recommends them as ‘must have’ in your everyday diet during pregnancy. Have a look at these top 9 superfoods to eat during pregnancy.
9. DAIRY PRODUCTS
Dairy products are very effective for the optimal growth and development of your little one inside the womb. During pregnancy, the requirement of daily calcium intake reaches 1,000 milligrams and thus, the need for dairy foods also increases.
The unborn baby is counting on calcium for its bones formation and development so try to increase intake of skimmed milk, soy milk, cheese, yogurt, and other calcium-rich foods to fulfill your nutritional demands.
Green, dark, leafy vegetables are the best diet for pregnancy as they are low in calories and are a major source of important minerals like vitamins, proteins, fibers, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. Another essential mineral provided by vegetables is folic acid which is exceptionally important for normal pregnancy because it protects your baby from neural tube defects.
Your daily required intake of folic acid is a minimum of 600 micrograms during pregnancy and you can get an adequate supply of it from broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, and cabbage.
Fruits serve as the healthiest and yummiest snacks and during pregnancy, their importance doubles. Being home to vital nutrients such as vitamin A, C, E, K, fibers, antioxidants, and iron, fruits can fulfill your nutritional demands and also protect you from pregnancy complications including bloating, constipation, indigestion, and fatigue.
The daily requirement of vitamin C during pregnancy is 70 mg and you can get it from mangoes, avocado, and citrus fruits that are enriched with vitamin C and many other crucial minerals.
Fatty fish, especially salmon, is amazingly beneficial for pregnant women. Salmon is highly recommended by nutritionists for a healthy pregnancy as this fish is an exclusive source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids play a primary role in the development of the brain, eyes, and skin. Plus, salmons also provide proteins and vitamin D that is important for healthy bones and the immune system.
Nuts have an impressive nutritional profile and could be a healthy substitute for your high-calorie snacks during pregnancy. Nuts hold an abundance of vital minerals in their small structures and these vital minerals include zinc, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, selenium, fibers, and the best one is healthy fats. Try to have nuts that are slightly roasted or are in raw form as they are low in calories and high in power supply.
Walnuts, almonds, and cashew are the healthiest option during pregnancy while try to avoid peanuts as they may increase risks of allergies in both expecting mothers and babies.
Eggs are an excellent source of proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and other minerals that made eggs a must-to-have food. Particularly in the case of pregnancy, the importance of eggs is inevitable because eggs are low-calorie food and are highly nutritious. An important mineral found in eggs, called Choline, is necessary for the normal development of the baby and you need to take 450 mg of choline daily during pregnancy for that purpose.
So, eat 1 or 2 eggs daily depending on your daily requirements, and try avoiding eating raw, poorly cooked, soft boiled, or scrambled eggs as they may still have harmful bacteria in them. Instead, try to eat hard-boiled and properly cooked eggs.
During pregnancy, you are required to drink more water because a lot of water would be needed to produce amniotic fluid, synthesize extra blood, carry vital nutrients, improve digestion, and flush out toxins and waste.
As an expecting mother, you need to stay hydrated because deficiency of water could result in headaches, dizziness, indigestion, cramps, urinary tract infections, and constipation. These complications are very common during pregnancy and are usually caused by dehydration. Therefore, pregnant women should drink about 2.5 liters of water daily to avoid any complications.
2. WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains such as oats, barley, millet, and whole-wheat bread are the ultimate food for pregnancy. These grains are full of vital nutrients including proteins, iron, vitamins like niacin, folate, B1, B2, magnesium, and antioxidants. In addition to these, whole grains are a good source of fiber that is required for promoting heart health, decreasing diabetes risks, preventing constipation, and helping your digestive system to function smoothly and efficiently. The daily requirement of fiber is 28 grams and you can easily get it from the whole grains.
Also, replace processed, refined food products such as white bread, white rice, white flour with whole grains as a refined diet is high in calories and usually low in energy.
1. LEAN MEATS
Lean meats are a good source of proteins, vitamin B, iron, and zinc making them a favorable diet during pregnancy. Iron is needed for the proper supply of oxygen to the cells and during pregnancy, the daily requirement of iron reaches 27 mg. You can get enough supply of iron through lean meats of chicken, turkey, fish, beef, and lamb.
However, it is very important to have properly washed and thoroughly cooked meat. Otherwise, there would chance of acquiring infections that are extremely dangerous for both mother and developing baby.
You can have a safe pregnancy that guarantees optimal health for you and the unborn baby, by following some simple yet important tips. Stay active, avoid too many calories and sugar intake, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink enough water, and never forget your supplements. Last but not the least, Shubi Husain advises that you should consult a good dietitian or nutritionist in your vicinity who knows what would be better for you and your baby.
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