For a healthier and happier pregnancy, know what to eat for the next nine months.
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What To Eat When Pregnant | 22 Prescribed Pregnancy Food
Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
It’s very important for expecting mothers to take note of what to eat when pregnant. Whatever food they consume will affect their health and the health of their unborn babies.
Pregnant women should be conscious of the quality of their food intake to provide proper nourishment to the young lives they’re carrying. For expecting mothers out there, below is a suggested list of foods to eat during pregnancy:
Do you want to eat guacamole or avocado salad during pregnancy? Doctors say it’s fine since avocados contain high levels of good fats and dietary fiber. Expecting mothers will also benefit from the fruit’s folate and potassium, which can reduce the chances of birth defects in their babies.
Pregnant women who usually experience morning sickness may find relief in eating bananas. This fruit contains vitamin B6, which is helpful in eliminating nausea.
Just like avocado, banana is also rich in fiber and potassium, which are beneficial for both the pregnant mother and her baby. Potassium can help support the increased need for electrolytes during pregnancy.
What Are Electrolytes? These are substances that conduct electricity when mixed with water. They are necessary for metabolic function.
If you are susceptible to an upset stomach or diarrhea, bananas are what you want to eat. The fruit contains resistant starch which the body cannot digest. It goes straight to the colon.
It’s where the “magic” happens. Once it combines with the gut bacteria and ferments, it makes the stool more solid by helping the body absorb more water.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all excellent sources of nutrients for pregnant women. Expecting mothers may get beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium from eating any of these berries.
Berries are also rich in antioxidants that will help provide healthy skin cells to the baby and boost his/her immune system, too. They may also reduce chronic inflammation by fighting off free radicals.
Not everyone may enjoy eating broccoli, but pregnant mothers should start learning to like this vegetable. Broccoli offers a wide range of vitamins such as A, B6, C, and K.
All these nutrients help in strengthening the mother’s blood supply, as well as improve her nutrient intake. It also helps prevent their babies from developing deformities.
This orange vegetable is a good source of vitamin A, which can help prevent pregnant mothers from getting infections. Carrots also reduce the mother’s (and her baby’s) blood sugar level. This vegetable also boosts the immune system of mothers to support their pregnancy.
Cheese is a great source of calcium, which helps in strengthening the mother’s bones during pregnancy. Not all types of cheese are safe for pregnant mothers, though.
Be sure not to eat those made from unpasteurized milk. They may have harmful bacteria that are lethal to the unborn baby.
7. Dried Fruit
Dried fruits have essential minerals and vitamins needed by both pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. Among these benefits include iron (for blood development) and magnesium (for body development).
They are rich in fiber which comes in handy for mothers who may experience constipation due to hormonal changes.
Studies show pregnant mothers who eat eggs produce more intelligent babies. This is because eggs contain choline, which boosts memory and brain functions.
Pregnant women should make sure to eat properly cooked eggs only. Soft-boiled or poached eggs may contain bacteria that may be dangerous for babies.
9. Fish Oil
This oil contains essential fatty acids beneficial for a baby’s growth. Among these acids is omega 3, which improves eyesight and reduces the chances of asthma. It also includes fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and D, which are beneficial for both mothers and babies.
Vitamin A can help in the development of vital organs such as the kidneys, lungs, and heart. Women may also find their postpartum recovery faster with this vitamin.
Vitamin D helps moms meet their calcium needs, especially during the last trimester. It is also responsible for the baby’s skeletal growth.
10. Lean Meat
Pregnant women still need meat to get calories and protein. They can get these from lean meat since it doesn’t have fatty parts. Just make sure to cook lean meat properly to remove dangerous parasites that may reside there.
This fruit is a source of a lot of necessary nutrients: vitamins A, C, B6, iron, and potassium. The mixture of its sweet and sour tastes also helps in preventing nausea. Pregnant women should eat mangoes in moderation, though, due to their high sugar content.
Drinking milk helps in the development of a bigger and healthier baby. Studies show pregnant mothers who don’t drink milk give birth to smaller babies. Mothers should drink only low or non-fat milk to avoid saturated fat.
Pregnant mothers looking for healthy snacks may opt for nuts. Nuts are good sources of vitamins B and E, as well as zinc and phosphorus. They also contain healthy fat that helps in the proper development of babies.
Some women may avoid eating nuts due to possible childhood nut allergies. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed there’s no correlation. Have your walnuts, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts but in moderation.
A bowl of oatmeal is enough to provide pregnant women with the carbohydrates to supply their energy for a day. It also includes fiber, which helps in digestion. It is low in calories, making it a healthy option for breakfast.
Compared to other fishes, salmon is very low in mercury, making it a good option for mothers. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the development of a fetus. Just make sure to cook salmon properly and avoid eating it raw (like in sushi).
Spinach is a superfood for pregnant mothers due to its multiple benefits. Eating spinach helps women fight anemia and constipation and prevents the development of hemorrhoids. It also has calcium and folate which are both essential for healthy growth and development of your baby.
Soy provides mothers with minerals such as folate and zinc. It also helps in lowering bad cholesterol.
Soy intake should be in moderation, though. Too much soy may affect the baby’s development because of its isoflavones.
What Are Isoflavones? These are phytochemicals or naturally-occurring compounds in plants. They can mimic estrogen, which may then impact the hormone levels during pregnancy.
18. Sweet Potato
Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes contain more fiber and fewer calories. They are also fat-free, which is good for pregnant women. They offer a wide array of nutrients: vitamins A, B6, C, iron, and potassium.
While water intake is essential for everyone, it is more important for pregnant women. Drinking enough water is vital in supplying blood to the baby’s amniotic fluid. Regular water intake will also prevent mothers from becoming dehydrated and less energetic.
If you find regular water boring, you can switch it up with water from a young and tender coconut once in a while. It is rich in electrolytes, which can also increase your energy levels.
Coconut water also functions as a diuretic. It can help your body flush out toxins and prevent the formation of stones in the kidneys.
Note: Coconut water isn’t for everyone. If you have blood pressure issues, you may have to avoid this because of its high sodium content.
20. Whole Grains
Another source of folic acid is whole grains. This acid helps in regenerating cells in the mother’s body and prevents defects in their babies. Whole-grain food such as cereals and fortified bread can produce enough folic acid for both mothers and their unborn babies.
Instead of drinking milk, pregnant mothers may opt to eat yogurt. Yogurt makes a good substitute for milk since it contains more calcium. Also, it contains probiotics, which lessen the risk of yeast infections.
22. Chia Seeds
Upgrade your smoothies and oatmeal bowls with some chia seeds. They are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, and protein. They contain 42 grams of carbohydrates.
These seeds may even reduce your risk for gestational diabetes and heart disease since they can help regulate your blood sugar levels.
Make the Most of the Pregnancy Foods List
The list above should give you an idea of what to eat during pregnancy, but we want you to maximize the information. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Mix and Match Them
Broccoli, leafy greens such as spinach and cheese are healthy ingredients for a cream-based soup for dinner. You can top your yogurt during pregnancy with dried fruits and nuts or combine them for DIY energy bars.
2. Don’t Forget the Supplements
You need to reach and maintain the ideal levels of vitamins and minerals. When necessary, take your supplements while eating healthy food for pregnant women.
3. Keep Track of Your Macronutrients
Macros refer to your fats, carbs, and protein. These can vary because of many factors such as weight, age, and health risks.
The key is always balance. When you want to know how many carbs a day you need, you can use online tools or better yet, see a dietician.
4. Choose a Healthier Salad Dressing
You can elevate fruits and vegetables with salad dressings, but remember, they are not equal. Some of them can contain high levels of sugar and sodium, which can be bad for your health.
The best food for pregnancy is one made from scratch using whole foods. If you don’t have the time, go for the more nutritious alternative available in groceries.
5. Pair Your Diet with a Workout
Unless the doctor says otherwise, working out during pregnancy is important. You are likely to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster and reduce complications such as gestational diabetes.
6. Skip the Trendy Diets
Perhaps you heard people following the ketogenic diet, which is high fat and low carb. Just because it works for them doesn’t mean it’s ideal for you.
These kinds of diets are a no-no during pregnancy. They are highly restrictive, so you won’t be getting all the essential nutrients to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
7. Avoid Some Types of Drinks
Pregnancy means avoiding coffee and tea because of caffeine. It’s also saying no to alcohol since it can damage the baby’s nervous system.
There are a lot of videos that teach mothers what to eat when pregnant. Here’s a video by Parents TV, which shows a pregnancy meal plan expecting mothers may follow:
For expecting mothers, these are few recommendations for what to eat when pregnant. It is advisable to develop a healthy pregnancy diet menu to ensure the proper development of the lives you carry in your womb.
Do you have other suggestions on what to eat when pregnant? Give us your recommendations in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 23, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.