These foods are specially selected for you to have a first-hand knowledge of the best food options to explore during that blessed stage of pregnancy.
There are usually a lot of questions about what to eat and what not to eat, it is also a fact that most pregnant women adhere to certain food preferences during pregnancy, but it is important to select these varieties of options ranging from protein, carbohydrates, F&O, vitamins, minerals, and water. These healthy choices are from nutrition experts on top pregnancy foods.
You may not need to like or eat them all, but you can choose your favourites to give your pregnancy a nutritional boost and your body and baby will thank you for it.
1. Non-fat Milk
Your body absorbs roughly twice as much calcium from foods while you’re pregnant, so your daily needs remain the same. But since most of us get too little calcium, to begin with, drinking more nonfat milk is a smart move. Each 8-ounce glass supplies about 30 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of 1,000 milligrams.
Bananas are rich in potassium and offer quick energy to fight off pregnancy fatigue. “They’re also easy on your stomach if you’re nauseated,” says O’Rourke. Slice them up into cereal or whip one into a breakfast smoothie with yoghurt, berries, ice, and a splash of orange juice.
Many women develop aversions to the beef while pregnant. Eggs are excellent alternative protein sources since they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. There’s nothing better for a quick dinner than an omelette with lots of chopped vegetables and a bit of cheese. If cooking aromas make you feel sick, hard-boil a batch of eggs to keep on hand in the refrigerator: Eat them whole for grab-and-go breakfasts and snacks or chop them up into green salads.
4. Whole-Grain Bread
By swapping your traditional white bread for a whole-grain variety, you can make sure you’re consuming the recommended 20 to 35 daily grams of fibre (scan labels to find a loaf that offers at least 2 grams of fibre per slice). Whole-grain bread also supplies you with a good share of your iron and zinc.
5. Greek Yogurt
“Regular non-fat yoghurt has six to eight grams of protein per serving, while Greek yogurt has 15 to 18 grams per serving,” Allidina says. Greek yogurt is often strained so most the liquid is removed. It’s also a good source of calcium — which every woman needs during pregnancy.
6. Dark-Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are highly recommended for pregnancy because they have high levels of folate and iron, and good calcium sources. Increase the nutrient value of your salads by consuming darker-coloured lettuces (the deep colours signal higher vitamin content). You can also add greens to a bread sandwich or stir them into soups and pasta dishes.
7. Nuts and Nut Butter
Fat is critical for your baby’s brain development and it also helps keep you fuller longer. Experts recommend replacing some saturated fats (such as those found in meat and butter) with unsaturated, a form of heart-healthy fat found in nuts (groundnuts/peanuts, cashew nuts, almond, walnuts etc.) But because they are high in fat and calories, stick to 1-ounce servings of nuts and 2-tablespoon servings of nut butter. There is one caveat, however, If you have any sort of allergy, experts recommend that you avoid highly allergenic foods, such as peanuts, during your pregnancy; some data suggest that babies sensitized to certain foods in, raising their risk of food allergies later on in childhood.
8. Lean Meat
Lean meat is simply meat with low-fat content — skinless chicken and turkey and red meat, such as beef or pork chops, with the fat trimmed off are examples of lean meat.
According to Jo Ann Hattner, RD, a dietitian in Palo Alto California, “If you don’t have good iron stores, you’re more likely to feel tired.” Your daily iron needs double during pregnancy, so it’s important to include plenty of iron-rich foods now and Lean meat delivers a form of iron that is easily absorbed by your body.
9. Beans and Lentils
These should include all beans species. All women need 10 extra grams of protein a day during pregnancy (for a total of at least 60 grams); beans and lentils are an excellent source, with about 15 grams per cup. They’re also high in fibre, which helps to combat constipation. And 1 cup of cooked lentils meets half of your daily folate requirement. It can be added to rice dishes and salads or with the usual yam and plantain.
10. Fortified Breakfast Cereals
There are varieties of cereals to choose from. As you already knew folate was important before conception and during your first few weeks of pregnancy, but your needs for the B vitamin stay high the whole nine months. Experts advise getting 400 micrograms per day through vitamin supplements or fortified foods (breakfast cereal is an easy way to do it since many brands contain 400 micrograms per bowl), and another 200 micrograms through foods that are naturally high in folate, such as avocado, okra, papaya, orange etc.
A bowl of oatmeal makes a healthy addition to any diet, but oatmeal is especially beneficial to pregnant women. The American Pregnancy Association reports that oatmeal is a top source of folic acid and iron, which are both crucial nutrients in the prenatal period. Complex carbohydrates like oatmeal keep you satisfied longer, and the oat bran it contains can help lower your cholesterol levels. You can add oats to pancakes, muffins, cakes, cookies etc.
12. Soy Foods
This include; soy milk, soybeans (powder), Tofu or bean curd(Asian food). It’s perfectly safe to follow your vegetarian eating plan while you’re pregnant — as long as you’re diligent about getting necessary nutrients such as protein (your doctor or a dietitian can help you devise a health plan). So be sure to include foods like tofu, which packs 10 grams of protein per half cup.
13. Fish (salmon, tilapia, shrimp, tuna, cod, and catfish)
These fish species are specially selected because they have a little amount of methylmercury, a compound that can be harmful to your baby’s developing nervous system. About 2 to 3 servings of fish per week, can be eaten in place of other types of protein. Experts advise that consumption of white (albacore) tuna should not exceed 6 ounces per week.