Most women are aware of the strange cravings that occur once you’re pregnant. You know, things like pickles dipped in peanut butter or meat-cravings when you’ve been a vegetarian for years. It is extra important to pay attention to what you put in your body as the appropriate amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will be good for the baby’s development. Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is imperative to you and your baby’s health. Doing so will also benefit you in the long run since it will be much easier for you to lose the unwanted pregnancy weight that shows after giving birth.
It can be a struggle to figure out what exactly to eat when it’s for two, so we’ll narrow it down to the top 10 foods for pregnant moms to clear up any confusion or concerns you may have. Note that exposing your baby to healthy foods in the womb will raise the likelihood of them not only recognizing, but also embracing those flavors later on.
First and foremost, eggs are an excellent source of protein for your
pregnancy diet. The amino acids in the protein help the cells in both your body and
your baby’s. Eggs also have a good portion of vitamins and minerals that you need, one
of them being choline. Choline is great for the development of your baby’s brain and
spinal cord while also helping you avoid neural tube disadvantages. Add veggies and cheese to your eggs and you’re on your way to having yourself a yummy frittata. This is the perfect breakfast to start out your day in a healthy way!
If you’re a fan of seafood, the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are essential for healthy development of your baby, and may even improve your mood. For the 8-12 ounces of seafood pregnant ladies are recommended to take in every week, cooked salmon is your best bet, especially because it is low in mercury.
Beans are also another example of an ideal food to eat during pregnancy because they contain protein, iron, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and the fatty acids that are essential for pregnancy. They’re also rich in fiber and can help with preventing and alleviating pregnancy discomforts like constipation and hemorrhoids.
- Sweet Potatoes
Believe it or not, but the orange color on sweet potatoes comes from carotenoids and its plant pigments become vitamin A in our bodies. They also contain vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber.
This may sound “nuts,” but walnuts are your best friend as they are rich in plant-based omega-3s.
They make a great quick snack and can also be tossed into a salad.
- Whole Grains
For fiber and nutrients with antioxidant vitamin E and mineral selenium, it’s ideal to include whole grains in your diet. They also are made up of phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that preserve cells. Depending on your taste buds, you can try different kinds from barley and oats to buckwheat and spelt. Whole grains can fit in with many meals, so don’t be afraid to be creative!
- Greek Yogurt
Dairy products are beneficial to your diet as well, especially Greek yogurt. It contains regular yogurt beat with twice the protein, and has plenty of probiotics and calcium. The calcium helps with the growth of your baby’s skeleton while also keeping your own bones strong. It can be included in breakfast or as a side to a wholesome meal.
- Fruits and Vegetables
You want your diet to be colorful, and fruits and veggies will do just the trick. You and your baby will get plenty of nutrients when you eat the rainbow — green, yellow, orange, purple, and red fruits and veggies offer lots of essential vitamins and minerals. An easy way to incorporate these would be with a salad. It could also go with just about any meal of your choice. The more colorful your plate is, the better.
- Lean meats
If you aren’t ready to sacrifice meat in your diet, don’t you worry! Meat can be a great source of protein just as long as you find cuts that are around 95-98% fat free. Beef and pork are the best options since they have choline. It should be noted, however, to avoid hot dogs and deli meats unless they are heated properly. There is a slight risk of infection from these foods if there is bacteria and parasites present, such as toxoplasma, listeria, and salmonella, which could be a potential hazard during pregnancy for you and your baby.
- Dark leafy greens
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to eat your greens — specifically spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and other dark leafy greens. These are prenatal superfoods with more than enough vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, on top of folic acid. They go well in practically anything, like smoothies, omelets, soups, and stir-fries.
As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea does everything in her power to help empower women and educate them about their bodies, whether it’s by simply giving crucial health care tips, or presenting them with healthy diet options when pregnant to prevent any issues. If you want to learn more about what foods are good for you and your baby, and would like to speak with a female obstetrician you can confide in, come by Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, or call 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment.