When you are pregnant, consuming a healthy diet becomes more important in order to give birth to a robust and full-term infant. Understanding the correct foods to eat for meals and snacks might seem confusing because dietary experts seem to change their minds frequently concerning the most nutritious foods. Eating enough of the right foods can ensure you remain strong throughout a pregnancy along with having a smoother delivery. The correct foods in the proper portions can lead to an infant with an appropriate body weight and prevents excessive weight gain for expecting mothers.
Everyone should eat a variety of colorful vegetables each day, but these foods are especially important for pregnant women. While pregnant, a woman is often incredibly hungry, and fresh vegetables are an extremely healthy, low calorie option at meals and snacks. It is also acceptable to use small amounts of salad dressing, dips or seasonings to add flavor to carrots, broccoli or spinach. Fresh, cooked and frozen vegetables contain an assortment of nutrients and minerals such as iron and vitamins A, B and C.
Protein is a building block for an infant’s body, and consuming low-fat sources two to three times a day is vital. Many protein foods provide iron necessary to avoid anemia that often affects pregnant women, especially when you are prone to having long-term morning sickness that makes it difficult to consume food. Eggs also provide omega-three fatty acids while yogurt offers protein and calcium. This is a good time to begin enjoying nuts, lentils and seeds that contain vitamin B, protein and fiber. Chicken, pork and beef are also excellent choices at meals several times a week and only small portions are needed to remain healthy. Many pregnant women avoid fish for fear of ingesting high mercury levels, but there’s no reason to completely abstain from healthy seafood. According to maternal-fetal specialist Dr. Gilbert Webb, low-mercury fish like shrimp, salmon, and cod can be eaten in moderate amounts by pregnant women. These fish can provide an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fresh fruit is easy to carry and eat at any time of the day but also provides minerals and vitamins. It is easy to take a banana, orange or apple to work for a midmorning or afternoon snack. Fruit contains vitamins such as A, B6 and C that will ensure a growing infant grows at a rapid rate and has a healthy brain, skin tissue and spinal column. Whole fruit offers a lot of fiber to avoid constipation that is often an issue for pregnant women. To avoid monotony, begin to buy more exotic fruit such as mangoes and pomegranates or seasonal fruits such as strawberries and blueberries.
While pregnant, a woman should eat whole grains foods such as bread or cereal several times a day. Foods made of whole grains are always a better nutritional option than processed grains that often have few minerals and vitamins. In addition to eating whole wheat bread, choose to cook main or side dishes that contain brown rice or barley. For breakfasts or snacks, eat cooked oatmeal instead of boxed cereals that are filled with sugar. Additional whole grain foods to have at meals are corn bread or tortillas. Whole grain foods contain large quantities of fiber, vitamin B, iron and selenium.
Seek Dietary Advice from Physicians and Dietitians
If a pregnant woman is confused about a particular diet plan because she has food allergies or sensitivities, then discuss these issues with an obstetrician or dietitian. Consuming enough calories and particular nutrients, such as folic acid, is especially important for women expecting more than one infant. Learn how to cook more nutritious meals while pregnant to understand the process after a baby is born to have enough milk for breast-feeding. After the baby is born, mothers who have chosen nutritious foods may even recover faster with fewer complications and less excess weight.