8 Must-eat Foods For Pregnant Mummies
8 nutritional foods to eat for the baby
When you are pregnant, you not only eat for yourself, but also for the baby. Therefore, it is natural to include foods to eat for the baby in your own diet. Which means that even if you are packing in all the essential nutrients, you might still be missing out on some.
Food items such as green vegetables, nuts, dairy, fish, lean meat and fruits contain essential nutrients like iron, omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, calcium among others pack in many nutrients in just a bite. These nutrients of course being responsible for the overall growth and development of your baby.
So while preparing your daily diet chart, add these nutritional superstars to boost growth and development in your baby.
What’s in it: Lentils are a great source of protein, iron, fibre, calcium, zinc and folate.
Benefits: Most of the lentils contain about 70 percent carbohydrates and about 30 percent proteins. Apart from proteins, they are also contain resistant starch, which provides adequate fibre to the body, thereby clearing the bowel and reducing blood sugar.
Some studies suggest that the eating pulses can reduce the risk of preterm delivery.
You can add two or three servings of lentils in your daily diet to reach the optimum 300 cal required for a healthy pregnancy.
What’s in it: Oats are known to be rich in fibre, protein, potassium, folic acid, and vitamin B6.
Benefits: With high content of essential nutrients, oats can be extremely beneficial for a pregnant woman. These compounds collectively supply the body with complex carbohydrates that in turn provides energy to the body. In addition, oats contain the necessary dietary fibre that eases bowel movements and cleans the digestive track.
According to studies, the folic acid content in oats porridge reduces the chances of the baby developing spina bifida.
If you consume a quarter cup of oats in a meal, you get 4g of dietary fibre, 27g of carbohydrates, 73 mg of potassium and about 150 calories and 10 percent iron content.
What’s in it: Sweet potatoes are rich in nutritious fibre, vitamin B6, iron, vitamin C, potassium, as well as beta carotene and copper.
Benefits: These starchy, large, tuberous roots are rich in beta carotene, which is an anti-oxidant that the body converts into vitamin A. This compound (vitamin A), in turn helps in the growth of the baby’s body parts such as eyes, skin and bones.
The other benefit of eating sweet potato during pregnancy is that it also contains copper that helps the body to absorb iron.
Since sweet potatoes are iron-rich, The National Institute of Health recommends 700mcg per day to be adequate for a pregnant woman.
What’s in it: Eggs are considered to be the golden standard for prenatal protein. They are a rich source of folate, protein, iron, calcium and choline.
Benefits: Eggs are easily available in the market and are a great source of essential nutrients that are required for foetal growth as well as to provide strength to the expecting mother. Their winning compound that is essential for foetal growth is choline.
The average requirement of choline for an expecting mother is about 450mg per day; and the richest source of choline in an egg is its yolk.
Some studies suggest that intake of choline-rich eggs can reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
What’s in it: Nuts are full of healthy fats including omega 3, fibre, protein, magnesium and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Benefits: Take a bite into some crunchy and nutritious nuts to fulfil your daily quota of the 800mg of magnesium. Studies suggest that these snackable delights with high magnesium content can help reduce the risk of premature labour. They also recommend that women consume two to servings of nuts to fill their daily quota of essential nutrients.
What’s in it: Green vegetables are chock full of antioxidants and other essential nutrients such as iron, folate, fibre, calcium, potassium and vitamin A.
Benefits: These are generally the super foods an expecting mother must gorge on. Since they are filled with essential nutrients and especially have a large amount of vitamin A, they help with the baby’s eyesight development. In addition, leafy vegetables are also known to foetal bone and skin growth.
Green vegetables also contain a large amount of folate. Spinach is a good example of one such vegetable that is folate-rich. Remember that ideally, an expecting mother needs about 400mcg of folate daily. So you can add a 180g of spinach to your meal to fulfil that quota.
What’s in it: Yogurt is known to contain more calcium that milk. In fact, it also has bone-building nutrients such as vitamin B, zinc and protein.
Benefits: Yogurt is one of the richest sources of calcium that an expecting mother must consume. Ideally, you need about 1,000mg of calcium daily. A cup of plain yogurt contains about 488mg of calcium, which is half the daily intake requirement.
The calcium and zinc content in yogurt helps the baby to develop his bones and teeth inside the womb. So if you have been avoiding this typically essential food, get hold of a cup immediately!
What’s in it: Citrus fruits especially orange contains a large amount of folate, vitamin C, vitamin D and potassium.
Benefits: Gulping down a glass of orange juice in your pregnancy can wonders for you and your baby. The high vitamin C content in orange juice is essential for foetal brain development. In fact, in a 2012-study, it was reported that vitamin C deficiency in an expecting mother could lead to serious complications in the foetus’ brain.
In addition, orange juice also contains vitamin D that increases blood circulation in the placenta and easily absorbs calcium for the foetus’ overall bone growth.
Do you know any other pregnancy foods?
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