Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important. During this period, the developing baby requires a lot of nutrients to develop properly. Nutritious foods for pregnant women ensure the mother stays healthy, which alleviates the possibility of opportunistic diseases and other health complications.
There are several main benefits associated with eating a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy. They include:
- Improved appearance.
- Increased energy.
- Decreased risk of disease.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Improved mood.
- The health of the unborn baby.
Here are some of the top foods an expectant woman should include in her diet:
# Foods rich in iron
Iron-rich foods ensure the unborn baby receives adequate oxygen amounts with the blood as well as overall blood supply that brings nutrients to the fetus. To have a sufficient amount of iron, pregnant women should eat foods like meat, liver, poultry and many others. Such foods also help in the building of a baby’s brain by strengthening nerve connections.
# Foods rich in protein
Protein-rich foods contain amino acids which are the basic building blocks of the cells in the developing baby and the mother's bodies. These foods also keep hunger at bay by stabilizing the mother’s blood sugar. Also, protein food is known to boost breast milk production. Protein-rich foods include meat, eggs, poultry, eggs, dairy products and fish.
An expectant mother needs foods rich in carbohydrates since they provide adequate energy for her impending child delivery. Healthy and safe carbohydrates are found in whole grains in high amounts.
# Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should be the staple food for any pregnant woman as they contain the most essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Leafy vegetables and fruits improve the immune system of a mother-to-be and her developing baby hence shielding them both from diseases.
Nuts contain Vitamin E and other essential minerals such as manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, potassium, selenium, and calcium. Multiple studies have proved that nuts are very beneficial for a robust health, something both the mother and the baby would need.
# Sea food
Seafood is recommended for pregnant women as it is considered to have low-fat content. Seafood comes in the form of fish, crabs, shrimps, oysters and mussels. It has less sodium and abundant omega-3 fatty acids. Including these kinds of food in the diet of an expectant mother helps to keep certain diseases at bay. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are known to prevent heart disease.
The kind of foods an expectant woman eats has an immense impact both on her physical well-being as well as that of her unborn baby. Nutritionists advise that pregnant women should eat only unprocessed whole foods.
In addition to eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water is also essential. A sufficient amount of water will keep the body hydrated and boost body metabolism.