Pregnancy Diet – The Best Meals for Expecting Mothers

What most expecting mothers are worrying about when they are pregnant is the change of their weight. A lot of them do not want to gain extra pounds during pregnancy. Some are also not convenient about the diet to take because it limits them the kinds of foods they eat. Others love to eat fatty, junk foods. Pregnant women should avoid unhealthy meals that can affect their health and their unborn baby.

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There will be really lots of changes when it comes to the food to consume. However, eating the right and nutritious foods does not only benefit you but also the condition of your baby. That is why doctors suggest a list of healthy meals for pregnant women to support their baby needs during this period of time. For sure you want a healthy and normal baby. This is not something difficult to do anyway.

Most women during their pregnancy have to strictly deal with their diet for the sake of their unborn baby. Whatever you consume in your body is going to have an effect on the health of your child. With the goal to deliver a healthy baby, it’s best to keep your meals nutritious. You must take a lot of foods that are healthy in order to aim this objective. Here are some ideal tips to assist you regarding how to nourish yourself and your unborn baby at the same time.

1. Know the Nutrients Needed by Your Baby

Choice is not necessarily making a selection of whatever you want. It has to be based on the needs of your unborn child. This is very much applicable to the kinds of foods you eat daily. As there is a wide variety of foods for pregnant, it is helpful to first find out the nutrients which your baby needs. This is the very first thing you need to consider in terms of pregnancy diet. The list further down below consists of the many nutrients a pregnant woman must take that can provide health benefits to her baby. Combining all the foods that contain the needed vitamins and minerals is the right way to follow a pregnancy diet.

2. Balance Your Meal

Do not let yourself overestimate or underestimate foods while pregnant. Always think of your unborn baby’s health as your own. With this said, a balance diet is necessary to keep in every single day. The amount or serving of foods you eat per meal must be enough – not too much or too insufficient. This can assure you do not gain a huge increase of your weight, while you keep your body healthy, vital and strong. As a result, it will provide good health to your baby. However, it does not mean that you won’t have extra pounds of 3, 5 or 10 pounds. It is alright and normal for a pregnant woman to gain some weight but just ensure you do not become obese. Or else it won’t be easy to maintain a good shape and normal weight. So, balance the foods you eat in order to achieve the best result.

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3. Do Not Skip Meals

A golden rule regarding pregnancy diet is to avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast. You must still have the regular time to eat foods three times a day. This means you complete a diet every day by having breakfast, lunch and dinner. At least maintain that number of meals a day, but it’s also okay to have some snacks in between. However, do not abuse your snack time and never take junk or any unhealthy foods.

With these three points of reminders, it’s best to keep in mind the required nutrients. To have a good and healthy pregnancy diet, include at least five vitamins and minerals in your meals per serving. Here are the nutrients that you need to take during pregnancy.

1. Vitamin A & Beta Carotene

Vitamin A is a very common nutrient found in most vegetables and fruits. Beta carotene, on the other hand, is only found in some foods. However, both are nutrients that are very essential to consume by a pregnant women. They help the bones and teeth grow, and that’s exactly what your developing baby needs. Having said that, be sure to have carrots, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, and other yellow vegetables on your plate. Fruits like cantaloupe and pumpkin are also yellow foods that contain vitamin A and beta carotene. For meat, you can have eggs and liver. Milk also consists of these nutrients. Be sure to drink at least a glass of milk every day.

2. Vitamin C

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When you talk about vitamin C, you can surely think of many citrus fruits. There is the lemon, orange, pineapple, and pomegranate. Other than these fruits, strawberries and papayas also consist of vitamin C. In fact, even green beans, potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, and red tomatoes contain this nutrient. What vitamin C does to the body is to protect tissues from damages, while it helps the body absorb iron and continues to build a healthy immune system.

3. Vitamin D

A nutrient that helps the body use phosphorus and calcium is vitamin D. This also promotes a much stronger bones and teeth. When you prepare foods, make sure you have a few servings of fatty fish and drink a glass of milk. You can also get vitamin D from the rays of the sun. Sun bathing or just strolling under the sun can provide you vitamin D.

4. Vitamin E

Vitamin E, which is mostly found in wheat germ, fortified cereals and nuts, is also a nutrient needed by a pregnant woman. These foods, along with vegetable oil and the green, leafy spinach, must be taken regularly. The benefits they give are to help the body form, which is essentially applicable to the status of a pregnant woman, and to utilize muscles and red blood cells to function well.

5. Thiamin or B1

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To raise your energy level and regulate your nervous system, it’s best to have B1, or thiamin, in your daily meals. This nutrient is usually found in pasta, (sounds like it’s not bad to eat some spaghetti, huh?), whole grain, wheat germ, fortified cereals, rice, organ meats, and pork. You can also absorb thiamin when eating berries, legumes and nuts.

6. Riboflavin or B2

Meat, fish, poultry and dairy products, including eggs, are rich in riboflavin, or B2. This nutrient is good for the eyes and skin. It is also good for the energy because it helps maintain it. Other than those mentioned foods, fortified cereals do contain riboflavin too.

7. Niacin or B3

Another essential nutrient to take by a pregnant woman is B3 or niacin. This is a nutrient which benefit is to promote healthy and more beautiful skin, as well as improve digestion, and protect nerves. Niacin or B3 is usually found in foods with high protein, which includes meat, fish and eggs. Other than those, this nutrient is also absorbed in fortified cereals, bread, peanuts, and milk.

8. Pyridoxine or B6

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You must like fried chicken, grilled pork, or fish fillet. Well, the good news is that chicken, fish, pork, and even liver are foods highly recommended to consume regularly. That is because they contain pyridoxine or B6, which is a nutrient that helps form red blood cells. Yet, it’s much better to have meat that is not grilled or fried because you have to avoid oil as much as possible. Other than meat, vegetables which include broccoli, spinach, carrot, cabbage, beans and peas, as well as fruits, like banana and cantaloupe are nutritious ones with B6. To add the list, have soybeans, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, brown rice, oats, bran, peanuts, and walnuts too.

9. Folic Acid or Folate

To help support the placenta, make sure you get enough folic acid. Also known as folate, this nutrient is found in some favorite fruits and vegetables, which include orange, strawberry, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, peas, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. It is also found in fortified cereals, pasta, and nuts. Other than the placenta, folic acid is essential because it prevents spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

10. Calcium

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Do not forget how important calcium is also for a woman who is pregnant. Her baby needs this nutrient for the complete development of the baby. It generally helps the muscles and nerves to function well, create bones and teeth that are much stronger, and prevent blood clots. As you may know by now, calcium is usually found in milk, cheese, yoghurt, cereals, soy milk, juice, bread and dark green, leafy vegetables.

11. Iron

Iron is another nutrient to consume during pregnancy. This one prevents premature delivery of baby and reduces low birth weight. It also prevents anemia, while it helps in the production of hemoglobin. So, ensure to have meals that consist of dried beans, spinach, beef or pork, wheat germ, dried fruits, grains and oatmeal.

12. Protein

Another popular nutrient that is mostly absorbed through animal meat is protein. This type of nutrient is certainly beneficial for a pregnant woman. Its main functions are to help product amino acids and repair cells. It means that your meal must have at least meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products like eggs. Protein is also found in some seeds, such as legumes, nuts and beans.

13. Zinc

To help produce insulin as well as enzymes, take foods with zinc. This nutrient is also suggested to absorb by a woman who is carrying a baby in her womb. You can find zinc mostly in read meat, poultry, dairy products, oysters, as well as nuts, beans and whole grains.

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Combining foods that contain these thirteen nutrients is how a healthy diet for pregnancy works. Choosing the right kinds of foods during pregnancy is not that difficult after all. Some of your favorite dishes and snacks can still be prepared because they actually contain the nutrients needed by your body and for your baby. As long as you maintain absorbing these nutrients, you can be sure of your baby’s healthy condition.

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