Eating a healthy diet, takes on a whole new meaning during pregnancy. Including a varied diet, which is high in specific nutrients including folic acid, iodine, iron and calcium, is extremely important to ensure a healthy, bonny baby. Smart dietary choices during pregnancy can ensure optimal growth and development of the fetus. Besides making wise foods choices, pregnant women should also be aware of portion control. Eating a sensible, balanced meal which is packed with nutrients is ideal for pregnant women and the unborn fetuses. Pregnancy super foods are nutrient powerhouses which are essential during pregnancy and beyond.
Here Are 7 Excellent Super Foods For Healthy Pregnancy:
Eating leafy greens, particularly spinach, is extremely important during pregnancy. Spinach is an excellent source of iron. Pregnant women should target iron rich foods like spinach to prevent anemia. Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Increasing the intake of vitamin A rich foods during pregnancy is vital to ensure proper growth and development of the heart, circulatory system, lungs, bones and eyes of the developing fetus.
The high amounts of folic acid in spinach will ensure adequate birth weight and prevent serious birth defects like spina bifida. Having foods rich in folic acid can also reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Snacking on a handful of dried apricots during pregnancy is extremely beneficial for the expectant mother and the fetus. Apricots are an excellent source of fiber. Eating fiber rich foods can reduce the problem of constipation during pregnancy. Dried apricots are high calorie food source. Just one hundred grams of dried apricots provides nearly 241 calories. Incorporating high calorie foods like dried apricots into the daily diet can help to meet the nutritional demands of the developing fetus. Dried apricots also contain appreciable amounts of folic acid, potassium, calcium and vitamin A.
To keep the body healthy and well hydrated during pregnancy, consume plenty of oranges. Oranges are an excellent dietary source of vitamin C (53.2mg per 100gms). Pregnant women require at least 85mg of vitamin C every day. Eating foods which are rich in vitamin C like oranges can help to reduce mental retardation in fetuses. Increasing the intake of vitamin C rich foods can also aid the body to absorb iron in a more efficient manner. Besides vitamin C, fresh oranges are good sources of folic acid and potassium. Consuming potassium rich foods can help to negate the harmful effects of high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should eat plenty of boiled chickpeas. This humble legume is packed with lots of nutrients which are vital for the pregnant woman and the growing fetus. Including protein rich foods as an essential part of the pregnancy diet can help to ensure rapid cell development of the fetus. A single cup of boiled chickpeas contains nearly twelve grams of high quality proteins. Besides proteins, garbanzo beans or chickpeas also contain high amounts of potassium and dietary fiber. Boiled chickpeas also provide appreciable amounts of copper, iron, manganese and vitamin B-6. These trace minerals and vitamins are critical to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a safe childbirth.
Eat plenty of whole grain foods like rye, whole wheat, brown rice, oats and barley (to name a few) during pregnancy. Whole grains are high in dietary fiber. Incorporating foods which have high amounts of soluble and insoluble fibers during pregnancy can prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Whole grains are rich sources of B group of vitamins. B-vitamins are extremely vital for the normal physical and mental development of the fetus. Foods prepared using whole grains also contain high amounts of calcium and iron.
Eating health promoting whole grains can also reduce blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. Micro-nutrients like selenium, potassium and magnesium which are present in whole grain food also contribute towards a healthy pregnancy. Pregnant women should have at least six servings of whole grain foods every day.
Eggs are undoubtedly the healthiest foods which can be included in your pregnancy diet. Eggs are rich sources of protein. Protein rich foods can aid in the normal development of the growing fetus. Eggs contain high amounts of choline. For normal fetal development, pregnant women must consume choline rich foods like eggs. Eggs also contain a whopping twelve different types of vitamins and minerals which can prevent neural tube defects in the fetus besides ensuring proper brain development. The high calorie content of eggs (70 calories per egg) can help to meet the increased calorie demands of pregnant women as well.
Low Fat Milk
Milk like other dairy products are excellent dietary sources of calcium. Pregnant women must incorporate calcium rich low fat dairy products like milk, to ensure proper bone development of the fetus. One cup of low fat milk provides nearly 305 mg of calcium, 8.22 mg of protein and 117IU of vitamin D. Medical research has also indicated that pregnant women who consumed low fat milk regularly, were more likely to give birth to healthier children.