Nutrition is extremely important during the entirety of your pregnancy. From the moment you start trying to get pregnant, or you find out you are pregnant, eating well should be one of your top priorities.
There are a few reasons for this: some vitamins and minerals are very important for your baby’s development and it’s important you are getting plenty of these (iodine, folic acid, protein and iron are a couple of examples); weight management is also very important during pregnancy. If you are overweight, aside from eating well you should talk to your doctor about implementing an exercise regimen.
Eating well is extremely important when you are pregnant. Here are 8 different foods you should be eating plenty of to ensure you and your baby are getting all the nutrients you need.
There are some foods that you should eat plenty of when you are pregnant to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need for your health and the wellbeing of your baby. Let’s take a look.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and veggies are the cornerstone of any healthy diet, and it’s no different when you are pregnant. They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre, which helps digestion and prevents constipation (which is common during pregnancy).
Folate is important during pregnancy because it’s important for the development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord and reduces the risk of neural tube defects (spina bifida). Folate-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, asparagus, beets, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and citrus fruits.
Starchy Carbohydrate-rich Foods
Carbohydrates are high in energy and are very important during pregnancy as your body works overtime to take care of you and your baby. Rice, potatoes, pasta and bread are all great sources of carbs. However, be sure to balance your energy consumption with exercise.
Eggs are a great source of folate, as well as protein, both of which are very important during pregnancy.
Wholegrain foods such as wholemeal bread, wild rice, wholegrain pasta are an excellent source of fibre, which is important during pregnancy to help ease constipation and promote good digestion.
Fish Rich In Omega-3
Fat is necessary for the development of your baby’s brain, eyes, immune system and central nervous system. However, some fats are better for you than others. Omega-3 is a “healthy fat” that is particularly important for the development of your baby’s central nervous systems before and after birth.
Certain kinds of fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are an excellent meal choice during pregnancy as they are lean, and a good source of protein, minerals, vitamin B12 and iodine. However, some varieties of fish are known to be at risk of containing high levels of mercury – these should be avoided.
• Silver Warehou
• Atlantic Salmon
• Canned salmon and canned tuna in oil
Calcium is very important for the development of your baby’s teeth and bones, heart, nerves, and muscles as well as develop a normal heart rhythm and blood-clotting abilities. Dairy is a great option, including milk (soy or low fat is fine), low-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese, kale, bok choy, canned sardines or tuna, okra, and almonds. Some cheese should be avoided during pregnancy, including unpasteurised goat or sheep’s milk cheese like soft goat’s cheese.
Healthy Sources of Protein
Protein is very important for your baby’s development, particularly in your second and third trimesters (this is when your baby is growing the fastest). Depending on your weight, protein requirements will vary between 40 and 70 grams a day. You can get these from lean meat (such as chicken breast), dairy, oats, eggs, broccoli, soy products, quinoa, beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body will increase by almost 50%! This is why many mothers are at risk of being anaemic, which can cause a range of complications during pregnancy and labour. While you are pregnant, your iron requirements increase quite a bit to help produce haemoglobin and avoid anaemia. You’ll need at least 27 mg of iron every day during your pregnancy. Good source of iron include:
• Beans and lentils
• Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach broccoli, asparagus, kale
• Dried fruit
• Lean meat
Your pregnancy and exciting time and it’s is very important that you get all the nutrients required for your health and the growth and development of your baby.
If you have any question about your pregnancy, or about getting pregnant, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will strive to give you advice and compassionate care in every way possible.