When it comes to pregnancy, extra care and extra nutrition becomes a vital issue. With so many conflicting guidelines and diet-charts available, and not to mention the added pressures of eating for two, selecting the best foods to eat when pregnant becomes a difficult task. Listed below are 7 such foods, which promote the healthy development of the baby and also help you keep fit and energized.
1. Eggs – Easy Energy!
Eggs, no doubt, have always been number one on the list of the best foods to eat when pregnant. Eggs contain not only more than 12 different vitamins and minerals, but are also packed with protein, which must be a primary component of both, the mothers and the baby’s diet. Eggs also contain ‘choline’, which helps in brain development and prevents neural tube defects. Known to be high in cholesterol, they are low in saturated fat, thus balanced consumption is ideal.
2. Veggies – Vital!
Vegetables are the best sources of vitamins and minerals, whether they be fresh, frozen, juiced, boiled or eaten raw (after they have been thoroughly washed of course). Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. All these nutrients are essentially required for healthy growth and development. Vegetables are also a rich source of fibers, which help with bowel movement and thus prevent constipation.
3. Salmon – Safe!
Unlike the fishes notoriously know to contain high amounts of adsorbed mercury (mackerel, swordfish, etc), salmon is a low-mercury fish and makes it on the list of the best foods to eat when pregnant. Salmon also has copious amounts of high-quality protein and omega-3-fats, which are important for both, your health and your baby. To be on the safe side, FDA recommends eating not more than 12 ounces of such low-mercury fish per week.
4. Yogurt – Yummy!
Yogurt is a complete diet supplement – calcium, protein, folic acid. It is a perfect nutrient package for a growing baby and its to-be mother. Yogurt also effectively replaces milk for lactose intolerant individuals. It can be consumed with salads, as fruit-smoothies, as a low-calorie substitute for creams and mayonnaise, you name it. Another very important factor is the ‘pro-biotics’ or good active bacteria that are found in yogurt, which promote digestion and prevent stomach infections.
5. Carrots – Crunchy!
Carrots are the ultimate source when it comes to vitamin A, thus they have a special place among the foods to eat when pregnant. Vitamin A is crucial for the proper development of your baby’s bones, eyes and teeth. Carrots are also good sources of vitamin C and B6. And, last but not the least, they serve as a perfectly healthy snack to munch on whenever you are hungry or bored!
6. Whole grains – Wholesome!
There is a huge and rather rich variety of whole grains that are an excellent choice during pregnancy. They include oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, barley and many more. Surprisingly, popcorn too comes under this heading! Whole grains contain good amounts of vitamin E, which is important in the development of the baby’s immune system, along with fiber and other nutrients. They also contain selenium and phytonutrients, both of which are plant compounds associated with the protection of cells.
7. Nuts – Naturally!
Keeping in mind the importance of minerals in the diet, nuts are the best foods to fulfill their demand. Nuts contain copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, calcium and even vitamin E, thus they are the complete mineral package. The versatility of their use in foods makes them an attractive option during pregnancy.