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11 Superfoods to Eat During Pregnancy

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Pregnancy can be an exciting as well as stressful news for a woman, especially in the first pregnancy. There is a turmoil of doubts in their mind regarding eating habits, sleeping positions, and so on. But mommies, a healthy and balanced diet makes your pregnancy much easier and stress-free. Pregnancy can make you extremely hungry as you never thought possible. You have to take care of yourself and your baby growing in the womb.

As your body is going through major changes during pregnancy it affects you as well as your baby. Your body requires more energy and nutrients to stay healthy and strong. Vitamins and minerals play a key role in supporting a baby’s growth and development in the womb including –

Superfoods to eat during pregnancy

  • Folic acid
  • Proteins
  • Calcium
  • Iodine
  • Iron-rich foods
  • Vitamin A, D, and C
  • Carbohydrates

Studies suggest that a pregnant woman must consume 350 to 500 extra calories than normal. But, what exactly you should eat during pregnancy? Here are some best and delicious foods to load up in your tummy –

1: Eggs  

Eggs are considered as one of the nutritious, inexpensive, and easy to cook food. Whether they are fried, scrambled, boiled, or served as an omelet, eggs are the gold standard for prenatal protein. They are a great source of proteins, vitamins, calcium, and minerals. It contains choline that helps for the healthy development of your baby’s brain and reduces the risk of birth defects. One big egg loaded with 6 grams of high-quality protein is sufficient for a day.

I may have a pregnancy diet tip for you! When it comes to meat, go for leaner options, and remember to remove the skin from poultry. Also, try to avoid adding extra fat or oil while cooking your meat. It’s all about keeping things healthy and nourishing for you and your little one.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

2: Dark and green leafy vegetables  

These superfoods tend to be higher in nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, iron, folate, calcium, and potassium. Leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale should be on top in the pregnancy grocery list. They also rich in antioxidants that enhance your immunity helps in digestion, and prevent constipation.

3: Milk  

Milk is supposed to be a complete food loaded with calcium and other micronutrients. Studies suggest that maternal milk intake during pregnancy can help to increase the birth weight and length of your baby.

4: Dairy products  

During pregnancy, your diet should be full of protein and calcium. Dairy products like plain yogurt, cheese, paneer can fulfill this requirement easily. They contain two high-quality protein named – casein and whey. Greek yogurts are full of protein and calcium which helps to reduce the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections, and allergies.

If you’re searching for pregnancy-friendly fruits, I’m here to help! Consider adding some delicious options like cantaloupe, honeydew melon, mangoes, prunes, and apricots to your diet. These fruits might not only offer great flavours but may also provide essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

5: Beans and lentils  

If you are vegetarian then beans and lentils are a great source of proteins, iron, folate, fiber, and calcium for you. Beans and legumes like chickpeas, soybeans helps to reduce the chances of neural defects and low birth weight.

6: Fruits  

Fruits such as bananas, oranges, berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, carbs, and potassium should include in your daily diet particularly when you are pregnant. Seasonal, frozen, and tinned fruits with no added salt or sugar are the best choice. Choose fruits with different colors to get multiple nutrients.

7: Nuts  

Nuts are a super-healthy and delicious snack full of healthy fats, proteins, fibers, and minerals. Almonds, walnuts, dates help reduce the risk of premature labor and aids in the development of a baby’s nervous system. Daily a handful of nuts can help you to keep you strong and healthy.

8: Lean red meat  

Your body required more iron and protein since you are pregnant. Lean meat of chicken, pork, and beef are excellent choices to get it. They also full of vitamin B, and choline. Meat provides a hefty dose of vitamin B6, which helps the baby’s tissue and brain growth while easing mom’s morning sickness.

From my perspective, I highly recommend including carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin in your pregnancy diet. These nutritious vegetables are not only delicious but also rich in vital nutrients such as vitamin A and potassium.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

9: Fatty fish

Fatty fishes like salmon, tuna are excellent sources of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. These nutrients are essential for a pregnant woman as they help your baby grow healthy brain and eyes. Salmon is a safe fish to consume as it is low in mercury and considered safe for expectant mommies.

10: Fish liver oil  

Fish liver oils are made from the oily liver of fish, especially cod. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps to the healthy growth of the brain and eyes of a baby.

11: Water  

Keeping yourself hydrated is the most important part of pregnancy. As you are pregnant, your daily requirement of water gets double. So, stay hydrated by consuming the required amount of water. It also flushes out toxic material from your body and keeps you healthy.

Also Read: Implantation Symptoms: Evidence-Based Guide to Early Pregnancy Signs

Do you need vitamin or iron supplements despite of having healthy food?

Yes, you need vitamin supplements. According to the NHS, you need to take 400 micrograms of  folic acid  every day with a healthy diet for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy.  This protects your baby from brain and spinal defects.

How much should you gain during pregnancy?

It vary depending on the woman’s age, her current weight, and fetal development. However, the average pregnancy weight gain is between 10 kg to 12.5 kg.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy foods are important to support your health and the development of your baby. There are also a few foods and beverages you should consider reducing or eliminating from your diet, these may obstruct or harm your health:

  • Mercury can be present in polluted water and it has a very negative impact on your health (especially during pregnancy). Avoid mercury-rich foods like shark, swordfish, mackerel, tuna, marlin and sea bass. Certain seafood like shrimp and salmon are relatively safe.
  • Undercooked protein like fish, meat, and chicken can cause serious health conditions including bacterial and viral infections. Not only can it cause damage to your health, but it can also severely affect your baby’s development and lead to defects.  
  • Caffeine is easily absorbed and can accumulate in the placenta during pregnancy, this can lead to low birth weight. Low weight at birth is highly-associated with higher risks of complications and infant death. Speak to your doctor about what amount of coffee is safe to consume (or whether you need to cut it out completely).

Also Read: Constipation in Pregnancy: Causes and Research-Based Remedies

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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