5 Must-Have Foods During Pregnancy
A crucial things to keep in mind during pregnancy is maintaining a healthy diet. During this time, your body requires additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is recommended that you take in 350–500 extra calories each day during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. A diet that lacks essential nutrients will negatively affect your baby’s growth. Also, losing pregnancy weight will be much easier if you practice healthy eating habits.
Here are 5 super nutritious foods to eat when you’re pregnant.
1. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A, which is essential for healthy fetal development. As a pregnant woman, it is advised to increase your daily vitamin intake by 10%–40%. About 100–150 gms of cooked sweet potatoes fulfils the daily intake of vitamin A of the body. Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre, so they make you feel full, improve digestive health and mobility and reduce blood sugar spikes.
2. Dairy products
Consumption of extra protein and calcium is recommended during pregnancy to meet the needs of the growing fetus. Dairy products are rich in two types of high-quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy is one of the best sources of calcium and phosphorus. Yogurt is particularly beneficial for pregnant women. It contains a lot more calcium than any other alternative. Some types of yogurt also contain enhanced probiotic bacteria, which help a woman’s digestive health during pregnancy. Consuming probiotic supplements, such as Yakult, during pregnancy may reduce the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes and vaginal infections.
Berries are loaded with water, essential carbohydrates, vitamin C, fibre and plant compounds. Berries are known to have high amounts of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. Also, Vitamin C is necessary for skin health and the immune system. Along with providing a lot of flavours, they provide a huge nutritious value, but with relatively few calories.
4. Whole grains
With pregnancy come higher calorie requirements, especially during the second and third trimesters. Whole grains help meet those needs. Unlike refined grains, whole grains are packed with fibre, vitamins and plant compounds. Oats also contain a fair amount of proteins, which are essential for pregnant women. Additionally, whole grains are loaded with B-vitamins, fibre and magnesium, which are also very important during pregnancy.
5. Dried fruits
Dried fruits are generally high in calories, fibre and various vitamins and minerals. A single serving of dried fruits can provide a huge portion of the recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron and potassium. Dates along with raisins are high in fibre, potassium, iron and plant compounds. Frequent date consumption in the third trimester promotes cervical dilation and reduces the need to induce labour. However, dried fruits also contain high amounts of natural sugar. So, avoid the candy-like varieties.