Eating during pregnancy can be confusing responsibility, especially with so much conflicting information. Must you really eat for two? Do you need meat for protein, or is it too fatty? Are eggs okay, or do they have too much cholesterol?
However there are many of ways to ensure that you are getting the nutrients that you and your baby need. Here’s some advice from nutrition experts and doctors on the best foods for pregnancy:
In addition to more than 12 vitamins and minerals, eggs contain a lot of protein, which is essential for pregnancy. During pregnancy, your baby’s cells are growing at an exponential rate, and every cell is made of protein. Plus, as a pregnant woman, you have your own protein needs. Eggs are also rich in choline, which promotes your baby’s overall growth and brain health, while helping prevent birth defects. Hence eggs are essential for a pregnant woman.
You already know that it’s important to get enough protein during pregnancy, but you may not yet realize that fibre could become your new best friend. When you’re pregnant, your gastrointestinal tract slows down, putting you at risk for constipation and haemorrhoids. Fibre can help prevent and relieve these problems. Beans are great because they are rich in protein as well as fibre.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, C, folate, and fibre. And like beans, they’re inexpensive and versatile.
Whole grains are important in pregnancy because they’re high in fibre and they contain nutrients, including vitamin E and selenium. There are lots of whole grains including: popcorn (yes, popcorn is a whole grain), oatmeal and barley.
GREEN, LEAFY VEGETABLES
Green, leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as the all-important folate.
COLOURFUL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Eating plenty of colourful (green, red, orange, yellow, purple) fruits and vegetables ensures that you and your baby get a variety of nutrients. Each colour group provides a different vitamin and mineral. Also, during the later stages of pregnancy, the baby ‘tastes’ the foods you eat through the amniotic fluid. So if you expose your baby to a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables in the womb, you’ll increase the chance that your baby will recognize and accept those fruits and veggies later on.
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