Now that you’re pregnant and are carrying such a valuable little thing, you have to take good care of yourself – and knowing which are the best pregnancy foods is important for that!
Pregnancy is a magical time, but no one said it was going to be easy: You are facing lots of changes, you are moody and emotional, and to make matters worse, you can’t even find consolation in food! Yes, of course you can give in to some pregnancy cravings, but you also need to control yourself and have a healthy pregnancy diet.
However, as there are foods to avoid during pregnancy, there are others that will be great for you. Are you ready to discover which are the pregnancy power foods? Then don’t miss the following lines!
Pregnancy foods from the animal world
Among the many foods to avoid during pregnancy, you will find raw fish (goodbye sushi!), uncooked meat or cured meats such as ham. But don’t worry! If you’re a keen meat-eater, there are other options (besides making sure that your meat and fish are completely cooked). Take a look at the following yummy pregnancy foods:
- Lean meats: Protein and iron make lean meats one of the best pregnancy foods. They’re good to make sure that your baby is well supplied with blood cells and to fight anaemia in pregnancy. Make sure it’s really lean, though, and that you cook it well and in the adequate hygienic conditions. For instance, if you go for red meat, make sure it is at least 95% fat free.
- Salmon: There are many ladies who stop eating fish during pregnancy to avoid the mercury, but, in fact, cold-water fish is one of the best foods during this stage. They are rich in omega-3 acids, which are especially important for pregnancy because our body can’t produce them alone. Besides, salmon will help with the development of your baby’s eyes thanks to containing vitamins A and E.
- Eggs: Eggs have more than 12 vitamins and are rich in protein and choline, which will help the growth of your baby in many ways, from brain development to the prevention of neural tube defects. If you don’t like fish, some eggs also contain omega3 (check the label of the brand to see if they do). One egg is around 90 calories.
- Yoghurt: Full of calcium to help your little ones’ bones to grow, as well as protein and folate! Besides, it will help prevent stomach issues and yeast infections.
Pregnancy foods optimum for vegetarians
If you’re a vegetarian or you don’t like fish and meat that much, don’t worry: you have almost as many options as your omnivore pregnant peers!
These are the rest of wonderful pregnancy foods to boost your energy and maintain your health:
- Avocado: Avocados are one of the best foods for pregnancy… And one of the best foods, period! They are the key ingredient that takes many dishes to another level. They are high in (good) fats and calories, so you can’t overdo it either, but they have many necessary elements: potassium, vitamins C and B6, and folate. Some experts say that vitamin B6 can help with morning sickness, so if that is one of the side effects your growing baby has brought to you, you know what to do!
- Whole grains: They contain fibre, folic acid and iron – one of the best combos in pregnancy foods. Bread, cereals or rice will do, so you have plenty of ways to include them in your diet.
- Lentils & other beans: Lentils are a source of protein, folate and iron. Besides, they are rich in fibre, which may help if constipation is one of the pregnancy side effects you’re experiencing.
- Nuts: High in fats, but full of vitamin E and minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, potassium or copper. Besides, they are so easy to include in your diet: You can eat them as a snack or just toss them into anything!
- Dark green leaves: One of the best pregnancy foods, since they are full of nutrients and vitamins A, C and K. Some go-to options are spinach and the nowadays trendy kale – you will find many tasty recipes online!
- Colours, colours and more colours: There is a reason why foods and veggies have so many different and bright colours: It’s because they have different vitamins and nutrients! So besides making sure that your diet is healthy and full of energetic foods, make sure that it is colourful too! For instance, yellow bananas are a source of potassium; carrots and red peppers will provide you with vitamins B6 and C and beta-carotene, which your body will convert into vitamin A. Besides, if you eat many different fruits and vegetables, your baby will be more accustomed to different tastes. Isn’t it amazing?
There is one key element that we haven’t mentioned and that isn’t exactly a pregnancy food, but that it is equally important – even more! That basic element, the most necessary for all of us, pregnant or not, is water. It has countless benefits! Being hydrated is very important in pregnancy, since water will help build new baby cells, will give him more nutrients and will help removing toxins. Besides, it can also help with constipation and making you feel more satiated – so it’s a good thing to opt for if your pregnancy cravings seem to be out of control.
As you can see, these awesome pregnancy foods are enough for you to have not only a tasty diet, but also a very healthy one! Who needs crisps with all this yumminess? Don’t forget that you can always ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins if you feel that you’re not getting all the nutrients your body demands at this stage. But all these pregnancy foods should do a decent enough job!