According to a study published on Science Advances, pregnant women are like endurance athletes running a 40-week marathon. And like athletes, a careful choice of what food to consume can yield positive results—in our case, good health for the baby.
Being pregnant entails a more conscious look into the mum’s diet, which must be healthy and well-balanced for her and the baby’s safety. Check out these six food types every pregnant woman should eat.
#1 Dairy products
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and protein. The recommended amount of dairy products for soon-to-be mums is three to four servings a day. Avoid unpasteurised milk to protect yourself from disease-causing microbes.
#2 Dried beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are also good sources of protein. Not only do they help you avoid constipation due to their high fibre offering, lentils also offer high nutritional value because they contain folic acid, iron, and Vitamin B9 that are all essential nutrients for pregnant women. Food with folic acid helps prevent birth defects in babies including spina bifida or abnormal formation of spine and spinal cord.
#3 Lean Meat
If you’re aiming for 75 to 100 grams of protein per day, which is what most experts recommend, lean meat is an excellent source. You can get it from lamb, seafood, chicken, liver, and pork. Lean meat is also a good source of iron, which is crucial for the development of your little one’s red blood cell supply.
#4 Whole grains
Most grains are credited for their high fibre content and nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B—all important for your baby’s development. Whole grains are preferred over refined ones because they carry most of the nutrients you need so make sure to check the label for information on how much grain a product contains. Your sources of whole grain include oatmeal, cereal, cornbread, brown rice, and whole wheat noodles or pasta among others.
Fruits, like berries, have high water content, making them a good source of hydration. They have fibre and vitamin C to aid in iron absorption. Berries are also considered to be natural antioxidants, which help develop your baby’s skin cells and help you fight diseases.
Including the right kind of fish in your diet goes a long way because it’s a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help with your baby’s brain development. When it comes to choosing fish, go for the ones with lower mercury content. These include salmon, tilapia, tuna, catfish, and cod.