By Cathy Norton
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for both the mother and baby during pregnancy. Here are ten foods that pregnant mothers should eat to ensure that they get all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
1. Eggs – Eggs contain a lot of protein, which help the baby’s cells develop. They also contain twelve vitamins and minerals, including choline, which helps with the baby’s brain development.
2. Salmon – Salmon is another food that contains quality proteins that are good for fetal development. This food also has a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the baby’s brain and vision. While it’s not good to eat other types of fish during pregnancy due to their high mercury content, salmon has lower amounts that are safe for pregnant mothers. Still, they should only eat salmon once a week at the most.
3. Beans – Beans are one of the healthiest foods, since they are full of vitamins and minerals, but also protein and fiber. Fiber is important for pregnant women because it helps with digestion, which can slow down during pregnancy and cause constipation or hemorrhoids.
4. Sweet potatoes – The orange color in sweet potatoes comes from carotenoids, which convert to vitamin A once eaten. Vitamin A is essential for vision development in a baby. Sweet potatoes also have vitamin C, for the immune system, folate, which helps form DNA and RNA, and fiber for the digestive system.
5. Whole grains – Whole grains are high in fiber, vitamin E, and selenium, which helps the immune system function and will help your baby stay healthy in the womb. Whole grains come from a variety of sources, such as whole wheat flour and bread, but also brown rice, oats, barley, rye, and quinoa.
6. Nuts – Nuts are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats, which help with brain development. Walnuts have the highest amount of omega-3s, but beechnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and almonds are also good for pregnancy.
7. Green leafy vegetables – Leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard have lots of nutrients. These include vitamin A, for vision, vitamin C, for the immune system, and vitamin K, for blood clotting.
8. Lean Meats – Lean meats with lower fat contentsare a great source of protein for both mother and baby. Whether poultry, pork, or red meat, it’s best to eat meat that has most of the fat cut off.
9. Yogurt – In addition to the protein found in yogurt, it also has a high calcium content. This will help your baby’s bones grow as well as keep yours strong and healthy.
10. Berries – Berries are a sweet treat that are easy to eat when a pregnant mom is suffering from nausea. They are also loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron and assists in cell formation.