Giving birth is probably the most difficult task that nature has bestowed upon women. Now there’s no taking away the pain but it’s always good to do the little you can; women need to be extra careful about what they eat or put in their system. Let us guide you with some pregnancy superfoods. Before we start doling out informing you about these nutritious foods for you and your baby, here is a disclaimer: Please go to your doctor or dietician before you start or stop any foods which aren’t part of your regular diet. This is a pretty generic list which comprises foods which have been universally accepted as healthy for pregnant women but you can never be too sure. Here goes:
The reason, we are placing lentils (kidney beans, Chickpea, green gram beans, yellow pigeon peas, etc) at the top of our pregnancy superfoods list is because during pregnancy, hormones tend to be all over the place and they don't even spare the taste buds. So if for any reason you feel averse to food or feel your appetite decreasing, it might be a good idea to boil some lentils, and have them as a soup. Lentils are rich in protein and other nutrients, so if nothing else, they will ensure that you and your baby get the required nutrition for the day. Adda Bjarnadottir, MS writes in healthline.com that "Legumes are great sources of folate, fibre, and many other nutrients. Folate is a very important nutrient during pregnancy and may reduce the risk of some birth defects and diseases." We agree with this 100%. However, try to avoid sprouts as they contain certain bacterias which might not be great for the baby.
Yogurt And Milk
Pregnant women require more calcium and protein in their bodies. They need them for healthy development of the foetus' bones and strength. Yogurt is a probiotic, and a great source of protein, thus it helps in the development of good bacterias in the body along with healthy bones which is very crucial for mothers and their children. Moreover, yogurt helps in digestion and absorption of food which is also very necessary for pregnant ladies.
Don’t forget to have some milk as well, as it is a good source of calcium thus having the ability to make your baby strong. However, avoid having unpasteurised milk, no, try and AVOID any unpasteurised products (like, juice and cheese) because there might be some untreated harmful bacteria.
Green leafy vegetables contain nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium that are so good for women who are pregnant. If you find yourself pregnant, it's a good idea to add broccoli, spinach, kale, bok choy, dark-green lettuce, etc to your diet. However you don't want a low birth weight so, don't just rely only on these leafy veggies. To add some substance to your meal, you can have sweet potatoes as they are high in vitamin A and are responsible for the differentiation of tissues in the fetus. Having said so, don’t forget to wash them as there might be some germs and bacterias that you would want to avoid for you and your baby’s health.
Let's start by talking about fresh fruits. Fresh fruits like berries, oranges, and grapefruit are extremely good during pregnancy. Apart from being a good source of water, these fruits are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, healthy carb, and fibre. Other fresh fruits like avocado are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, potassium, copper, and fibre. These vitamins are responsible for building the brain, skin, and tissues of the fetus. So, don’t skip on these.
Now, dried fruits, on the other hand, may not be a good source of water, but they contain a high concentration of nutrition like fresh fruits which is important during pregnancy. So, do keep on munching on walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, cashew nuts, etc. We would especially recommend you have prunes as they have a high content of fiber, potassium, sorbitol and vitamin K which are very helpful in relieving constipation. Also, dates as apart from having a high concentration of fibre and potassium, it also has iron and plant compounds which during the third trimester helps ease cervical dilation and reduces the need to induce labour. Thus, prepare yourself for your baby’s birthday by having a lot of fruits.
Meats And Eggs
If you are a non-vegetarian, then you must include salmon, lean meat, and eggs in your diet as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other essential nutrients that are good for your baby and you. Plus, if you decide to include eggs, they will not also be heavy on your pockets. However, you should avoid unnecessary fats, as you don't want to add on to birth weight, and if you choose to have fish, then restrictions it to one or twice a week as the excess of mercury is not good for your body.
Now, here are some additional superfoods that you can consume during pregnancy. Fish liver oil a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D and A, whole grains such as quinoa and oats as they are rich in protein and fibre, and are essential for you and your baby, and don't forget to consume a lot of water and stay hydrated.
So consult your doctor today before you decide to include any of the superfoods mentioned. And, Head out to your favourite superfood store to take extra care of you and your family. Best of luck!
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