Maintaining a balanced diet is of supreme importance during pregnancy. When we are pregnant, our body requires additional nutrients, minerals and vitamins. You need at least 400 extra calories regularly while you are on your second trimester. An insufficient diet may have adverse effects on the development of your baby. Again poor eating practices and excessive weight gain increase complications.
What should an expecting mother eat?
Here are some nutritious foods that you need to eat when you are expecting a baby:
- Dairy products- Your body needs extra calcium and protein for meeting the needs of the fetus growing in your womb. Dairy products are rich in whey protein and casein. They also provide phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc and multiple B vitamins. So, drink milk, consume yogurt, and take pro-biotic supplements.
- Eggs- Eggs are the best health foods for expecting mothers as they have endless number of nutrients. One large sized egg has 77 calories, high-quality fat and protein, multiple minerals and vitamins. Eggs also contain choline which is essential for development of the fetus’s brain.
- Sweet potatoes- Sweet potato is good for growth of the baby in its mother’s womb. They contain beta-carotene, a primary source of vitamin A for expecting mothers. They also have fiber.
- Green, leafy vegetables- Broccoli and green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale contain various nutrients essential for the female body during pregnancy. These nutrients include vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K, , fiber , iron, potassium, folate, calcium, and vitamin A. Furthermore, dark, leafy vegetables also have antioxidants that benefit digestion and the immune system.
- Salmon- Pregnant women should eat sea foods wisely, not more than twice a week. At the same time, salmon is of great nutritious value. It contains omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These fatty acids build the eyes and brain of the fetus.
- Lean meat- Pork, chicken, and beef are great sources of good protein. Other than protein, pork and beef are rich in choline, B vitamins, and iron – all of which are required in higher amounts by an expecting mother. Low iron levels can result in premature delivery as well as low weight of baby at the time of birth.
- Berries- Increase intake of berries as they are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, water and healthy carbs. The vitamin C present in berries help in the absorption of iron. Also, they are not high in calories but high in nutrients.
- Avocados- Pregnant women are also advised to consume avocados as they have fiber, potassium, vitamin C, copper, B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
- Water- You must drink sufficient amount of water regularly during pregnancy to remain hydrated. Drink 2-3 liters of water daily to avoid dehydration.
The bottom line is that what you eat during those months directly affect your and the baby’s well-being. So, consult your doctor and consume nutrient-dense foods for a well-nourished pregnancy. At the same time, avoid foods and beverages like unpasteurized milk, undercooked foods, caffeine, and alcohol.