Figuring out what to eat when pregnant doesn’t need to be tricky. Here you will find a list of healthy foods that are beneficial for pregnant women, foods that can help you nourish your growing bump.
What To Eat When Pregnant?
You may be thinking that eating healthy probably involves bland rice cakes, boring salads, and oatmeal without sugar (yikes). Fear not! You can eat tasty food and not feel guilty.
First, learn about the individual foods that are good for you, then use those foods to make your healthy meals and snacks.
Also, this list is not all-inclusive. There are more foods in each category that offer similar benefits.
Healthy Pregnancy Foods
Folate is a B vitamin (B9). It is an important vitamin for cell growth and metabolism, especially during pregnancy. Folate is believed to help prevent birth defects in the brain and spinal cord of your baby. It is found in it’s synthetic or man-made form, folic acid, in most prenatal vitamins; however, it can also be found naturally in the foods listed below.
- Pinto beans
- Black eyed peas
Foods to help with hydration
Food with high water content is perfect for helping pregnant women stay hydrated. Dehydration during pregnancy can be dangerous for your baby and yourself. It can affect the fluid in your amniotic sac, the placenta, and the body’s ability to rid itself of waste. Drinking water and these foods can help keep you hydrated.
- Celery Lettuce
- Green Peppers
- Melons (Cantaloupe, Watermelon)
Foods with fiber
Fiber helps with pushing everything along and can prevent constipation which affects approximately half of all pregnant women. According to The American Pregnancy Association, not all constipation is due to low fiber as iron supplements, hormones, stress and lack of exercise can cause contribute to constipation. If you know you have a low fiber intake, consider the foods listed below.
- Black beans
- Brown rice
- Dried Figs
- Sweet potatoes
Foods with potassium
Having trouble with cramps, ask your doctor about your potassium levels. Potassium helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.
- Lima beans
- White beans
Foods with magnesium
Magnesium is important for balancing blood sugar levels in the body. According to this source, not having enough magnesium can result in serious conditions like preterm labor, preeclampsia and other serious conditions.
- Black beans
- Dark Chocolate
Foods (& drink) with zinc
Zinc helps with cell division and cellular metabolism and there is lots of that happening during pregnancy, so your body and your baby needs zinc. Zinc is also important for health and immunity. Below is a list of foods with zinc.
- Meats (chicken, pork, and beef)
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
- Fortified Cereal
Foods with vitamin C
Vitamin C can help you protect you and your baby from infection. It also helps with iron absorption and adequate amounts of iron are necessary to prevent anemia.
- Orange Juice
Antioxidant rich foods
If you want a full data rich article on the necessity of antioxidants for pregnancy read this.
Foods with beta-carotene
The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A. Vitamin A benefits your baby’s eye, bone, and skin development.
- Sweet potatoes
Each of these foods can help you eat well through your pregnancy and beyond. However, be sure to connect with a nutritionist or your medical prenatal team to find foods that support your individual needs.
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