10 Foods Expecting Mothers Should Be Eating

Eating a healthy diet during your pregnancy is essential. For starters, the food you eat and the nutrition you get directly affect the health of your unborn child. Secondly, when you’re healthier and stronger, you’re less likely to experience unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and constipation and the more likely to remain strong and energetic throughout your 40-week gestational period.

Some women go off the rails with their diet when they’re pregnant, knowing they’re supposed to gain weight, but the reality is that you only need an extra 300 calories a day to help support your growing baby. That means that an apple, a small piece of cheese, and a glass of skim milk should do the trick.

It’s vital that you get the nutrients you need to help support your baby’s growth, without packing on too many pounds. Gaining too much weight during your pregnancy can increase your risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature delivery.

At the Center for Women’s Health, we want you and your baby to have a healthy, problem-free pregnancy. To that end, we’ve come up with a list of 10 foods packed with important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for a healthy pregnancy:

Leafy greens like kale and spinach

Leafy greens are packed with all the nutrients pregnant women need such as fiber, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. Kale and spinach are like a nutrient cocktail. Plus, the fiber in leafy greens helps prevent constipation, a common symptom during pregnancy.  

Yogurt

Everyone needs calcium, but babies with growing bones especially need adequate amounts of it. Calcium also contains protein and folate, which are essential for a healthy, pregnancy. Bonus: The active cultures in yogurt help soothe tummy troubles and prevent yeast infections.

Salmon

This superfood contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, also called DHA and EPA, which help your baby’s brain and eyes develop. Salmon is also a good source of protein and calcium.

Eggs

Not only are eggs simple to prepare, but these small sources of protein are packed with essential nutrients. Choline, which is found in eggs, helps brain development and many other important processes in your body.

Sweet potatoes

Chock-full of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, iron, and beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are a tasty side dish with almost all the essential nutrients your body needs for a healthy pregnancy. Swap out boring russet potatoes for these delicious and versatile nutrient-packed treats.

Nuts

Pack nuts with you wherever you go. They can help curb your hunger, and they make a nutritious snack. Magnesium-rich foods like nuts can help you reduce your risks of premature labor and also help in the development of your baby’s nervous system.

Beans and lentils

Lean protein is essential for a healthy pregnancy, and beans and lentils are excellent sources of lean protein for vegetarians, as well as carnivores. Plus they’re packed with fiber, iron, calcium, and folate.

Lean meat

Lean cuts of beef, chicken, and pork are top sources of high-quality protein and also iron, choline, and vitamin B. You need all of these nutrients in higher amounts during pregnancy.

Avocados

Although some people think avocados are a vegetable because they’re green, they are actually a fruit — and, in fact, a very healthy one. Avocados are filled with good fats, which help the development of your baby’s skin, brain, and tissues. Avocados are also a good source of fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins E, C, and B.

Berries

Berries are an excellent carbohydrate because the water and fiber content fills you up while not causing a spike in blood sugar. They make healthy snacks filled with nutrients such as vitamin C and antioxidants that keep you and your baby healthy.

For more information on what to eat and what not to eat during your pregnancy, call us at the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas, or make an appointment online.

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