Eating well is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Certain foods support fetal growth and development. Others are good for the expecting mother and may help relieve morning sickness. A balanced diet should provide optimal amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as lean protein. Your daily carbs should come from whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fresh fruit. Moms-to-be also need to eat good fats, such as those found in avocado, fish, and unrefined oils.
These foods pack plenty of nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy through pregnancy:
This cruciferous veggie is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber, which keeps you regular and slows sugar absorption into your system. A growing body of research indicates that broccoli may help prevent cancer, boost immunity, and ward off diseases. Due to its low calorie content, it’s ideal for moms-to-be who want to stay fit and healthy.
Loaded with fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, sweet potatoes should be a staple in your diet. These starches are among the best sources of carbs, offering lasting energy. Rich in beta carotene and other antioxidants, they fight free radical damage and strengthen your immune system.
Considered the perfect source of protein, eggs help build and maintain muscle, prevent birth defects in the fetus, and keep hunger at bay. They also contain choline, which supports a healthy pregnancy. The best part is that you can cook them in a multitude of ways, such as vegetable omelet, frittata, egg salad, and homemade desserts.
Sardines, wild salmon, and cod contain essential fatty acids, which support fetal brain development and protect your heart. The same goes for tuna and mackerel. However, expecting mothers should consume these fish in moderation because of their high mercury content. Salmon is a safe choice anyway, so make sure you include it in your diet.
If you’re not a big fan of fish, eat avocado. This creamy fruit is low in sugar and high in essential fats. It’s an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and phosphorus. One serving provides about 26 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of folate, and 13 percent of the recommended allowance of vitamin B6. Additionally, it’s higher in potassium than bananas and contains powerful antioxidants that support eye health.