List of Good Foods for Expecting Mothers
Pregnancy is the best time for you to change your diet regime and
adopt healthy eating habits. With the baby growing healthily inside
your tummy, you know everything you eat matters the most to him or
her, thereby giving you that extra determination to do it correctly.
Generally, the best foods for pregnant women are beneficial for all.
Eating right is important during pregnancy as the little one needs
just a bit more great nutrients to grow healthily. And it should all
start from as early as first trimester and second trimester.
The dietician author of the book “Expect the Best, Your Guide to
Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy” Elizabeth Ward
recommends eggs for expecting mothers. With just 90 kcal, an egg
provides no less than 12 important vitamins and minerals. It is a
good source of essential proteins, which aid in cell growth in your
While preventing NTDs or neural tube defects, adding eggs in your
recipes are good for brain health and overall growth of your baby as
eggs are packed with choline. Ward is not convinced that cholesterol
found in natural food like eggs can be harmful to your body if
consumed in moderate quantity; at least not as harmful as consuming
food with high saturated fat, where eggs are low in. 1-2 eggs daily
in a low-saturated-diet should not be a problem for an ordinary
woman during pregnancy.
Flaxseeds are also one of the best foods for pregnant women. They
are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid or
DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human body as we need them
to metabolize some fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and
K. Human body cannot produce the fatty acids and have to depend on
food as a major supply.
DHA is a vital component in retina and brain. Sufficient intake of
DHA-rich foods by expecting mothers are critical to the development
of eyes and brain of their babies. Usually, you do not take
flaxseeds alone in high quantity. Just sprinkle it over your
cereals, soups and other snacks.
Kidney beans are among the top food choices for pregnant women. They
are a great source of carbohydrates and low-fat protein. Good amount
of protein is needed especially to help your baby to build new cells
to grow. Kidney beans are high in fiber and help to regulate the
digestive tract for better gastrointestinal health and avoid
Rich in iron, it is a food you can't afford to miss during
pregnancy. According to Mayo Clinic, a cup of boiled kidney beans
supply around 5 mg of iron. When you are pregnant, you need a daily
iron intake of 27 mg.
According to research done by the University of Granada, two
servings of salmon weekly are what you need to reach the minimum
recommended level of omega-3 fatty acid during pregnancy. Salmon consumption raises not only the
levels of omega-3 fatty acids in both mother and child, but also the
levels of antioxidant defenses, as a result of retinol (vitamin A)
and selenium content in the fish. Retinol and selenium levels were
noticeably increased in plasma of pregnant women, while selenium
levels were also increased in the babies. Researchers suggested that
the rise of antioxidant defenses help prevent oxidative stress
It is very important for pregnant women to know that too much intake
of preformed vitamin A (usually found in animal sources including
eggs, milk and liver) can be dangerous. A safer source of vitamin A
can be obtained via fruits and vegetables in the form of carotenoids,
which are converted by your body to vitamin A when needed.
Cereals provide expecting mothers with an array of essential
nutrients, especially those fortified with calcium and iron.
According to the USDA, A 3-quarter cup of specially fortified cereal
contributes 18 mg out of 27 mg iron required by pregnant women. At
the same time, it also offers 400 mcg of folic acid, out of the
recommended 800 mcg. Then, a cup of cereal fortified
with calcium provides with 100-1,000 mg out of 1,000 mg calcium
required by pregnant women.