A healthy diet for pregnancy is the main concern to enjoy the journey of maternity. The pregnancy diet is the way to make your pregnancy time more graceful. Another thing is that a woman needs more nutrition during pregnancy. And choosing a healthy pregnancy meal plan can provide great help to cope with the need for nutrition to a great extent.
Further in the article, you will learn about healthy food for pregnant women that are good for the health of the baby. So, stay tuned with us.
Why is a Healthy Diet For Pregnancy Important?
Choosing the best diet for pregnancy is a must for the expecting mom’s well-being and the fetus’s growth. A pregnant woman’s diet should be high in nutrients and low in sugar, salt, and saturated fats.
A fetus needs an adequate amount of nutrients to grow properly. A healthy diet for pregnancy is the only way to supply the needed nutrients to the fetus. An expecting mother’s body also undergoes physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy. So, having food during pregnancy is also helpful for a pregnant to adjust to these changes.
What are Nutrients in a Healthy Diet For Pregnancy?
An expectant mother needs food high in vitamins and minerals that play a key role in supporting her baby’s growth and proper development. See the nutrients below that you can grab through healthy food during pregnancy:
Folate is the basic need for the growth of the fetus. The healthcare provider also recommended the folic acid supplement from day 1 of the pregnancy. If you take folate-rich foods it will be good for your baby’s growth. Folate is considered the main part of a healthy diet for pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs at least 600 micrograms per day, reducing the risk of neural tube defects.
Iron helps to produce more blood that carries oxygen to your body. A pregnant woman needs 27 milligrams daily to fulfil the need of her baby.
Calcium is the main part of a healthy diet for pregnancy that provides strength to all body parts of the baby. An expecting mother must take 1000 milligrams daily to strengthen the baby’s bones, teeth, muscles and nerves.
Besides them, vitamin D, DHA, Iodine, and Choline are the nutrients in a healthy diet for pregnancy. A woman should not only depend on supplements. They are opting for healthy meals while pregnant as the best way to enhance their nutrition intake.
What Are Pregnancy Superfoods to Get Maximum Nutrients?
You need the maximum nutrients during pregnancy to lead a healthy pregnancy. A healthy diet for pregnancy includes various foods rich in minerals and vitamins to support your baby’s growth. Here I have mentioned some pregnancy superfoods that will help you to enjoy the pregnancy:
Fruits and Vegetables During Pregnancy
Fruits and vegetables contain a sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins that are necessary for the good development of the fetus. Fruits and vegetables also contain fibre that provides aid to deal with constipation, a common problem during pregnancy. A pregnant woman should eat five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Make sure to wash Fruits and vegetables well before eating carefully.
Starchy foods are a good source of energy, minerals, vitamins, and fibre. These foods is a good way to get sufficient minerals without taking too many calories. Here I have mentioned some pregnancy superfoods that are full of starch (carbohydrates):
- Brown bread
- Wheat Pasta
- Breakfast cereals
The wheat-based foods are part of a healthy diet for pregnancy. Make sure to avoid starchy foods made of maida ( white starch).
Protein During Pregnancy
Protein is essential for all over development of the baby. Grab some best sources of protein below to include them in your pregnancy diet menu:
- Meat( but avoid liver)
You should include pulses in the dinner as they are light for digestion and full of nutrients. If you are taking lean meat, then make sure to remove the skin. Also, avoid adding too much while cooking meat.
Dairy in Pregnancy
One glass of milk for pregnancy is a must. Daily consumption of dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt etc., is good for pregnancy to get enough calcium and other nutrients that you and your baby need.
A variety of dairy products are available in the market to choose as per your choice but make sure they should low in fat and sugar. Ensure to avoid unpasteurized dairy products as they may cause listeriosis infection that may lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
What Are The Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy?
Above in the article, I have mentioned some foods you should include in your pregnancy diet to get the essential nutrients for the proper growth of the fetus. But some foods should not be part of a healthy diet for pregnancy. Here I have mentioned seafood to avoid harmful bacteria and viruses that can harm your baby:
Avoid Refrigerated And Uncooked Seafood
You should avoid refrigerated and uncooked foods like seafood labeled nova style, lox, kippered, smoked, or jerky during pregnancy. You can eat smoked seafood, but if it is an ingredient of other cooked dishes.
Avoid Raw Fish And Shellfish
Sushi, sashimi, ceviche, raw oysters, scallops, or clams come in the food category to avoid during pregnancy.
Avoid Unpasteurized Foods
The dairy products like milk, cheese, etc., are part of the healthy diet for pregnancy. But the unpasteurized dairy products may cause foodborne illnesses. You should also avoid soft cheese like brie, feta, blue cheese, etc. if made with unpasteurized milk.
Note:- You should also avoid unpasteurized juice that may put you and your baby at risk.
Avoid Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables
Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating them to avoid getting ill due to contact with bacteria. Always eat cooked sprouts only.
Avoid Excessive Caffeine
While caffeine consumption is not harmful but only if it is limited. The healthcare provider also suggests you limit caffeine in a healthy diet for pregnancy to less than 200 milligrams (mg) daily.
Whether the quantity of alcohol is less or more, it can’t be part of a healthy diet for pregnancy. It would help if you avoided it altogether from the day you know about your pregnancy. Alcohol can be the cause of miscarriage or stillbirth. Alcohol can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause facial deformities and intellectual disability.
Avoid Seafood High in Mercury
No doubt, seafood can be a great source to get sufficient protein and other vitamins that are helpful for the growth of the fetus, but Some fish and shellfish contain a high level of mercury that can be harmful to your baby’s nervous system.
The big sizes of fish may contain a high level of mercury. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages you to avoid the following seafood that can be harmful to your baby:
- Bigeye tuna
- King mackerel
- Orange roughy
Now you are thinking about what is safe for you to consume. Here I have mentioned some seafood that has little mercury. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends an entirely safe diet of 8 to 12 ounces (224 to 336 grams) — two or three servings of seafood a week during pregnancy.
Here is the list. Check out:
- Light canned tuna
- Pacific oysters
Always watch your diet to avoid problems and risks during pregnancy.
What Recommended Servings Should Be in a Healthy Diet For Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, you need extra nutrients to meet the requirement of the growing baby. For that, you should have eaten more serves following food groups. Therefore, you should put various food groups in your pregnancy diet to provide the essential nutrients to your growing fetus.
The need for nutrients in the baby also enhances with the size of your baby. Therefore, you need to change your pregnancy diet meals daily to get all essential vitamins and proteins for your baby’s growth. Never go for forced eating or overeating but opt for a healthy diet for pregnancy that is not only full of nutrition but tasty also.
|Food Group||Server Per Day|
|Vegetables and legumes/beans||5|
|Grains and cereals, mostly wholegrain and/or high-fibre cereals||8|
What are the Foods That Should Be Limited During Pregnancy?
Sugar, fat, and salt are included in a healthy diet for pregnancy, but the consumption of these items should be limited. You should avoid foods that are high in sugar and salt. You should also avoid food containing saturated fat, added salt and sugars, and alcohol for the safety of you and your baby.
What Are Healthy Snacks For Pregnant Women?
If you feel hungry between meals, then don’t move to eat snacks that are high in sugar and salt. Then what to do? There is a variety of snacks that are best during pregnancy. You can also include those in your pregnancy diet menu.
Here is the list:
- Fresh fruits like apples, bananas, etc
- Vegetable soup
- Fresh salad vegetables such as carrots, celery, or cucumber
- Milky Drinks
- Baked potatoes
- Baked beans toast
- Plain yoghurt
- Pitta bread with grated cheese
- A fruited tea cake
- A slice of toasted fruit bread
If you are taking high sugar, such as cream, chocolate, crisps, high-sugar biscuits, cake, pastries, pudding, fizzy drinks, etc., then cut them from your healthy diet for pregnancy. These foods have zero nutritional value so avoid them. If you have a craving for highly sugary foods, then you can take small portions of the foods in moderation.
A healthy diet for pregnancy is necessary for the health of the baby and mother. I have mentioned some super pregnancy foods, like dairy products, fruits, etc., that you can include in your pregnancy diet.
You should wash fruits and vegetables carefully to remove the dirt that can harm your unborn baby. Cook the raw meat well so that you can digest it carefully. Don’t store any food in the refrigerator for later use. Always eat fresh food to get the maximum minerals to support the baby’s growth.
The stored foods can be heavy for digestion while pregnant and may cause digestion problems. Add a variety of superfoods to your healthy diet for pregnancy to meet the requirement of vitamins and minerals for your baby’s growth.
FAQs Regarding Healthy Diet During Pregnancy
Here are the answers to the most asked questions about a healthy diet for pregnancy:
Which fruits are the best in pregnancy?
Orange, mango, apple, berries, banana, etc., are good fruits that a pregnant woman should eat to fulfil the required nutrients for the baby’s proper development.
Are potatoes good for pregnancy?
Yes. Potatoes are a good source of folic acid, which is necessary for the brain’s development of the baby.
Is water a part of a healthy diet for pregnancy?
Yes. A sufficient daily intake of water can improve the digestion of food and keep you hydrated the whole day.
What are the best foods for pregnancy?
Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and eggs are the best foods for pregnancy.