Pregnancy is a complex, but beautiful journey for women who choose to experience it. It promotes a range of emotions that range from exhilaration, empowerment, and bond-promotion. It is, however, also a nerve-wracking time that is filled with confusion and even doubts. Oftentimes, women don’t know what they should or shouldn’t consume during pregnancy- especially if it’s their first baby. They may even spend hours listening to advice from friends and family members- who often say that it’s okay to “eat for two.” This old saying is inaccurate and can lead to unhealthy weight gain in the mother, gestational diabetes, and high blood pressure. It is more important for a pregnant woman to eat smart, rather than to eat a lot. On average, pregnant women need to eat only about 300 calories more a day (that’s a greek yogurt and a whole grain english muffin).
Samir Becic and his Health Fitness Revolution team wants to celebrate pregnant women everywhere, by bringing them the Top 10 Foods to Eat During Pregnancy:
Eggs are packed with over 12 vitamins and minerals, and not to mention high quality protein! This is important to a development of the fetus during pregnancy. Eggs are also rich in choline, which promotes cell growth and fetal brain development, while also preventing neural tube defects. If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to consume eggs during pregnancy, worry not! Eggs are safe and highly beneficial to the stages of pregnancy. If you’re either pregnant or nursing, be sure to stick to fully cooked eggs! Raw or under cooked eggs can increase the presence of salmonella bacteria.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
The more colorful, the more packed with nutrients and antioxidants. So don’t hesitate to pack your plate with vibrant fruits and veggies for each meal. Antioxidants can help prevent many various birth defects, such as fetal alcohol syndrome.
If your love of seafood has been stifled by high mercury levels, salmon is here to save the day! In moderation, salmon is great to eat during pregnancy. Unlike mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish, it contains very low amounts of methyl mercury, which is a compound that can be hazardous to the baby’s development. Salmon is packed with protein and Omega-3s, which is significant for your baby’s brain health.
Beans come in a variety of forms: black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, etc. These widely unique legumes are a phenomenal source of protein and fiber. Their high protein and nutrient content make it a great food option not only for pregnant women- but for practicing vegans as well. During pregnancy, fiber is important for relieving constipation and hemorrhoid symptoms. Beans also contain many good nutrients for the baby such as iron, calcium, zinc, and folate, which all play important roles for fetal development.
Packed with exceptional amounts of fiber, Vitamin A, folate, and Vitamin C, sweet potatoes are easily one of the greatest foods for pregnancy! During pregnancy, your gastrointestinal tract slows down, putting you at risk for constipation and hemorrhoids. Sweet potatoes can offer some natural relief to those symptoms. Sweet Potatoes also have a low glycemic index, meaning that they don’t surge blood sugar levels when consumed.
Grains, including whole wheat, barley, corn, etc, are all important for pregnancy. Their high fiber and nutrient content, including vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and phytonutrients help protect the fetus throughout development. The recommended fiber amount during pregnancy is 28 grams per day. Whole grains can help mommies-to-be reach this goal!
These delicious and crunchy nuts are a wonderful go-to snack for pregnant women. These filling nuts are the best plant-based source of Omega-3s, which are vital for your baby’s brain development. Walnuts are also great for relaxing blood vessels, which can help keep you blood pressure in check during pregnancy. The high fiber, protein and healthy fat content in walnuts can also keep your newly active appetite satisfied throughout the day.
Greek yogurt contains twice the protein of regular yogurt and is an optimal source of calcium. With a whopping 15 grams of protein per serving, this snack is wonderful for mothers-to-be, especially if they’re looking to up their protein intake. Consuming adequate protein and calcium is important during pregnancy because your developing baby can potentially feed off your nutrient stores, which can potentially make a mommy-to-be nutrient deficient.
Dark Leafy Greens
Packed with vitamins A, K, C, folate, leafy greens are known to promote fetal development and eye health. During the beginning stages of pregnancy, it’s especially important to consume dark leafy greens. This is because the high folate content can prevent potential birth defects, and protect your baby’s nervous system.
Did you know that quinoa is one of the only plant-based complete proteins? This means that quinoa contains all essential amino acids, which is fantastic mother’s trying to limit their meat intake. This grain comes equipped with high amounts of both protein and iron, which is healthy for both the baby and mommy.