There is no perfect time to make good changes in a woman’s diet than when she is expectant. Expectant moms need to eat right not only for her but also for the baby she is carrying inside her. Healthy foods for everyone are also good foods for pregnant women but there are certain nutrients that she needs for her baby to be as healthy as possible. Here are the best foods to eat when pregnant:

Low-Fat Dairy

Calcium rich foods are one of the healthy foods for pregnant women. Calcium is necessary to keep the pregnant woman’s bones strong. It is also needed for the baby to develop his young bones. We all know that milk is the primary source of calcium but if you don’t like to drink milk there are other great sources of calcium. Some of these foods are string cheese, yogurt, spinach, and calcium-fortified orange juice. Not only do you need to take in as much calcium as possible but you also need Vitamin D which can help with better calcium absorption.

Lean Beef

Pregnant women are very much prone to anemia. This is because their blood volume can reach up to 50 percent. This is the reason why they need a lot of iron. Lean beef is a good food for pregnant women because it is high in iron which is an important element of red blood cells. Iron also helps in building the baby’s little brain by making the nerve connections strong. You can also get a lot of iron from other healthy foods for pregnant women to eat such as dark leafy vegetables, tofu, dried fruits, clams and oysters, turkey, beef or chicken liver, salmon, tuna, and broccoli. To increase your iron absorption, you can eat foods that have a high content of Vitamin C such as tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi, citrus fruits, and red bell peppers.

Popcorn

Popcorn is not only fun to munch on while you are having a movie marathon. It is also a healthy food for pregnant women. It contains fiber which aids in relieving constipation. It is also starchy which is why it is good in alleviating your nausea. To add variety to your diet eat up different kinds of whole grains such as brown rice, whole corn, oats, what, barley, and quinoa. These foods are not only high in fiber but are also good sources of minerals such as Vitamin B and Iron.

Fruits and Vegetables

Your doctor may restrict yourself to pineapple and unripe papaya as they contain certain chemicals that can cause miscarriage. Otherwise, make your diet colorful by eating all kinds of green, yellow, orange and red fruits. These are healthy foods for pregnant women because they are abundant in phytochemicals that help protect you from diseases and keep your body functioning properly. These are also converted to Vitamin A which is essential in the development of the baby’s body organs like the bones, eyes, and skin. In contrast to the benefits of Vitamin A present in the above-mentioned foods, there are “performed” Vitamin A which can be found in some medicines and food supplements that can increase the risk of birth defects.

Lentils

Folic acids are needed to protect the baby against birth defects involving the brain, the spine, and the spinal cord. One example of this disorder is the spina bifida where a part of the spinal cord is exposed.  In order to make sure you have a healthy baby, you should eat lentils which are high in folic acid. It is best to prevent this neural tube defects at the early stage of pregnancy therefore you should eat cereals, pasta, brown rice, and bread which are rich in folic acid. Other foods with folic acid content are dark leafy vegetables such as asparagus and beans.

Protein Rich Foods

Protein plays a vital role in the growth of the human body. It should be a part of everyone’s diets especially those of pregnant women. Fish is a good food for pregnant women because it is high in protein. Other foods also high in protein are lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts, quinoa, and beans. Other than being great sources of amino acids, they are also good at keeping our blood sugar stable. Eating these foods during breakfasts will keep as full longer so we do not need to eat snacks in between meals. Here is a list of Top 10 Protein Rich Foods for you.

Flaxseeds

Foods that are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids especially those that have DHA or docosahexaenoic acid are healthy foods for pregnant women to eat. They are important in the development of the baby’s vital organs like the brain and the eyes which are composed of DHA. They also help in the digestion of Vitamins A and E. The next time you prepare a salad, drizzle it with flaxseed oil or season your cereal, yogurt, or soup with ground flaxseeds. Also add salmon, avocados, and walnuts to your diet but limit your daily total intake to 30 percent of your daily calories.

See Also: Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Water

Being pregnant means you are prone to dehydration which may cause early labor. It is therefore necessary to have as much water intake as possible. Make sure to take with you a water bottle wherever you go. The recommended daily water intake is 8 glasses. It can help you and the tiny baby in your belly to grow and circulate the vitamins and minerals throughout your body. Drinking enough water everyday also helps your body flush out toxins. It also keeps you from getting overweight by curbing your hunger for junk foods and cookies. A water bottle is not the only source of water for your body. You can also get water from milk, soup, tea, decaffeinated coffee and fruit juices. Watermelon is 91% water so the next time you hit the grocery store, don’t forget to load your cart with some of this fruit.

What they say about pregnant women that expectant moms need to eat for two people is not true. In fact, if you are pregnant and have a healthy weight, you do not need to eat a lot more than 300 extra calories each day. This means you only have to add a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt one a day. Pregnant women should aim for 25 to 35 pounds. Anything more than that means you will have a baby that is too large while if you weigh less your baby might come out small.

Additional: As a pregnant woman you may feel curious about your fetus. To learn about your Fetal Development you can visit babycenter.com. They have both images and videos to answer almost all of your questions regarding to your coming baby. They also have a good engaging forum where you may ask whatever you want to know.

Featured Image Courtesy: Kit4na

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