The World of Pregnancy

Top 11 Super Foods for Pregnant Women & Fetal Development

You have a growing living human being inside of you and you always feel like starving. But you don`t need despair! There are a few nutrient-packed foods that can boost your little baby`s development and feel more full of energy throughout pregnancy.

Super Foods for Pregnant Women

Everyone is interested in eating healthy food, but there`s a recent study where 2,300 mothers where subjects, which found that 63% of them do not really meet the recommended 5 – 9 servings of produce per day, while 36% chose most days to give to their cravings. Well, it isn`t really that easy to eat a bowl of vegetables when you would instead be more interested in chewing an entire pizza. From all the superfoods out there, we found the ones below be the most suitable for a pregnant woman.

Eggs

It`s surprising to see what you get from one single egg and only for 90 calories, says Elisabeth Ward, doctor, nutritionist and author of “expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy.”

Besides the 12 vitamins and minerals, eggs contain an important quantity of proteins, essential during pregnancy. The fetus`s cells grow exponentially and every cell is made of proteins, explains Dr. Ward. In addition, as a pregnant woman, you need a high intake of proteins in your organism.

Eggs contain a large quantity of compounds of salt, which help in developing the fetus and brain health, while they also prevent defects of embryos. Some eggs even contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for the development of nervous system and vision.

Are eggs too high in cholesterol? Not necessarily, says Dr. Ward. It seems that if you eat saturated fats, then this will do more harm to cholesterol than to eat cholesterol directly from foods. And while eggs are rich in cholesterol, they actually have a low amount of saturated fat, about 1.5 g per egg.

Healthy women with a normal level of cholesterol can consume 1 or 2 eggs a day as part of a well balanced diet and low in saturated fats.

Beef

Lean slices of beef, like a sirloin steak, offer zinc, iron, vitamins B3, B6 & B12 and proteins, in forms that are highly absorbable. Beef meat is rich in choline as well, which is necessary for peak cognitive powers and brain development. You can add lean cuts of beef to pasta sauces or use it in burgers or tacos with chili.

Seafood

While seafood doesn`t usually how too much fat, the sort of fat it does have is mostly consist of healthy omega-3 variety. Fattier fish species, like haddock, cod or salmon, are great choices of omega-3. You also get proteins, B group vitamins as well as important amounts of zinc and iron.

Broccoli

Among other favorite choices of pregnant women is broccoli, because it`s a great choice of folate, also known as folic acid, a crucial nutrient for a developing fetus. Without folate, babies may develop congenital malformations, such as spina bifida. However, folate is more bio-available that its synthetic version – folic acid – that can be found in vitamins bought from pharmacies and enriched products. Bio-availability in fact means that the pregnant woman`s body will do what it`s supposed to do – it will absorb and use the folate from our vegetable better than it would absorb folic acid from vitamins.

Kale

This vegetable is one of the most favorite superfoods or many pregnant women out there. In a single cup of kale, you get 4 g of protein, 150 mg of calcium, 491 mg of potassium as well as lots of more than your daily requirements. Isn`t this amazing? And I could go on and on. Kale is truly amazing! If there`s anything in this entire list that shouldn`t miss from your diet, kale is your first choice. Kale is also great in sauces or smoothies.

Cheese

Consuming cheese after ending a meal fight against cavity formation by simply neutralizing the acids in the mouth which promote gingivitis and dental decay. You may ask yourself why this is that important. Because gingivitis while pregnant might lead to premature birth. Also, you would benefit of carbohydrates, calcium, proteins, vitamin B12 and fat, all necessary during pregnancy.

Sweet Potatoes

There are 2 essential types of such potatoes: moist-fleshed and dry-fleshed. Through the U.S. the orange variety (moist-fleshed) is frequently improperly mentioned to as a yam. The pregnant women who choose to consume sweet potatoes would get vitamin C, fiber, carbohydrates and folate.

Berries

Berries are full of carbohydrates, folate, fibers, vitamin C and potassium. The phytonutrients in these foods represent beneficial compounds that naturally occur and which protect body cells from any damage. Berries can be consumed with whole-grain cereals, pancakes, salads or smoothies with yogurt. Layer yogurt with crunchy cereals and berries are a wonderful dessert.

Fortified Orange Juice

Did you know that orange juice contain kind of the same levels of nutrients as milk? Oranges consumed as juice offer lots of vitamin D & C, folate, calcium and potassium. Drink it plain or in smoothies, or simply frozen as ice cubes or pops, and get all the necessary nutrients that your baby require for his development.

Bananas

These fruits are great. They are easy to get, cheap and portable.

Full of potassium, these fruits are great for maintaining a healthy balance of fluids, preventing muscle cramps and reducing retention of fluids. They are often able to save the day by offering a good food choice between your daily meals or. Bananas contain tryptophan as well, which aids to promote sleep, and they are a great ally in the fight against morning sickness and nausea. These awesome fruits represent a great snack for boosting energy.

Spinach

The baby needs folate, the natural version of folic acid, from spinach for the new DNA production and cell metabolism regulation (besides your supplementation of folic acid during pregnancy). The spinach`s antioxidants protect the brain tissue of the baby from damage as well.

You require 400 mcg of folate every day, and a 180g serving of cooked spinach offers 263 mcg and of an 80 g raw serving offers 155 mcg. You should keep in mind that light steaming will increase the folate uptake, considering that it won`t be overcooked.

Image courtesy of thetot.com
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